Wyoming has the best cottage food and food freedom law in the United States. They passed the Wyoming Food Freedom Act in 2015 (HB 56), making them the first state to eliminate most regulations on local homemade food sales.
Unlike most states, Wyoming residents can sell ANY kind of food, as long as it does not contain meat (and some meat and poultry products are allowed, for those who qualify). This allows types of products that are not even close to being considered in most other states, like veggie lasagnas, soups, ice cream, salads, smoothies, cheese, raw milk… the list goes on and on.
For the first five years, only direct, in-person sales were allowed, and foods needed to be consumed within a private home. After a couple relatively minor amendments in 2017, Wyoming significantly amended the law in 2020 (HB 84).
That amendment enabled indirect sales (at grocery stores, retail locations, etc) and wholesaling of nonperishable foods. Also, the home consumption restriction was removed entirely, allowing items like wedding cakes (items that would not likely be consumed in a private home).
The 2020 amendment also added a $250,000 sales limit. Aside from that, there are ZERO regulations from any governmental agency: that means no permits, licensing, fees, zoning approval, etc. The only exception is a very minimal labeling requirement for nonperishable foods sold in retail stores.
It took over five years of persistent efforts by a group of individuals to get this food freedom bill passed… it did not happen overnight. Sue Wallis first proposed it in 2009, and after she passed away in 2014, her husband kept fighting for it until it became law in 2015.
You can sell nonperishable products anywhere, including stores, restaurants, and through other indirect (wholesale) sales methods. All of your perishable products must be sold directly (in-person) to the final consumer.
If you sell nonperishable products through a retail store, the retailer must keep your products separate from any commercially-produced products. They can do this by putting homemade products on a separate shelf, or on a separate display stand. There are also some labeling requirements.
You can sell your products online, but you cannot ship them, so they must either be picked up or hand-delivered. Technically, you can sell your nonperishable products to a commercial food establishment, and then they can resell your products and ship them.
Catering is allowed at a private home, and the law isn’t clear about whether catering is allowed elsewhere.
Although you cannot usually sell perishable foods in retail space at a commercial food establishment (like a grocery store), you can do so if you have a commercial food establishment on your farm, ranch, or home. In that case, you must follow some rules to keep your retail space separate from the commercial food establishment.
The above allowed list was designed for most cottage food laws, but this law is much less restrictive than most. Most of the above foods are nonperishable foods that you can sell anywhere in the state.
However, you can sell ANY kind of food or drink as long as it does not contain meat. It can be fresh, cooked, refrigerated, frozen, dried, canned, etc, and includes items with dairy. See this Q&A document for more clarification. You can only sell perishable foods directly (in-person) to the final consumer.
If you raise animals, you can directly sell poultry products and some types of meat, under these conditions:
- If you raise poultry and slaughter no more than 1,000 birds per year, you can sell your poultry, as well as products made with your poultry. For example, you could sell a chicken pot pie, as long as the chicken meat comes from your birds. You could not buy chicken meat elsewhere (like a store or another farm) and use it in your products.
- You can sell rabbit meat (it cannot be wild game), but you cannot sell products made with rabbit meat.
- You can sell farm-raised fish (except for catfish), but you cannot sell products made with fish or seafood.
- You can sell live animals (excluding wild game).
- You can sell portions of live animals before slaughter for future delivery, as long as the animals are slaughtered in licensed facilities.
Before directly selling any meat or poultry products, make sure you read through this Q&A document to become familiar with the requirements you may need to comply with.
No license, inspection, or training is needed. The law prevents any governmental agency from restricting your business, which means that zoning laws do not apply to you, and you do not need a business license. You can start your business immediately, without needing to call any local or state governmental agency.
For direct sales, there are no labeling requirements, but you must inform the end consumer that the homemade food is not certified, labeled, licensed, packaged, regulated, or inspected.
For indirect sales of nonperishable foods at retail stores, you must clearly and prominently label your products with “this food was made in a home kitchen, is not regulated or inspected and may contain allergens”. In addition, the retailer must inform the end consumer that the homemade food is not certified, labeled, licensed, packaged, regulated, or inspected.
In 2017, two bills passed to amend the law. One amendment (HB 129) allows the sale of farm-raised fish and rabbit meat, while also restricting poultry products to those who raise poultry. The other amendment (SF 118) allows those who have a commercial food establishment on their property to sell with this law.
Wyoming created a good cottage food law (HB 16) in 2009, but it has now been entirely superseded by this food freedom law.