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California Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operation

California’s bill (AB 626) which allows for “microenterprise home kitchen operations” was passed on September 18th, 2018 and went into effect on January 1st, 2019. Although the law is a first-of-its-kind and has been described as a “game-changer”, the reality is that the bill is so severely limited, it is unlikely to make much of […]

Alabama

Alabama created a cottage food law (SB 159) in 2014. Previously, this state only allowed homemade food sales at farmers markets. This cottage food law is relatively restrictive. It allows direct, in-person sales of many non-perishable food items. Cottage food operators must take a food safety training course and are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. […]

Maryland On-Farm Home Processing

Maryland allows farmers to get a special On-Farm Home Processing License to sell certain types of homemade food. However, most people use Maryland’s cottage food law (which does not require a permit or training from the health department) to sell their homemade food. This older law is useful for farmers who: Want to sell food products […]

Connecticut

After many years of consistent effort, Connecticut finally created a usable cottage food law (PA 18-141 or SB 193) that went into effect on October 1st, 2018. Before then, only farmers could sell homemade food. Farmers can still use the Residential Farm law to sell certain types of canned goods. This law allows the direct […]

Connecticut Residential Farm

Connecticut’s Residential Farm law is an old law that is restricted to farmers who make certain types of canned goods on their farm. If you are not a farmer, you cannot use this law, but you can use Connecticut’s cottage food law. It appears that a farmer can use both this law and the cottage […]

Arizona

Arizona has one of the most successful cottage food programs of any state, with over 6,100 businesses registered as of May 2017. This success is in large part because Arizona has a very good cottage food law, and it continually gets supported and promoted by the health department. They have an excellent website that explains their cottage food law, […]

Delaware

For over a decade, Delaware’s cottage food law was only available to farmers. In September 2016, the health department created and enacted some new rules that allow many more people to start a “cottage food establishment” (CFE) from their home kitchen. Although the cottage food law is much more expansive than it used to be, it […]

California

The California Homemade Food Act (also known as “AB 1616”) passed in California on September 21st, 2012 and went into effect on January 1st, 2013. The law is setup as a two-tier system, meaning that there are different levels of homemade food producers, depending on who they sell to. “Class A” cottage food operations can only […]

Maine

Maine has had their “home food manufacturing” law in place since 1980, and it is still being used today. Although this law was created long before modern cottage food laws became popular, it is quite flexible and allows producers to sell many types of homemade food. To sell homemade food, producers need to get a […]

South Carolina

South Carolina’s cottage food laws are very basic and are intended to get someone started before opening a full-scale commercial operation. They only allow operators to make baked goods and candy, which is more restrictive than most other states. However, the main limitation is that they only allow $15,000 of sales per year. Sales must […]

Massachusetts

Massachusetts developed its law for “residential kitchens” in 2000, well before cottage food laws became common. Residential kitchens are considered “food establishments” (like their commercial counterparts), so it is harder to start a home food business in MA than it is in other states. However, there are fewer restrictions: there is no sales limit, and […]

Montana

Montana’s new cottage food bill (HB 478) went into effect on October 1, 2015. This law is a major leap forward, allowing all forms of in-person sales within the state. Prior to this cottage food law, Montana only allowed some types of homemade goods to be sold at farmers markets. Cottage food operators need to register with their local […]

Washington

Washington is probably the most difficult state for someone to get started as a cottage food operator. The application for a cottage food permit is very long, and it requires the applicant to complete many of the steps a full food processor would have to complete. Most states that require cottage food operators to jump […]

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a bit different than other states in that it doesn’t have laws specific to cottage food operations, but the Department of Agriculture simply allows “limited food establishments” that meet specific guidelines. The application process is lengthy, but limited food establishments have a lot of flexibility once they’re setup. Unlike other states, in Pennsylvania, there are many similarities between the […]

Wyoming Cottage Food

Wyoming now has a food freedom law which might entirely replace this one. However, since products sold under the food freedom law can only be consumed at a private home, this original cottage food law might still be useful for some types of sales. For instance, a wedding cake can probably be sold directly under this […]

Iowa Home Food Establishment

Unlike most states, Iowa allows home bakers to sell perishable baked goods, like cheesecakes, cream pies, and cakes with cream fillings. “Home Food Establishments” can sell their baked goods at any venue, but they are limited to $20,000 of sales per year. An annual license and inspection are required. In addition to this law, Iowa […]

Virginia Home Food Processing Operation

Unlike almost every other state, Virginia allows people to operate very unrestricted food businesses out of their homes. Their food laws are very different than most states, written in such a way that there is not any distinction between a food business that uses a commercial kitchen versus a home kitchen. Instead, the distinction is provided by […]

New Hampshire

New Hampshire essentially has a two-tier system. For those wishing to sell low quantities of product at farmers markets and from home, there is very little process to get setup, and the details are listed below. For operators wanting to sell more product at any venue, they must apply for a Homestead License, which is […]

New Mexico

New Mexico’s cottage food requirements are the most complicated of any state. Although they place no limit on the amount of product the processor can sell, and they allow processors to sell a fair number of goods, the application process is not much easier than what a regular food processor would need to go through. […]

Louisiana

Louisiana’s cottage food law (Act 542) was started in 2013 and amended in 2014. The amendment (HB 1270) greatly increased the number of foods allowed, and it also increased the amount of regulations CFOs must follow. There is a sales limit of $20,000 per year. Unlike every other law, Louisiana imposes specific restrictions on preparers of breads, cakes, cookies, […]

Michigan

Michigan’s cottage food laws are somewhat limited, but many people use them and they are still one of the most active cottage food states. The number of allowed foods in Michigan are above average, in comparison with other states, but they are very specific about what is allowed.  Fortunately, there is no need to obtain […]

New Hampshire Homestead

The laws for those with a Homestead License in New Hampshire are much more lenient than a homestead food operation, as they allow operators to sell at any venue with no limitation for how much they can sell.  However, there is a significant application process that will take some time.  Aside from the $225 cost, […]

Georgia

Georgia’s cottage food laws are pretty good, though it takes some effort for cottage food operators to get setup initially.  Operators must have a business license, take a training course, send in an application, and get their home inspected before they can get their cottage food license.  However, once setup, they are not limited to a […]

Utah

Utah requires a relatively lengthy application process to sell cottage foods, but fortunately, the law is quite flexible once the cottage food operator is setup. The $107 (or more) process involves a business license application, food handler training, a home inspection, and a cottage food product application, which includes detailed written recipes and possibly product […]

Rhode Island

Rhode Island essentially has no cottage food laws, because the law they do have is limited to a very select group of individuals. Producing food from home is only available to farmers that sell over $2,500 of agricultural products throughout the year. This excludes most of the small producers that cottage food laws are usually […]