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Cottage Food Law

Have you ever heard someone say that you should go into business with your special recipe? Maybe you've been thinking about selling your food to the public.

The good news is that many states have what is commonly called a cottage food law that enables small food producers to create products out of their kitchens and sell them.

What are Cottage Foods?

Cottage Food Meaning: Cottage foods are food produced by someone in small batches that are offered to the public in places such as farmers markets, special events, out of their home, or on a roadside stand. These foods are typically the type that will not spoil without refrigeration and may include certain canned goods.

Cottage Food List

Cottage foods vary from state to state, but they typically include the following:

  • Jams and Jellies
  • Baked goods that require no refrigeration
  • Dry mixes, granola, nut mixes, popcorn, other dry snacks
  • Candy
  • Tea and coffee blends

Laws Governing Cottage Food

In most states, you cannot sell your cottage food to businesses such as restaurants or grocery stores. A few states do allow it, but most do not. None of the states allow you to ship your food out of state, but that doesn't mean you can't sell it on the Internet to local folks.

Many states do require a business license, cottage food license or permit, which requires you to fill out a cottage food license application and submit to a kitchen health inspection. There is also a limit to how much money you can make selling cottage foods in a year. These numbers are typically large for the cottage food producer ($20,000 to $50,000), so if you're making more than that, you should probably become a commercial food producer with a commercial kitchen.

At this point, you may be wondering how to get around cottage food laws. It's a bad idea to try, because if you're caught, you could face thousands of dollars in fines, or even jail time, depending on the seriousness of the infraction.

Cottage Food Law Labels

In addition to following your state's cottage food laws, you will also have to follow their requirements for labeling your cottage food. Your food will need to be in a package of some type with a label. Typically, you will have to have the following information appear on your label:

  • The name of the product.
  • Your business's name, address, and phone number, as well as any other contact information.
  • The net weight of the item.
  • An ingredients list.
  • Some states require a statement that the food was prepared in an un-inspected kitchen.

Cottage Food Laws By State

Most states have cottage food laws. These laws may vary from state to state, which means that you should contact your local health department to find out what the cottage food laws are. They can usually direct you to the appropriate agency which oversees the laws and can help you apply for a license.

Included here are a sample of the food laws in several popular cottage food states. If your state is not listed, you can obtain information from your local county extension office or the county health department for laws regarding making and selling cottage foods.

California Cottage Food Law

The cottage food laws in California may be daunting because California requires you to register your business, apply for a permit, get trained as a food handler and food processor in two separate courses. You must register with the local environmental health agency. You must also comply with any local laws, get a business license and a sales tax license.

Foods you can produce and sell include (but not exclusive):

  • Baked goods that do not contain custard, cream, dairy, or meat fillings.
  • Candy
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Frosting that does not contain cream, cream cheese, or eggs.
  • Honey and syrups
  • Jams and jellies that meet California regulations.
  • Potato and vegetable chips.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.
  • Waffles

Florida Cottage Food Law

Florida has a number of requirements for those looking for the Florida cottage food law 2020, or the Florida cottage food law 2021. The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Florida, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the cottage food law Florida sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. You will have to abide by local laws as well, so contact your county's extension if you need to know more about Hillsborough County cottage food law. You can also use the same template as mentioned above for the Florida cottage food label template.

The Florida cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Popcorn.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.

Illinois Cottage Food Law

The Illinois cottage food law is complex and requires that you must be registered with your local health department. You must also complete a certification course in food protection. If you live in Chicago, be aware that Chicago has its own set of regulations for cottage food, and you will need to contact the local health department to find out what those are. You will have to file for a business license and a sales tax license.

The Illinois cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain fillings. Fruit pies with high acid content fruits.
  • Fruit butters high in acid content.
  • Jams and jellies high in acid content.

Indiana Cottage Food Law

The Indiana cottage food laws cover the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market. The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Indiana, other than a business license. You will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

The Indiana cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Legumes and tree nuts.
  • Produce, whole and unprocessed.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.

Louisiana Cottage Food Law

The Louisiana cottage food law 2020 covers the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market. The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Louisiana, other than a business license. You will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

The Louisiana cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Legumes and tree nuts.
  • Produce, whole and unprocessed.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.

Massachusetts Cottage Food Law

The Massachusetts cottage food laws cover the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market. You will need to be licensed and inspected by the local health department and obtain your permit. You will also need to apply for a business license and a sales tax license, and collect sales tax for your area.

The Massachusetts cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Legumes and tree nuts.
  • Produce, whole and unprocessed.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.

Michigan Cottage Food Law

According to the Michigan food laws 2020, the good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Michigan, other than a business license. You may need a Michigan cottage food law online training. For those who are looking up the cottage food law in Michigan with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. The Michigan cottage food law shipping does not allow shipping out of state.

The Michigan cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.
  • Popcorn.
  • Vinegars infused with fruit.

Missouri Cottage Food Law

According to the Missouri cottage food law, the good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Missouri, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the cottage food law in Missouri with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

The Missouri cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Jams and jellies.

New Jersey Cottage Food Law

According to the Cottage Food Law of NJ, cottage food is not legal. New Jersey is only one of a few states that does not allow sales of cottage food.

New York Cottage Food Law

According to the cottage food laws NY, the good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in New York, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the cottage food law NY with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. Unless you plan on selling other food than cottage food, you do not have to get a New York food license. In most cases, you do not need a home bakery license NY. However, if you want to know how to start a home-based catering business in New York, farm stand regulations NY, or how to obtain a New York state temporary food permit, you should probably contact the local health department to find out what rules and regulations apply.

The New York cottage food list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, granola, and dried pasta, as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Popcorn/ Caramel Corn.

Texas Cottage Food Law

According to the Texas cottage food law 2020 and Texas cottage food law 2021, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home Texas, or a Texas cottage food law certificate, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Texas cottage food law sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. The Texas cottage food law shipping does not allow sales outside of Texas. You can find out more about Texas cottage food law insurance and Texas cottage food law recipes by visiting https://texascottagefoodlaw.com/.

The Texas cottage food law list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Baked goods that do not contain meat fillings.
  • Candy.
  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, and granola, and as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Popcorn/ Caramel Corn.
  • Jams and Jellies.
  • Vinegar and fruit-infused vinegar.
  • Pickled, canned, and fermented food.
  • Teas and coffees.
  • Dried herbs.

Virginia Cottage Food Law

According to the Virginia cottage food laws, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home in Virginia, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Virginia cottage food law with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

The Virginia cottage food law list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Dried foods such as nuts, baking mixes, dried soups, dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, dried pasta, and granola, and as long as the dried foods do not contain meat.
  • Honey and syrups.
  • Popcorn/ Caramel Corn.
  • Dried fruits.
  • Teas and coffees.
  • Dried herbs.
  • Cotton candy.

Wisconsin Cottage Food Law

According to the cottage food laws in Wisconsin, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home in Wisconsin, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Wisconsin cottage food law 2021 with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. Originally known as the Wisconsin pickle bill, people from Wisconsin can also sell baked goods that are deemed as not hazardous. That means baked goods that are low in moisture and do not have cream or other moist fillings that can mold easily. You do not have find out the Wisconsin food license cost unless you are selling more than cottage foods. For any baked goods outside what is considered cottage food, you may need a Wisconsin home bakery license. Contact your local health department for Wisconsin food license cost and commercial kitchen requirements Wisconsin for foods not covered by the cottage food law.

The Wisconsin cottage food law list includes (but not exclusive to):

  • Pickled fruits and vegetables.
  • Canned sauces.
  • Canned chutney.
  • Jams and Jellies.
  • Kimchi.
  • Sauerkraut
  • Applesauce.
  • Baked goods with a “water activity value of 0.85 or less.”
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