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What is Cottage Food?

Cottage foods are food products that are non-potentially hazardous and with the unlikelihood of growing harmful bacteria or toxic microorganisms when kept at room temperature. Examples of such foods are bakery products, jams, jellies, candy, dry mixes, spices, sauces, etc.

Initially, the term “cottage” referred to the family cottage (home). Most rural communities had cottages as a source of family bonding or rest. But recently, cottage foods have been making their way to the market. It is a fantastic idea to sell homemade foods made directly from your kitchen. That is because it gives people a chance to support local food manufacturers and improves the economy. Also, it is environmentally friendly because it reduces congestion on transport. Entrepreneurs take their foods directly to the consumers or distribute them to the local market.

Further, the cottage food business allows home chefs or new entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into a business. They don’t have to spend a lot of money leasing business space, licenses, and training. Instead, they lower their expenses on prices, delivery, recipes, and branding. That gives their food businesses a chance to grow while minimizing costs.

How to sell cottage foods is direct to the consumers, online, shipping, or taking to the market. That requires an entrepreneur to have a cottage food license. For example, if you sell your food to Minnesota, you will need to have a cottage food license MN. That will guide you on what is needed in that state.

The cottage food law allows the foods to be labeled. So entrepreneurs or home chefs should have printable cottage food label templates which they can use for labeling. The labels should have the name of the CFO food product and the name, city, and zip code of the CFO operation.

What is Cottage Food Law?

Cottage food law is the law that allows entrepreneurs to make and sell their cottage food (non-potentially or canned) without a license. The health department makes these laws to protect the public when it comes to the sales of homemade foods. Cottage laws vary from state to state. If you are an entrepreneur wishing to start a home-based food distribution, you must check from your state. Understand the rules, regulations, and labeling requirements that are needed.

Note that there are states that don’t require you to have a cottage law. When you look at cottage food law Wisconsin, you will discover that the law has banned selling some homemade foods. The ban has nothing to do with the safety of these products. For example, if you are found selling a piece of fudge, you risk a six-month jail term or a fine of up to $1000. Hillsborough county cottage food law clearly states the requirements needed to operate cottage food. They further analyze the foods that you can sell in different states.

As an entrepreneur, you have to adhere to different laws put in place. You must always put the safety of the consumers into consideration. Make sure the place you are preparing your food is clean and has the required health practices.

Florida Cottage Food Law

Do I need a license to sell homemade food in Florida? No, you don’t need a license to sell food from home in Florida, according to Florida cottage food law. Florida is one of the states that you can sell your cottage food with minimum restrictions.

They passed their first law in 2011, and since then, they have amended it to fit cottage food law requirements. Florida cottage food law 2021 allows up to $250,000 sales annually. These are some of the Florida cottage food law basics:

Here are pros and cons to consider before starting a cottage food operation in Florida;

Note that cottage food laws Florida 2020 and cottage food laws Florida 2021 do not need entrepreneurs to pay cottage food law Florida taxes. If you don’t sell goods exceeding $50,000 or sell food directly to consumers, you are safe—no need for having a home bakery license Florida too, for the entrepreneurs in the baking business.

Best Selling Cottage Foods

You can start a cottage food business by indulging in the best homemade food to sell. However, the best cottage foods to sell depends on your locality, ingredients used, and the process followed to make them.

Here is a list of cottage foods that you can sell and make some profits. Note they don’t follow any particular order.

How to Start a Cottage Food Business in Maryland

To start a cottage food business in Maryland, you don’t need a license, training, or inspection. But you are required to complete a state food-approved food safety course. Further, you should produce the label products and submit them to the Maryland Department of Health for approval.

The gross annual should be $25,000 annually. You should sell only cottage food-approved recipes. The best way to pick these recipes is by using the approved sources for recipes. The food must be prepackaged properly. The labels must be put showing the ingredients, name of the product, manufacturing dates, etc.

How Much Does A Cottage Food License Cost?

The cottage food license cost depends on which state you are in. Do I need a business license for a cottage food operation? Well, some states don’t require you to have a cottage food business license, whereas it is a requirement in others.

If you don’t know how much cottage food license costs, you need to check with your state. For example, California is one of the biggest states that allow cottage foods. So for a class A business tier, you must part with $118 just for registration. In the same state, you will discover the pricing is different. Let’s look at Orange county. The application fee is $54. The annual fee for class A is $42, whereas the class B cottage fee is $158.

When you look at MN cottage food license lookup, they have a piece of detailed information on the cost. They also have a cottage food license application that you must fill. That means each state charges differently, so check with the health department to get the cost from your state.

How long does it take to get a cottage food license? Some states require you to go through training for three months before you get your license. So this still depends on your state and how fast they can process your kitchen license.

Cottage Food Laws

Getting a license varies from state to state. Each state has different charges and costs. Let’s discuss a few states and how they do their licensing.


What is the cottage food law in Michigan? Michigan cottage food law 2021 allows entrepreneurs to sell their cottage food without inspections, fees, or licenses. However, the cottage foods to be sold must be non hazardous. These foods must not have any preservatives to prolong their shelf life.


California’s cottage food list comprises fruit butter, candy, dried foods, nuts, vinegar, mustards, etc. Depending on your location and what you sell, you may need to obtain a Class A Cottage Food Permit California to be legal.

What is cottage food law near California?

Class A cottage food law California 2021 permit allows you to sell directly to the consumer. But you must turn the food application to the county you are selling your food.


What is cottage food law near Texas? The law allows entrepreneurs in Texas to sell their food anywhere around the state. Texas is one of the states that sells lots of cottage food. They can even sell frozen foods within the state. How much does a cottage food license cost near texas? There are no licenses, permits, or fees needed.

Bernardino County

San Bernardino county’s cottage food license states that anyone who prepares cottage food products must take a food work certification. This is found in the County of San Bernardino. A person must register the business within three months.


Cottage food Wisconsin law was amended in 2021. The amendment includes non-perishable baked foods and canned foods. However, no other foods have been allowed, and Wisconsin’s cottage laws don’t regulate home bakers.


The cottage food license Illinois was introduced in 2012. But in 2017, it was amended and states that cottage foods should be sold to the local markets only.

Washington State

Cottage food license Washington State allows you to sell non-perishable goods. Other requirements needed are floor plan, sales plan, and sanitation descriptions.


Operating a cottage food business in Maryland is a bit complex. They have a law limiting cottage food sales to $25000 annually, and the food labels should have a producer’s ID. However, they have regulated the restrictions since they allow many cottage foods for sale.

Here's how to turn your home chef and new entrepreneur dreams into a cottage food business reality without expensive leases, licenses, or training costs.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!

Amanda McMonigle

The Whimsical Cookie


Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.

Kim Sims

Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets


Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.

Katie Maschoff

Mill City Cooking Company


Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.

Daniella Smith

Oso Good Clean Eats


I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!

Ali Serpe

Kultured Kombucha


I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.

Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.

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