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Cottage Food Laws By State: How To Sell Your Homemade Foods

Summary of Cottage Food Laws by State: Selling Your Homemade and Home-Canned Foods

If you have you got a great recipe for home-made salsa, jam, jelly or other home-canned food that your friends and family tell you that you should go into business to sell, you mnneed to first see if you are in a state that allows it!

Since most states DO allow cottage food sales (sales of foods made and sealed at home, then sold at farmer's markets, roadside stands, church and school bake sales, other events, etc. ) under certain conditions*, it is simpler to list the states that do not first.  The states that effectively do NOT allow home "Cottage Food Operations" as of October 2020 are:

For al other states, see this page.

State by State Analysis in Restricted States


Kansas does not have a specific law regulating the sale of homemade foods, but the Department of Agriculture does allow many non-potentially hazardous foods to be sold at farmers markets and events, without needing a license from them. There are very few requirements to adhere to, and there is no sales limit, but products cannot be sold in food establishments, like retail stores and restaurants. All sales must be direct (in-person), and it is not clear if a producer can sell from their home or online.


Farmers only allowed:

Homebased Processing and Microprocessing: Kentucky only allows farmers (including individuals that grow the primary ingredient of their product) to sell. House Bill 391 and Farmers Market Legislation allow Kentucky farmers who grow and harvest produce to use their home kitchens to process value-added products, which may then be sold at registered farmers markets, certified roadside stands, or the processor's farm. There are two separate processing categories in HB 391, Homebased Processor and Homebased Microprocessor. Persons wishing to sell both types of products must register for both programs. To qualify under either program, the final product must contain a primary or predominant ingredient which is a fruit, vegetable, nut or herb that is grown by the farmer in Kentucky. The sales are further restricted to farmers markets, roadside stands, and the processor's farm. If you do fall into that select category, you are allowed a large number of foods to be sold, and there is no limit on how much you may sell. Processors must register for the program, but there are no fees. There are additional safety rules.

Some acidified foods may be sold by farmers , with limitations on sales ($35,000 / year) and training is required. For details see:

  • House Bill 391 and Farmers Market Legislation.  University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services are partnering to support farm friendly legislation


Farmers only allowed:

Delaware has a law that only allows farmers to make some cottage foods from home. A farmer is considered someone who grows produce for commercial purposes.

While the farmer-only restriction is certainly the largest, Delaware also has many other restrictions in their law. Goods may only be sold at farmers markets, produce stands, or on the farm, and sales are limited to $40,000 per year. A $25 license, a home inspection, and an 8-hour training course are required. 

Delaware cottage food laws


New Jersey

Proposed: Only baked goods

New Jersey's lower house of the legislature unanimously passed a "cottage food" bill, which would let people sell baked goods like breads, pies, cakes and cookies prepared in their home kitchens; b ut it still needs to be passed by the State Senate. To sell legally, one would need only a "clearly visible placard" saying the food was prepared at a private home. The bill, A-1244, has no revenue cap for cottage food entrepreneurs.


See this page for details for states that DO allow cottage food sales.

What are Cottage Food Regulations?

The production and sales of processed foods is governed by state and federal regulations. Each state is different, so proper advice is needed from a specialist in each state. Some states allow sales at farmer's markets of select foods; others prohibit sales altogether; these are called cottage food laws. These rules might also be called Home-Food Processing Rules or Baker's Bills. Typically, the department of health (or the department of agriculture) approves and oversees cottage food businesses. Most states now have these cottage food laws now that don't require a licensed kitchen. In those states, you can sell at a farmers market or roadside stand jams and jellies as well as baked goods that don't require refrigeration. For this you don't need a licensed kitchen or any inspections. Typically, in those states, you just need to label them with the weight or volume, our name, our address, the words "this item is home produced" and all the ingredients in order by weight. Usually, you can not do anything 'acidified' (like pickles), anything pressure canned, or anything needing refrigeration. While Cottage Food laws allow a person to legally bake and prepare certain foods in their home kitchens and sell them on a small scale, (typically at farmers markets and direct to other consumers),  very few states  allow them to sell to restaurants and grocery stores.