Step by step

Sell food you make at home

Get a cottage food permit to sell what you make direct to customers or retail markets in California.

To make food at home like jams, jellies, and baked goods that you sell to other people, you have to get a special cottage foods permit.


Choose food that is on the safe list

You can only make food from home that you sell to others if it is on the state's approved list.

When you apply for your permit, you will be asked for:

  • What food you will make  
  • Where, when, and how you will make it
  • Every ingredient in the recipe (which will be listed on a proposed food label)

View the list of approved "cottage" foods in California.

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Register your business in San Francisco

You need to give a copy of your business registration with your application.

Register your business.

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Have a California food handler card


Within 90 days

To prepare food that you sell to others, you need to have a food handler's certificate. 

The online class to get this food safety certification is short. You just have to:

  • Complete the class
  • Pass an online test based on the material

You get your card right away after you pass the test.

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Make a floor plan of your residence

Your application has to include a floor plan of your space.

This should be on 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper and include your:

  • Living areas
  • Kitchen, food preparation, and food storage areas
  • Square footage of kitchen space
  • Total square footage of living space
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Submit the application form


The first page of the application packet has a checklist of all the forms you need to fill out. These include:

  • Food permit application
  • Zoning referral
  • Declaration of safe and healthy working conditions

Use the checklist to make sure you are including everything you need with your application.

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Open your business

Once your cottage food permit is approved and you've paid the annual permit fee, you are ready to start your business from your home.  

If you are selling to retail locations as well as directly to people, be prepared to have your business inspected regularly.

You can expect your first health inspection within 45 days from when your permit was approved.

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Last updated April 24, 2024