Kansas Cottage Food Law

To start a cottage food business in Kansas, you must obtain a retail sales tax certificate and all sales must be direct to customer. There are few limitations on what types of food you can make and sell, and where you can sell your homemade food.
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Where can you sell?

In Kansas, you can sell cottage food at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, and roadside stands.

What kinds of food can you sell?

Kansas permits the sale of bread, candies, juices, eggs, condiments, dry goods, pastries, preserves, and snacks.

What should be on my product labels?

Labels must include business address, business name, ingredients, net amount, and product name.

Is there an income cap?

There is no limit to how much a home-based vendor can sell in Kansas.

Are there any special requirements?

All sales of your product must be direct to the customer. You must obtain a Retail Sales Tax certificate.

Where can I find more information?

Contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture at fsl@kda.ks.gov or 785-564-6767. Learn more about Kansas' cottage food laws here.

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*Cottage food laws change regularly — always double check the requirements for running a home-based food business with a legal expert or your local health department.

Kansas Cottage Food Law

When it comes to selling food from home, Kansas is one of the least restrictive states in the country. If you’re looking at starting this type of business, you’ll want to pay attention to this extensive guide on Kansas cottage food law.

Within this post, we’ll offer details to answer common questions, such as:

  • How to get a permit to sell food from home?
  • Do you need a license to sell baked goods from home?
  • Are there Kansas farmers market regulations?
  • How much is a food license in Kansas?
  • Can I make food at home and sell it in Kansas?

If you’re wondering how to get a permit to sell food from home, we have good news. Kansas laws for selling food from home are pretty wide open when it comes to what you can do. In fact, there’s no specific on-the-books law in terms of making food items at home and selling them to the public. But that’s where things get a little tricky.

Do you need a permit to sell food from home? The Kansas Department of Agriculture does allow for the sale of certain non-perishable foods at farmers markets, events, and roadside stands without needing a specific home kitchen permit.

Furthermore, the guidelines were expanded in 2021 to be even less restrictive and offer more opportunity for home-based bakers, chefs, and agricultural growers. For a complete list of what products are allowed and different nuances regarding each item, take a look at this official guide.

Likewise, a food handlers card is not required in Kansas—but this only applies to the state level. Some bigger counties and large cities have their own requirements ensuring that anyone handling edible products for the general public must undergo training from an accredited program. In addition, certain venues require this type of training and proof to take part in their event. Thus, it is a good idea to go ahead and obtain one if you plan on selling baked goods, snacks, or other items from a home kitchen.

So, can you get a food handlers permit online? The answer is yes. There are many great online food safety courses that can help you get a Kansas food handler’s card. In fact, the process is simple enough and offers a lot of great information that anyone who works for you in your home kitchen could benefit from this type of training.

Selling homemade food online is an area that is technically unclear at this time. Current Kansas cottage food laws state that sales must be in-person and the allowed venues only include farmers markets, events, and roadside stands. However, they do not specifically prohibit online sales, making it unclear if this is restricted in the same manner it is in other states.

Which leads to another great question: are there requirements for selling foods at a Kansas farmer’s market? The general consensus is that these guidelines fall under basic cottage food law, but there are no additional restrictions that home chefs need to be aware of. However, individual markets sometimes have different rules, so it is important to ask them directly before deciding if you’ll be selling homemade food products from a booth at their event.

Starting a Kansas cottage food business also requires specific labeling guidelines. Each item must include a clearly printed label including the product name, the physical address of where the product was made, and the net weight in either ounces or grams. It is also important to include every ingredient in the item listed by highest weight to lowest. If you’re using a commercially prepared product, like flavored gelatin or a special spice mix, you’ll need to copy over that ingredient list and include it in yours.

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Since there is no direct Kansas food license requirements, these are all merely guidelines to ensure the safety of the general public. Failure to follow them could lead to a complaint by a customer, which could eventually cause intervention by the local health department and/or a citation. Current Kansas laws are quite vague on what happens if there is a citation, so it is best for all cottage food business owners to follow these guidelines as closely as possible.

Of course, making food from home and selling it isn’t always as clear as just baking cookies and packaging them. There are a lot of nuances in the process, which means it is important to double check those in your city, county, and state before you start. Any further questions you have should be directed to the Kansas Department of Agriculture office in your county.

Kansas Cottage Foods List

While opening a home-based food business in Kansas is far easier than in other states, the list of foods they allow is a lot more restrictive. This is something that lawmakers are hoping to change, but so far the current list is what cottage food bakers must go by. For further guidance, this downloadable checklist is also a good reference.

Here is a cottage foods list Kansas residents need to be aware of.

  • Breads including bagels, biscuits, brownies, cakes, cookies, donuts, muffins, pizzelles, rolls, scones, sweet breads, and tortillas.
  • Candies including brittles and hard toffees.
  • Condiments such as syrups, honey, and vinegars.
  • Dry goods including cereals, coffee beans, dried fruit, dried vegetables, herbs, mixes, spices, seasonings, and tea leaves.
  • Juices.
  • Whole eggs.
  • Pastries and pies that do not require refrigeration.
  • Preserves including apple sauce, fruit butters, jams, jellies, and marmalades.
  • Snacks like kettle corn, carmel corn, pretzels, crackers, nuts, seeds, granola, and popcorn.
  • Some pre-packed foods like pizzas, sandwiches, side dishes, and others can be sold as ready-to-eat up to six times per year without the need for a permit.

What’s interesting about Kansas cottage food laws is that chocolate is not permitted in any form. Further, other items like kombucha, sauces, pickles, fermented foods, meat jerkies, and salsas are also prohibited. It is important to note that the list of prohibited foods isn’t public, but that these are just the most common confirmed ones on the list. There are likely others not listed here.

Low- or sugar-free items must be tested before they can go on sale. And pepper jams and jellies must use specific ingredients like powdered peppers. If these items do not meet specific testing processes, then they could be denied.

Again, these guidelines are always subject to change. If you have a recipe or an idea for a particular product that isn’t on this list, it is a good idea to go ahead and contact your local jurisdiction for clarity and guidance.

Cottage Food Laws By State

While guidelines in Kansas are quite lenient, not every state is this way. Here is a list of several cottage food laws by state.

Cottage Food Law Michigan: In Michigan, you can start a cottage food business without any additional need for a permit or inspection. Most non-perishable foods are allowed, but there is a yearly limit of $25,000 a year and only direct sales are allowed.

Cottage Food Law Illinois: The cottage food guidelines in Illinois are some of the most restrictive in the nation and only allow for sales at specific farmers’ markets.

Cottage Food laws Missouri: Selling food from home in Missouri is incredibly restrictive compared to Kansas. Only baked goods, jams, jellies, and dry herbs are permitted. Likewise, cottage food operations are capped at $50,000 per year in sales.

Cottage Food Laws Colorado: What makes Colorado cottage food guidelines different than most regions is that the sales cap is based on a per item or flavor basis—not an aggregate amount. Each variety of food is allowable up to $10,000 per year.

Cottage Food Law NY: New York is constantly working to expand their cottage food laws. However, the list of items is more restrictive than other areas, with things like chocolate-dipped candies being prohibited.

Cottage Food Guidelines in California: The State of California classifies cottage food laws into two groups, segmented as A or B. Shipping of cottage foods within the state is permitted.

Cottage Food Laws in Florida: The cottage food laws in Florida are almost as open as those in Kansas. Producers may sell up to $250,000 in items each year and no special permit is required to do so.

New Mexico Cottage Food Laws: Those who want to sell food from home in New Mexico will be happy to learn that new guidelines were put into place in 2021. Where the practice was prohibited before, cottage food producers can now sell almost anywhere without a sales cap limit.

Arizona Cottage Food Laws: Arizona’s cottage food program is deemed as one of the best in the country. Not only is it free to register, but over ten thousand residents have already done so.

Texas Cottage Food Guidelines: Texas is one of the few states that has expanded food items on their cottage food guidelines list. Frozen foods and some perishable products are allowed for both direct and online sales.

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