Cottage Food Industry Law For Illinois

Business By stacey71 Updated 14 Sep 2011 , 4:54pm by dulciscakes

stacey71 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 9:27pm
post #1 of 18

Im trying to find out if Illinois has a cottage food industry law? Does anyone know for certain? Im looking to eventually sell (about 6 months from now) at our local craft fairs and farmers markets.

I did visit the dept of agriculture web site but found it confusing and I couldnt find the answer to my question there.

Anyone from CC familiar with the laws pertaining to Illinois?

17 replies
Snupee2 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 9:45pm
post #2 of 18

I'd love to know too!

stacey71 Posted 23 Aug 2010 , 9:47pm
post #3 of 18

Its like shrouded in secrecy here or something. You would think the info would be more transparent and easier to find.

jason_kraft Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 12:09am
post #4 of 18

Here is a good summary of cottage food laws by state (the URL says texas, but it lists all states with cottage food laws):

IL does not allow commercial home baking. Here in CA (which also does not allow commercial home baking) I've noticed that some other tenants at our licensed commercial kitchen are farmer's market vendors -- depending on your location you can look at paying $10-25/hour. Most commercial kitchen owners who rent out their space are also willing to help tenants through the process of getting legal.

leily Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:20am
post #5 of 18

A couple years ago i looked at moving to illinois (i'm right across the river in iowa) and when i looked there was no sort of cottage food law. I have not heard of one passing either. As far as I am aware you can have a kitchen on your property, BUT it has to be free standing and seperate from your home.

However, i don't know how a farmer's market would work. I would call the local health department first. If that is all you'll be doing i don't know what the rules/regulations would be for that. I know that what i looked into was a home baking business, which wasn't allowed.

Mindy1975 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 5:53pm
post #6 of 18

How about some info from someone that lives in Illinois and is licensed?? First of all, it varies from county to county. It is really that particular depending on which county you live in. I am completely legal, and I have a seperate kitchen in my home, that IS attatched to my home. The clincher for most people that usually seals their fate with it comes to doing that seperate kitchen is the fact that you do have to have an outside entrance to that kitchen. So remodeling a back bedroom is so out of the question. The very first thing to do is call your county health inspector and have him come out to your home and look at the room you are thinking of putting the kitchen in. He will tell you what he requires of you. Then you will get your food handler's permit, through either the local community college, or the local health dept. then after you complete that you will get your permit, health inspector comes back out, and inspects your kitchen, and then you are legal. You also have to register your business name, pay sales tax, and also income taxes. I know I make it sound quick and easy, and it really isn't that bad. But just wanted to clear up a few things, that the kitchen doesn't have to be free standing, and that Illinois does allow commercial baking from your home. icon_smile.gif

stacey71 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:32pm
post #7 of 18

Thanks Mindy, I will call my county health dept. I called the state of Illinois health dept this morning and boy was that ever a fiasco. Nobody knows anything there. I wonder how they ever get any work done, they were so inefficient in answering my question.
Thanks again icon_smile.gif

Mindy1975 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 6:49pm
post #8 of 18

Oh ya, good luck there. Welcome to our wonderful state gov't. Don't even get me started. lol Yes call your county health dept. THey are the ones that will get you started. If you can't get any help there, pm me, and let me know what county you are in. Perhaps I can help you out.

dawncr Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 10:33pm
post #9 of 18

It's my understanding that a "commercial" kitchen is required, meaning that it must be a separate kitchen in which other food (for family, etc.) is neither stored nor prepared. This requires separate appliances and sinks, vents, outside entrance, etc.

If one's zoning allows it, it can be located on the same lot as your home, or not. However, I wouldn't classify it as "home baking," even if it is connected to one's living quarters. It's a separate kitchen devoted solely to commercial purposes.

I'm not certain, but there *may* be some leeway by county as to whether there can be a connecting door to your family kitchen or home.

That's a hefty outlay with future consequences for home value, and it *may* be more cost-effective for beginning businesses to rent kitchen space at first.


TBallad Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 6:28pm
post #10 of 18
Originally Posted by stacey71

Im trying to find out if Illinois has a cottage food industry law?

As of right now (Feb 2011), you are required to have a separate kitchen - it can be on your property, but cannot be used for family meals.

However, there is a bill up for discussion that would allow home kitchens. You can get more information here:

Tricia Ballad

galliesway Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:04am
post #11 of 18

Thanks Tricia! We need to get this passed!

QueenBee1 Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 5:59pm
post #12 of 18


Thanks for posting that link. I hadn't heard about this. I joined their facebook page so I can more easily keep track of what's going on.

Thanks again,


TBallad Posted 28 Feb 2011 , 2:27pm
post #13 of 18

If any of you are willing to send a written statement about how this law would impact your life to the comittee in springfield, please contact Wes King at [email protected] He needs them ASAP. If you can attend the committee hearing in Springfield that would be helpful also.

carync Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 2:49pm
post #14 of 18

Update on the Illinois Cottage Food Law to take effect Jan 1, 2012.
"New law settles dispute with public health officials" Here's the article:

Debi2 Posted 25 Aug 2011 , 3:59pm
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by carync

Update on the Illinois Cottage Food Law to take effect Jan 1, 2012.
"New law settles dispute with public health officials" Here's the article:

That's great news for those who want to sell at farmer's markets!

Unfortunately, it doesn't help us who want to bake and sell our cakes to the general public from of our homes. icon_sad.gif

ppinkow Posted 12 Sep 2011 , 11:06pm
post #16 of 18

What can WE do to get laws passed allowing us to legally sell our wares from our homes in Illinois? icon_sad.gif

Mamasan Posted 13 Sep 2011 , 10:54pm
post #17 of 18

Great question! The Farmer's markets are a start however, we need more!

dulciscakes Posted 14 Sep 2011 , 4:54pm
post #18 of 18

first of all there is alot more than just having a seperate kitchen and entrance for a home kitchen, you must also have a 3 basin sink and a seperate area for cleaning mop bucket and such, also vents and commercial grade everything plus the biggest one is a grease trap all in all my estimates for a home bakery were going to run in the $75,000 dollar range fo kendall county plus all the licences and insurances and you cant have more then 5 people to your house a week for business related traffic. after learning all this i opted to not do this. not worth it.

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