Oregon has multiple options to open a homemade food business. Since 2016, when a residential food establishment law took effect, entrepreneurs could annually sell up to $20,000 of homemade candies, cookies, cakes and other baked goods with no license or inspection. Oregon Senate Bill 643, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, will raise the sales cap to $50,000 and allows the sale of all non-potentially hazardous foods. Oregonians who want to sell a wider range of products or exceed the sales cap may obtain a Domestic Kitchen license. Finally, Oregon’s Farm Direct program lets people sell a variety of canned goods, so long as they grow the primary ingredient used in their products.

Grades For Homemade Food Laws Oregon Home BakingOregon Farm DirectOregon Domestic Kitchen
Final GradeC+CB-
Food Varieties Grade D+D+B+
Sales and Venue Restrictions Grade B+B-A
Regulatory Burdens GradeB-CF

Oregon Homemade food types

Food VarietiesOregon Home BakingOregon Farm DirectOregon Domestic Kitchen
What Shelf-Stable Foods Can I Sell in Oregon?Only baked goods and confectionary.Canned fruit, chutney, flour, nuts, jams jellies, popcorn, preserves, and syrups.No restrictions
Can I Sell Refrigerated Baked Goods in Oregon?NoNoYes
Can I Sell Meat in Oregon?Yes, under 1,000 personally-raised poultry.Yes, under 1,000 personally-raised poultry.Yes, under 1,000 personally-raised poultry.
Can I Sell Acidified or Pickled Foods in Oregon?NoYesYes
Can I Sell Low-Acid Canned Goods in Oregon?NoNoNo
Can I Sell Fermented Foods in Oregon?NoYesYes

Many states regulate “cottage food,” meaning food made in a home kitchen for sale. Oregon’s Home Baking law allows the sale of all shelf-stable foods. The Domestic Kitchen license is one of the most permissive in the country, allowing the sale of not just any shelf-stable food, but also refrigerated baked goods, like cream-filled pies, pickles, and fermented food. However, low-acid canned goods as well as almost all meat products (aside from small-scale poultry farmers) are banned across the board.

Oregon Homemade Food Venues

Sales and Venue RestrictionsOregon Home BakingOregon Farm DirectOregon Domestic Kitchen
Annual Sales Cap$50,000$20,000No limit
Where Can I Sell Homemade Food Direct to Consumers in Oregon?No restrictionsNo restrictionsNo restrictions
Can I Sell Homemade Food to Retail Outlets Like Restaurants and Grocery Stores?YesNoYes
Online OrdersYesYesYes
Mail DeliveryYesYesYes

To qualify for either the Oregon Home Baking or Farm Direct exemptions, a homemade food business can sell no more than $50,000 a year. Homemade food businesses can sell directly to consumers at farmers’ markets, events, roadside stands, and from home, and through retail outlets like coffee shops, but does not include restaurants. Meanwhile, the Oregon Domestic Kitchen license doesn’t have a sales cap. However, until 2023, anyone with a Domestic Kitchen license could not have any pets inside their home. However, a bill passed in the 2023 legislation session amended the law to allow pets in the home, as long as the presence of pets in the home and the potential for pet allergens is noted on the food label, and the pet must be kept out of the food preparation area.  

Getting Started in Oregon

Regulatory BurdensOregon Home BakingOregon Farm DirectOregon Domestic Kitchen
Inspections Required Before StartingNoNoYes
Are Local Ordinances Preempted or Overridden?NoNoNo
License, Permit or Registration RequiredNoNoYes
Recipe Approval or Lab Testing RequiredNoYesOnly for acidified food.
Food Handler Training RequiredYesYesYes

So long as yearly sales are kept under $50,000, Oregonians operating under the Home Baking or Farm Direct laws do not have to submit to a preoperational inspection or obtain a license or permit from the state. Localities may impose additional regulations though.

OREGON COTTAGE FOOD LABELS

All cottage food distributed in Oregon must be labeled with the name and phone number of the producer; the address of the food establishment or a unique identification number provided by the Department; the name of the product; the ingredients of the product in descending order by weight; the net weight or net volume of the product; any applicable allergen warnings as specified under federal labeling requirements; if the label provides any nutrient content claim, health claim or other nutritional information, it must contain product nutritional information as described in federal labeling requirements; the presence of pets in the residential dwelling in the which the food establishment is located, if any, and the potential for pet allergens; and the following statement: “This product is homemade, is not prepared in an inspected food establishment and must be stored and displayed separately if merchandised by a retailer.” 

Oregon cottage food facts

Myths about cottage food abound. Here are the facts:

  • Cottage food is safe. Critics who talk about the risk of food-borne illness give hypothetical examples of what could go wrong because real-world cases are rare or nonexistent.
  • Cottage food is local. When neighbors trade with neighbors, money stays in the local economy.
  • Cottage food is transparent. People who buy from a cottage food producer know what they get. If they have questions about ingredients, sourcing or safety, they can ask.
  • Cottage food creates jobs. Many homemade food producers use their income to provide for their families. Others seek a secondary or supplemental income.
  • Cottage food empowers women. IJ cottage food research shows that most cottage food producers are women, and many live in rural areas with limited economic opportunity.
  • Cottage food expands consumer choice. Some stores simply don’t sell what you want. This is especially true if you have a gluten-free, peanut-free, halal, kosher or vegan diet. Cottage food fills market gaps, giving consumers more options.

Oregon cottage food resources

As part of its Food Freedom Initiative, the Institute for Justice provides a variety of resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs. These include:

Oregon raw milk

Prior to 2014, Oregon farmers could sell unpasteurized milk as long as they did not talk about it. An advertising ban on the legal product meant they could not post fliers at local health food stores or list prices on their own websites. Following a First Amendment lawsuit from the Institute for Justice, the director of Oregon’s Department of Agriculture issued a directive ordering state personnel not to enforce the advertising ban. Oregon lawmakers officially repealed the ban in May 2015. Read more about the Institute for Justice lawsuit…

Tell your Oregon story

Is government violating your homemade food freedom in Oregon? Do you have a potential case for IJ? Get started here…

Support Oregon legislation

Help expand cottage food laws in Oregon by teaming with the Institute for Justice. Send an email with your name, background information and availability to  get started…

Defending homemade food freedom nationwide

People have a right to earn an honest living without arbitrary and excessive government interference. Since 2013, the Institute for Justice has defended home bakers and chefs as part of its Food Freedom Initiative. Read about IJ’s nationwide food freedom advocacy…

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All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Statutes, regulations, and processes are subject to change at any time, and specific facts and circumstances could alter how they are applied. If you have questions about the regulation of cottage foods in your jurisdiction, we recommend consulting a lawyer who can help you navigate the process.