If you are proposing to operate a CFO within Marin County, you will need to submit an application for permit or registration to EHS with the appropriate fee. Permits and registrations are non-transferrable and must be renewed annually.
- CFOs are limited to Non-Potentially Hazardous Foods as listed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).
- No bottling of juices is allowed from a cottage food facility.
- Mobile Food Facilities are not allowed to operate from a Cottage Food Operation.
- CFOs are limited to household members and one non-household member employee.
- Internet sales are restricted to direct delivery and pick-up; shipping is prohibited.
If you are proposing Direct sales only, a Class A registration will be required. “Direct Sale” means a transaction between a CFO operator and a consumer, where the consumer purchases the cottage food product directly from the CFO. Direct sales are not subject to routine inspections although they will be inspected by EHS on a complaint basis.
If you are proposing Indirect sales or a combination of direct/indirect, a Class B permit will be required. "Indirect Sale" means an interaction between a CFO, a third-party retailer, and a consumer, where the consumer purchases cottage food products made by the CFO from a third-party retailer that holds a valid permit issued by the local environmental health agency in their jurisdiction. Class B CFOs are inspected annually by EHS staff.
CFOs at residences utilizing private water sources and/or septic systems are subject to further requirements as noted in the Cottage Food Facility Application Packet. CFOs are subject to local planning permits and business licenses. It is the responsibility of the CFO to obtain all necessary permits prior to issuance of a registration or a permit and before beginning operations.
As a Cottage Food Operator, you are responsible to know the requirements set forth in the Cottage Food Law. This document is available online for review. Another useful document is the California Conference of Directors of Environmental Health California Homemade Food Act Frequently Asked Questions available at www.marincounty.org/ehs or www.ccdeh.com .
For more specific requirements and to apply for a CFO registration or permit, please refer to the Marin County Cottage Food Facility Application Packet. You may also call our office at (415) 473-6907.