Cottage Foods - Starting a Business

What steps do I need to take to start preparing and selling Cottage Foods?
1.) Review the Cottage Foods Act.
2.) Complete a food safety course.
3.) Contact your local city and county offices to see if you need a business license.
 
Training resources
What type of food safety training is required?
The Colorado Cottage Foods Act requires producers to complete a food safety training course prior to starting a cottage foods business. The following options are available to meet this requirement.
 
Only one of the three options below must be completed. Trainees must remain in good standing with the course requirements including renewal of certificates of completion as required by the course developer. 

Option 1: Complete Food Safety Training for Colorado Cottage Food Producers, offered by Colorado State University Extension. This is an in-person, classroom style training. Since 2014, 140 trainings have been implemented statewide. As a result, over 2,020 cottage food producers have received certificates of completion. Certificates are good for three years from the date of completion. 
 

If you already have a food safety training certificate from CSU Extension, but it has expired, you can take the online course to renew your certificate. 
 
Option 2: Obtain a Food Handlers Card.
Producers can obtain a food handlers card by completing an online training course at State Food Safety.
 
 
Option 3: Attend a food safety training course offered by your local public health agency. Some agencies offer classroom style food safety training to restaurant operators and staff. Contact them to determine if cottage food producers can attend. 
 
 
Do I have to register my business with the state?
Registration is not required; however you may chose to register your business with the Secretary of State. Register with Secretary of State (clicking this link will open in a new window).
 
How many employees can a Limited Liability Company (LLC) have?
The Act requires a cottage food business structured as an LLC to have two or fewer members, meaning one to two owners. An LLC can have an unlimited number of employees (non-owners) including those that are designated representatives.
 
Where can I find small business development and funding resources?

Tax resources
We recommend seeking advice from a qualified accountant or tax professional.

Where can I find information about my Colorado tax obligations and business license requirements for my cottage foods business? 
Your cottage food business is subject to income and sales tax, and in some locations you may need to get additional licenses or pay additional taxes.
 
Visit www.colorado.gov/tax for information about state and state-collected sales taxes, due dates, rates, and instructions for which forms to complete, how to get a sales tax license and how to submit payments. 
 
Also, visit the Sales Tax Basics and FYI Publications on Sales Tax webpages for tips.
 
Here are some relevant FYI publications:
 
Instructions and forms:

Contacts:

Colorado Department of Revenue Call Center
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

(303) 238-7378

Find a walk in Taxpayer Service Center. Locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Grand Junction.

Where can I find additional tax resources?
Applicable statutes can be found at Colorado Revised Statutes:
39-26-707.1 - Articles & Containers RE: Food Products
39-26-103(6) - Licenses - fee - revocation - definition
39-21-113 - Reports and Returns

Net revenue allowance
If I produce muffins, does the Act allow me to earn up to $10,000 for each type (blueberry, banana, chocolate chip)?
Yes.