Home Based Food Operations


Home Bakery- means a business on the premises of a residence that is operating as a home-based bakery where potentially hazardous bakery goods are prepared for consumption elsewhere. *Baked goods and potentially hazardous bakery goods produced under a Home Bakery license may be sold at locations outside of the home, and may be wholesaled.  Annual gross sales of these products cannot exceed $35,000.

*Baked Goods- means breads, cakes, doughnuts, pastries, buns, rolls, cookies, biscuits and pies (except meat pies).


“Home Bakery” does not include a residence where food is prepared to be used or sold by churches, fraternal societies, or charitable, civic or nonprofit organizations.


Residences which prepare or distribute honey, shell eggs or non-potentially hazardous foods are not required to be licensed as a Home Bakery.  Distribution of these products (honey, shell eggs or non-potentially hazardous foods) is limited to sales transactions made and distributed from the home, in-person and directly to the end consumer, or at a Farmer's Market.


For all other food preparation, service, or sales- please review the Food Manager Resources tab above or the Food License Table.


Click on the Gray Tabs above for additional information on:

Laws and Regulations
• Iowa Food Code

Basic Requirements
• Information on the basic requirements of operating a Home Bakery in the State of Iowa

• Home Bakery license application

Food Manager Resources
• Guidance documents for your Home Bakery operation

Basic Requirements


For all other food preparation, service, or sales- please review the Food Manager Resources tab above or the Food License Table.


  • Completed license applications and documents must be submitted to the appropriate Regulatory Authority at least 30 days prior to the anticipated opening date.

  • A separate license must be applied for at each location where food production, sales or service take place.

  • A license is non-transferable between locations or ownership.

  • Once the application, other required documents and fees are received and processed, the Department will review the documents.  Once the application is processed the applicant will be mailed or e-mailed the assigned inspector’s contact information.  The applicant is responsible for contacting the inspector to schedule a pre-operational inspection.


 Please check the Regulatory Authorities map to determine the appropriate food inspection and licensing agency for your area. 

Only individuals who will be operating a food establishment under the jurisdiction of the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) should submit their license application and corresponding fee(s) to DIA at the address below.  All other applicants should mail their license application and fees to their local regulatory authority.



For information on License Application Fee Refunds click here:  IAC 481.30.3(2)


If your food establishment is licensed and inspected by the DIA's Food and Consumer Safety Bureau, send your application and fee(s) to the address below:

Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals
Food & Consumer Safety Bureau
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0083

Food Manager Resources


Home Food Operations Regulations and Licensing
  • This document is for reference only and is not intended to replace the Home Bakery Regulations.  Not all information contained in this document is current.  For the current Home Bakery Regulations refer to Iowa Code Chaper 137D