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In Louisiana, you can sell cottage foods at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, home, online, restaurants, retail stores, and roadside stands.
You can sell bread, cakes, candies, condiments, dry goods, fermented foods, pastries, preserves, and snacks in Louisiana.
Labels must include a note stating that your product was made in an uninspected kitchen.
Sales are limited to $30,000 per year in Louisiana. You must apply for a Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate before selling your products.
In Louisiana, you are the only person who can make and sell your products. Pets are not allowed to be present in your home kitchen.
Contact the Louisiana Agriculture Department at 866-927-2476.
*Cottage food laws change regularly — always double check the requirements for running a home-based food business with a legal expert or your local health department.
On June 6, 2014, Governor Bobby Jindal signed a new law governing what foods home chefs could sell directly to consumers. These foods include syrups, baked goods and candies as well as other “safe” foods not requiring temperature regulation and other safety features. That legislation amended the original Louisiana cottage food law by adding more foods to the approved list. Overall, cottage food laws make it easier for people to sell limited amounts of products from noncommercial, unlicensed home kitchens.
Those wondering how to sell baked goods from home will find this article helpful. For one thing, foods prepared in the home are not subject to state sales taxes in Louisiana.
No, according to state law, you don’t need a permit to sell approved cottage food items in Louisiana. However, you’ll need to check parish and municipal regulations in your area as different jurisdictions may have their own requirements.
Do You Need a License to Sell Baked Goods From Home?
According to the state’s cottage food law (Act No. 542), home kitchens can make and sell approved products without a license. Selling products not on the approved list requires a commercial kitchen subject to department of health food permit and other laws.
In Louisiana, it's relatively easy to sell food you make at home, and it doesn’t require a special license.
Louisiana law on selling food from home is very lenient. Here are the steps needed to get started right away:
How to Get a Permit to Sell Food From Home
There is no state requirement to get a permit to sell food from home. However, you can check with your local or parish health department to ensure that you fully understand the local and regional rules for operating a home-based food business.
So, if you want to sell food that’s not on the cottage food industry list, you’ll need to jump through some more hoops. It’s very difficult to find the actual penalties but count on fines and loss of your business license if you don’t meet the state’s minimum requirements for retail food sales.
Note that retail food sales have stricter standards than cottage food sales. These requirements include:
If you want to sell food that isn’t on the approved cottage food list, then you will need to prepare it in a commercial kitchen. You may be able to convert your home-based kitchen into a commercial kitchen with the required modifications, licenses and permits.
Louisiana Retail Food Permit
To get a food safety certification, submit the appropriate documentation to the health department, including:
You can also ask the appropriate jurisdiction about receiving a temporary food permit in Louisiana. You’ll also need information regarding the Louisiana Department of Health Permit to operate renewal process, which you can obtain from the Louisiana board of health regulations. Note that the regulations may vary for fish and other high-risk food items monitored by the Louisiana Department of Health and Sanitation, as these foods do not fall under cottage food law.
There is no state requirement for a cottage food license. So, check with local or parish authorities for regional requirements. You don’t need a Louisiana department of health food permit for cottage food sales.
Therefore, selling food from home in Louisiana is much simpler that operating a restaurant or other retail food business. At the end of the day, when it comes to a license to sell food from home in Louisiana, you don't need one.
Louisiana Food Laws and Louisiana Farmers Market Laws
The Department of Agriculture and Food Safety deals mostly with animal health and FDA rules. Laws governing farmers markets classify them as temporary food establishments. Local health departments issue any required permits and laws vary in different parishes and municipalities.
Louisiana’s cottage food law (Act 542) has been around since 2013, but it's undergone various changes. One amendment, HB 1270, improved the list of foods permitted to be sold under Louisiana's cottage food law, and it added more regulation for cottage food business owners. In 2022, the sales limit increased to $30,000 per year under HB 828.
The list of cottage foods in Louisiana is similar to many other states. Food that requires temperature control or has other safety constraints is often prohibited. Review the list of foods below to learn more about the kinds of food products available for sale from home kitchens.
The Louisiana cottage food list includes the following:
Louisiana Cottage Food Laws provides instructions regarding custard and cream filled foods. HB 1270 expanded this list.
Prohibited foods include the following:
Keep reading to learn about the cottage food laws that apply to different states.
Cottage food laws by state vary greatly. Below, we compare the basic cottage food laws in several states for your reference. If you currently live in Louisiana but plan to move to another state to start your home-based business, it's useful to know the laws you'll be facing once you get there.
Known as cupcake laws, Illinois cottage food law requires a home kitchen license. Each county and municipality may have their own regulations for cottage foods as well.
New York makes it very easy to get started. The state allows direct sales, market sales in person and online sales. You can begin almost immediately.
Michigan’s HB 5280 was amended in 2020 to increase the sale limit of cottage foods. The state allows nonperishable foods, and you can sell them at most venues. The state requires no inspection or license for home-based food products.
This creates a low entry barrier for those who want to turn their favorite recipes into dollar signs by offering them for sale directly to consumers.
You need a permit to sell food from home in Florida. The state has a high limit of $250,000 for food products prepared in home-based kitchens. Like most other states on the list, cottage foods must be labeled as prepared in unregulated kitchens.
To sell home based food products in California you need a Class A permit. This allows you to sell directly to customers in the state. Without this permit, you can still sell at farmers markets and from your own home. It's important to understand that many counties and municipalities have their own regulations regarding food sales.
Michigan's cottage food laws allow you to sell baked goods prepared at home such as cookies.
You need a permit to sell home-based and home-prepared food products in Massachusetts. Like many other states, Massachusetts prohibits the sale of hazardous foods. The state customizes permits and list the foods that each vendor can sell.
Nevada has vendor friendly cottage food laws. You can sell many types of food products prepared at your home. There is a limit on sales, and you cannot some more than $35,000 worth of cottage foods per year. You also have to register with the appropriate health district.
Hopefully, this gives you a good idea of what to expect and how to get started with your own home based food business. The best place to turn for advice and information is local, parish or state offices governing cottage food sale in your area.
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