Alabama Cottage Food Law

Getting started as a cottage food producer in Alabama requires a food safety course and approval from the local health department. There are some limitations on the types of food you can make and sell, and where you can sell your homemade food. Ready to take your cottage food business online? We’ll help you build an online store in minutes.
Build Your Cottage Food Business Website
Where can you sell?

In Alabama, you can sell at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, home, roadside stands, and online.

What kinds of food can you sell?

Alabama allows the sale of breads, candies, condiments, dry goods, fermented food and snacks.

What should be on my product labels?

Labels must include business address, business name, ingredients, product name, and a note that your product was made in an uninspected kitchen.

Is there an income cap?

There is no limit to how much a home-based vendor can sell in Alabama.

Are there any special requirements?

In Alabama, you must take a food safety course and get approval from your local health department before starting your business.

Where can I find more information?

Contact ADPH's Food and Lodging department. Learn more about Alabama's cottage food laws here.

✉️ Subscribe to get food business growth tips, business inspiration, and event invites.

*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.

Alabama Cottage Food Law

Cottage laws are the regulations that control and monitor what and how people can prepare, bake, or cook food legally in their own kitchen. These regulations control the sale of this food to the public. In most states, including Alabama, enacted these regulations in 2014. At this time, Alabama allowed food makers to sell homemade foods, with some restrictions. Alabama cottage food law originally had an earning restriction. You could only earn $20,000 in gross sales. The state wanted to ensure that any homemade food makers were not creating too much competition for food vendors and restaurants.

Alabama food service regulations limited the food that could be made and sold to non-perishable homemade food only. On August 1, 2021, Alabama significantly changed the regulations around its cottage food law. The Alabama cottage food law 2021 allows you to earn as much as you want when selling food from your own kitchen. This may lead you to ask which foods are subject to the Alabama cottage food law?

In general, any food that does not need to be refrigerated or temperature controlled is allowed to be sold under Alabama’s cottage law. Low acid foods must be refrigerated and, therefore, not allowed for sale. Two counties, Montgomery and Calhoun, are exempt from this requirement. New Alabama cottage food law determines if a food can be sold based on its pH level. The higher the acidity of the food means, the more stable it is at varying temperatures. There are a large number of foods that have a known pH level. Cottage food law Alabama 2021 states that if the pH level of your food is not known, the finished product must be tested. There are independent certified food testing labs set up to test food.

Food that is not allowed for sale under Alabama cottage law includes garlic in oil, barbecue sauces, canned fruit, pickles, hard or soft cheese. Other prohibited items include milk products, fruit juices, and baked goods that need to be refrigerated. Any food that is not perishable is typically allowed for sale under the cottage law in Alabama.

When considering how to start a home bakery in Alabama, it is essential to know that you after August 2021, you can sell your food online. You can sell your food at fairs, festivals, and farmers markets. You can sell your food within the state and deliver it to your customers. You are not allowed to sell your food to a business for the business to re-sell. Under Alabama cottage food law taxes, you are required to charge Alabama sales tax to your customers. It is essential that you have proper labeling on your food when you sell it.

You must have all of your food labeled appropriately, which also means that it must contain specific information. Every item you produce must include a label with the name and address of the person preparing the food. The label must have the food’s name and all of the ingredients. The ingredients must be listed in order by weight, with the ingredient that you used more of on top. In then must go in order from most significant to least amount of that ingredient. If the food contains ingredients that are a source of a major allergy, such as peanuts, that must be listed on the label. The net weight of the item must also be listed.

When you wish to sell food, you must take an Alabama cottage food law course. You must receive this certification every five years. Alabama cottage food online training provides safe food practices, including how to sanitize and keep a clean work area. This ensures that you are selling food that is safe to eat to your customers. In addition, your kitchen must be approved by your local health department. These food safety certifications are important if you are interested in an Alabama cottage food license.

When you are considering how to start a bakery in Alabama, you may wonder do I need a business license for a cottage food operation? The short answer is yes, Alabama requires you to have a business license and pay taxes for an Alabama food permit application. There are no food operations that do not need permits in Alabama. Therefore, it is critical that you understand how to get cottage food permit applications in Alabama. There is not an option for an Alabama temporary food permit.

Another item to consider when you want to start a cottage food business in Alabama is to file a review form with the local County Health Department for your cottage food operation. It is essential that you keep quality records, including recipes, ingredients, dates food was produced, and receipts. Keeping your kitchen clean and sanitized is crucial for food safety. In addition, you want to be careful to ensure there is no cross contamination of the food you make and the ingredients you are using.

Join Castiron 100% risk-free

Explore our tools for free during a 14-day free trial. Start building your website, create your custom order forms, even start taking orders and payments... then decide if it’s for you.

Cottage Foods List Alabama

When you are considering becoming making and producing food under the cottage laws, it is essential to know the rules for your state. It is also vital to the success of your business that you have the best understanding of the cottage foods in your state, Alabama. If you want to have a productive business, it is helpful to have an understanding of what food is allowed.

The cottage foods list Alabama includes:

Bread items include:

  • Bagels
  • Brownies
  • Cookies
  • Rolls
  • Tortillas
  • Biscuits
  • Cupcakes
  • Cake pops
  • Muffins
  • Scones
  • Donuts
  • Bread
  • Cake

Candy items include:

  • Brittle
  • Chocolate
  • Cotton candy
  • Truffles
  • Fudge

Condiment items include:

  • Honey
  • Salsa
  • Oil
  • Sauces
  • Ketchup
  • Vinegar
  • Nut butter
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Applesauce
  • Preserves

Dry Goods items include:

  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Herbs
  • Spices
  • Dried vegetables

Snack food items include:

  • Granola
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Kettle corn
  • Vegetable chips

Fermented Foods

When talking about the foods that you can prepare and sell under the cottage food laws, it is essential to know which food you cannot sell. Some of the common items you cannot sell under the cottage food operator laws are meat, fish, eggs, shellfish, and plant food that has been treated with heat. Additional food that cannot be sold in Alabama includes synthetic ingredients and heat processed canned food. Generally, if the food requires refrigeration, it is not a food item that can be sold under cottage law.

Cottage Food Laws by State

Every state has its own set of regulations; some may be similar to Alabama, while others may be vastly different. For example, Alabama has no limitations on the amount of money you can earn under cottage laws. Tennessee cottage food law also does not have a limit on the amount that you can make when you sell food under cottage law. However, Tennessee also prohibits food that must be temperature controlled. Florida cottage food law 2021 has a limit on how much you can make in earnings per year, but it is a high limit. The limit is $250,000 per year.

Georgia cottage food law does not have a limit on how much food you can earn. The laws in Georgia are easy to follow, but you must have a license before you can start preparing and selling food. Georgia also follows the same regulations as most other states when it comes to food that is prohibited. Mississippi cottage food law 2021 states that you can only earn up to $35,000 per year in sales. This requires accurate accounting and reporting from you. Selling homemade food under the Denver cottage food law is much more rigid because their rules are far stricter than Alabama and other states. If you want to sell food under the Colorado cottage food act, reviewing the fact sheet is an excellent idea if you want to sell cottage food in Colorado. The items for sale under cottage food Colorado law are limited, and it does not include many baked goods.

Cottage food laws NJ 2021 state that you have an earnings limitation of $50,000 in annual sales. New Jersey also requires that you take a food course about food safety. You must have 8 hours of course study. The Illinois cottage food law allows the sale of baked goods, with the exception of some pies, jams, jellies, and syrups. In addition, they allow the sale of canned foods, but there are some exceptions. If you live in New Hampshire and want to follow the cottage food law, you only need a license in New Hampshire if you have sales over $20,000 gross. You need a license if you plan to have sales under $20,000 but want to sell your food to restaurants or other retailers. In New Hampshire, you can sell any food that is not considered potentially hazardous. This is typically food that requires a specific temperature for it to remain safe.

The New York cottage food law is similar to Vermont’s law in the list of allowable foods are the same. New York cottage food operator laws allow the sale of non-potentially hazardous home processed foods. Unlike Vermont, New York does not have sales tiers. There are no limitations or exceptions to the home processor license. If you are interested in selling cottage food in New York, you should review the list of prohibited food.

Build a websitefor your food business

Castiron makes it easy to start selling your homemade food online. No coding or design skills required.

Start 14-day free trial

No Credit Card Required

Mother's Day is around the corner- start selling today!