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Louisiana Cottage Food Law

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.

Do You Need a Permit to Sell Food From Home?

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.

How to Get License to Sell Food in LA

In Louisiana, it's relatively easy to sell food you make at home, and it doesn’t require a special license.

Steps to Start Today

Louisiana law on selling food from home is very lenient. Here are the steps needed to get started right away:

  1. Review the list of nonhazardous foods on the list below. Select one that you would like to make and sell from home.
  2. Submit your online business registration.
  3. Contact your parish or city about getting a business permit and license, if applicable, to sell cottage food items. This includes filing an application for local sales tax.
  4. Start making money.

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.

What Is the Penalty for Selling Food Without a Permit?

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:

Do You Need a Commercial Kitchen to Sell Food?

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:

If you are a local or state government employee, you don’t have to pay the fee.

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.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Cottage Food License?

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 Department of Health cottage food laws are contained under Act 542 and its amendment, HB 1270. Food sales are capped at $20,000 per year.

What Is Considered Cottage Food in Louisiana?

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

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.

Cottage Food Laws Illinois

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.

Cottage Food Law NY

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.

Cottage Food Law Michigan

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.

Florida Cottage Food Law 2021

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.

Permit to Sell Food from Home California

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.

Permit to Sell Food from Home in Michigan

Michigan's cottage food laws allow you to sell baked goods prepared at home such as cookies.

Permit to Sell Food from Home in Massachusetts

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.

Permit to Sell Food from Home Nevada

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.

Learn what types of food you can sell from home in Louisiana, licensing and tax requirements, and how to sell your homemade food online.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


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