Louisiana Cottage Food Law

Getting started in Louisiana as a cottage food producer requires you to be the only producer of your products, and all sales must be direct to your customers. There are few limitations on 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.
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Where can you sell?

In Louisiana, you can sell cottage foods at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, home, online, restaurants, retail stores, and roadside stands.

What kinds of food can you sell?

You can sell bread, cakes, candies, condiments, dry goods, fermented foods, pastries, preserves, and snacks in Louisiana.

What should be on my product labels?

Labels must include a note stating that your product was made in an uninspected kitchen.

Is there an income cap?

Sales are limited to $30,000 per year in Louisiana. You must apply for a Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate before selling your products.

Are there any special requirements?

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.

Where can I find more information?

Contact the Louisiana Agriculture Department at 866-927-2476.

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*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.

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.

  • First, remember to register for state sales tax. Afterwards, you'll receive a Louisiana General Sales Tax Certificate. You can obtain one through the Department of Revenue.
  • You’ll also need a local sales tax certificate to sell food in a particular jurisdiction (municipality or parish). Contact your city or parish offices for details.
  • There is no food safety certification needed as long as you stick to cottage foods.
  • The sales limit is $30,000, except for foods that fall into the categories of breads, cakes, cookies, or pies. If you sell breads, cakes, cookies, or pies, you can sell beyond the sales cap.
  • Permitted foods do not require Temperature Control for Safety only.
  • Sales include direct sale to consumer.
  • Food labels must clearly identify that foods are not regulated.

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.

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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:

  • Inspections and licensing for food prepared in a commercial kitchen
  • Louisiana food safety certification for preparation and management
  • Louisiana's department of health permit to operate a commercial kitchen

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:

  • Application to the Retail Food Program
  • Proof of completed training program and written examination
  • $25 fee for certificate

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.

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’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.

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:

  • Baked goods, such as cakes and pies
  • Dried mixes
  • Candies
  • Honey products
  • Jams and preserves
  • Spices
  • Pickles
  • Sauces and syrups

Louisiana Cottage Food Laws provides instructions regarding custard and cream filled foods. HB 1270 expanded this list.

Prohibited foods include the following:

  • Raw doughs
  • Acidified, low acid canned foods
  • Juices
  • Cured Foods
  • Fermented Foods
  • Salsa
  • Sauerkraut

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.

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