Skip to main content
Logo for Forrager
cottage food community

Louisiana

Louisiana’s cottage food law (Act 370) went into effect on August 1st, 2013. The bill is very different from other cottage food laws in that the only baked goods it allows are cakes and cookies, but it also allows some jarred goods and honey.

All sales must be direct from the seller to the buyer, and there is a sales limit of $20,000 per year. Operations may not have anyone else help them make their products.

HB 1270 will amend this law on August 1st, 2014. It makes the law more regulated and adds more allowed foods to the list. HB 216 is still in the legislative process, but since it simply aims to have pies added to the allowed foods, it’s no longer really necessary with HB 1270 becoming law.

Selling

Allowed Foods

Unlike most states, Louisiana allows custard and cream-filled bakery products.

Limitations

Limitations
Sales are limited to $20,000 per year

Pets are never allowed in the part of the home where the food is being made.

Business

Cottage food operations don’t need to get a license from their health department, but they do need to check with their county to see if any zoning requirements apply to them.

Operations do not need to collect any state sales tax, but they may need to collect local sales taxes (it is different for each city and county). If your parish requires you to collect tax on these kinds of sales, you can find your local and state tax rates here.

Resources

Law Dates
August 2013
SB 18
This page was last updated on

Comments

Finally breads are allowed! I’m so excited! Is anybody going to start business soon? If so, how are you going to sell your product? I’m thinking what the best way is. First Im probably gonna start selling to just my friends or my husband coworkers. And hopefully I can develop my customer base.

I am a little confused about this law. If the law states that we can not sell outside of our state, but it states that we can sell mail order and internet, are we only allowed to use those two methods and sell within the state? Hardly seems worth the effort to set up a website or try to sell on someplace like Etsy and only have to turn away customers…..Is this something that might be changed with the update in August of this year?

    The law doesn’t state that internet sales and mail orders are allowed, but it also doesn’t prohibit them. There are basically no rules about that yet, and the new law in August doesn’t specify it further. It’s very unlikely that interstate sales will be allowed anytime soon.

    All it says is that your products need “a label which clearly indicates that the food was not produced in a licensed or regulated facility”. I don’t know what the health dept will deem clear or not. If you want to be safe, saying “This food product was not produced in a licensed or regulated facility” in 12-point type would be pretty clear.

What if I want to make candy apples from home then sale at the market do I need a private kitchen or I can do it from home

I apologize if this should be clear to me. But I am wanting to sell cupcakes and cookies locally. Would I need to get any license or get my kitchen inspected? Or am I free to sell as long as it remains cookies and cake and I don’t make more than the $20,000.
Are there any additional things I need to so to sell these legally?

Thank you for your help!!

Currently there is HB216 to allow pies specifically and HB775 that requires a label on foods stating it was made in the home, allowing:(1) Baked goods, including breads, cakes, cookies, and pies.(2) Candies.(3) Dried mixes.(4) Honey and honeycomb products.(5) Jams and jellies.(6) Pickles and acidified foods.(7) Sauces and syrups.(8) Spices, and eliminate provisions for a regulatory athority
Both passed in their committee meeting, but have been met with some resistance. All support would be much appreciated when they go to the House and Senate floors. Please contact your Representatives and Senators!

    Thanks for the update. It looks like HB 216 should be able to pass… that’s not much of a change. We’ll cross our fingers for the other.

Hi everyone:
All of your efforts and comments were very helpful. I am hoping to make sauces from home and I am in the infant stages of my research. Does anyone know of a current bill during this 2014 session in Louisiana ?

Thank you,
Mary Toti

Okay so I have a question I am wanting to start up my own business from home to sale cakes. But there is a kick to mine and not sure on how to go about getting the proper stuff to start my business. I am wanting to sale alcohol cake. I know I would have to get my ABO card so I can sell alcohol and yes I know I can only sale to customers who are 21 and older. I just need more info like could I sale alcohol cake from home?

    The law isn’t specific enough to allow or disallow alcoholic cakes. You should contact your health dept and see if there are steps you can take to do this from home.

I makes- sliced pickles, spicy and sweet, and they are put in mason jars and don’t have to be refrigerated. A preserve right?
Thank you very much.

    I don’t know if “preserves” in the law is only intended for fruit-based preserves. Only the health dept would know… just call your health dept and see if they will allow pickled items.

I make homemade syrups with different herbs and spices like rosemary, cinnamon, etc… Would that fall under one of the approved products?

    It’s possible that this would be considered a preserve, which are allowed. You should call your health dept to find out if they would approve your syrups.

Hi, what are the rules for selling home made body butter, lip balm etc.? Where can I find more info on these rules for NOLA? Thank you!

    I really don’t know, but I assume this would fall under the health department’s jurisdiction. I do know that the cottage food law above is only for items intended for consumption.

Hey there! Just curious, would biscuits be included under “cakes and cookies”? Also, is there any sort of petition or website advocating to expand this law to include more items? I’d really love it if we could try and diversify the law some more in regards to what’s allowed to be sold.

What is the difference between fudge and fudge frosting (or for that matter, any candy) on cakes or cupcakes? Is candy not allowed and why?

    Candy is not allowed and as for a reason why, read this. I think they were trying to keep the bill simple enough that it would be likely to pass.

    Candy usually refers to items that go through the typical candy making process of boiling sugars until they reach a certain temperature. Frostings are usually made by mixing ingredients in a blender. If some of your frostings would actually be more like candy, then they might not be allowed. It’s really up to your health dept to decide what to allow.

Would king’s cakes fall under the “cakes” category or would it be considered a type of bread? And would it be allowed if they are filled king’s cakes with custard or cream?

    Louisiana is one of the only states to allowed cream or custard-filled cakes. And I would say that a king cake is a cake, not a bread. There’s no official ruling about it, but pretty much any cake will work.

    King cake is a bread item, not classified as a cake just as Boston cream pie is not a pie but a cake.

    It does not, but usually the assumption is that it at least includes preserves with high-sugar content, like fruit butters, compotes, applesauce, marmalades, etc. If you want to do other home canned items, you should check with your health dept to see what’s allowed.

i do jelly and jams and different pickled items all in my home for sales at a farmers market,is there a list of theses items you cant do without a commerical kitchen or a list of both what I can and cant do .

    I don’t think there’s a specific list of kinds of preserves, but basically, you’d need a commercial kitchen if it’s not non-potentially hazardous. Other than that, you’d need to contact your health dept for specific guidance on what you are allowed to do from home.

    No, this is a special kind of business that I’m afraid I’m fairly ignorant about. You probably should contact someone in your health dept about this.

Hi, I know you covered all of the items that can be made. But I was wondering if you know what would be the difference in jellies/preserves and a wing sauce. that’s a killer for me because I want to try and sell my sauce but being outside of this new law I would have to have a commercial kitchen to start.

    Yeah sauces like that are not allowed as a cottage food, and it sounds like you’re knowledgeable about what you’d need to do to make your business legal.

Hi! I’m so excited about this law but breads are not allowed :( Dose anyone who wants to sell bread? We gotta do something to get approved…

    I know, I can’t believe it either! Louisiana is the only state that allows some baked items, but not bread. I don’t think it would take too much to add other baked items in an amendment… it should pass easily.

    Hi Moe. On the issue of breads… It was in the original bill that I wrote, along with candies, pies , etc. Unfortunately these items were pulled from the bill in an attempt to get the bill passed. Breads were reintroduced on the House floor by a senator who was actually trying to kill the bill. So, Senator Ward had to object to it being added in an attempt to at least get the bill into law. I would urge anyone wanting items added to contact their rep or senator to carry it to session in 2014. I would think at this stage it may be easier to add items now that the law is effective.

What about a shop where space is rented. Like a flea market type set up. A home baker friend is being told no – as I am reading it her space in these establishments is a food booth in a non food business – am I misinterpreting?
Please help!

    Selling to a store for resale would not be allowed, and renting space at a food facility would not be allowed. However, renting space at a non-food facility to do direct sales is a gray area. I think it would really be up to your friend’s health dept to decide whether they would allow it. To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing in the law that would prevent them from allowing it, but they also have the right to disallow it.

It is my understanding that something like a caramel sauce would not be allowed, correct? What about fruit toppings (for ice cream?) Would that fall under jams/jellies? Also, would I be allowed to sell IN THE SPACE of a retail business? Meaning, if a friend owns a retail shop and were willing to let me keep a cash box there so my sales were completely separate from the business’. Thank you for any clarifications you can give me!

    Unfortunately I think the answer is no to all your questions. Caramel sauce and fruit toppings are not allowed. Unlike some states, if it’s not in that list up there, then it’s not allowed.

    There is a rule that a non-food facility cannot sell on the premises of a food facility. So because CFOs are not food facilities, then the only retail shops you could sell at would be non-food-related ones. And it is possible that the health dept would have an even more strict interpretation and disallow all retail locations.

I understand bread was left out on purpose, but what about quick breads, muffins, and scones? No yeast, no refrigeration and those seem to me like cake with less sugar.

Hello, I am so excited about this page and thank you for your hard work. I am curious where I would go to find out what, if any tax that I need to apply to my goods for my parish (Tangipahoa)? Plan to do Jams and Raw Honey.

    If your parish requires you to collect tax on these kinds of sales, then you would find your local and state tax rates here. I’m not sure who you need to call to learn about your parish’s law, but you could start by contacting the Department of Revenue.

I have been calling various departments in Jefferson Parish (zoning, occupational license, council) and have received no information. They all seem to be uninformed on the subject of Louisiana’s cottage food law. Has anyone else had success operating in Jefferson Parish?

    If they are not informed, then I’d say just go ahead with it. You don’t need a license or anything similar unless they ask for it.

Can I sell homemade baby food? Fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, sweet potatoes, etc… No meats, just fruits and veggies

    I think this would technically be possible, if you prepare them similar to canning preserves. If your final, unopened product needs to be refrigerated, then it would not be allowed.

    Actually, there are not labeling requirements, but it would probably still be practical, for your customers’ sake, to list the product name, your name, your contact info, ingredients, and maybe allergens on a label.

They are wanting to know where the information about venues are found. They say Act 370 does not clearly state sales venues listed above. ??? Thanks again.

    They are right in that the law does not state where the cottage food products may be sold, but it does say that the products may not be sold to retail businesses… in other words, indirect sales are not allowed. I may have made an assumption from that, given the common ruling in other states’ laws, that all direct sales would, therefore, be allowed. This is the case in most states. Texas just changed their law, so now I think there aren’t any states that only allow sales from the home. Usually direct sales include farmers markets, food stands, sales from home, etc.

    If all counties were to interpret this law in such a way as to only allow sales from home, then that would greatly limit this already restricted law. I’d like to know if they stand by this interpretation, so that I can update this page.

    From what my area Representative told me, you can sell from your COTTAGE/home. Direct sales from you to a buyer. That is why it is called COTTAGE LAW, is to protect us attempting to sell from home. You CANNOT advertise in newspapers, magaines, or billboards. Person to person, meaning you can hand out your business cards and speak of what you sell on facebook. I personally sell jams and jellies. People call me, I deliver to their home or they come by or I mail them. I will post on my my personal facebook page what flavor I have just made, and of course mention what flavors I still have in stock, and they message me.
    Now my Rep DID say, that you CAN set up a stand at a garage/yard sale. It is recommended to have a DBA if you plan to attend a Farmers Market. Usually those are cheap to obtain yearly.
    NOW MOST IMPORTANT, each item MUST have a label stating that it was made at home, in an untested and uncertified kitchen…. well sorry, not those exact words, so look up exactly what it needs to say, just make sure it does OR the Cottage Law will NOT apply to your product or protect you.

Hi David! I am having a few problems with my parish and city with selling my product at a food stand. Is there anyway they could private message you for some information on the new law. They are just not familiar with the law. Thanks for all the help!!

    This sounds like a chocolate nut butter shaped into a cookie. The law authors probably did not intend for this item to be allowed, since there are a lot of references to baking, but the law is actually unclear in this regard, since it does not specify that the item needs to be baked. I guess a good question to ask would be if your cookies need to be refrigerated, or could they sit in a cookie jar for a week? If they need refrigeration, then they would probably not fall under the spirit of the bill.

    I would think so, but I don’t know labeling laws well enough to give a firm answer. I’d recommend you call the Health Department and ask to speak to their labeling specialist.

Hi,
I would need more detail on this new law that just passed. What paper do I need to fill out at the city hall? Can I sell out of my house? Can I sell through internet?
Thank you so much for your help.

    Flore, you don’t need to fill out anything — you can just start selling! This law only applies to food you make at home and sell directly to the consumer — the buyer of your food can’t resell it. So yes, internet sales are allowed. You should call your planning division and make sure there aren’t any zoning requirements for where you live.

David, can you clarify what type of food stands we are allowed to sell our product.? I tried to research Louisiana food stand laws and regulations and really didn’t find much. Thanks

    Basically that means that you can setup a food stand on the road and sell there. For the most part, as long as you’re interacting with customers in-person, you can sell almost anywhere. Does that answer your question?

Is chocolate dipping allowed bc I do tons of chocolate covered items. People have been anxiously awaiting for it to be legal for me to sell them. I don’t see why not bc melted chocolate is always used on cakes and cookies. Thank you!

    No, that wouldn’t be allowed because candy or chocolate is not an allowed item. If you sold chocolate-covered cookies or cakes, then that could probably be a gray area, since the law isn’t too specific about what kinds of cakes and cookies are allowed. But aside from cakes and cookies, it doesn’t sound like this law would apply to your items (I know it doesn’t make sense). You would need to be making your products from a commercial kitchen to sell them legally. Or you could work on amending the law next year to include chocolate-covered goods.

    Bart, I haven’t checked into Louisiana specifically, but you probably wouldn’t have to collect sales tax, because your goods are being consumed off of the premises where they were produced. At least this is the case in other states. We might hear more info about this when the law goes into effect.

    Where did you get your information about the sales tax? Is there any state statutes to back that up? The ACT doesn’t have anything about sales tax.

    David, thanks for your information. I do see that the state tax is exempt provided that the sellers do not provide facilities for on-premises consumption of their foods. This doesn’t apply to local parish/city sales tax though. You should definitely check with your local office to make sure.

    Good point — that exemption is only for state tax. You should definitely check, but it seems pretty common for goods consumed off-premises to be exempt. Do you usually get charged sales tax when you buy goods in a grocery store?

    I’m in Louisiana, Webster Parish. You pay local sales tax on any food products in the store. Only state sales tax is exempt. So, if you sell cakes & cookies out of your home, you are required to collect local sales tax and pay it to the local tax office.

Hi, I am THAT woman you speak of. I do not have a cake and cookie business. I bake for friends and family since October, 2012 when a local home baker had me shut down by the BOH. I have never sold a cookie before. The reasoning behind the “LIMITED” amount of goods to be sold was determined by the Senator and the attorney that met with Health and Hospitals. That was not determined by myself at all. We have a hearing this wednesday, April 17th with the Health and Welfare Committee. Decisions will be made at that time on what adjustments, deletions, additions, etc will be made to the bill. Happy to answer any questions pertaining to SB18. Thanks a bunch! Roxane

    Thanks Roxane! Sorry for the misinformation and thanks for correcting me… I’ll be sure to change that! I do hope for you and for others in LA that the bill can be amended to include more items. “Baked goods” seems to be a common standard in almost all states. You’re doing a great job of updating your Facebook page, and that’s so helpful!

or comment as a guest
* required (your email will not be displayed on the site)
Allowed tags