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Alabama Can you legally sell food from home in Alabama?

Cottage Food Law


Since this page was last updated, Alabama has greatly improved their cottage food law with a new bill (SB 160).

As of August 1st, 2021, cottage food producers can now sell most non-perishable foods, and can sell their products online and ship them within the state. Also, the sales limit was removed.

Most of the information below still applies to cottage food businesses.

Alabama created a cottage food law (SB 159) in 2014. Previously, this state only allowed homemade food sales at farmers markets.

This cottage food law is relatively restrictive. It allows direct, in-person sales of many non-perishable food items. Cottage food operators must take a food safety training course and are limited to $20,000 of sales per year.

It is possible that Alabama’s previous law is still in effect, which would allow for unlimited sales of most non-perishable foods at state-sanctioned farmers markets.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

Delivery is allowed, but you must personally deliver your products.

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

Candied or roasted pecans are not allowed.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?

Sales are limited to $20,000 per year

Sampling of homemade food is not allowed at certified farmers markets, so it is unlikely that it would be allowed at other venues.

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

Food Safety Course

You must take a food safety course approved by the Alabama Department of Public Health every 5 years. The ACES provides in-person cottage food courses for $25.

Review of Label & Food Safety Class

After taking your food safety course, you must submit this form along with a sample label and your course certification.

Sales tax

Sales tax must be charged when selling at a certified farmers market, and it may be required at other venues as well. Check with your state, county, and city tax authorities to determine how much tax to charge.

You do not need a license from the health department, but you should check with your planning division to see if there are any local requirements before starting your business.

To sell at a state sanctioned farmers market, you must get a business license and all necessary city, county, and state privilege licenses. The costs and zoning requirements vary depending on location.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This food is not inspected by the Department of Public Health

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, AL 73531

Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?

You can find many workplace recommendations in this food safety guidance document.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Public Health
Click on a county to find an ACES regional extension agent in your area

Phyllis Fenn, BS

Job Title
Standardization Officer
Alabama Department of Public Health
Law Dates
April 2009
Home Processed Rule Change
June 2014
SB 159

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Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Alabama Forum Got questions? Join the discussion

Home Forums Alabama

This forum contains 6 topics and 7 replies, and was last updated by  Brenda Bradford 3 years, 7 months ago.

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I’ve purchased an old antique shop in front of our home and want to take baked goods down to sell along with the antiques. Would this be considered a Roadside Stand??

    Is the shop currently in business? That may make a difference. If not, as long as you are selling there directly, I think it would be allowed. I still recommend that you contact your health dept about this.

The online exam link posted is incorrect for the county extension office of Colbert County. I’m not sure how it is for the whole state of AL, but I paid for the $15 online course & exam & was just told that it isn’t accepted for Colbert County, AL. The extension office informed me that I will have to pay $25 for their exam & take it in person or over the phone to get my certification. Just letting anyone know so they can check with their extension office so they don’t waste $15.

I want to make and sell healthy (read food and no chemicals) homemade dog treats to local businesses. What do I need to start selling my healthy dog treats?

    You should be able to get a license from the health dept to start your business. There are usually a number of steps involved in starting a commercial food business.

If you have a website for other things you sell, would it be allowed to advertise only your cottage items on the website?

I’m not trying to start an uproar or a movement, but I am curious as to how any fruit stands and other little stands get away with selling boiled peanuts.
One would believe those could make a person much sicker than cookies could if not properly kept.

    Well the first possibility is that they may be illegally selling them. But also, some of the southern states do allow the sale of boiled peanuts without a license. I can’t remember right now if Alabama is one of them.

Where do I go to take the class? I’m in Calhoun county alabama. I need a number & address, please.

Thank you

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