Louisiana

Law status: ENACTED


Sales type
Direct only
Sales venues
6 out of 8 allowed
Allowed foods
Few

Sales limit
$20,000 per year

Louisiana’s new cottage food bill (Act 370) just 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.

There is currently a petition to increase the number of allowed products.

Selling

Sales Venues
  • Home
  • Farmers markets
  • Food stands
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Events
  • Mail orders
  • Internet
Sales are limited to $20,000 per year

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.

Allowed Foods

  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Honey
  • Jams & jellies
  • Preserves

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

There is currently a petition to increase the number of allowed products.

Workplace

An operation is a one-person business: they cannot have another individual help them make their products.

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

This page was last updated on August 1st, 2013

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!

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

Tim

I make spicy candies and. Brittles will they be allowed

Destiny Musser

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.

Josephine

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.

Racahel

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.

Missy Trishell

Does forming an LLC for my business affect my ability to qualify under Cottage Food Law in Louisiana?

Anu

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.

Judy

Do brownies fall under this law?

Hannah

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.

Barbara

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.

Kat

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.

    Angela Wilson

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

Dani

Does the law define preserves?

    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.

caroline smith

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.

Katie

Would I be able to sell tinctures and or medicinal syrups from my home without a permit?

    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.

Thomas

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.

chad

Does anyone know the rules/laws affecting cheese made at home? Does cheese fall under the cottage food act?

Thanks.

Moe

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.

Stacey

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.

Arrianne

Hi! I take it pies aren’t allowed? Thanks!

Bryan

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.

zack

i’m assuming cold pressed bottled juices are not covered by this?

Steph

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.

Grace

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.

S Williams

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.

Clare

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.

My friend makes delicious fudge that everyone loves. Under this new bill, would she be able to sell her fudge?

S Williams

Are there any labeling or packaging requirements for cakes and cookies? Thanks.

    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.

amy

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.

amy

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!!

Does nut butters fall into jams/jellies/honey? No cooking is required. I use a stone grinder.

Erika

I make cookies using raw nuts (processed in a blender- no baking involved) and cocoa powder. Is this allowed with the new law?

    A cookie is a cookie. Looks like you are covered! Yummy!

    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.

Claire

Do you have to obtain a small business license?

Can you put lables on jars with rubber bands or ribbons?

    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.

flore

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.

amy

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?

    amy

    Yes, thankyou so much for the information.

Gary

Hey David, do cupcakes count as cakes in Louisiana?

MEB

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.

I assume that the state/parish will also expect home bakers to get a sales tax number and collect/remit sales tax(?)

    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.

    Bart, I can now confirm that you don’t have to collect sales tax.

    Cyndy

    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.

    Cyndy, I got that info from here.

    Cyndy

    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?

    Cyndy

    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.

    Thanks for the clarification Cyndy — that should be helpful to many people.

corey mickel

Are bbq and hoylt sauces include in this.

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!

    S Williams

    Thanks for all of your efforts regarding this law! May you be blessed. :)

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