Get Cooking with help from Alabama's Cottage Food Law

Have you got a fantastic cookie recipe? Are you a candy maker or maybe a jam or jelly maker? Perhaps cakes or chocolate are your thing? If any of these (and more) are true and you've been wanting to start your own business selling your product, then there's good news thanks to the Alabama Cottage Food Law!

The Alabama Cottage food Law was passed by the Alabama State Legislature in 2014 and allows the sale of certain food products produced in a persons home under certain conditions.

Like many things, however, the devil is in the details. Here's how the law works, more specifically: 

  • When operating under the Alabama Cottage Food Law (ACFL), there are no Health Department inspections. As long as your product qualifies under the law you can simply pass a food safety course, register with your local Health Department, and you're on you're off to the races! 
  • Under the ACFL, a person can produce food products in their home for retail sale as long as the product is considered a non-hazardous food. That means no meat, no dairy, no fish, and no low-acid or acidified foods (like pickles and salsas).
  • Under the ACFL, business owners are only permitted to sell their qualified goods directly to the consumer at a trade show or market stand, or by using local delivery or pick up only. Shipping is not allowed under the ACFL. 
  • The ACFL allows business owners to make a maximum of $20,000 in revenue per year. Beyond that number, business owner will have to register as a commercial food vendor. 
  • Business owners operating under the ACFL are not allowed to use a commercial kitchen space (must produce product at home) and are not allowed to have employees. 

As you can see, while the law creates a nice, low-barrier-to-entry option for entrepreneurs interested in the food and beverage market to get started, it comes with some pretty specific limitations. Furthermore,  there are other concerns to be considered like business licensing, sales tax, and a few other provisions of the ACFL not covered above. 

If you're considering moving into the F&B market and your product qualifies under this law, we highly recommend availing yourself of the benefits of this law. As I said above, the barrier to market entry is very low and you'll have an invaluable opportunity to workshop your product while generating revenue, all without spending an arm and a leg to get things started. 

Before you take the leap into business under the Alabama Cottage Food Law, why not give Newberry Consulting a shout? We're here to help! 

We've put together a low-cost package of services focused specifically on businesses intending to operate under the ACFL. Newberry Consulting will guide you through every step of the process to get your business started under the Alabama Cottage Food Law. Our package comes with our Money Back Guarantee that we'll have you up and running under the ACFL with sound coaching and business techniques to give you the edge selling your product and running your business.