Food Operations That Do Not Need Permits in Alabama

10 Food Operations That Do Not Need Permits in Alabama

In this article, we will take a look at food operations that do not need permits in Alabama.

While all commercial food operations (food service establishment/catering, limited food service establishment, temporary food service establishment, mobile food establishment, etc.) require a food permit before they can operate, the production and sales of cottage food in Alabama do not require a food license all that is needed is a business license and sales tax.

There is a list of food items that can be sold under the Alabama cottage food law and they must be sold under certain conditions.

However, if you realize that the food operation you have in mind cannot work with the cottage food law, then there are steps provided below on how to obtain a food permit in Alabama, depending on the nature of your food operation.

Food Operations That Do Not Need Permits in Alabama – Cottage Food

Home-based businesses selling perishable goods are safeguarded by the Cottage Food Law. Each state’s regulations are different, however, in Alabama, it is legal for people to sell certain non-hazardous meals that they have produced at home to the general public.

Sales taxes and a business license are requirements for owners. Additionally, the regulation caps the producers’ annual sales at $20,000. Before the law, farmers’ markets were the only places where homemade food could be sold.

Since the present law has been enforced in 2014, home businesses can flourish while ensuring the safety of customers.

Although the Cottage Food Law authorizes farmers to sell their products from their homes, it only permits specific types of food. Baked items, candles, jams, jellies, dry herbs, and dry herb mixtures are examples of cottage foods.

Any food that needs to be kept at a specific temperature is forbidden by law. Meats, popcorn, pickles, canned fruits and vegetables, milk products, and juices are some more things that are restricted. V

Labeling of Home Products:

There are rigorous regulations on correct labeling for the goods in addition to eating restrictions. Each label must contain the information below according to the Alabama Cottage Food Law

  • The brand of the item (highly recommended but not required)

  • Name of the person or company

  • Address of the Person or Company

  • A statement stating that the Department of Public Health has not reviewed this food.

  • Labels can be submitted to the county health department for approval along with a copy of a certification.


The producer needs to hold a current food safety certification in order for the Cottage Food Law to safeguard a home-based enterprise. The National Registry, ServSafe, and several restaurant food safety certificates are just a few of the credentials that the Alabama Department of Public Health accepts.

The online training for Alabama Cottage Food is one of the recognized certificates. The Alabama Extension Food Safety and Quality Team’s Cottage Food certifications are only accepted through this program.

Verify that any food product is safe and complies with the Cottage Food Law before selling it. Click here for more information on the Alabama Cottage Food Law.

How to Get a Business License in Alabama

Once your company has begun, acquire the following information for your business license application:

  • A company name

  • An SSN (if you’re a sole proprietor) or EIN (Employer Identification Number)

  • A class of corporate entity (LLC, partnership, corporation, etc.)

  • A company address and phone number

  • A business plan that details expected earnings and costs

  • A business insurance policy certificate of insurance (COI).

Once you have the required data, you must submit an application for the primary business license in Alabama, also known as a business privilege license.

To find the necessary paperwork and applications, visit the webpage for your city or county. The Alabama Department of Revenue maintains a list of all the county probate offices if you’re unsure.

How to Get Food Permit in Alabama

If you realize that your food operation can be run under cottage food law, maybe because you plan on selling food items that have been restricted under the law or you are not cool with the $20,000 cap on sales, then chances are you need to obtain a food permit to run your business in Alabama. This section of the article is dedicated to showing you how you can obtain your food permit.

Getting the right permissions is a crucial step in launching a food processing business. A written application for a permit using forms given by the Alabama Department of Public Health must be submitted by anybody wishing to run a food processing facility in Alabama (ADPH).

The application contains the applicant’s signature, the applicant’s name and address, the location and kind of the proposed food processing establishment, and information on the person establishing the business. This license needs to be renewed every year.

The proposed food processing establishment will be inspected by the ADPH prior to the application’s approval. If the establishment complies with ADPH food processing regulations, permission will be granted.

In Alabama, county health departments grant several licenses to food establishments. The permit type must be specified when applying for a permit. Following are your options:

Food Service Establishment/Catering:

Any location, vehicle, or vessel where food is made, held, delivered, served, or administered in individual portions. Any such location falls under this, whether or not there is on-site or off-site consumption.

The phrase also covers all schools and daycare facilities, as well as delicatessen-style companies that prepare meals for individual portion service.

Private events with a small and recognizable membership where no food is sold are not included in the definition of the term. Any scenario in which there is a profit-making fee for the food or a membership fee is necessary for admittance or participation qualifies as a sale of food.

Limited Food Service Establishment:

Businesses that sell the following food items: dip ice cream; hard cheese, such as cheddar; any fully cooked smoked meat; any fully cooked luncheon meat, including wieners; and any non-potentially hazardous beverage or food, and any mixture of these, given that meat items, are received in fully cooked form from an authorized processing center.

The term excludes restaurants that serve chilled and then reheated meals or those where any aspect of food preparation entails cooking raw food.

Temporary Food Service Establishment:

A restaurant that serves food and is open at a specific location for no longer than 14 days in a row to coincide with a single event or holiday.

Permit for Food Processing:

The Food and Drug Administration oversees all enterprises involved in food processing. The ADPH inspects these establishments and provides a copy of the report on the inspection of the food processing establishments.

Before you are permitted to manufacture or prepare food for an establishment or a retail food store, the county health department must inspect your premises and provide you with a copy of the inspection report and permit that has been granted.

The FDA requires that every facility that is involved in producing, processing, packing, or holding food intended for consumption in the United States register with them. This registration form is accessible on the FDA website.


Mobile food business:

A mobile food service operation that is installed on a vehicle. A fixed commissary is required for food trucks.

School cafeteria:

Retail Food Store:

Any business or area of a business where consumers can purchase meals and food products that are meant for consumption off-site.

The term applies to delicatessens that solely sell prepared food in large amounts.

The term excludes food service establishments, vending machines that sell food and beverages, roadside markets that sell only fresh produce, and establishments that handle only packed non-potentially hazardous food.

Related: 5 Best Fashion schools in Alabama(Tuition&Scholarships)

Limited Retail Food Store:

Businesses that only market or sell prepared foods. The term excludes businesses that deal exclusively in prepackaged, non-hazardous goods, roadside markets that sell only fresh produce, restaurants, and vending machines that sell food and drinks.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries or the US Department of Agriculture must approve any establishments that process meat or poultry (USDA). You are a meat processor if your product has more than 2% meat content.

Do You Need A Permit To Sell Food in Alabama?

According to Alabama’s Public Health Laws, anyone running a restaurant or other type of food business needs to have a current license from the Health Department to do so.

One must submit an application and pay the required fee to receive a food permit. Permits cannot be transferred.

Do I Need A Business License For A Cottage Food Operation in Alabama?

For each state, these laws change.  Alabama law permits people to sell to the general public some non-hazardous meals that they have cooked at home. Sales taxes and a business license are requirements for owners. Additionally, the regulation caps the producers’ annual sales at $20,000.

Is It Legal To Sell Homemade Food in Alabama?

Cottage foods that don’t need special preparation or storage conditions can be sold in Alabama. Among other forms of food, they include baked items like cakes and pies, jams and jellies, confectionery, dried fruits and vegetables, herbs, and roasted coffee.

How Do I Get A Permit To Sell Food in Alabama?

Fill out an application and pay any costs necessary at the health department. The health department must receive properly prepared floor plans, a plan review application, and payment for all new businesses and renovated old buildings.

What Do You Need To Operate A Food Truck in Alabama?

In accordance with the State Board of Health’s regulations, no food may be sold until a temporary food booth is authorized to operate. Every concession needs a separate permit. It is regarded as a public event if you use flyers, banners, newspaper articles, or any other form of advertising to promote the event.


How Much Is A Business License in Alabama?

Depending on a number of circumstances, the price of an Alabama business license can range from $15 to several hundred dollars. For details about your particular business license if it is based in Alabama, contact the Alabama Department of Revenue.

What is a Cottage Food Baker?

A small-scale bakery that is typically run out of a person’s house is referred to as a cottage industry bakery, also known as a cottage-style bakery. “Cottage food laws” rather than commercial restaurant and health codes govern these home-based operations.

How Do I Start A Bakery From Home in Alabama?

Home bakeries are not authorized or inspected in Alabama since they are not regarded as food establishments. To put it another way, you don’t need a specific food production license to sell your homemade baked products at a farmer’s market or charity event.

Can You Sell Goat Cheese in Alabama?

Goat cheese must be processed, packaged, and labeled in a facility that has been approved and inspected by the Milk and Food Processing Branch of the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Do You Need A Commissary For A Food Truck in Alabama?

A fixed commissary is required for food trucks.

How Much Does A Food Truck Cost in Alabama?

According to the state of Alabama’s food truck website, the typical cost to start a food truck is between $60,000 and $120,000.

How Much Do Food Trucks Make in Alabama?

In Alabama, the average yearly salary for the category of Food Truck employment as of October 23, 2022, is $21,866. That comes out to roughly $10.51 an hour, in case you need a quick pay calculator. This equates to $420 each week or $1,822 per month.

Do I Need A Business License If I Have an LLC in Alabama?

In Alabama, all companies must get a Business Privilege License, a yearly license to conduct business. Every county where you conduct business requires you to acquire a license. The county probate judge in your area will sell licenses.

How Much Is A Seller’s Permit in Alabama?

Application for a sales tax permit is free, although there can be extra fees associated with business registration.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.