Is it legal to sell food from your home in Arkansas?

Answered by Jason Smith

In Arkansas, it is indeed legal to sell food from your home under certain conditions. The state has implemented cottage food laws that allow individuals to engage in direct sales of nonperishable homemade foods that do not require refrigeration. These laws were first established in 2011, and have since undergone several amendments in 2017, 2019, and most recently in 2021.

Under these laws, individuals are permitted to sell homemade food products directly to consumers without the need for a commercial kitchen or food establishment license. This offers a great opportunity for home-based entrepreneurs to start a small food business and generate income from the comfort of their own homes.

However, it is important to note that there are some restrictions and requirements that must be followed in order to comply with the law. Firstly, the foods that can be sold under the cottage food laws must be nonperishable and not require refrigeration. This means that items like baked goods, jams and jellies, candies, and dry mixes are generally acceptable for sale.

Additionally, there are limitations on the annual gross sales that can be made from cottage food operations. As of 2021, the annual sales limit is $50,000, which means that once a cottage food operation exceeds this threshold, they will need to transition to a commercial kitchen and comply with the relevant regulations.

Furthermore, labeling requirements exist to ensure that consumers are informed about the nature and safety of the products they are purchasing. Cottage food products must be labeled with the producer’s name and address, a statement that the product is homemade, and a list of ingredients. It is important to accurately label your products to maintain transparency and build trust with your customers.

While the cottage food laws in Arkansas provide a great opportunity for home-based food businesses, it is crucial to adhere to good manufacturing practices and food safety guidelines. Proper handling and storage of ingredients, as well as maintaining a clean and sanitary production environment, are essential to ensure the safety of your products and protect the health of consumers.

It’s worth noting that my personal experience with cottage food laws in Arkansas has been positive. I have seen individuals successfully start and grow their own cottage food businesses, offering a wide range of delicious homemade products to their local communities. It’s a great way to showcase your culinary skills, turn your passion into profit, and connect with customers who appreciate homemade goods.

Selling food from your home in Arkansas is legal under the state’s cottage food laws. These laws provide an opportunity for individuals to engage in direct sales of nonperishable homemade foods that do not require refrigeration. However, it is important to understand and comply with the specific requirements and limitations outlined in the law, including restrictions on the types of foods that can be sold, annual sales limits, and labeling requirements. By following these guidelines and practicing good manufacturing and food safety practices, you can embark on a successful home-based food business in Arkansas.