Requirements to Sell

New Business Registration.
First and foremost, all new businesses in the state need to complete the RI Business Application and Registration (BAR). Another resource is business.gov, which will take you through the registration process, step by step.

New businesses must also register as a corporation, LLC or sole proprietorship through the RI Secretary of State Office. This way you will be registered with the state.

In most cases, you will need to register your business with the IRS to get an EIN (employer identification number) which you will need for filing taxes, etc. This may depend on the scale of your operation. Visit business.gov for more information on EINs.

Is the food you'll be selling taxable? If you're unsure check with the RI Division of Taxation at (401) 574-8955.

Town Hall / City Hall Requirements.
Each town may have specific vendors licenses. Please check with the town you will be selling in. See contact information for every City Hall in RI.

RI Department of Health Licenses.
For licensing information and the RI Food Code from the Department of Health visit their website: http://www.health.ri.gov/licenses/food/. Below are direct links to a few that might be of particular interest.

  • Food Peddler application if you are selling meat, dairy or prepared foods.
  • Farm Home Kitchen application if you cook approved foods in your farm kitchen.
  • There may be other licenses required if you handle meat (see below), seafood or operate a mobile food cart. Contact Ernest Julian at the Office of Food Protection at RI Department of Health at (401) 222-2749 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions about which licenses you need.

Meat Producers Retail License.
If you plan to sell farm-raised meat, you will need to apply for a Retail License from the State of Rhode Island. This license will allow you to sell both at the market and at your farm. The Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association (RIRLA)has prepared guides and resources for you in this process, including wholesale permit, contact information for people and procedures.

RIRLA is an organization that has resources for farms raising livestock, no matter how small the farm – their website not only has a wealth of information on licensing but also classified ads, vet listings, classes and workshops for livestock producers, as well as member access to grain discounts and local slaughterhouse slots.

Insurance / Product Liability.
Insurance protects you in the unlikely event that someone gets hurt, sick or injured as the result of an act by you. Many markets require it. You should have proper insurance in place for the types of products that you sell, which include a General or Farm/Business Liability policy. Shop around for a good policy quote!

List your farm online.
This is not a requirement, but as soon as you have all of the appropriate licensing in place, sign on to Farm Fresh Rhode Island and create a profile for your farm! Millions of people search the site each year to find local farms and this listing will start to get the word out about your new operation. On the website you can list the produce you grow, where you are selling, if you have a farmstand, csa, pick your own, etc.

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