Getting Started: Opening a Store or Market

Whether you’re opening a farm market with all your own products, or other farmers’ products, you can use these checklists to get you started when it comes to licenses, permits and regulations.

Pumpkins for sale


Read through the zoning regulations for your municipality and familiarize yourself with Act 143. To determine if your agritourism addition meets the specifications of Act 143, you can use the guide above.

  • Obtain a zoning permit (if necessary).
  • Determine if your municipality requires a site plan review.
  • Submit an application and site plan review to your municipality (if necessary).



  • Read through Act 31.
    • Post signs at agritourism activities that meet the specifications of Act 31.
    • Include the warning notice language in every written contract between an agritourism host and a participant.
  • Check with your insurance agent to make sure this type of activity is covered in your policy.

Note: Roadside farmstands do not meet the specifications of Act 31, so if you choose to open a roadside farmstand, you do not need signage.


  • Decide what food and products will be sold at your establishment.
    • Research any regulations and permits that may be necessary for those products.
  • If you are preparing food, you will need a food service license, and should contact the Health Department.
  • For licensing, operators are expected to demonstrate knowledge of food safety. The ServSafe (or other) certification is not specifically required, however, it is recommended that operators participate in some kind of food safety training to increase knowledge of safe food handling.

The following table can help you navigate the regulations and licenses required for various types of foods and products that you may be selling or serving.

  • If you are selling wholesale, follow regulations listed below.
  • If you are producing and serving food regularly, then you may need licensing from the agency for food processing, as well as separate licensing for food service from the Department of Health.
  • If you are using products from your farm to make any of these products (for example, jams) then you should follow any regulations listed below for those products.
Food ProductExamplesAgency with OversightPermits/Licenses that Apply


Milk, cheeseVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Frozen Dessert

Ice cream, sorbetVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Dairy Section

Phone: 802-828-2421

Baked Goods

Pastries, bread, cake

Vermont Department of Health, Bakery Section

Phone 802-863-7221


Sliced deli meat, sausages, whole meat cutsVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-828-2426

Processed Food

Candy, popcorn, jellies, ciders

Vermont Department of Health

Phone: 802-863-7221

Canned Goods

Fruits, meatVermont Department of Health for fruit and vegetables and Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets for meat

Phone (Department of Health): 802-863-7221

Phone (VAAFM): 802-828-2426

Malt and Vinous Beverages

Wine, beer, spirits, cider, meadDepartment of liquor control enforcement and licensing division

Contact: 802-828-2345

Maple Syrup

Syrup, sugarVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, Maple section

Phone: 802-828-2430

General Produce

Tomatoes, corn, squashVermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets

Phone: 802-461-5128

  • The Vermont Produce Program can provide you with additional resources and support to ensure you are meeting all regulations and requirements.


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430


 Vermont Statutes

Phone: 802-828-2430