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Cottage Food Law NJ

You’ve put a lot of effort into baking bread, rolls, or cakes, and the last thing that comes into mind is how to get around the cottage food laws. Well, if you’re in New Jersey, the situation is not different. The state has well-outlined cottage food laws NJ 2021 that dictate what to sell and what not to.

History of the Cottage Food Law NJ

The Public Health Council in New Jersey placed a ban on the sale of brownies and other household foods in 2009. These regulations limited the sale of home-baked treats and other delectables. The ban aimed to ensuring a marketing cap and protecting the state’s residents from food-related ailments like acidification and poisoning. 

However, in 2019, the Public Health council filed a bipartisan bill that later actualized the Cottage Food Law nj 2019. According to the new guidelines, home bakers can only sell treats made in a commercial-grade kitchen. It also exempted foods made for charities and all treats made in child-care homes.   

Additionally, bakers were to have official licensing, categorized as “class A” and “Class B,” to legalize their sales. Sellers in class A were allowed to make direct sales from direct sales venues or cottage food operations. Conversely, Class B sales included direct and indirect sales. 

But it didn’t end there. Part of the requirements included availing products to the health professional for check-ups.  Bakers also had to list all the ingredients used for food production to ensure they were void of hazardous supplements. These requirements remained relevant even in the nj cottage food law 2020. 

The New Dawn for Home Bakers in New Jersey 

Things changed fast amidst uproar from the New Jersey Home Bakers Association between the end of 2020 and mid-2021. On November 4, 2021, the State of New Jersey Department of Health passed the Cottage Food Law nj 2021, entirely scrapping the ban that lasted more than a decade. 

According to the new guidelines, baking and selling home treats is exclusively legal in New Jersey. This means confectioners and bakers can now run cottage food businesses from their homes, even without a commercial kitchen. 

However, all home bakers must make nj cottage food application that includes getting licensed and a permit to run such a business. The licenses cost $100 and are renewed every two years. To keep the market cap, home bakers cannot earn more than $50,000 annually. They must avail their earnings on-site for annual inspection. Also, they must keep a clean and safe environment for sanity. 

NJ Home Baking Law 

So, can you sell baked goods from home in Indiana? The answer is yes. However, you have to understand New Jersey's home bakery license application and permit rules and how they relate to Indiana’s. We’re going to cover that in the subsequent title. But, for now, let’s have an in-depth look into the NJ home baking law and its scope. 

What NJ Home Bakery Law 2021 Means to DIY Bakers 

Before 2019, the best home-based bakers could make saleable treats in commercial kitchens. The kitchens were also under close monitoring and frequent inspection by the Department of Health to ensure their safety. However, passing the NJ home bakery law 2021 means home bakers can now sell their treats uninspected and even off-premises in various locations.

Additionally, it marks a new beginning where every baker, including the NJ home bakers association members, is responsible for keeping the intention of the previous ban. The lift of the ban has also resulted in a steady rise in private-home kitchens called Cottage Food Operations (CFOs). 

List of Requirements CFOs Must Meet 

According to the Cottage Food Law nj 2021, all CFOs must meet all the guidelines of the Department of Health New Jersey. They include:

These guidelines are similar to what you’ll find in most states in the U.S. For example, Oklahoma Cottage Food Act 2020 requires bakers to undertake a three-month training program. 

After the training, they can make an application and get approval from the Department of Health Oklahoma to proceed with their business undisturbed. The same conditions apply in Indiana, only that Indiana doesn’t limit gross sales revenues. So it means bakers can sell as much as they want. 

New Jersey Cottage Venues 

New Jersey allows home bakers to sell to different venues except in wholesale or retail outlets. Consumers can also make online orders. However, deliveries for online orders must be in-person and not via a third-party carrier or mail delivery. Lastly, New Jersey doesn’t permit sales across state lines. In special circumstances, local guidelines or restrictions may apply. 

NJ Cottage Food License Application 

To get started with the Cottage Food Operations, you need to make the nj cottage food license application. This application is made online on the Department of Health’s Website. Therefore, it shouldn’t be daunting, provided you’re on a reliable network. 

How to Apply for Cottage Food Licensing NJ

Application for cottage food licensing takes an average of three minutes online. That’s if you have the relevant information at your fingertips. Here are the steps to follow: 

Step 1: Access the Department of Health’s Website 

Use your computing device to navigate the Department of Health’s website. Scrolling down, you’ll find cottage food operator rules. Read them since they offer guidance on the processes that ensue. After the rules is a table with application guidelines.  Read them, too, since they are what you need to begin filing your application. 

Step 2: Download the CFO-1 form 

CFO-1 form details the application information, applicant’s information, presentation, and attachments you need for your new jersey’s home baking license application. The last part of the form is a space for embedding additional attachments needed for approval. You can submit the completed form physically to the Health department branch near you. Alternatively, you can submit the completed form, plus required attachments via

Step 3: Make the Payment 

Pay the required $100 through a check, debit card, credit card, or other accepted forms of online payment. You’ll get a notification that the permit processing is underway. This duration can take up to five weeks, so be patient.

Cottage Food Operator Permit 

You can get the nj cottage food law permit by filing the New Jersey Food Operator application form. The permit is part of the requirement when making an application, so don’t confuse that. 

Requirements For Cottage Operator Permit 

A list of information you need to file to get the permit includes: 

Application Information 

Here, you’ll need to give: 

Once you’ve filled in the information above, click submit to proceed to the next level. 

Applicant’s Information 

In this stage, fill out the permit form with: 

Cottage Product Information 

Both Class A and Class B cottage food permits require that you sell non-TCS foods. These are foods that can remain fresh even without refrigeration. Examples include dried herbs and seasoning, cereals, nuts, and dry baking mix. 

Under the cottage product information, you must choose and provide the name of the product you intend to sell. Unfortunately, the space provided is tiny, so you might need to abbreviate some names. Lastly, check the small boxes on major food allergens. These categories contain other food supplements that you may use during the production of your treats. 

Upload Certifications and Any Other Related Certifications 

Like in a class of food permit in California, you need a range of certificates to run a CFO. These representations show that you’re apt at the task and cannot compromise the safety and health of your buyer given a chance to operate. 

In the list of operational standards, check yes or no. While a No decreases your chances of approval, don’t give false information, since doing so can attract catastrophic administrative penalties. 

Additional documents that you may need to attach during the application include: 

You can get the first three certifications without having to undertake any course. However, a food protection manager is only available for learners who enrolled for a health post-licensing program. It justifies the skills on food safety practices. 

Submitting the Application 

Once you have filled out the form, submit it to the Health Department via Alternatively, you can submit a copy of the duly filled form by mail via the USPS addresses detailed on the form. 

Approval and Download 

You will have to wait for about five weeks for your request to be approved. Once done, you will receive official notification in your email to collect the permit from your mailing address. Also, your permit will be listed among other thousand permit holders across New Jersey. So, up to this point, you can begin operating your home-based CFO without any hustle. 

For a long time, New Jersey was the only state without cottage food laws. Get to know New Jersey's cottage food law requirements and regulations.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


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