To apply for a Cottage Food Operator License, you do so through the New Jersey Department of Health.
How and Where You Can Sell and Advertise.
Clients may pay for and pick up their items at your home in NJ You may deliver and accept payment for items at your clients’ homes in NJ You may deliver to a NJ event venue and accept payment directly from the client or their pre- determined agent (such as a wedding planner or family…
How and Where You Can’t Sell and Advertise.
You may not sell your items indirectly via wholesale or retail/resale agreement with a third party. You cannot have products in stores. You may not sell your items across state lines (no delivery or markets outside of New Jersey – no matter how close to the state line the client is) You may not ship…
Will I be able to use butter and other dairy in my frostings and fillings, such as buttercream?
You may only use non-TCS fillings and frostings. We recommend that bakers purchase the Texas Cottage Food Law e-books, which are available for $10 each and contain a multitude of lab-tested non-TCS recipes and great information. Alternatively, you can pay a private laboratory to test your personal recipes.
What does “non-TCS”- mean?
TCS and non-TCS refer to “temperature-controlled for safety.” Broadly, this means any foods that do not require additional preparation or initial refrigeration. Yes, we know that many of you refrigerate your goods to maintain shape and appearance, but this is an aesthetic choice, not because of safety. Scientifically, TCS and non-TCS foods have a specific…
If I use a commercial kitchen, do wholesale distribution, and am insured and licensed, has anything changed for me?
No! You can continue to work out of a commercial kitchen under the current commercial regulations; the rule change only affects the addition of a set of cottage food regulations. You may, of course, apply for a Cottage Food Operator’s license and move your business to your home, or just produce but then you will…
Do all my goods require a label? What about samples?
Yes – you must always disclose with either a label or a placard the ingredients and allergens in your products- even if you are giving away samples or offering a client a tasting, such as for wedding cakes. These labels and placards don’t need to be elaborate, but they do need to be present. This…
Does my kitchen need to be inspected before I begin selling my goods?
NO! There is no requirement for an initial Department of Health.
Do I have to pay taxes on my home-baking income?
Yes, if your income exceeds the minimum for income tax, you will have to pay taxes according to all applicable state and federal laws. Many bakery items are not subject to sales tax in NJ, but you should consult your accountant for guidance.
Is there an income cap for home-based baking businesses?
Yes, your gross income cannot exceed $50,000 from a home-based baking business.