TRENTON – At last, bakers in New Jersey can soon start “cottage food” businesses in their home kitchens.

New Jersey had been the only state where home-baked goods businesses were not legal, but that changed with rules published Monday by the state Department of Health.

Within days or weeks, whenever the state updates its website, bakers will be able to apply for a two-year permit costing $100 that will allow them to establish businesses run from their homes, rather than having to bake in a commercial kitchen.

The rule change results from a lawsuit, not a change in state law. A bill that would establish requirements for home-baked goods was passed in Senate in 2020 and got through an Assembly committee a year ago but hasn’t gotten final Assembly approval.

The change was long-sought by advocates and a cause for celebration among groups such as the New Jersey Home Bakers Association.

Gross income from home-baked goods businesses cannot exceed $50,000, among other rules, such as labels with lists of ingredients and possible allergens.

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Kitchen inspections aren’t required before a permit is issued but could result if complaints are filed.

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at

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