Regulations and Guidelines
New Jersey contains 21 counties and 566 municipalities. Each city and town has its own unique regulations pertaining to film production. New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission staff members are well versed in these matters, and should be consulted before specific communities are approached.
As a rule, filmmakers working in New Jersey are required to carry general liability insurance in the amount of $1 million ($2 million in the City of Newark). Additional insurance may be required of crews using pyrotechnic effects or performing stunts. Typically, production companies are asked to present certificates of insurance naming property owners as "additional insured." Further, property owners must be relieved of all liability in connection with production work taking place on their respective locations.
Many cities and towns in the state have no formal permit procedure. However, permits are generally required for filming such locations as county, state and national parks and historic sites, state and county highways, railroad and airport terminals and military posts.
Child Labor Laws
New Jersey Law requires that any company or individual producing a theatrical production which includes stage, motion picture and television performances and rehearsals with minors under age 18 years of age in New Jersey (even if said minors are unpaid) MUST obtain New Jersey Child Labor Permits. New Jersey Child Labor Permits are cost free, uncomplicated to obtain and can be procured quickly. Child labor permits or working papers from other states are NOT validin New Jersey and cannot substitute for New Jersey Child Labor Permits. If you are new to this process, we strongly advise that you contact The New Jersey Motion Picture Commission at 973-648-6279 and speak with a staff member before you begin to fill out any paperwork.
There are two types of permits:
Emergent Permit – for film or theatrical productions utilizing minors for 1-2 days total. Please note, you may use this permit if you are filming with minors for more than 2 shoot days, as long as no individual minor works more than 2 of those production days. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development requires two (2) working days advance notification (not includingholidays or weekends)prior to filming, or the performance of a theatrical production, in order to guarantee that requisite child labor permitswill be issued. For assistance with these permits contact the New Jersey Motion Picture & TV Commission at 973-648-6279.
Formal Permit – for productions utilizing the services of a given minor or minors for 3 or more days (up to 3 months). For assistance with these permits contact the NJ Department of Labor at 609-292-7880.
Below you will find links to necessary forms and specific instructions for obtaining permits. The Motion Picture and Television Commission will gladly answer any questions and, when necessary, refer you to officials at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development. We are committed to ensuring the safety of minors working in New Jersey’s film and television industry, and dedicated to the success of your project.
Some Quick Facts:
Maximum Hours per day/week: Minors between the ages of 16 and 18 can work as long as 8 hours daily, 40 hours weekly, 6 days a week. Minors under 16 are permitted to be on set for a maximum of 8 hours daily and before the camera for a maximum of 5 of those hours, 24 hours weekly, 6 days a week. Combined hours of school and work must not exceed 8 hours daily. The minor’s travel time to and from set is not factored into their on-set time or work time. In the case of theatrical productions, where the performances are separable into discrete shows, the proposed employment of minor will not exceed two shows in a day or a total of eight shows in any given week.
When can a minor work? Unless a special waiver is granted by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development, minors under 16 are prohibited from working before 7 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. while minors between the ages of 16 and 18 are prohibited from working before 6 a.m. or after 11:30 p.m. The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development does not have the authority to alter or amend the total hours in the day during which a minor may work. Contact the Motion Picture and Television Commission for more information about obtaining a waiver of hours when night filming is required.
Minors under 16 must be accompanied at all times by an adult who is a parent, guardian or representative of the employer. There is no minimum age requirement for children working in motion pictures and television programs. A current statement based upon a physical examination issued by a licensed physician, that certifies that the minor is in good health and will not likely be endangered by the working conditions of the prospective employment, must be provided. For minors under 8 years of age, the physical examination must include a visual acuity screening if practicable. The use of infants and toddlers, however, should be further governed by an abundance of caution, common sense and good judgment.
Child Labor Law
Directions for obtaining Child Labor Permits
Special effects sequences, depending on their nature and scope, may require specific permits and/or permissions from the state, its counties or municipalities.
Effects using explosives must be performed by an effects coordinator who is LICENSED TO USE EXPLOSIVES IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY. Advanced inspection of a given site by the local utility companies may also be necessary in some cases.
Pyrotechnical effects must be performed in cooperation with local fire department officials, who may inspect designated location sites and materials to be used. In certain instances, permission from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection must also be granted.
Although working automatic and semi-automatic weapons are illegal in New Jersey, provision has been made for the use of theatrical firearms of every variety. A permit must be obtained from the New Jersey State Police in order to use or transport such theatrical firearms in the state.
Out-of-state permits are not valid.
In addition, specific information about the firearms and the parties responsible for them must be provided to both the New Jersey State Police and to the local police in the jurisdiction where said weapons are to be used.
Consult the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission for further information.
Taxes In New Jersey
The current Sales Tax rate is 6.625% and the specially designated Urban Enterprise Zones rate is one half the Sales Tax rate. Certain items are exempt from sales tax, such as food, clothing, drugs, and manufacturing/processing machinery and equipment. A resale exemption also exists. Learn more about the UEZ Program.
Hotel Room Occupancy Tax is 5%, but occupancies of 90 or more consecutive days are exempt.
The Workman's Compensation rate in New Jersey is currently 74 cents per 100 dollars of payroll. For more information, contact the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau at 201-622-6014.
For more specific information about New Jersey Tax Laws, contact the New Jersey Division of Taxation at 609-292-5995.
Registering to Do Business In New Jersey
New Jersey's Online Business Registration Service enables you to apply for a Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN) and register your business for taxes and employer contributions for unemployment and disability, online. You can also obtain temporary certificates of authority for sales tax online by registering at this site.
Click on the link below in order to fill out the electronic form:
How To Receive A New Jersey Certificate of Authority
CALL 609-292-1730 for additional information.
In the state of New Jersey to receive a Certificate of Authority you must first have a Corporate ID # as well as a Federal Tax Id #. This can be obtained by first registering your business entity, and then registering for tax and employer purposes. After you have completed these:
"If you have indicated on your Application for Business Registration that you will be collecting sales tax, remitting use tax, or using New Jersey Exemption Certificates, the State of New Jersey will send you a New Jersey Certificate of Authority for sales tax. This is your permit to collect sales tax, and to issue and receive exemption certificates. The New Jersey Certificate of Authority must be displayed at your place of business."
Select Registrations – located under the "NJ Division of Revenue" header
Select Registering Your Business
On that page there will be a step 1 and a step 2
**General partnerships and sole proprietors can skip step 1.**
STEP 1 – Registering New Business Entities
STEP 2 – Registering All Businesses for Tax & Employer Purposes
Under step 2 click the word registration(which will be linked to allow you to register online)
On that page click get started
Then select register a Business Entity and click continue
This is the first page in a series of three that will facilitate in obtaining the certificate
PAGE 1: Fill in both 10 digit id as well as FEIN click submit
PAGE 2: It will take you to another page – on that page hit "click here"
PAGE 3: Gives you the NJ-REG Form
On the NJ –REG form "Business Registration Application" Be sure to indicate that you will be collecting sales tax, remitting use tax, or using New Jersey Exemption Certificates- in order to receive your certificate.
After the third page is completed and submitted the next page will take you to a confirmation screen
Certificate of authority will be mailed
Most of New Jersey falls under the jurisdiction of the unions and guilds based in New York City. They are as follows:
American Federation of TV & Radio Artists (AFTRA)
260 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, 212-532-0800
Directors Guild Of America
110 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-581-0370
Screen Actors Guild
1515 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, 212-944-1030
Writers Guild Of America East
555 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-767-7800
IATSE General Office
1430 Broadway, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10018, 212-730-1770
IATSE Local 52, Studio Mechanics
19-02 Steinway Street, Astoria, NY 01105, 718-906-9440
IATSE Local 161, Script Supervisors, Production Office Coordinators, Production Auditors
630 9th Avenue, #1103, New York, NY 10036, 212-997-9655
IATSE Local 600, Cinematographers
80 8th Avenue, 14th floor, New York, NY 10011, 212-647-7300
IATSE Local 764, Theatrical Wardrobe
1501 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, 212-221-1717
IATSE Local 771, Editors
353 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036, 212-581-0771
IATSE Local 798, Makeup And Hair
31 West 21st Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010, 212-627-0660
American Federation Of Musicians, Local 802
332 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036, 212-245-4802
International Brotherhood Of Teamsters, Local 817
1 Hollow Lane, Lake Success, LI, NY 11042, 516-365-3470
Scenic Artists, Local 829
575 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10018, 212-736-4498
Council Of Motion Picture and TV Unions
110 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-757-8175
The East Coast Council
The East Coast Council handles production of low-budget feature films, defined as $8 million and below. The Council represents all below-the-line production locals within the IATSE (camera, hair, makeup, props, electricians, etc.) They take a flexible approach to the crewing of productions, by reducing member wages and benefits based on deferment.
For more information about the East Coast Council, contact either of its co-chairmen, Local 600 Eastern Regional Director Chaim Kantor (212-647-7300) or : Local 52 President John Ford (718-906-9440).