What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in New Jersey?
Starting a business in New Jersey will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in New Jersey.
Before applying for any licenses, the legal entity of the business will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Related: Comparison of Business Entities
Learn more about forming an LLC in New Jersey
State Business Registration
All businesses must register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services at least 15 days before operating in the state. To register, file Form NJ-REG. This registration provides for a state tax identification number and signing up for other relevant taxes.
In addition to the state business license, many businesses need to be licensed at the local level in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does. Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements.
Newark – Several types of businesses are required to register for a business license in Newark. A few include tire shops, restaurants, pet shops, florists, and several others.
Jersey City – A few types of businesses operating within city limits will need to obtain a business license. Auto repair shops, tow trucks, and food establishments are a few of the businesses that need to get a license.
Patterson – All businesses will need to get a city business license. In addition, several types of businesses will also need to obtain a special license in order to operate.
The cost of business licenses varies on location and the type of business.
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Building & Zoning Permits
Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit.
Building Permit – A building permit may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage Permit – Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.
Sales Tax Certificate of Authority
Businesses selling products at retail (both physical and digital products) and certain services are required to collect sales tax. In order to collect sales tax, businesses need to register for a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority from the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a New Jersey Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require licensing in the state of New Jersey including; contractors, landscapers, child care centers, barbers, and many more. Additional information, fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.
General Contractor License
Any business that provides home improvement services in New Jersey will need to register with the New Jersey Division Of Consumer Affairs. Electrical contractors and plumbers are licensed differently.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number). The EIN is the business equivalent of a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.
There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
Trade Name Registration
While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a company name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Trade Name Certificate (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the business is located.
These are just some of the most common business licenses a new business will need to register before starting. Before starting your business, be sure to check with City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.