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.

State Business Registration – All business must register with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services at least 15 days before opening in the state.  To register, file form NJ-REG.  This registration provides for a state tax identification number that will ensure you receive the proper returns and notices.

Business License – In addition to the state business license, many cities also require businesses to be licensed 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.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for 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.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate – 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.

Resale Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain an New Jersey Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – 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 New Jersey include; 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.

Trade Name Registration – While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for a Trade Name (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 a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in New Jersey for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.