Before starting a business in the state of New Jersey, you will likely need to acquire a New Jersey business license with the proper agencies. Depending on the type of business that you start, you may need a state, city, or county-specific agency.

Generally, to obtain a business license in New Jersey, you will need to:

  • Research what business licenses are required in your industry and jurisdiction
  • Identify the agency or department you'll need to contact
  • Download application and gather any necessary documentation
  • Submit the application along with any required fees to the appropriate agency or department

Before you begin doing business, you should contact the municipality where your company is located in order to determine if you will need to comply with the following:

  • Local zoning ordinances
  • Municipal tax obligations
  • Local mercantile licenses
  • Requirements to register a business

New Jersey Business License Requirements

Requirements for NJ business licenses and permits can vary greatly amongst different state, county and local governments, depending upon your industry and location. Common requirements are:

  • Valid federal or state registrations
  • Proof of education
  • Proof of insurance
  • Age
  • Ability to pass an examination
  • Background check
  • Tax information

New Jersey Business License Cost and Fees

The specific costs of receiving a New Jersey business license will vary depending on the kind of business that you want to create and what licenses you'll need to establish it.

If you are unsure of the specific New Jersey business licenses and permits that you'll need to establish your business, then incorporate.com can help. We will compile the necessary licenses based on the information that you provide to us about your business.

New Jersey sales tax

There is a sales tax in New Jersey. If your company is selling taxable items or services, you will need to collect a sales tax and remit it to the state. You will receive a Certificate of Authority for Sales Tax from the State by mail, which must be displayed at your place of business.

How long will it take to get my New Jersey business license?

The time that it takes to process your business license or permit application will vary depending on regulatory agency or jurisdiction. It will likely take several weeks before you hear back from the state or local government.

Upon submitting your application, most New Jersey licensing agencies will provide an estimated processing time, use that to plan accordingly. Additionally, there are some agencies that have an online portal that will allow you to track the status of your application.

Renewing Your New Jersey Business License

Once you have submitted your paperwork, covered the costs, and received your business license, you are ready to start operating legally within New Jersey. Companies operating within some industries may need to regularly renew their licenses.

New Jersey's business license renewals will differs greatly from industry to industry, so you'll want to check with the regulatory organizations you work with to make sure you have a valid license at all times. In the majority of situations, your expiration date will be printed on your license, so you shouldn't have any difficulties knowing when you need to submit documents for an updated license.

Additional New Jersey Business License Requirements

Occupational licenses and permits

Your company or employees/principals may also be required to hold professional or occupational certificates or licenses. Examples include accountants, day care operators, architects, medical services provider, engineers, restaurateurs, and more. The list is long, and the requirements vary by profession and industry. For example, a child care provider is regulated by the Department of Children & Families Office of Licensing, and a license is required for providing care to six or more children.

Environmental licenses and permits

You may need construction, safety, or environmental licenses for some business activities. If you believe your business might be subject to environmental regulations, you must complete and submit a permit identification form to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection describing your activities. NJDEP will review your form to determine which permits apply to your operations. Common activities that require such review include dry cleaning, fueling stations, and auto body shops.

Employee requirements

If you have at least one employee, you must obtain employer and unemployment insurance. Employees also trigger numerous tax requirements. If you have at least one employee, you must register your company with the Division of Employer Accounts and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

New Jersey law also requires that all New Jersey employers not covered by federal programs have workers' compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance.

Frequently requested New Jersey business licenses and registrations include:

  • Home Improvement Contractors & Landscapers
  • Child Care Centers
  • Limousine Companies
  • New Home Builder Registration and Renewal
  • Combined Cigarette License Application
  • Restaurants and Food Preparation for Retail Sale
  • Lead Hazard Abatement Contractor
  • Asbestos Safety Technician
  • Telemarketing Companies
  • Employment Agency including Temporary Employment, Nurse Registry, Home Health Aid, etc.
  • Pesticide Applicator / Operator / Business

You can find more information regarding specific business licenses, permits, and certifications on the New Jersey Business Portal. Some cities within New Jersey also require business licenses at the local level. It could be helpful to conduct research on the websites of the city and county where your business will be located to learn more about possible licensing requirements.

Need help with obtaining a New Jersey Business license?

Call us at 855.235.3824 to get started on applying for your New Jersey business license today!

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