What should I know about business licenses in New Jersey?
New Jersey business licenses are often processed by the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs. Veteran business license professionals know that this is a strong signal that the state will be wary of issuing business licenses and permits for heavily regulated activities without extensive requirements – background checks, fingerprints, etc.
It can get worse. Some specific industries require additional hurdles to get a business license in New Jersey. Consider food permits, essential documents for any restaurant, bar, or café.
In The Garden State, these business licenses are not issued on the state level at all. They are issued on the local level. This creates a problem for aspiring restaurant owners since there is no central hub for information on how to achieve compliance.
How many business licenses do you need?
The number of business licenses you need in New Jersey depends on a number of unique factors.
These factors include...
- Within which city/county will you operate your business?
- What business activities will you be conducting?
- How heavily regulated is your industry? Etc.
To put it in perspective, we ran the following queries through our own business license research tool. Here are some authentic results:
This may include a state-specific New Jersey vehicle repair/ service license. New Jersey has strict requirements for this license and they have at least two applications that may be relevant -- an Auto Body Repair Facility Initial License Application and an Autobody Heavy Duty Vehicle Endorsement Application.
This may include a local Atlantic City alcohol license. There are many forms and documents that may be relevant to this license, not least of which is an Operators (Bartenders) License Application.
This may include a state-specific New Jersey electrical contractors license. Any license and/or permit related to contracting is going to have a lot of forms and documents associated with it. In this instance, a business owner may need an Application for Examination for Electrical Contractors, an Application for Telecommunications Wiring Exemption, a Contractors Business permit Bond Application, an Electrical Contractor Pressure Seal Application, and a Work Experience Certification for Electrical Contractors.
See where you might owe sales tax
Need to know where and when you owe sales tax? Get a free Economic Sales Tax Risk Assessment for your nexus analysis today.
Common New Jersey business license questions
Getting your business started in the Garden State? See some of the most common New Jersey business license questions to help you get your operation off the ground.
New Jersey does not have a general business license, but all people or companies doing business in the state will at least need to register. There also may be other permits and licenses based on your industry.
The cost of a business license in New Jersey varies depending on the business itself. For-profit businesses and foreign non-profit corporations must pay a certificate fee of $125. The fee is currently $75 for domestic non-profits
A business that deals with locksmiths, burglar alarms, and/or fire alarms must pay an application fee starting at $150. Depending on where your business falls in the triennial licensing period your cost could range between $25 and $75.
The first step in obtaining a New Jersey business license is determining if you need one in the first place. Once you know your licenses you should be able to search and apply for many of them online. Always check with your local authority for any other certificates or permits you might need.
Want to get started faster? Avalara can help you quickly identify your licenses and will also help you find the necessary applications.