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New Jersey Business License

Once you have taken the decision to form a business in the Garden State, you need to ask yourself: what else do I need to make my business operational? Registration of your business is the first step but until and unless you have a permit or business license, you will be unable to operate in the state. The licenses, the validity, the fee, and issuing authority vary according to the type of business or industry as well as the physical location of your business.

It is important to know that there are certain licenses issued by the state of New Jersey while for certain types of services, a business license may be issued by the city or county. Depending on the type of business, you may even require more than one license.

New Jersey Business License Requirements

What are the requirements for obtaining a business license in New Jersey? Which business entities require a license and who requires permits? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses? These are some of the important questions that you might be confronted with and hence, we have created a guide that will help answer some of these questions.

The most important step towards acquiring a New Jersey company license is identifying the type of business.

Step#1: The Industry or Business Type

How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in New Jersey? Which type of business license is issued by the state? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.

In the state of New Jersey, issuance of licenses is coordinated under specific projects. In order to understand this, let us take a look at some examples:

  • The Dairy, Juice, and Bottled Water Project is responsible for regulating wholesale business establishments that produce or process cheese, milk, bottled or bulk water, frozen desserts, and fruit or vegetable juice. The project enforces the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), for determining implementation of good manufacturing practices. A business license in New Jersey is issued only after field visit of establishment is satisfactory or in accordance to the plans laid out by the state.
    – Managed by: New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)
  • The Retail Food Project is aimed at the food service and retail food industry. The enforcement of New Jersey’s retail food rules (NJAC 8:24-1, – Chapter 24: Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Food and Beverage Vending Machines) has to be followed in order to be issued a New Jersey company license. As a part of the project, inspection of food services is also inspected in all areas including at the NJ Transit Rail Stations, on the New Jersey Turnpike, and the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority.
    – Managed by: New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH)

Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County

If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a statewide license project then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A New Jersey company license can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located. Let’s look at an example to understand how this works.

If you form a business in Atlantic City, NJ then a business license will be issued by the Office of the Licensing & Inspection Director, Licensing and Inspections Department of Atlantic City. The license or permits are issued for several types of businesses including Construction/building services, sale of any goods, Coin-operated machines, events including flea market, casino hotels, fresh fruits and vegetables vending, and vending machines among others.

Sample Business License Application

It is important to understand that each city will have different license requirements, fee, and application procedures.

Step#3: Issuance of a Business License

How is a business license in New Jersey issued? You have to identify the following to complete the process:

  1. The type of business or industry
  2. Do you need a license or a permit?
  3. Do you need a single license or multiple licenses?
  4. Will it be issued by the state or the city?

Once you have identified the above, all you need to do is either download the application online or contact the concerned state department or city of clerk office. The validity of a business license is normally one year from the date of issue although different cities and counties have different dates like some licenses in Atlantic City, NJ expire on July 31 while some expire on October 31.

The fee of a license varies from city to city and you will have to check with the state or city licensing department to know the exact fee.

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