How to Get Small Business License in New Jersey, USA

How to Get Small Business License in New Jersey, USA

Looking to start a new small business in New Jersey in the United States of America (USA)? Starting the business means registering with the relevant authorities and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses that allow you to run the business in the state.

For new entrepreneurs, this is not a walk in the park, as they have to dig here and there to get the information they need. But not to worry; in this article, you will find out how to obtain a license for your small business in New Jersey.

Pre-License Application Processes

Before applying to obtain a license for your small business in New Jersey, some processes must have been completed.

Note that any business looking to get registered in the state must be an entity. You can choose from any of the:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)
  • General partnership

When to Apply for Small Business License in New Jersey

The best time to apply for a small business license in the state of New Jersey is when you are ready to start operation. Also, the registration must be completed at least 2 weeks before the date of opening the business.

Small Business Licensing Jurisdictions in New Jersey

Licenses to operate a new small business are not limited to states. Both local and federal jurisdictions are also included.

When applying for a state license, what you will get is the Business Registration Certificate that permits you to operate the business within the state.

The certificate can be obtained from the Department of Treasury in New Jersey.

Most businesses need to be licensed at the local level, meaning that you need to obtain licenses from the local government. These licenses also tend to differ by the location you are operating the business from. For example, certain businesses need to obtain a business license to operate in the cities of Jersey and Newark. Examples of such businesses are:

  • Tow trucks
  • Restaurants
  • Automobile repair shops
  • Pet shops

At the federal level, licenses are to be obtained by businesses that offer services that are only regulated by the federal government. For this type of business, applying for federal taxes and Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a must.

Types of Small Business Licenses and How to Apply for Them in New Jersey

These are some of the popular licenses and permits you can apply for your small business located in New Jersey:

1. Business License

This is the type of license that permits your small business to operate in the state. The license can be obtained from the Department of Treasury.

It is also recommended that you check the New Jersey Government website to get an idea of the additional licensing requirements for your type of business in specific locations in the state.

2. General Contractor License

This type of license is exclusive to small businesses that offer home improvement services in New Jersey. To obtain the license, you have to register with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

3. Certificate of Authority

This is also called the Sales Tax Certificate of Authority. It is a license obtained by small businesses that are subject to paying taxes. Click here to learn more about taxation policies for small businesses.

So, if your business is not tax-free, you need to get the Certificate of Authority. This can be obtained from the Department of Treasury in New Jersey.

One of the benefits of the certification is that it permits the business to collect sales tax on both physical and digital products/services.

4. Doing Business As (DBA)

The Doing Business As (DBA) is a type of license issued to business owners that are operating in a name other than the name of the founder(s). Thus, if your business is not named after you, it is assumed that it is operating under an “assumed name” or “fictitious business name.”

For this reason, you have to apply for the Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name Certificate. The registration must be made at the office of the County Clerk. Most of the time, business entities like Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Sole Proprietorships operating under a name different from the registered name obtain the DBA license.

5. Resale Certificate

Does your small business deal in merchandise? If so, you need to obtain the New Jersey Resale Certificate that empowers your business to operate in the state and not pay tax.

Further Reading:

Tips for Getting Small Business License in New Jersey

To be successful at applying for a license or permit in New Jersey, here are a few tips to have in mind:

  • Form a business entity, such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporations.
  • Check the New Jersey website to find out the applicable licenses and permits for your line of business. You will also find the places to make the registration.
  • Fill out the NJ-REG form to register for state taxes for your business.
  • Take note that fees are to be paid for obtaining these licenses. For example, the cost of filling for a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is $125, while that of Name Reservation is $50.


Registering your business and obtaining the necessary licenses allows you to do business in New Jersey. While at it, check the New Jersey official website to get an idea of the filing fees, the registration points, and additional licensing requirements due for your new business. If you are living in Virginia, here are simple steps to guide you in starting your business from home in Virginia.

Chukwukadibia Abah
CHUKWUKADIBIA ABAH is a passionate freelance writer and contributor to the Entrepreneur Business Blog. You can follow him on: Facebook: Twitter: LinkedIn: Instagram:

You may also like

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.