Business License in New Jersey

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Note: This Business License page is not as step-by-step as our other New Jersey LLC formation lessons. This is due to the uniqueness and variation among businesses formed in New Jersey, such as where those businesses are located, and how those businesses must apply for licenses and/or permits. Things vary by city and by industry. Therefore, the information below is an overview to point you in the right direction, and not a comprehensive step-by-step guide. Thank you for your understanding.

After you form a New Jersey LLC, you may need to obtain a business license and/or permit.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your New Jersey LLC is located.

No State Business License in New Jersey

New Jersey doesn’t have a statewide general business license. Again, licenses and permits are dictated by industry and profession, as well as the location of your LLC.

Municipal Business License (city, county, township)

Some municipalities in New Jersey may require a general business license to operate your LLC. And many municipalities also require industry-specific licenses. For example, a license is required to operate a food truck and to run a daycare.

You will need to get in touch with the municipality where your LLC is located and/or does business to determine your licensing or permit requirements.

You can use the State’s Municipal and County Government search page:

Industry and Professional Licenses

Different types of business activity are governed by different agencies.

For example, if your business will operate a retail food establishment that will be governed by the Local Health Department, however, a tow truck business is governed by the NJ Department of Transportation and if you are building new homes, that is governed by the NJ Department of Community Affairs.

The State of New Jersey has put together a guide which you can look through. You’ll want to find your industry and then get in touch with the governing agency to determine if your business needs a special license or permit to operate.

NJ License & Certification Guide:

You can also review the Licenses & Permits page on the NJ Business Portal:

Need Help?

If you don’t want to make phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend hiring IncFile.

New Jersey Resale Certificate

Also known as a “Reseller Permit“, but it’s called a Resale Certificate in New Jersey.

A Resale Certificate is used if your New Jersey LLC will buy goods from another business for the purpose of resale.

For example, let’s say you manufacture and sell baseball bats. If you are buying wood from a distributor, you don’t have to pay sales tax on that purchase since you are not the end consumer. The customers who will purchase the baseball bats are the end consumers and you will charge them sales tax.

You will need to present your Resale Certificate to the seller if you want to avoid paying the sales tax.

If you are an in-state seller, you will use Form ST-3:

If you are a non-New Jersey seller, you will use Form ST-3NR:

If you are selling goods to someone who has presented you with a Resale Certificate, you can verify the existence of the business and their entity ID number here:

New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate of Authority

Also known as a “Sales Tax Permit“, but it’s called a Sales Tax Certificate of Authority in New Jersey.

This is obtained after you form your LLC and it’s done in the “registration” step of the NJ LLC filing process.

You can apply by mail using Form NJ-REG, however, it’s a lot easier to apply online via the “Business Registration Application“.

You can find instructions on the Business Registration Application here:
New Jersey LLC Formation & Registration

Sales Tax in New Jersey

If your New Jersey LLC sells tangible and retail goods, you’re required to collect sales tax from your buyers. Those collected taxes are then sent to the NJ Division of Taxation (they can be paid online).

Sales tax must be collected for brick-and-mortar stores in New Jersey as well as online sellers who ship to buyers in New Jersey.

Either quarterly or annually, you’ll need to file your sales tax returns. If filing by mail, use Form ST-50 or Form ST-51. If filing online, you can use the Division of Taxation Sales and Use Tax Online Filing system.

Calculating sales tax and meeting your filing deadlines can be a headache for business owners. Your accountant may be able to help, but some accountants don’t handle sales tax.

Need help with sales tax? You can automate your New Jersey sales tax filings with TaxJar. TaxJar helps online sellers as well as brick-and-mortar businesses in New Jersey.

TaxJar also has helpful guides on state sales tax: Sales Tax Guide for Businesses.

Next Step: New Jersey LLC Taxes

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your New Jersey LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: New Jersey LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

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