Skip to content

How to Register a Business in New Jersey – In-Depth Guide 2024

How to Register a Business in New Jersey
(Last Updated On: January 2, 2024)

Our content is reader-supported. We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links.

 

Embarking on the business journey and completing the registration process in New Jersey can be both exciting and fulfilling. To assist you along the way, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide to effortlessly register your business in New Jersey. Additionally, we’ll provide valuable tips and resources to simplify the process.

Whether you’re establishing a new enterprise or formalizing an existing one, this guide will walk you through seven straightforward steps. Recognizing the potential challenges, we’ve also compiled a list of outstanding business registration services, including ZenBusiness, to streamline and expedite the process. Get ready to successfully register your business in New Jersey!

Get Started With ZenBusiness

How to Register Your Business in New Jersey in 7 Simple Steps

Registering a business in New Jersey is straightforward when you know what to do. Follow these 7 steps to get your New Jersey-based business up and running as quickly as possible.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Selecting the most suitable business structure for your venture in New Jersey depends on the nature of your business and your expansion goals. In New Jersey, various options exist for both incorporated and unincorporated businesses. Let’s delve into each of these options and explore their functionalities.

Please note that if you choose a structure that requires incorporation, you will need to register your business with the New Jersey Secretary of State.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship represents the simplest business structure in New Jersey, where the owner and the business are legally considered one entity. Consequently, the owner assumes personal liability for the business’s debts and obligations. Establishing a sole proprietorship is a straightforward process with minimal legal and administrative requirements. Although registration with the state isn’t mandatory for a sole proprietorship in New Jersey, you may need to obtain local permits or licenses.

General Partnership

A general partnership entails a business owned by two or more individuals who share in both profits and losses. Each partner bears personal liability for the business’s debts and legal obligations. In New Jersey, you’re not obligated to register a general partnership with the state. However, you may need to file a “New Jersey Assumed Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where your business is located.

Limited Partnership (LP)

In New Jersey, a limited partnership consists of one or more general partners responsible for managing the business and having unlimited personal liability, along with one or more limited partners who contribute capital but have limited liability. To establish an LP in New Jersey, you must file a “Certificate of Formation” with the New Jersey Secretary of State.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

An LLC provides a flexible business structure that combines liability protection similar to a corporation with the tax benefits and simplicity of a partnership. To form an LLC in New Jersey, you need to file a “Certificate of Formation Limited Liability Company” with the New Jersey Secretary of State and create an Operating Agreement to outline the company’s management and ownership structure.

Corporation

A corporation is a distinct legal entity from its shareholders, offering limited liability protection. In New Jersey, two types of corporations exist:

  • C-corporations
  • S-corporations

To establish a corporation in New Jersey, you must file a “Certificate of Formation For-Profit Corporation” or a “Certificate of Formation Nonprofit Corporation” with the New Jersey Secretary of State, depending on your business type. Corporations involve additional formalities, such as creating bylaws, issuing stock, and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

Choose the business structure in New Jersey that aligns best with your requirements in terms of liability protection, taxation, and management demands. If necessary, consult legal or business professionals for guidance.

Visit ZenBusiness Now

Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name

In New Jersey, naming your business requires careful consideration and adherence to specific regulations to ensure professionalism, uniqueness, and legal compliance. You have several options for naming your business, including registering a legal entity name, securing a trademark, or operating under a distinct name while maintaining a legal name. 

It’s important to note that naming rules and regulations vary from state to state, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements specific to New Jersey.

Similar to the process of incorporating your business, the choice of naming your business in New Jersey will depend on the specific needs and circumstances of your entity.

To protect your business name and prevent others from using it, you may consider pursuing all three routes. However, choosing one of the available options is also a viable approach. While not mandatory, it’s generally advisable to maintain consistency across all registration methods by utilizing the same business name.

Let us explore each of the naming options available in New Jersey in further detail:

In New Jersey, businesses are required to register a legal entity name, which serves as the official identifier for the company as recognized by the state. The legal entity name must be unique, ensuring that your business name remains distinct and minimizing the possibility of another entity having the same name.

New Jersey’s naming laws encompass guidelines regarding company suffixes (e.g., LLC, LP, or Corp) and necessitate that the name accurately reflects the type of business being registered. You can verify the availability of a name by consulting the database of the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.

Trademark

In New Jersey, a trademark provides legal protection for a business name or logo at a national level. To safeguard your name or logo, it’s crucial to conduct a comprehensive trademark search within the USPTO database to ensure it’s not already registered.

Once the trademark is successfully registered, it grants exclusive rights and prevents others from using an identical or similar name or logo for similar goods or services, offering nationwide protection. However, obtaining a trademark does not automatically grant unrestricted usage of the name or logo in all circumstances.

Doing Business As (DBA)

In New Jersey, you also have the option of registering your business under an “official” name and operating under a different name, known as a Doing Business As (DBA) name. To establish a DBA, you need to file a Certificate of Trade Name with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located. While these names are subject to federal trademark laws, there is no requirement for a DBA to be unique at the state level.

By understanding and carefully considering these naming options, you can effectively register your business name in New Jersey, ensuring legal compliance and safeguarding your brand identity.

Start Using ZenBusiness

Step 3: Consider Taxes and Other Costs in New Jersey

New Jersey LLCs are pass-through entities for federal income tax purposes. This means that the income or losses of the LLC are passed through to the individual members, who report them on their personal tax returns. New Jersey does not have a separate state income tax for LLCs.

However, New Jersey LLCs are subject to several other state taxes, including:

  • Sales and use tax: New Jersey has a 6.625% sales and use tax. This tax is imposed on the sale of tangible personal property and certain services. LLCs that sell taxable goods or services in New Jersey are required to collect and remit the sales tax to the state.
  • Withholding tax: New Jersey has a withholding tax on wages paid to employees. The withholding rate is 6.27% for Social Security, 1.45% for Medicare, and 2.8% for state unemployment insurance.
  • Business registration tax: New Jersey LLCs are required to pay a $50 annual business registration tax. This tax is due on the anniversary of the date the LLC was formed.
  • Franchise tax: New Jersey LLCs that are franchises are required to pay a franchise tax. The franchise tax rate is 4.375% of the LLC’s net worth.

In addition to these taxes, New Jersey LLCs may also be subject to local taxes, such as property taxes and municipal income taxes. Please note that it’s important to consult with a tax advisor to determine the specific taxes that your LLC will be subject to.

In New Jersey, business owners can streamline the registration process by leveraging online service providers such as ZenBusiness. ZenBusiness offers an array of services specifically designed to support entrepreneurs in registering their businesses. These services encompass swift filing with the relevant authorities in New Jersey, facilitating the acquisition of an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and expertly creating a comprehensive operating agreement. 

Additionally, ZenBusiness offers ongoing compliance support to ensure businesses adhere to state regulations and maintain their favorable standing.

Step 4: Register and Acquire Licenses and Permits in New Jersey

Here are the steps to apply for licenses and permits for your business in New Jersey:

Tax Registration: If you plan to sell goods in New Jersey, you need to register with the New Jersey Department of Revenue and Economic Development (DORE) to collect sales tax. If you have employees in New Jersey, you must also register for employer withholding tax. You can register online through the DORE’s NJ Business Gateway Services or by filling out Form NJ-REG for both types of tax.

EIN (Employer Identification Number): If your business has employees or is taxed separately from you, you need to obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Even if it’s not mandatory, having an EIN is often beneficial for banking purposes and working with other companies. You can apply for an EIN online without any filing fee.

Regulatory Licenses and Permits: These licenses and permits pertain to various areas such as health and safety, environment, building, and construction, as well as specific industries or services. For state-issued regulatory licenses and permits, you can consult the License & Certification Guide available on the New Jersey Business Portal. It provides links to information about different types of licenses and permits. For local licenses and permits, check the websites of the cities or counties where you’ll conduct business.

Professional and Occupational Licenses: These licenses are required for individuals working in specific fields. You can obtain information about licensing and regulatory agencies for various professions and occupations from either the NJ License & Certification Guide or the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Division of Consumer Affairs website also offers a Licensing Boards and Committees section with relevant information.

Remember to consult the specific guidelines and requirements provided by each licensing or regulatory authority to ensure you complete the application process accurately and meet all necessary obligations.

Get Your Business Licenses with Bizee

Step 5: Open a Bank Account For Your Business in New Jersey

Upon obtaining your Employer Identification Number (EIN), it’s crucial to proceed with the establishment of a business bank account in New Jersey.

The regulatory framework governing LLPs, LLCs, and corporations mandates the opening of a business bank account. However, sole proprietors and unincorporated partnerships are not legally obligated to maintain separate personal and business accounts.

The process of setting up a business account in New Jersey is uncomplicated: visit a local bank and complete the necessary documentation. Before finalizing your selection of a specific banking provider, it’s prudent to compare the rates and benefits offered by different financial institutions.

Even if you operate as a sole proprietor or unincorporated partnership in New Jersey, it’s advisable to maintain a dedicated company bank account to ensure a clear separation between personal and business finances. This proactive measure will help you avoid potential challenges if you choose to incorporate your business in the future.

Get Your Business with ZenBusiness

Step 6: Protect Your Intellectual Property in New Jersey

When establishing a business in New Jersey, it’s crucial to prioritize the protection of your valuable intellectual property (IP).

For instance, most businesses need to safeguard their name and logo against unauthorized replication and usage by other entities. Depending on whether your business involves the sale of goods or the provision of services, you may also want to protect the design of your products or the creative works you generate, such as writings, designs, or music.

Fortunately, New Jersey provides various avenues to achieve this objective, and initiating the necessary applications promptly is advisable to prevent unauthorized exploitation of your IP.

File a Trademark with Bizee

Trademark

In New Jersey, a trademark serves as a recognizable symbol, phrase, word, or design that distinguishes a product or service from similar offerings in the market.

To ensure legal protection, trademarks must be registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The registration process typically takes four to six months to complete. Once registered, the trademark enjoys nationwide safeguarding, enabling legal action against any unauthorized use.

Businesses in New Jersey can protect their trademarks by registering them with the USPTO. This not only preserves their brand and reputation but also provides legal recourse against unauthorized use of the trademark.

In New Jersey, copyright law safeguards original works of authorship, encompassing literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This includes written content, software, web content, films, sound recordings, images, and various forms of creative expression.

Upon creating a new work in New Jersey, copyright protection is automatically granted to the creator. As the owner of exclusive rights to distribute, reproduce, create derivative works, and sell intellectual property, you possess the legal authority to control its usage.

However, registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is advisable for additional legal protection and evidence of ownership. Registering your copyright in New Jersey fortifies your work against infringement and provides a means to enforce your rights in court, if necessary.

Patent

If you invent a novel product or piece of machinery in New Jersey, obtaining a patent is crucial. A patent grants the holder exclusive rights over the item, preventing others from making, selling, or importing the patented item for a specified duration.

The patenting process is intricate and can take up to five years to complete, necessitating early initiation for the protection of unique inventions. Patent applications are submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

By safeguarding your intellectual property in New Jersey, you can protect your brand, products, and creations, ensuring your business maintains a competitive edge and continues to prosper.

File a Trademark with Bizee

Step 7: Set Up Your Payment Infrastructure in New Jersey

To ensure prompt customer service after registering your business in New Jersey, it’s imperative to establish a seamless and hassle-free payment processing system.

There are numerous reputable payment processing services available that offer user-friendly interfaces and easy integration with your website or point-of-sale (POS) system. Well-known options include Square, Stripe, and PayPal, all of which provide flexible solutions and straightforward setup processes that can be tailored to meet your business goals.

These payment processors enable you to accept a diverse range of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, ACH transfers, digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay, and more. By selecting a reliable payment processing service, you can offer your customers the convenience of utilizing their preferred payment methods through a secure platform, ensuring a smooth and satisfactory transaction experience for both parties involved.

Additionally, it’s crucial to establish compliance with New Jersey’s sales tax regulations. This involves obtaining a New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation, granting you the authority to collect sales tax on taxable goods and services.

By establishing a robust payment infrastructure, your New Jersey-based business will be well-prepared to serve customers efficiently and securely, enabling you to generate revenue effectively.

By following these steps, you will be well on your way to establishing a legally compliant business in New Jersey.

Visit ZenBusiness Now

Top 5 Business Registration Services for Entrepreneurs in New Jersey

When it comes to registering a business in New Jersey, entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to a range of professional business registration services. These services offer comprehensive solutions to facilitate the business establishment and ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. Here are some of the top business registration services available for entrepreneurs in New Jersey:

ZenBusiness

Zenbusiness logo

ZenBusiness is an esteemed online business registration service that specializes in business formation, registered agent services, annual report filing, and more. They offer affordable pricing options and comprehensive packages that include personalized support and resources to help businesses maintain compliance and foster growth. With a user-friendly website and a streamlined registration process, ZenBusiness simplifies the business registration process for entrepreneurs in New Jersey.

Try Out ZenBusiness

Swyft Filings

Swyft Filings logo

Swyft Filings is a popular business registration service known for its quick and easy business formation services, including LLC formation, incorporation, and compliance management. They provide personalized support and resources to guide businesses through the registration process while ensuring adherence to state and federal regulations. With a user-friendly website and cost-effective pricing, Swyft Filings makes business registration hassle-free for entrepreneurs in New Jersey.

Start Using Swyft Filings

Tailor Brands

Tailor Brands is an online branding and design service that helps businesses create a professional and cohesive brand identity. They offer a range of branding packages, including logo design, business card design, and social media branding. Tailor Brands also provides a suite of design tools and resources for businesses to create and customize their own branded assets. While not a traditional business registration service, Tailor Brands can assist businesses in establishing a professional brand image to attract customers in New Jersey.

Try Tailor Brands Now

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent is a reputable online LLc registration service specializing in registered agent services, compliance management, and document filing. Known for their exceptional customer service, Northwest Registered Agent offers personalized support to help businesses maintain compliance with state and federal regulations. They provide a range of business formation services for LLCs, corporations, and nonprofits, making them a valuable resource for entrepreneurs in New Jersey.

Get Started With Northwest Registered Agent

Bizee (Previously Incfile)

Bizee is an online business registration service that offers fast and affordable business formation services. Their packages include registered agent services, compliance management, and document filing. With a user-friendly and streamlined platform, bizee simplifies the business registration process, making it easy and hassle-free for entrepreneurs in New Jersey. They also provide ongoing support and resources to help businesses stay compliant and foster growth.

Visit Bizee Now

By researching and comparing these business registration services, entrepreneurs in New Jersey can choose the most suitable service that aligns with their specific needs and streamlines the registration process.

Business Registration Laws in New Jersey

If you plan to register a business in New Jersey, you’ll need to comply with certain registration requirements. Here are some key points regarding business registration laws in New Jersey:

  • Business Structure: Determine the legal structure for your business, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or Limited Liability Company (LLC). Each structure has its own requirements and implications for taxation, liability, and governance.
  • Business Name: Choose a unique business name that complies with New Jersey’s naming requirements. Make sure the name isn’t already in use by another business in the state.
  • Business Entity Formation: Register your business entity with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. The specific registration process will depend on the structure of your business. 
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): Obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if your business will have employees or if it operates as a corporation or partnership. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website.
  • Taxation: Register for taxes with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Depending on your business activities, you may need to register for sales tax, employer withholding tax, or other applicable taxes. You can find more information about New Jersey taxes on the state’s official website.
  • Licenses and Permits: Determine if your business requires any specific licenses or permits to operate legally in New Jersey. The requirements vary depending on the nature of your business activities and the industry you’re in. The New Jersey Business Action Center provides resources and information on licenses and permits.
  • Business Insurance: Consider obtaining appropriate business insurance coverage to protect your business and its assets. Consult with an insurance professional to determine the types of insurance your business may require.

It’s advisable to consult with a lawyer or a qualified professional to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Alternative Business Registration Methods in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the traditional method of business registration involves filing the necessary forms and documents with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. However, there are also alternative methods available for business registration in the state. Here are a few alternatives:

Online Business Registration

New Jersey provides an online portal called the New Jersey Business Action Center (BAC) that allows businesses to register online. Through the BAC website, you can complete the registration process, obtain tax identification numbers, and fulfill other registration requirements electronically.

Business One-Stop Shop

The New Jersey Business One-Stop Shop is a service offered by the state that provides a streamlined process for business formation and registration. It allows entrepreneurs to complete multiple business registrations and transactions in one place, including registration for tax purposes, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.

Professional Service Corporation (PSC) Registration 

If you plan to establish a professional service corporation in New Jersey, such as a law firm or medical practice, there is a specific registration process for PSCs. You’ll need to file the necessary forms and documents with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) Formation

If you want to form an LLC in New Jersey, you can file the required formation documents with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. However, you may also choose to use online platforms or legal services that specialize in assisting with LLC formations to simplify the process.

Nonprofit Organization Registration

If you intend to start a nonprofit organization in New Jersey, you’ll need to complete the registration process with the New Jersey Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services and fulfill additional requirements with the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Division of Taxation.

It’s important to note that while alternative methods may simplify the registration process, you should still ensure that you comply with all legal requirements and regulations in New Jersey. Consulting with an attorney or business advisor familiar with New Jersey’s specific laws and regulations is always recommended when starting a business.

Try out ZenBusiness

Benefits of Registering Your Business in New Jersey

Registering your business in New Jersey offers several benefits that can contribute to its success and growth. Here are some key advantages of registering your business in New Jersey:

  • Legal Recognition and Protection: Registering your business in New Jersey establishes it as a legal entity separate from its owners. This provides liability protection, ensuring that the business’s debts and legal obligations are separate from your personal assets.
  • Credibility and Professionalism: Registering your business adds credibility and professionalism to your operations. Clients, customers, and partners often prefer to work with registered businesses as it demonstrates commitment and stability.
  • Access to Funding and Resources: Registered businesses in New Jersey have access to various funding opportunities and resources. They can apply for business loans and grants and participate in government programs that support small businesses. Registering can also help attract investors who may be more willing to fund a legally recognized business.
  • Tax Benefits and Incentives: Registering your business in New Jersey makes it eligible for certain tax benefits and incentives. The state offers tax credits, exemptions, and deductions for businesses in specific industries or areas. These incentives can help reduce your tax burden and increase profitability.
  • Brand Protection: Registering your business name, logo, or trademark in New Jersey provides legal protection for your intellectual property. It helps prevent others from using similar names or trademarks, safeguarding your brand’s reputation and ensuring its exclusivity.
  • Access to Government Contracts: Registered businesses can participate in government contracting opportunities at the state and local levels. New Jersey has procurement programs that allocate a percentage of contracts specifically for small businesses, women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and veteran-owned businesses.
  • Networking and Support: Registering your business in New Jersey allows you to tap into the local business community and gain access to networking opportunities and business support organizations. These resources can provide valuable guidance, mentorship, and collaborations with other entrepreneurs.
  • Compliance With Regulations: By registering your business, you ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. New Jersey has specific regulations and requirements for businesses, and registering helps you stay in good standing and avoid potential penalties or legal issues.

It’s important to consult with a professional, such as an attorney or accountant, to fully understand the specific benefits and requirements related to your business type and industry in New Jersey.

Is Business Registration Required in New Jersey? Find Out Here

Certainly, businesses operating in New Jersey are generally required to register with the state. The registration requirements may vary depending on the type of business entity, the nature of the enterprise, and other pertinent factors. Typical registration procedures include obtaining a New Jersey Sales and Use Tax Permit, registering a New Jersey Limited Liability Company (LLC) or Corporation, and obtaining professional Business licenses or permits for specific industries.

Conducting thorough research to understand the specific requirements for your business and adhering to all registration obligations diligently is crucial to avoid potential legal and financial consequences.

How to Register Your Business in New Jersey – Frequently Asked Questions

What Do I Need to Register a Business in New Jersey?

When undertaking business registration in New Jersey, it’s crucial to select an appropriate business name and decide on the appropriate legal structure for your venture. Following this, you will be required to submit the necessary documentation to the New Jersey Secretary of State. Typically, this involves filing a Certificate of Formation, designating a registered agent, and fulfilling any applicable licensing or permitting requirements.

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Company in New Jersey?

The cost of company registration in New Jersey is determined by the legal structure and type of filing involved. For a New Jersey LLC, the filing fee for a Certificate of Formation is $125. Depending on your business activities, there might be additional fees associated with specific filings and permits that are requisite.

Can a Foreigner Start a Business in New Jersey?

Foreign nationals are permitted to commence business operations in New Jersey, provided they satisfy the requisite legal prerequisites. This entails obtaining the necessary visas or work permits and adhering to the mandatory state and federal registration procedures.

Do I Need to Register My Online Business in New Jersey?

When engaging in online business activities in New Jersey, it’s important to consider the registration requirements based on the nature and structure of your business. While sole proprietorships and partnerships may not be obligated to register, corporations and Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) typically need to complete the registration process. 

Furthermore, it’s crucial to determine whether any specific permits or licenses are required, such as a New Jersey Division of Taxation sales tax permit. Seeking guidance from a qualified attorney or accountant is highly recommended to ensure compliance with the state’s complex business regulations.

Visit ZenBusiness Now 

Bottom Line on How to Register Your Business in New Jersey

Registering your business in New Jersey is a necessary undertaking to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations. While the process may seem daunting, establishing a strong foundation for your enterprise involves following the prescribed steps and fulfilling the requisite criteria.

Prudent consideration should be given to selecting a business name and legal structure that satisfies the requirements set forth by the New Jersey Secretary of State. Additionally, it’s crucial to complete the necessary paperwork and obtain any essential licenses and permits for your industry and location. Simplifying this process and guaranteeing compliance with all requirements can be facilitated by utilizing a business registration service like ZenBusiness.

Allocating time to appropriately register your business in New Jersey will help mitigate potential legal and financial complications in the future, positioning your business for success.

Use ZenBusiness To Start a Business

Read about how to register a business in any US state:

About the author

Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. Sterling guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.