How To Start & Grow Your Business

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How to Start a Business in New Jersey

Are you planning on starting a new business in the state of New Jersey, but having some trouble getting started? Are the endless websites and paper trails making you feel overwhelmed? Look no further.

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New Jersey recently unveiled a $50 million fund geared at helping entrepreneurs. Running a small business in the most densely populated state in the nation surely brings some challenges in the form of high taxes and high demand for property. On the plus side, however, despite a high cost of living, New Jersey offers entrepreneurs a diverse marketplace, and business owners reap the benefits of the close proximity to New York City, and the residual wealth and affluence that enters the state as a result. “The Garden State” is the only state in America where all 21 counties are classified as metropolitan areas, so you can be sure New Jerseyans get their fair share of the arts, history, food, music, and fun!

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General resources for starting a business in New Jersey

  • Phone Numbers

    Voice: 603-271-3246 (Dept. of State)
  • New Jersey Business Incubators http://www.njbin.org

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Fun facts about starting a business in New Jersey

Famous business founded in New Jersey Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond is a chain of domestic merchandise retail stores formed in 1971 in Springfield, New Jersey. The company is included in the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ-100 Index. Bed Bath & Beyond is also counted among the Fortune 500 and the Forbes Global 2000 as well. They sell goods primarily for the bedroom and bathroom, as well as kitchen and dining room.

Famous entrepreneur born in New Jersey Hezekiah Griggs

Hezekiah Griggs (born 1988) is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor. He is the founder and managing partner of H360Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, making him the youngest African-American venture capitalist. In 2011, the White House recognized Griggs for his philanthropy and partnerships with urban communities. Griggs is also a college lecturer and motivational speaker. He was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He started his first business at the age of seven.

“Life is a beautiful struggle.”

Hezekiah Griggs
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Which type of legal structure is best for my business in New Jersey?

We strongly recommend you incorporate, but you must consider the tax, legal, and liability implications carefully before deciding on the best structure.

Here are 5 helpful steps to determine what is the best legal structure for your business:

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the different types of business legal structures and how to start them in the state of New Jersey.
LLC (Limited Liability Company)
A limited liability company (LLC) is a unique business entity that combines the taxation benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability status of corporations. The owners of an LLC are referred to as “members,” and can range from one to several.

Steps to starting an LLC in New Jersey:

  • Step 1 — Name your LLC.
  • Step 2 — Complete the Public Records Filing.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 — Prepare an Operating Agreement.
  • Step 5 — Comply with any publication requirements.
  • Step 6 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 7 — File your Annual Reports.
  • Step 8 — Register foreign LLCs doing business in New Jersey.

For help forming your LLC in New Jersey we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service).

Or, you can visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Other New Jersey resources for LLCs:

Secretary of State Business Name Database: Search for the availability of your LLC name here.
Register here to file your “Application for Reservation of Name.”
File your “Public Records Filing for New Business Entity” here.
File your “Annual Report” here.

Business Licenses and Permits: A list of licenses and permits that may be required of your business.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC here. If your LLC has more than one member, you must get an EIN, even if you have no employees.

New Jersey Department of Revenue: You’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements, regardless of whether you will be collecting sales tax or have employees.

Sole Proprietorship
Popular among individual self contractors or business owners, a sole proprietorship is a business entity that is owned and run by one person, and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner is in direct control of all elements and is legally accountable for all profits, debts, losses, and liabilities.

Steps to starting Sole Proprietorship in New Jersey:

  • Step 1 — Choose a business name.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name with the county clerk’s office.
  • Step 3 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 4 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your sole proprietorship in New Jersey we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Alternatively, visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Other New Jersey resources for Sole Proprietorship:

Business Entity Name Search: Search for the availability of your business name here. A sole proprietor may use his or her given name, or an assumed business name.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

Business Licenses and Permits: A list of licenses and permits that may be required of your business.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your sole proprietorship here. If you hire employees, you will need an EIN.

New Jersey Department of Revenue: You’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements, regardless of whether you will be collecting sales tax or have employees.

Partnership
In a partnership, two or more people share ownership. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, including money, property, labor, or skill. In return, each partner shares in the profits and losses of the business. There doesn’t have to be a written agreement to form the partnership.

Steps to starting Partnership in New Jersey:

  • Step 1 — Choose a business name for your partnership.
  • Step 2 — File an assumed name.
  • Step 3 — Create a partnership agreement.
  • Step 4 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 5 — Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your partnership in New Jersey we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Or, visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Other New Jersey resources for Partnership:

Business Entity Name Search: Search for the availability of your business name here. A partnership may use the surnames of the individual partners, or a fictitious business name.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your partnership here. Partnerships must have an EIN, whether you have employees or not.

Business Licenses and Permits: A list of licenses and permits that may be required of your business.

New Jersey Department of Revenue: You’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements, regardless of whether you will be collecting sales tax or have employees.

S Corporation
An S corporation (sometimes referred to as an S Corp), is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. A business electing to incorporate with S corporation status has its business income taxed only once, similar to how sole proprietorships and partnerships are taxed. By electing to become an S corporation, a small business can gain the legal advantages available to businesses with a corporate structure, as well as the tax advantages available to partnership firms.

Steps to starting S Corporation in New Jersey:

  • Step 1 — Choose a corporate name.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Certificate of Formation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with New Jersey Annual Report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in New Jersey.

For help forming your S corporation in New Jersey we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service).

Or, you can visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Other New Jersey resources for S Corporation:

Business Entity Name Search: Search for the availability of your corporate name here.
Register here to file your “Application for Reservation of Name.”
File your “Certificate of Formation” here.
File your “Annual Report” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation here.

IRS S corporations: Specific instructions for your tax requirements as an S corp.

Business Licenses and Permits: A list of licenses and permits that may be required of your corporation.

New Jersey Department of Revenue: You’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements.

C Corporation
A C corporation (or C corp for short), under United States federal income tax law, refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. However, C corporations have greater tax planning flexibility and can shield shareholders from direct tax liability.

Steps to starting C Corporation in New Jersey:

  • Step 1 — Name your corporation.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Certificate of Formation.
  • Step 3 — Find a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with New Jersey Annual Report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in New Jersey.

For help forming your C corporation in New Jersey we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).

Alternatively visit the New Jersey Department of State website.

Other New Jersey resources for C Corporation:

Business Entity Name Search: Search for the availability of your corporate name here.
Register here to file your “Application for Reservation of Name.”
File your “Certificate of Formation” here.
File your “Annual Report” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business here.

Business Licenses and Permits: A list of licenses and permits that may be required of your business.

New Jersey Department of Revenue: You’ll need to register here to fulfill business tax requirements.

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Why choose New Jersey for my business?

  • 1

    Nerdwallet’s “Best Places to Start a Business in New Jersey” (2015)
    “The state has a vibrant small-business scene, highlighted by the investment from a group that includes Amazon.com. The accelerator fund will be based in Newark, at the headquarters of successful audiobook company Audible.”

  • 2

    New Jersey Financing and Incentives
    Comprehensive list of business financing programs and incentives available to new businesses in the state.

  • 3

    Newark Venture Partners
    “Newark Venture Partners is New Jersey’s first elite 21st-century venture organization, providing capital, company-building services and residence to innovative tech startups in Newark. Newark Venture Partners exists in principal part to establish Newark’s comeback as a technology and innovation hub, and to affirm Newark and New Jersey as a flourishing home to early-stage growth companies that will catalyze economic development and create access to new jobs for all citizens.”

  • 4

    New Jersey Small Business Development Center
    “The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers (NJSBDC) is the recognized leader in delivering management consulting and training programs to nascent entrepreneurs, start-ups and existing small businesses as well as specialized and more advanced services to high-impact, growth-oriented businesses.”

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