The steps required to register your business may vary depending on business structure and industry. Most businesses can expect to:
- Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
- Incorporate the Business.
- Obtain a Business Registration Certificate (BRC)
- Develop a Fictitious Business Name.
Learn more about these steps below.
Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
If you plan on having employees, be sure to register with the IRS to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) — think of it as a social security number for your business that is used to pay business and payroll taxes, as well as meet other business needs such as applying for a bank account. Even if you don't plan on having employees, consider getting an EIN anyway — it's free and will likely come in handy in the future.
Read our guidance on Employer Identification Numbers.
Incorporate your Business Entity
If you choose to structure your business as a Limited Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company, you will need to incorporate your business entity with the New Jersey Treasury Department's Division of Revenue. Visit their website to make sure your business name is available and get tips on filing.
Consult our guidance on how to Choose a Business Structure first.
Obtain a Business Registration Certificate (BRC)
All companies doing business within the State of New Jersey must obtain a Business Registration Certificate (BRC) from the New Jersey Treasury Department. It's easy to do online, or you may apply on paper via a NJ-REG form.
If you have or plan on having employees, the application will include registering your business for employer purposes. Registering as an employer will make you subject to state payroll taxes, including the Unemployment Insurance Tax, State Disability Insurance, and other withholdings.
Read our Tips Before Registering Your Business.
Develop a Fictitious Business Name
If you've chosen to conduct business using a name that is different from the legal name of your Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), or other legal entity, (for instance, if your legal name is Jane Doe Inc., but you would like to call your business “Jane’s Grocery”), then you will need to register a fictitious business name. For legal entities this is called an “Alternate Name” and can be registered at the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
A business owner should conduct due diligence to determine if any other business is conducting business using their proposed alternate name and that the alternate name is not violating another’s trademark. The alternate name filing is valid for 5 years and must be renewed to continue to be authorized for use.
Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships can also record a fictitious name, called a “trade name.” You will register your trade name at the County Clerk's Office in every County where you plan on conducting business.
"Alternate Names" and "Trade Names", are often referred to as 'Doing Business As' (DBA). DBA is also the official term used when a Foreign Entity registers with the state and their business name is already taken.