The steps required to register your business may vary depending on business structure and industry. Most businesses can expect to:
- Form Your Business
- Develop an Alternate Name (DBA)
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
- Register for New Jersey Tax and Employer Purposes
Learn more about these steps below.
Form Your Business
If you choose to structure your business as a Limited Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company, you will need to form/incorporate your business entity with the New Jersey Treasury Department's Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
Consult our guidance on how to Choose a Business Structure first.
Develop an Alternate Name (DBA)
If you are a Corporation, LLC or other legal entity and you would like to conduct business using a different name, you will need to file an Alternate Name. In other states and on bank documents, this is often referred to as DBA (Doing Business As). Alternate names can be registered at the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services.
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.
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.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS
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.
Register for New Jersey Tax & Employer Purposes
All businesses operating in New Jersey must file form NJ-REG either by applying online, or filing by paper. Doing so ensures that your business is registered under the correct tax identification number and that you will receive the proper returns and notices.
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.
If you plan on collecting Sales Tax, you will need to obtain an authorization to Collect Sales Tax within the registration. A business purchasing items for resale should also obtain a ST-3 Resale Certificate that allows them to purchase items that they will be reselling tax free.
Once you complete the registration you will receive a Business Registration Certificate (BRC). You will need your BRC number when completing your taxes.
Read our Tips Before Registering Your Business.