Starter Kit for

Auto Body Repair

If you're thinking about setting up a business as a building contractor, start here for a checklist of items to consider and permits that you may need to obtain to get your business off the ground. Please note that this guide does not substitute for legal or professional advice, and additional permits may be required depending on the circumstances of your business.

Requirements for an Auto Body Business

The New Jersey Auto-Body Repair Facility Act, N.J.S.A. 39:13-1 et seq., requires that no person may operate an auto-body repair facility unless it is so licensed by the Motor Vehicle Commission.

  • To get an auto-body repair license visit the Motor Vehicle Commission site.
  • The commission will issue licenses based on the work to be performed including full service, auto body limited and auto body new dealer sublet. A heavy duty vehicle endorsement is required for all licensed auto body repair facilities repairing vehicles weighing 14,000 pounds (GVWR) or more.  
  • To receive a license, you must be age 18 or older, have the legal capacity to contract and be liable for all debt incurred, exhibit character and responsibility, and have no criminal record.
  • Each application must also be accompanied by proof of a certificate of occupancy, along with written approval by the municipal clerk or zoning officer confirming that the location, establishment and maintenance was approved.
  • A certificate of occupancy is issued by the Municipal Building/Construction Department after the property owner has met all obligations under a Construction Permit, including required inspections according the Uniform Construction Code.  
  • To obtain written approval, read your local zoning ordinance, which can be obtained from your local Municipal Clerk, and contact your Municipal Zoning Office.
  • If there are multiple locations for an auto body repair facility, you will need to submit separate applications for each place of business.

Facilities that have painting booths must also obtain an air quality permit. Visit this link to learn more.

Download Checklist

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

  • Are you planning to operate out of your home? Take into account City zoning requirementsfor working out of your home, as there are regulations around the number of deliveries and clients you may have per day to limit the impact of your business activity on your neighbors. You may also not park commercial vehicles at your home or use mechanized equipment that wouldn't normally be used in a residential setting.

  • Review your lease closely before signing it. Keep in mind that commercial leases are very different from residential leases. You may also consider hiring a lawyer to help you review and negotiate your lease.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.

If you're planning to rent a commercial office space, make sure the property you’re interested in has the right zoning for a restaurant by looking on ZIMAS. Also look to see if there are any overlay zones or other special planning zones – these may suggest additional restrictions above and beyond the zoning requirements.

If you are planning to store or rent out equipment, you may need to find a property located in a manufacturing zone. Visit one of the City’s Development Services Centers or call (213) 482-7077 to connect with city staff who can help you review the zoning and physical requirements of your business.