The steps required to register your business may vary depending on business structure and industry. Most businesses can expect to:
- Search for Available Business Names
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
- Form Your Business
- Register for New Jersey Tax and Employer Purposes
Learn more about these steps below.
Recent Regulations and Resources
Search For An Available Business Name
Your business name is the name you will use to represent your business.
If you are an LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, LP, or LLP you should check if your business name is available with the New Jersey Department of Treasury. If your name is available, you will reserve your name when you submit your business formation documents. You will need your business Certificate of Formation to officially register your business name.
If you are a sole proprietor or a general partnership, and you do not want to use your personal name as your business name, you can register a business name at your local clerk’s office.
Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS
An Employee Identification Number (EIN) is a 9-digit unique identifier for your business, much like a Social Security Number (SSN) is a unique number assigned to an individual. It does not expire and once it has been assigned it’s never issued again.
All businesses should obtain an EIN. You will need an EIN to pay employees, file business tax returns, open a business bank account or obtain a loan. Failure to obtain an EIN may block your business from filing taxes appropriately, which can result in additional fees and penalties.
To obtain an EIN you will need:
- A principal officer for the business (this is the individual responsible for the business)
- The taxpayer identification for the principal officer (SSN, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or EIN)
How to Apply
You may apply for an EIN from the Federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) either online, by fax, or by mail.
- Applying online should take no more than 15 minutes, and you will receive your EIN right away.
- Applying by fax, write your fax number in bold on the top of your application. The IRS will be able to fax your EIN back to typically within 4 days.
- Applying by mail may take 2 to 4 weeks.
Form Your Business
By forming your business with the State you are establishing the legal structure for your business.
Only a LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp, LP, or LLP need to form a business entity with the New Jersey Department of Treasury's Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Your business formation will determine the income tax forms needed to file taxes for your business. Failure to officially form your business will create difficulties in filing taxes, which may result in additional penalties and fees.
Prior to forming your business make sure to have:
- Your business name
- Identified your legal structure
- Obtained your EIN
- A description of your business
- A business address
- A registered agent (A person or company able to receive legal documents on behalf of your business. This can be the business owner or someone else, but they need to have a New Jersey address.)
After you form your business, you will obtain a Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Authority which will display your Entity ID. An Entity ID is a 10-digit number used to identify your corporate business records. Your corporate records are public and kept separate from your tax records, which are confidential.
Register for New Jersey Tax & Employer Purposes
All businesses must register your for state taxes with the New Jersey Department of Taxation’s Division of Revenue & Enterprise Services (DORES) to provide information that will let the state determine the taxes and employer contributions for which you may be responsible. Failure to register your business will result in penalties and fees on taxes owed to the State of New Jersey.
Before you complete this form, make sure you have:
- Your entity ID (the 10-digit number you obtain when you form your business) *General partnerships or sole proprietorships do not need this
- Your NAICS code (this is an 8-digit number used to classify your business industry in the United States)
- Sales tax collection information (this is done through your chosen accounting system, for example, QuickBooks)
- Anticipated first payroll withholding date for employees (if applicable)
- Mailing address and business location(s)
After completing your registration you will receive a NJ Tax ID and a Certificate of Authorization to Collect Sales Tax. The NJ Tax ID is often the same as your EIN with 3 additional numbers added, this 12-digit number is your identifier when you pay state taxes.
The Certificate of Authorization to Collect Sale Tax is only given to you if you are collecting sales tax and needs to be displayed in your place of business. Learn more about what you need to register for taxes.