If you're going to start a small business in New Jersey, you might be planning to keep things simple by setting it up as a sole proprietorship or partnership. However, while the paperwork associated with both of these business forms is minimal, your personal assets are exposed in the event of loss or lawsuit. The reason so many small businesses register as limited liability companies, or LLCs, is that this structure protects their personal assets without putting them through the voluminous paperwork necessary to form a corporation.
Select a name for your business. The name must not be identical to, or deceptively similar to a name already in use by another entity doing business in New Jersey. The business name must also contain "Limited Liability Company," "LLC" or "L.L.C."
Check to see if your business name is available on the New Jersey Division of Revenue website. Enter the intended business name without the Limited Liability Company, LLC or L.L.C. designator in the division's search tool. The search tool will immediately let you know if the business name is available.
Choose a registered agent located in New Jersey to accept service of process if a person or entity files a lawsuit against your business. If you have a New Jersey address, you may act as your business' registered agent.
Complete the Certificate of Formation form on the New Jersey Division of Revenue website. Print and mail the form to the address listed on the website or submit itonline.
Include the filing fee with your Certificate of Formation filing. If filing by mail, include a check or money order; if filing online, you may pay the filing fee with a credit or debit card. As of the summer of 2014, the filing fee was $125.
Complete the Business Registration Application, which is available on the New Jersey Division of Revenue website. Submit the application to the division at the address listed on the application. Upon registration, the division will send you the necessary forms, instructions, returns and other materials for conducting business in New Jersey. No fee is associated with filing this form.
Check with your city and county to determine if doing business requires any additional licenses or permits. If you are not sure where to start, contact your city's small business or economic development office.