If you are buying or starting a business in New Jersey, there are some things that you should be aware of that may not be applicable in other states or other regions of the country. And if you are selling a business, there are other issues that you need to acquaint yourself with.

  1. First, New Jersey landlords are notoriously greedy; most of them think that they are doing you a favor by renting to you, when you are of course paying them. So if you are a buyer, always insist that the contract of purchase and sale be contingent upon getting a lease that is acceptable. I had one deal die because the landlord wanted to raise the rent fifty percent per year for the buyer of the business. It destroyed the profitability of the business and of course the deal.
  2. Second, the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection has a reputation for being one of the toughest in the country.  If you are buying or starting a business in N.J. where environmental issues could be an issue, be sure to retain an attorney who is expert in this area of the law IN NEW JERSEY.
  3. Third, even though you will have an outside accountant, you yourself should become familiar with the basics of N.J. tax law, especially as it relates to what types of returns your business needs to file, and the filing dates.  State tax forms that you should become familiar with are: CBT – 100 or CBT – 100S, if you are a corporation, NJ 1065 if you are a partnership, NJ 927 and WR-30 if you have payroll, and ST 50 if sales taxes apply to your business.  There are many other taxes and forms that relate to specific types of businesses.
  4. Fourth, if you are buying a business in N.J., be aware of the bulk sales law and the potential tax consequences.  I have addressed this issue in a previous blog.
  5. Fifth, if you are woman or a minority, the State of N.J. has a number of set aside programs whereby preferential treatment as regards contract letting is given to businesses that are more than 50% owned by a woman or minority.  You can obtain information about these programs by googling the topic.
  6. Sixth, you should visit the website www. nj.gov/njbusiness/starting.  It contains a wealth of information concerning topics that are of concern to the novice N.J. business owner.