10 Things You May Not Know (But Should) Before Starting a New Jersey Business

With the ninth largest economy in the United States and its proximity to major metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia and New York, New Jersey is an attractive place to start a new business. But the state has many rules for doing business. So if you’re thinking of starting a business in the Garden State (or already have one), here are 10 things you need to know.

The minimum wage in New Jersey will rise from $13 an hour to $14.13 an hour for most workers starting in January. The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour. New Jersey workers are eligible for the higher minimum wage.

Employers in New Jersey, generally with more than 50 employees, are required by the state to publish certain publications from the state Department of Labor and Human Resources regarding employment insurance, temporary disability benefits and other workers’ rights. But if you are in Trenton, Newark, New Brunswick and certain other cities, local requirements for paid sick leave and time off also require you to post additional notices.

New Jersey is considered one of the “most licensed” states in the country, requiring licensing for professionals working in fields such as architects, undertakers, nutritionists, hairdressers, court clerks, and art therapists. If you are a freelancer or freelancer and want to provide services in the state, you may need a license.

In 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy introduced a bill that would require employers to conduct harassment training for employees and managers, similar to what is required in California and New York. The bill is still in committee but has a good chance of being passed in 2023.

If your New Jersey-based company has more than 15 employees (anywhere in the country) and you are interested in a potential employee, state law does not allow you to require that candidate to disclose prior criminal information — and you may not search for this information online – until you have conducted an initial interview. And no matter the size of your company, don’t ask a potential employee for salary or performance history.

To track workers who may no longer be eligible for unemployment or benefit payments, certain government agencies require employers to report all hired and rehired workers (including those who return to work after 60 days because they are fired). , furloughed or unpaid leave received or terminated) within 20 days of their appointment to the state.

This includes not only full-time employees, but also part-time and casual workers. Recalled employees are anyone who is on the payroll during a service break or pay gap and then returns to work, such as: B. Teachers and seasonal workers.

Businesses with more than 20 employees in New Jersey are now required to help their employees with commuting expenses, including subway, train, bus, or ferry fares, parking, or even an Uber, by giving them the option to pay money in advance Saving taxes that can be used for commuting. Aside from setting this up in their payroll program, employers shouldn’t incur any additional costs. However, the federal government grants a pre-tax commuter benefit of $280 a month, so that could be a big benefit for workers.

New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protect Act — also known as the Whistleblower Act — prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report suspected misconduct by an employer or who refuse to participate in what they believe to be an illegal activity.

Although currently under review by the US Department of Labor, New Jersey’s independent contractor regulations have for years followed the “ABC test” of determining worker classification. According to this state law, companies must prove that:

  • A: The contractor was and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of the work carried out.

  • B: The work is either performed outside the ordinary course of business for which this service is provided, or the work is performed off-site at any place of business of the company for which this service is provided.

  • C: The contractor usually exercises an independently established trade, profession, liberal profession or business.

If any of these tests fail, the contractor may need to be classified as an employee.

If you are starting a business in New Jersey, or even need help growing your business, I can recommend two great resources. The first is the Small Business Development Center, which is part of the US Small Business Administration and has offices across the state. The other resource is the New Jersey Business Action Center.

Both nonprofits exist to help business owners navigate the state’s specific regulations, offering training on business plans, tax filing, and collaborations with other organizations and government agencies.

Gene Marks is a Chartered Accountant and owner of Marks Group, a technology and financial management consultancy based in Bala Cynwyd.


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