When you start a business, you need to find out whether you need to apply for different permits or licenses. You need to check with your town and the state before you start operations to learn what permits and/or licenses are required. Without getting the required licenses and/or permits, you are operating your business illegally. Many occupations require a New Jersey license. For example, if you want to be a firefighter, electrician, mortgage broker, or a physician assistant, you must comply with state requirements as to education, qualifications, examinations, and pay a fee before you will be approved for a license to practice your occupation and operate your business. If you are running a restaurant and want to serve alcohol, you need a license to do that. Many towns will also require a business permit or license. This gives you the right to operate a business in your town. When you file your application, your town zoning or planning board will check to ensure that your business is operating in an area that is zoned for business and has enough parking (if that is a requirement of your town). If you are operating out of your home, you must check to make sure that your town permits home-based businesses. If you are operating your business without the necessary permits or licenses, you are an illegal business and subject to fines and penalties and you could be put out of business. Get your licenses and permits before you open your doors. Stay legal.