This brochure is intended to assist potential business owners who are looking to establish a business in Westfield, NJ.
It is designed to direct business owners through the necessary steps needed to open a business but is not intended to be a substitute for local zoning and building code information.
Important Contact Information is located below.
New business ambassadors, as volunteers through the Downtown Westfield Corporation are available to direct you in the process.
All properties in Westfield are “zoned”. Zoning determines whether the proposed use at a specific location is permitted. The very first step when opening a business should be to check with the Zoning Official to ensure that the zoning is commensurate with the proposed use. If the zoning is not appropriate, the property may require prior approval by either the Planning Board and/or Board of Adjustment. These boards meet on the first and second Monday of each month, respectively. (Zoning Official: 908-789-4100 ext. 609)
2 Codes, Inspections and Licenses
No specific licenses are required for permitted uses, except as noted below.
Any proposed restaurant must submit an application for a food service license to the Board of Health. Hair or nail salons must also register with the Board of Health.
Sidewalk cafe and liquor licenses are available on a limited basis by law. Contact the Town Clerk for more information.
All permanent exterior signs, except street number and public convenience signs, require a permit from the Building Department before the sign is erected. Allow approximately 4 weeks for review by the Architectural Review Board. Sign Permit Applications may be obtained by contacting the Building Department, which also can provide guidance on sign usage by zone.
To determine if a permit is necessary when installing an awning, contact the Building Department.
Façade improvements, including signage and awnings may be eligible to participate in the Façade Renovation Incentive Grant program offered by the Downtown Westfield Corporation — if applied for prior to the design selected (see # 7).
Fire Inspections may be scheduled by contacting the Fire Department.
3 Renovation/Building Permits
Depending upon the type of work being conducted on a property, a construction permit may be required. A construction permit may be obtained by contacting the Building Department.
Information needed to obtain a construction permit includes but is not limited to:
· Applicable permit fees;
· Permit application folder and construction permit form;
· Appropriate sub-code form(s);
· Three (3) sets of signed architectural plans;
· Estimated construction cost form for all building and building alterations;
· Vendor information for equipment and appliances, etc.
When in doubt, call the Building Department.
4 Certificate of Occupancy
When a construction permit is required, a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Building Department is needed prior to the premises being occupied. There are two types of certificates that are issued to businesses by the Building Department:
1) A certificate of occupancy serves notice that the building or structure has been constructed and approved according to the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act and is approved for occupancy.
2) A certificate of continued occupancy is a document that serves notice that there are no imminent hazards and is approved for continued occupancy.
Please note that the Building Department has ten (10) days to issue the appropriate certificate. All applicants are encouraged to plan ahead.
Westfield, NJ is currently planning to expand its parking capacity. Contact Parking Services for available parking for customers and employees.
Westfield, NJ, settled in 1720, has an active Historic Preservation Commission and Architectural Review Board which advises property owners and tenants on design guidelines and historic preservation issues.
7 Downtown Westfield Corporation (DWC)
The DWC is the management entity of the Special Improvement District (SID) in Downtown Westfield, NJ.
All properties, businesses, and organizations in the SID are eligible to receive the services of the DWC at no cost. The focus of the DWC is to make downtown Westfield, NJ a cleaner, safer, and more attractive shopping environment.
The DWC promotes business advertising as well as a new business kit. Additionally, the DWC maintains and promotes a free website for participating Westfield, NJ businesses and organizations at: www.westfieldtoday.com.
The DWC can provide business consulting services through its affiliation with New Jersey Main Street. A limited grant program for facade improvements to promote the historic preservation of the downtown is administered by the DWC. Small business services and information on low interest loans are also available through the DWC.
opening a business in Westfield?
Contact any of the following entities for more information
and assistance on opening a business in Westfield, NJ.
Downtown Westfield Corporation (908) 789-9444
Board of Health (908) 789-4074
Building Department (908) 789-4125
Chief of Police (908) 789-4015
Fire Chief (908) 789-4133
Parking Services (908) 789-4044
Town Administrator (908) 789-4040
Tax Assessor (908) 789-4057
Town Clerk (908) 789-4032
Town Engineer (908) 789-4100
Zoning Official (908) 789-4100
Historic Preservation Commission (908) 789-4040
Main Street New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs (609) 633-9769
Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) (973) 645-3982
Union County Economic Development Corporation (908) 527-1166
Union County Division of Policy & Planning (908) 527-4086
U.S. Small Business Admin (SBA) (973) 645-2434
Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (908) 233-3021
Visit Westfield’s websites at: www.westfieldtoday.com & westfieldnj.net