Opening a Business in Westfield, New Jersey

 

A public service of the Downtown Westfield Corporation

 

 

Getting Started…

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.

 

1  Zoning

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.

 

5  Parking

Westfield, NJ is currently planning to expand its parking capacity.  Contact Parking Services for available parking for customers and employees.

 

 

6  Historic Preservation Commission & Architectural Review Board

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.

 

 

 

Thinking of opening a business in Westfield? 
Contact any of the following entities for more information
and assistance on opening a business in Westfield, NJ.

Contact Information

 

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