In New Jersey, you can start a catering business in your home or from a leased kitchen. It costs less to start the business from your home than to pay for a lease. New Jersey state requires several documentations, such as permits and a food license, in order to start a catering business no matter where you base your business from. And you must follow state laws and food safety regulations in order to open the business.

Things You Will Need
  • A Business name

  • SS-4 Form

  • A Federal Employer Identification Number

  • Retail food lilcense

  • Permits

Register your business name with the New Jersey Division of Revenue. They are located in the city of Trenton at 33 W. State St. You will receive a certification with your name and the business name on it.

File an SS-4 form with your local IRS office and get a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. There are more than 10 locations in New Jersey, including one at 30 Montgomery St. in Jersey City and one at 165 Passaic Ave. in Fairfield. You can also fill out an SS-4 form online.

Apply for a retail food license. Contact your local Bureau of License & Inspections in New Jersey. There is one located in Camden at 520 Market St., or call 856-757-7131. There is an application fee of $159 for caterers and there are other documents that are required with the application, including two passport photos, a copy of your social security card, a copy of your driver's license, and proof of ownership or leasing of the place you plan to have your catering business.

Apply for permits. New Jersey requires each event that you cater a separate application for a permit. The application will require various personal information, including your name, address and location of the event that you plan to cater. There is a $100 fee for the application.

Read the state of New Jersey's requirements on food safety and regulations through the Department of Health and Senior Services. Stay updated on the latest changes in regulations to be permitted by the health inspector.


Staying updated on the latest food safety regulations in accordance with the state of New Jersey will allow you to keep your catering business open. If an inspector comes by and sees that you haven't followed some of the state's food regulations, you will be closed until the next inspection.