How to Start an Insurance Agency in New Jersey

The insurance industry is a challenging but rewarding career. Successful insurance agents have unlimited potential income, including significant residual income from premiums from policies sold in prior years that are still in force. As an agency manager, you will be responsible for the performance of other agents. You may also choose to continue your own sales practice yourself, earning commissions on your own production, or you may choose to concentrate on recruiting and developing other agents. You will receive a portion of commissions from their production.

Obtain an employer tax identification number. This is the number the Internal Revenue Service uses to track your corporate income tax payments and your contributions and payroll deductions for Social Security, Medicare and unemployment tax. You can obtain one by calling the IRS at (800) 829-4933. You can also apply for an employer tax ID number online.

Form a corporation. You can form a corporation by filing articles of incorporation with the office of the Secretary of State of New Jersey.

Obtain a business entity license from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. You must maintain an insurance agency license in addition to any licenses you hold as an insurance agent. You can obtain an agency license through the New Jersey Department of Banking and Finance.

Become contracted with selected insurance carriers. As an agency, you will not issue the insurance directly, but act as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance carrier. To present, recommend and sell an insurance policy in the State of New Jersey, your agency must hold a valid producer contract with that company, and your agency must be appointed with that company to sell in New Jersey. Contact the individual insurance carriers you would like to represent to obtain agency contracts with them.

Open an office. You must have a business address that will be registered with insurance industry regulators. If your agency sells variable products, you must also register with the Securities Exchange Commission. You must have a secure facility to store your client files.

File a Form NG REG with the New Jersey Division of Taxation. You must file this document at least 15 days before opening for business, unless you are acquiring an existing company. This document registers your business with New Jersey revenue collection authorities.