(TRENTON) – Over 7,000 home-based businesses are started each month in New Jersey. When a new business owner decides to base a new operation out of their home, they are required to appear before their local board of adjustment to seek a variance to operate a business in a residential zone.
To make it easier for residents to launch home-based businesses, the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation (A-485) to classify home-based businesses as an accessory use, meaning business owners would not need to seek a variance. Home-based businesses must meet certain requirements, including that their activity is compatible with the residential use of the property, no employees work for the business outside family members residing in the unit, the volume of guests is not in excess of what is customary in the neighborhood, and there is no outside appearance of the home business, among other requirements.
Sponsors of the measure, Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) and Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) released the following joint statement:
“Thousands of small businesses start at home, where entrepreneurs can have a flexible work schedule and save on initial operating expenses. The COVID-19 pandemic has redefined the value of remote work, and many business owners are choosing to shift operations to home-based work. Others facing unemployment in the wake of the pandemic may be interested in seeking out new business ventures based at home.
“This bill will ease the bureaucratic hurdles aspiring business owners need to jump over when launching their home-based business. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and they will be critical to State’s recovery from this public health crisis.”