Opening a New Business in any town can be a stressful and confusing process. Here in Hackettstown, we’d like to make opening your new venture a smooth process so that you can open your doors and be successful as easily as possible. There are many different steps to opening your business and many of them depend on the type and location of your business!

The purpose of this guide is to assist you in the preliminary steps of obtaining the approvals and permits necessary for your business. You will also find a helpful contact list for all of the people and boards that you will need to be in contact with. We are also prepared to recommend a number of professionals upon request to assist you in this process. We can recommend architects, engineers, attorneys, and sign and canopy design professionals according to your individual needs.

To get started, please review the ‘How To’ document. It describes the many different zones and acceptable use of properties in those zones. Click Here for the Zoning ‘How To’ Document.

Steps For Opening A Business

The first thing you should do is meet with the Hackettstown Zoning Office. They will want to know about the type of business of your new endeavor. The location of the commercial property you are considering to be sure zoning will allow that type of business at that location. They will also give you the necessary application forms. When opening a business in Hackettstown ALL businesses MUST complete the following forms:

For Zoning Questions Contact the zoning officer at (908) 852-3702 or email at

Office hours are Tuesday and Thursday’s – 9:00AM – 3:00PM

Return the application with a cover letter describing your business, a floor plan, and the appropriate fee. (noted on the zoning application)

You should next visit the Clerk for the Planning and Zoning Boards, who will help you with the forms you need to complete. Make sure you have all the correct information when you return your application or the process will be delayed. You must file your information no less than 28 days in advance of a Board meeting, or it will not be heard. If applicable, include a Historic Preservation Commission Certificate of Appropriateness.

If opening a Business in Hackettstown’s designated Historic District, any physical changes including signage must be approved by the Historic Preservation Commission. Present your plans for signage, exterior renovations, alterations, or additions. (including painting, siding and roofing) Historic Preservation.

Meet with the Hackettstown Construction Office. They will inform you of what will be required as far as reviews, permits, and approvals. (Most applications for commercial development, new business, or change of use will need to be accompanied by architectural plans.)

Meet with an architect. You will be instructed as to changes that must be made and those that cannot be made. The only time you would not have to see an architect is if you are not making any changes to the property. Any permits for renovations can be obtained from the Construction Official.

Finally, you must meet with a Fire Official and representatives from the Hackettstown Board of Health and, if you will be serving food in your new establishment, the Warren County Health Department.


When Opening a Business, a new sign will very likely be necessary. For both New and Existing businesses in Hackettstown, all sign changes must meet approval PRIOR to installation.

Restaurants/Food Establishments

For any restaurant or food handling businesses, there is a Food Permit with the Town of Hackettstown as well as the Warren County Health Department. It would be in your best interests to contact the Health Department at (908) 475-7960 for details on the requirements for permits and inspections.

The Hackettstown BID

Stop in the office and let us know what you’re planning!  We can help in many ways including helping you with Grand Openings and other celebrations.  We also maintain a web page on our site for businesses.  Email your business information to so that we can set up your web page on our site and help spread the word about your business.  We are here to help you succeed. We also maintain a Facebook Page to help engage the community and make them aware of what you’re doing!

Internet & Social Media

A high percentage of Hackettstown residents refer to the internet and social media to get their information on things going on around town. We highly recommend that you start a listing on Facebook and Instagram as early as possible to make the community aware of your presence. It is also important to make use of it, keep the information current and post updates at least weekly to keep your customers informed of anything going on in your business. Let us know as soon as your pages become available so that we can ‘like’ it and share your posts with our audience. Other than a few minutes of your time these are FREE ways to keep your customers and the community thinking about you!

Contact Information

Hackettstown BID – Laurie Rapisardi, Jessica Taenzer
(908) 850-5004 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Zoning Official – David Diehl
(908) 852-3702 / Tues & Thurs 9AM – 3PM

Board Clerk / Land use – Shannon Drylie
(908) 850-0660 / Mon, Wed, Thurs 9AM – 12PM

Construction Official – Richard O’Connor
(908) 850-0660 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Town Engineer – Paul Sterbenz
(908) 238-0900 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Town Administrator – Bill Kuster
(908) 852-3130 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Fire Official
(973) 691-0900

Board of Health – Mary Painter
(908) 852-3130 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Town Assessor – Jason Cohen
(908) 852-6767 / Wed & Fri 12:30PM – 5:30PM

Tax Collector – Pat Noll
(908) 852-3130 / Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM

Warren County Health Dept. – Carol Schwar
(908) 475-7960 /Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM