Municipal Laws to Know

Jersey City Municipal Codes To Know For Businesses on Central Avenue

Municipal laws can vary from one local government to another. New entrepreneurs and seasoned business owners alike can save time, money, and hassles by being familiar with the local laws that regulate businesses.

For its business members, the CASID is providing the links below which will connect you to the sections of the municipal code most relevant to businesses on Central Avenue and throughout Jersey City.

Garbage and Recycling CollectionPeddling, Soliciting, and Canvassing
Signs: Facade and StorefrontMobile Food Vendor Restrictions
Business Curfew on CentralEarned Sick Time Ordinance
Sidewalks (Sales, Cafes, Cleaning, Snow)Ban on Disposable Plastic Bags (New)
Distributing Handbills (flyers, posters, etc)Jersey City Payroll Tax

Quick links directly to Jersey City Municipal Codes

Visit our FAQ page for more information about these topics. For a searchable version of Jersey City’s entire municipal code, please visit

Business Owners: You are encouraged to learn more about these other State and Federal regulations on Commerce:

Property Maintenance 101: Handbook for Business and Property owners

The Jersey City Office of Innovation and the Department of Public Works give you helpful tips and information on maintaining your business property. Be sure to read carefully through this handbook to learn how you can contribute to keeping our main street community clean and beautiful.

Jersey City’s Payroll Tax

On November 20, 2018, the municipal council gave final approval to Ordinance 18-133, creating a payroll tax for Jersey City employers. All employers located within Jersey City are subject to a 1% tax on their gross payroll. All revenues from this tax will support the City of Jersey City public schools. There are exemptions for employers with quarterly gross payroll less than $2,500. Wages of Jersey City residents are also exempt.

Read more about the Jersey City Payroll Tax.

Jersey City’s Ban on Plastic Bags

Jersey City will enforce a city-wide ban on single-use plastic carry-out bags starting June 28, 2019. The City of Jersey City Municipal Council passed Ordinance 18-065 mid-2018 which prohibits retailers from providing single-use carryout bags and non-recyclable paper bags to customers at the checkout counter of retail stores, including corner stores, supermarkets, restaurants, clothing shops, liquor stores, and hardware stores. Instead, customers will need to bring their own bag or use an alternative bag provided by retailers (for a cost or for free). Why are plastic bags a problem? Jersey City’s Office of Stainability has the answers.

Read more about the Jersey City Ban on Plastic Bags Ordinance

Earned Sick Time Ordinance

The Jersey City Municipal Council passed an Earned Sick Leave Ordinance in September 2013. The new municipal law takes effect January 242014, and every Jersey City business with 1 or more employees will be impacted. The controversial Earned Sick Leave Ordinance makes Jersey City the first municipality in the State of New Jersey to require employers to provide workers with Earned Sick Time. Both Jersey City employers and workers are encouraged to take the time and learn how the new ordinance works. 

Read more about the Jersey City Earned Sick Leave Ordinance

Garbage and Recycling Collection

As per City Code 287-6 (Private disposal of refuse), the City of Jersey City requires all restaurants and some businesses (those who produce more than 6 30-gallon containers of garbage or recycling per collection) to dispose of refuse through a private sanitation collection service. Read City Code Chapter 287 to learn more about garbage storage, collection, precollection procedures, and disposal in Jersey City.

Monday and Thursday nights are garbage nights within the Central Avenue commercial district. Garbage can be placed on the curb no earlier than 7 pm. Recycling can be brought to the curb on Tuesday nights no earlier than 7 pm. To learn more about sanitation collection times around the City, see Jersey City’s Trash & Recycling Collection Schedule.

Read more directly from City Code –Chapter 287 – Solid Waste

Sign Regulations: Facade & Storefront

Updating your storefront signage is not only a business investment, but an investment in your community to further revitalize the business district. Before beginning such a project, you must ask yourself “Are my signage plans up to code?” By simply reviewing the information here you can save time and money. If your new sign is NOT up to code, you can face heavy fines until you correct the problem. Please be sure to consult with the CASID or Jersey City Division of Planning before you install a new sign.

More on Sign Regulations in Jersey CityRead City Code –Chapter 345-68 – Signs

Business Curfew on Central Avenue is 12am to 5am

Yes, Jersey City has a business curfew in place. However, it only affects certain areas of the City. A business curfew exists to address a number of late-night concerns including noise, disturbances, crowds of juveniles, and other quality of life issues important to local residents. Under Jersey City’s business curfew, no restaurant or retail sales establishment shall conduct business between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am. Pharmacies and bars may be exempt. The business curfew applies to the entire Central Avenue business district (Manhattan Avenue to North Street) in addition to some other streets in the Heights. Business owners may apply to the Director of the Police Department to be exempt from the business curfew law if they meet certain criteria.

Read more directly from City Code –Chapter 263 – Hours of Retail Businesses

Sidewalks – Sales/ Cafes/ Maintenance/ and Snow Removal

Sidewalk Sales – The commercial use of sidewalks in Jersey City requires a permit. A business within the Central Avenue business district must obtain a sidewalk sale permit from the CASID office. Sidewalk sales are limited to three consecutive days a month and can extend no further than four (4) feet from the storefront. Merchandise is not permitted near curbs. Contact the CASID office to obtain a sidewalk sale permit or for further details.

Sidewalk Cafes and Parklets – Restaurants who want to provide an outdoor dining experience for their customers must obtain a Sidewalk Cafe Permit. Applications for that permit can be picked up at the Department of Housing, Economic Development & Commerce (HEDC) or the CASID office. There are Sidewalk Cafe restrictions in place. Here is a link to Outdoor Dining Permits in Jersey City.

Maintenance -Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the business owner to maintain their own sidewalks clean and presentable in Jersey City. All business owners are asked to clean their sidewalks at least once every day upon opening for business.

Snow Removal – Every owner, occupant, or person having charge of a commercial building or vacant lot shall, in case of snowfall, clear such snow from the sidewalks and gutters thereof to the extent of one foot outside the curb in front of the building or lot, as well as on the side thereof where the building or lot faces on more than one street, within four hours after the snow has fallen. If the snow has fallen during the night, removal shall be finished within four hours after sunrise.

Read more directly from City Code –Chapter 296 – Streets and Sidewalks

Distributing Advertising Material (Handbills, Flyers, Posters)

Be sure to know local laws before you spend time and money on creating new flyers to promote your business or posters to promote an event. In Jersey City, posting handbills or signs on public property and or upon vehicles is considered illegal. The business responsible for distributing the handbill may receive a hefty summons from the City of Jersey City. 

Read more directly from the City Code –Chapter 81 – Advertising Material

Peddling, Soliciting and Canvassing

The Jersey City municipal code specifically prohibits peddlers within the Central Avenue Special Improvement District. A peddler is “any person, traveling by foot, wagon, automotive vehicle or any other type of conveyance from place to place, from house to house or from street to street, carrying, conveying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise, offering and exposing the same for sale, or making sales and delivering articles to purchasers, or who, without traveling from place to place, shall sell or offer the same for sale from a wagon, automotive vehicle, railroad car or other vehicle or conveyance.” Businesses who feel peddlers often disturb their operation can post a NO PEDDLERS sign on their storefront windows as a warning.

Read more directly from City Code –Chapter 245 – Peddling, Soliciting, and…

Mobile Food Vendors Restrictions

A Mobile Food Vendor can be a food truck or pushcart that sells prepared food. They are licensed by the Jersey City Division of Health. No person conducting, operating, or maintaining mobile food vendor, shall be permitted to sell food or drink within three hundred (300) feet of any licensed eating and drinking establishment, nor shall he or she be permitted to remain in any location for a period exceeding one hundred twenty (120) minutes during a four-hour period. On average, there is a licensed eating and drinking establishment every 150 to 200 feet in the Central Avenue commercial district. No mobile food vendor shall operate in any area where parking of motor vehicles is prohibited, restricted or regulated. Such areas shall include, but not be limited to, sidewalks, bus stops, taxi stands, fire hydrants, parking metered areas, loading zones, areas where parking is prohibited, such as from the corner of an intersection as indicated by curb markings, areas reserved for physically handicapped motor vehicle operators, crosswalks, driveways, and any other areas so restricted, prohibited or regulated for the parking of motor vehicles.

Read more directly from City Code –Chapter 175; Article II Mobile Food Vendor