Starting a Business
Cherry Hill is legendary as the region's ever-expanding center for commerce and economic success. The township's commercial base is diverse: banking and insurance, healthcare, high-technology, pharmaceuticals, electronics, printing and publishing, as well as multi-tenant office centers and shopping centers enhance the township's business community.
In order to help businesses looking to locate in Cherry Hill we have created this step-by-step guide to walk you through the permitting processes required of all businesses in the township. While this guide seeks to be as comprehensive as possible we recognize that questions may still arise during this process. We encourage you to contact the township's Business Liaison when these questions do arise.
We want your experience with the township to be the best that it can be. We understand that the process can seem overwhelming. To help you through the process is the township's Business Liaison. Our liaison can guide you through the process from start to finish and answer any questions you may have along the way.
In order to best assist you we ask that you call ahead and make an appointment to speak with our Business Liaison. If you're ready to get started with permits please follow the step-by-step instructions to make sure you have all the information you will need to submit to the township.
When opening a business in the township, the first thing you need to do is to determine whether or not the business you wish to open is a permitted use in the location in which you plan to operate. In addition to determining the acceptability of the type of business the township must determine the suitability of the site to support your business, in most cases this simply involves making sure there is enough on-site parking. All of this is completed as part of the Zoning Permit process. Zoning Permit applications are available on our website or in the Construction Department (Room 205).
Assuming the type of business you plan to open is a permitted use, not substantially different then the previous use, and the parking on-site is sufficient you will be issued a Zoning Approval. After the Zoning Approval is issued the Construction Department will review any building permits you have submitted. Building permits or Certificates of Continued Occupancy can be submitted when you submit your Zoning Approval, but will not be issued until the Zoning is approved. Building permit applications must be obtained from the Construction Department.
A Certificate of Continued Occupancy is required for a new tenant or property owner. The Certificate is issued after a township Inspector inspects the site to ensure it meets the requirements for the business you intend to operate. If it passes the inspection you will be issued the Certificate of Continued Occupancy at which time you may begin to operate your business.
If you are changing the use of the building from a lower use and occupancy classification to a higher classification or you are in need of completing construction work in the building you will be required to apply for a Certificate of Occupancy. If you are unsure of your use and occupancy classifications please contact the Building Department.
Every business in the township is required to obtain a Sign Permit whenever they are installing a new sign or changing an existing sign. This applies to façade, as well as, freestanding signs. Sign permits are available online or in the Department of Community Development (Room 202).
Planning & Zoning Boards
There are a number of situations that may trigger the need for an application to one of the township's Land Use Development Boards. If you are opening a new business in Cherry Hill and you are planning to build a new building, make changes to the building or parking lot, you may need to apply to the Planning Board for a site plan approval. The size of the change will determine if the site plan approval is major or minor. In addition, if you are substantially changing the use of the site from its previous use you may be required to present a Change of Use application to the Planning Board.
If the type of business you are intending to operate is not a permitted use in the zone in which you want to locate you must apply to the township's Zoning Board of Adjustment for a use variance. If a site plan is required in conjunction with the use variance the Zoning Board will review the site plan instead of the Planning Board.
Each Board has a dedicated administrator that can help you through the application process. Any incorporated business is also required to be represented by Council that can help you with the application requirements
Please keep in mind that the process of applying to either Board can be a lengthy process. Applications that are not complete will be deemed so and a list of items that must still be submitted will be sent to the applicant. An incomplete application can slow down the process significantly.
In addition, both Boards meet twice per month so your ability to get on an agenda will depend on the completeness of your application and the number of applications that are already scheduled.
Concept Plan Review
If you know a Board Application is required it is not mandatory to submit a Zoning Permit Approval. We do, however, recommend to all applicants that are submitting major or minor site plans that they apply for a Concept Plan Review prior to submission of the Land Use Development Application.
The township's Planners will review your site plan and offer helpful advice as to improvements that may be made, any variances or design waivers that may be required from the township's Ordinance, and other useful information that will simplify the review of the plan by the Board you are applying to. It may also significantly reduce the amount of time required for review of your application.
There are a number of businesses in the township that require licensing through the Clerk's Office. If you intend to operate any of the following businesses please contact the Clerk's Office at 856-488-7892:
- Food Vendors
- Massage - each masseuse must be licensed by the township.
- Limousine or Taxi Service
- Gas Stations
- Amusement Centers - including but not limited to such businesses as bowling alleys, billiard halls, miniature golf.
- Liquor Licenses
- Temporary Use/Seasonal or Transient Merchant Licenses