How to Dissolve a Corporation in New Jersey

This blog provides step-by-step guidance on dissolving a NJ corporation to ensure legal compliance and avoid liabilities.
jessica pedraza
Jessica Pedraza
Legal Consultant
Published: April 9, 2024
enterpreneur shutting down a business 2

Are you considering closing your corporation in New Jersey? Understanding the legal steps involved is a prerequisite to exiting cleanly without leaving loose ends. This blog outlines the necessary procedures for dissolving a corporation in the state to ensure that you remain compliant.

Here are all the steps we’ll discuss:

Step 1 – The Board’s Resolution to Dissolve: How to officially begin the dissolution process with a formal board meeting and resolution.

Step 2 – File the Certificate of Dissolution: Details on submitting the necessary paperwork with the New Jersey Division of Revenue.

Step 3 – Resolve Your Tax Obligations: Steps to close out tax accounts and secure a tax clearance certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation.

Step 4 – Notify Creditors and Settle Claims: Guidelines for properly informing creditors and resolving outstanding debts.

Step 5 – Distribute Remaining Assets: Instructions on legally distributing any remaining corporate assets to shareholders.

Post-Dissolution Considerations: Closing out the process with final tax returns, account closures, and record-keeping to ensure everything is fully resolved.

Understanding the Corporate Dissolution Process in New Jersey

The process of dissolving corporations in New Jersey has certain requirements that other states do not. For example, you must obtain a tax clearance certificate to complete the dissolution process (to avoid legal complications and settle all tax liabilities). On the contrary, in states like Texas and Ohio there’s no such requirement.

Also, NJ mandates that corporations formally notify creditors (in writing) about an imminent shutdown and allow a reasonable amount of time to make claims against the company. Meanwhile, in states like Florida, notifying creditors is strongly recommended but not required by law. Knowing these differences can be vital in steering clear of legal hiccups.

Note: Corporations in multiple states (including New Jersey) have a relatively complex shutdown process owing to various cross-jurisdictional legal requirements. Contact SimpleClosure for expert guidance.

Step 1: Board Resolution to Dissolve

The first step in shutting down an NJ corporation is for the board to pass a resolution to dissolve.  Once approved by the shareholders, the resolution authorizes the company to take such actions necessary to wind up the company, and outline the procedures that officers will follow.

Board Resolution, Formal Meeting, Vote, and Documentation

Here are the key points to address when drafting and passing a board resolution to dissolve:

  1. Drafting the Resolution: The resolution should clearly state the intention to dissolve the corporation and include reasons for the dissolution if required by the corporation's bylaws. Sometimes, it also outlines the procedures the corporation must adhere to following the dissolution approval.

  2. Formal Board Meeting: The resolution may be presented during a formal meeting of the board of directors. This meeting should follow all the procedural rules stipulated in the corporation's bylaws, including meeting notices, quorum requirements, and recording minutes.  However, New Jersey permits board members to vote in writing if permitted under the bylaws, so a formal meeting may be unnecessary.

  3. Vote on the Resolution: The resolution usually requires a majority vote from the board of directors. Again, the specific voting requirements depend on the corporation's bylaws. All votes should be properly documented in the meeting minutes as part of the corporation's official records.

  4. Shareholder Consent: While the board passes the resolution and recommends dissolution to the shareholders, the decision is not final until approved by shareholders.  Like a board vote, the shareholder vote may be a formal meeting, or in writing if permitted under the bylaws.

  5. Documentation and Record Keeping: After the resolution is passed and approved, it is vital to keep copies as part of the corporation’s official records. These documents may need to be submitted to various state agencies or presented to stakeholders as part of the dissolution process.

The board resolution should be concise yet comprehensive enough to cover all necessary details and legal requirements. Also, the resolution must confirm that all financial and tax obligations have been met or arrangements have been made for their settlement. 

Step 2: Filing the Certificate of Dissolution

Once the board resolution to dissolve is passed, and approved by the shareholders, the next step is to file the Certificate of Dissolution with the New Jersey Division of Revenue. It’s a document that formally announces the corporation's intent to dissolve and begins the legal wind-up process.

Certificate of Dissolution, Filing Requirements, and the NJ Division of Revenue

Here's how to approach filing the Certificate of Dissolution:

  1. Preparing the Certificate: The Certificate of Dissolution must include key details, including the company name, the date of incorporation, and confirmation that the dissolution was approved by the required majority vote of the shareholders or the board, depending on the corporation’s bylaws.

  2. Where to File: You can file the completed Certificate online at the New Jersey Division of Revenue website.

  3. Fees and Documentation: You must pay a $120 fee to complete the dissolution process (a $95 dissolution fee and a $25 tax clearance certificate application fee). The clearance may take several months to process.

  4. Acknowledgment of Filing: Once filed, the Division of Revenue will process the Certificate of Dissolution and issue an acknowledgment, ending the corporation's legal existence. 

Filing Certificate of Dissolution in NJ

Filing the Certificate of Dissolution is a straightforward but legally significant step. It ensures that all state requirements are met and that there are no delays in officially ending the corporation's legal status. This filing not only complies with legal protocols but also protects the corporation's directors and shareholders from potential liabilities associated with its activities post-dissolution – don't rush it!

Step 3: Settling Tax Obligations

One of the more vital steps in a NJ corporation’s dissolution process is settling all tax obligations and securing a tax clearance certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation. 

Tax Accounts, Tax Clearance Certificate, and New Jersey Division of Taxation

Here’s how to navigate this critical step:

  1. Cancel Tax Registrations: All businesses, regardless of structure, must cancel their tax registrations, which includes deactivating any tax ID numbers and sales tax or employer pins. To do so, you’ll need your 12-digit Taxpayer ID and, if applicable, your 4-digit Sales Tax or Employer Pin. If you don’t have your pin, contact the Division of Taxation directly.

  2. File Final Tax Returns: Next, mark your last tax return as "Final." Make sure no business activities continue in New Jersey after the tax year of the final return. You can file this online or on paper, and if filing on paper, you should clearly write "Final" across the top of the form. Be aware that all tax returns are subject to audit until the statute of limitations expires.

  3. Obtain a Tax Clearance Certificate: A tax clearance certificate confirms that all your tax obligations have been fulfilled. You can obtain this certificate through the New Jersey Division of Revenue by submitting an application (along with the $25 fee mentioned earlier).

Step 4: Notifying Creditors and Settling Claims

As part of the dissolution process in New Jersey, it’s crucial to properly notify creditors and settle all claims to ensure that all debts are responsibly cleared before the business officially ends.

Notifying Creditors, Settling Claims, and Fulfilling Legal Obligations

Here are the specific steps to take:

  1. Notification of Creditors: When dissolving a corporation, New Jersey law requires that the corporation notify all known creditors about its dissolution. Offer your notice in writing and include the following:

    • A clear statement that the corporation is dissolving.

    • A request for creditors to present their claims.

    • A deadline by which creditors can submit their claims based on statutory requirements.

  2. Handling Claims: Once notified, creditors have a legally defined period to present their claims against the corporation. It’s important to:

    • Review each claim for validity.

    • Pay valid claims using the remaining corporate assets.

    • Negotiate settlements if necessary, in compliance with legal standards.

  3. Legal Obligations: It's essential to adhere to the specific legal priorities in settling claims:

    • Claims must be settled in accordance with the priority set by law, ensuring that higher-priority claims come first.

    • Keep detailed records of how you settled each claim, including payments or settlement agreements.

Legal Requirements for Creditors in Business Dissolution

Fulfilling these obligations isn’t just about following the law but also about minimizing potential legal complications after company closure. Maintain thorough documentation of all interactions with creditors and the resolutions of their claims. This is to prove that your corporation has fulfilled its legal responsibilities in the event of disputes or audits. 

Step 5: Distributing Remaining Assets

After ensuring all financial and legal obligations are met, including taxes, New Jersey corporations must distribute any remaining assets according to both the Certificate of Incorporation of the company and state priority laws.

Asset Distribution, Legal Guidelines, Shareholder Rights

Here’s how you should distribute assets to remain complaint:

  1. Secure Tax Clearance: Obtain a tax clearance certificate from the New Jersey Division of Taxation before distributing assets. This certificate is crucial to avoid future legal or tax liabilities.

  2. Follow Statutory Guidelines: The distribution of assets must comply with specific statutory guidelines, which might dictate the process if not specified in the Articles of Incorporation. 

  3. Develop a Detailed Asset Distribution Plan: Document how each asset will be distributed. This plan should include a list of all assets, the intended recipient of each asset, and the distribution method. Special handling may be required if the corporation has special assets, such as intellectual or physical property, that require title transfers.

  4. Approval from Shareholders: Present the distribution plan for approval at a shareholder meeting. This approval is necessary to ensure transparency and consensus, preventing potential disputes.

  5. Execute the Distribution: Carry out the distribution according to the approved plan. For physical or titled assets, ensure that proper legal transfers are executed and recorded.

  6. Documentation and Records: Maintain detailed records of the distribution process, including what assets were distributed, to whom, and the valuation method used for distribution. These records are essential for finalizing the corporation’s dissolution and will be crucial for legal and tax purposes.

How to Distribute Assets in Business Dissolution

These guidelines ensure that asset distribution during a corporation's dissolution in New Jersey is conducted lawfully and equitably, safeguarding the rights of all stakeholders and complying with specific legal requirements. Still, we recommend getting in touch with us to ensure that your asset distribution process complies with specific corporation and state-level requirements.

After Dissolution: Final Considerations

Once a New Jersey corporation is legally dissolved, you still need to finalize the process, including closing remaining business accounts and maintaining proper records to comply with state laws.

Closing Accounts, Maintaining Records, and Notify Relevant Agencies

Implement the following steps to finalize the corporation shutdown process:

  1. Close All Business Accounts: Ensure that all business-related accounts, including bank accounts, credit accounts, and service accounts, are properly closed. Document the entire process and retain final statements for record-keeping. This helps prevent unauthorized use or financial discrepancies after the business has ceased operations.

  2. Maintain Records: New Jersey and federal law requires that records of dissolved corporations be maintained for a specific period, typically seven years, including financial records, tax returns, asset distribution documents, and corporate meeting minutes. These records may be required for legal, tax, or audit purposes in the future and should be stored securely.

  3. Notify Relevant Agencies and Services: Inform all relevant state and federal agencies of your corporation’s dissolution. This includes the IRS, the New Jersey Division of Revenue, and any industry-specific regulatory bodies. Also, cancel any business licenses or permits to avoid accruing fees or penalties.

  4. Handle Employee Matters: If your corporation has employees, ensure that final payroll obligations are met, including the issuance of final paychecks and the submission of final employment tax returns. The IRS and New Jersey Division of Taxation provide guidelines for these tasks to ensure compliance with employment and tax laws.

Post-Dissolution Responsibilities in NJ

Finalizing the dissolution process requires attention to details to avoid future liabilities and to confirm that all legal and fiscal responsibilities are settled. The comprehensive closeout of the corporation not only complies with New Jersey laws but also provides clear documentation that can be referenced if questions arise after the corporation has ceased operations.


Successfully dissolving a corporation in New Jersey involves implementing a series of steps: initiating a board resolution, filing the Certificate of Dissolution, settling tax obligations, notifying creditors, distributing assets, and completing final tasks like tax returns and closing accounts. Each step is designed to comply with state laws and reduce potential liabilities.

A compliant dissolution safeguards the interests of all involved parties and prevents future legal complications. By closely following New Jersey's dissolution procedures, businesses ensure that all legal and financial responsibilities are met, protecting directors, officers, and shareholders from unexpected liabilities and providing peace of mind as the business closes.

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