City of Absecon, NJ
Atlantic County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
GENERAL REFERENCES
Food markets — See Ch. 198.
Private sales and auctions — See Ch. 276.
Vehicle for hire — See Ch. 334.

§ 234-1 License required.

[1997 Code § 234-1]
No person shall engage in or carry on any business in Absecon City, nor aid or assist as employee, clerk or otherwise in carrying on such business or in using any wagon, vehicle, stand, store or other place or thing, nor sell or offer for sale any goods or thing for which a license is required by the terms of this chapter, unless a license, as herein provided for, shall have been first obtained therefor.

§ 234-2 Application for and granting of license.

[1997 Code § 234-2; Ord. No. 04-2001 § 2; Ord. No. 18-2007 § 1]
A. 
Application for license shall be made to the Mercantile Tax Collector of Absecon City, and no license shall be granted until payment for the same shall have been made. Every license shall specify by name the person to whom it shall be issued, the business for which it is granted and the location at which such business is to be carried on.
B. 
Investigation of applicant.
(1) 
Each application for a new business, not previously licensed, shall be referred to the Chief of Police or a Police Officer designated by the Chief who shall undertake an investigation of the applicant's suitability for a license, including the applicant's character, honesty, and integrity as they may be relevant to the conduct of the business. This investigation shall include, but need not be limited to, a criminal history record background check for the presence of potentially disqualifying criminal record. The investigation shall determine if the applicant's background indicates a reasonable likelihood that the applicant would conduct the business honestly, free from fraud or serious misconduct, and generally in accordance with the law.
(2) 
The investigation shall be completed as soon as is possible and the findings provided to the Mercantile License Clerk with a recommendation as to whether such license should be issued. If the investigation recommends against the issuance of a license, then the Mercantile License Clerk may not issue the license, but the applicant may request a review of the application by the Public Safety Committee of the Municipal Council which shall consider the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting. If after review of the application, the Public Safety Committee does not issue the license, the applicant may request a hearing before the Public Safety Committee of the Municipal Council, such hearing shall be held within 30 days of a request by the applicant.
(3) 
In addition to any other required fees, the applicant shall be responsible for the cost of the criminal history record background check. The applicant shall submit a check or money order in the amount of such fees as may be imposed by the Superintendent of the State Police, payable to the New Jersey State Bureau of Investigation (NJSBI) at the time the application is submitted. The applicant shall complete such application forms as may be required by the City, including a consent to the background check.
C. 
Temporary Mercantile License. In addition to the foregoing requirements, and without in any way diluting them, an applicant shall be granted a Temporary Mercantile License if the Applicant denies any criminal history and any one of the following requirements are met:
(1) 
The Applicant currently has a valid Mercantile License for another business in the City of Absecon; or
(2) 
The Applicant has had a full background check done within two years of his/her applying for the Mercantile License in the City of Absecon and the Applicant has provided the results to the Chief of Police; or
(3) 
The Absecon Police Chief was able to perform a modified background check in-house and the information obtained showed no criminal history record.
D. 
If the background check, which is completed pursuant to the requirements noted in paragraph B(1), reveals information that would warrant a Mercantile License not being issued, then the Applicant's Temporary Mercantile License shall be immediately revoked and the business shall be closed.

§ 234-3 Fixed location of business.

[Ord. No. 09-2002 § 15]
A. 
All businesses must have a fixed location from which they do business unless they meet the criteria of a "Mobile Business" as outlined below.
B. 
The location of the business must be given in the license application form along with proof of ownership or rental of the named property.

§ 234-4 Mobile business.

[Ord. No. 09-2002 § 16]
A. 
The City of Absecon will issue a limited number of Mobile Business Mercantile Licenses: four licenses for food products and two licenses for non-food products.
B. 
Mobile businesses are entities that have no permanent location and operate form a moving vehicle or carrying device, including but not limited to cars, trucks, vans, boats, carts, bicycles. The moving unit may traverse the waterways and roads of the City of Absecon from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m., seven days a week.
C. 
Mobile businesses selling food shall have all the required State health and safety license(s) in order to operate.
D. 
No mobile business may "park" or "dock" in any one area for longer than 15 minutes unless it is approved to be a City-designated spot.
E. 
No mobile business shall be permitted to sell their products in the vicinity of the City's, or a nonprofit's event where the same or similar items are being sold.

§ 234-5 Payment of fee and expiration of license.

[1997 Code § 234-3]
All license fees shall be due and payable to the Mercantile Tax Collector at the office in the Municipal Complex, 500 Mill Road, Absecon City, New Jersey, on the first day of May in each year, and all such licenses shall expire on the 30th day of April following.

§ 234-6 Fees established.

[1997 Code § 234-4; Ord. No. 21-2003 § 4]
A. 
The license fees to be paid annually to the City of Absecon City as above provided for conducting the businesses herein named at the places to be designated in the license certificate issued therefor, or as provided for Mobile Licenses as described later in this chapter, shall be as follows:
(1) 
Permanent location up to 15,000 square feet: $50.
(2) 
Permanent location 15,001 square feet to 50,000 square feet: $100.
(3) 
Permanent location 50,001 square feet to 75,000 square feet: $150.
(4) 
Permanent location over 75,000 square feet: $200.

§ 234-7 Compliance with safety regulations; new commercial business to comply with site plan; displaying license; payment of taxes.

[1997 Code § 234-5]
A. 
No license shall be granted for any business until the Construction Official certifies, in writing, to the Mercantile Tax Collector that the applicant has complied with all the ordinances and regulations pertaining to said business.
B. 
No license shall be granted for any new commercial business establishment until and unless the Planning Board of the City of Absecon City has certified, in writing, to the Mercantile Tax Collector that all provisions of the ordinances of the City of Absecon City and laws of the State of New Jersey pertaining to municipal site plan review have been complied with.
C. 
The certificate of license shall be conspicuously displayed on the premises where the business is conducted.
D. 
No license shall be issued unless all property taxes are current and certified by the Tax Collector.

§ 234-8 Use of license.

[1997 Code § 234-6]
No person or persons shall be allowed to transact any business under any license granted under this chapter, except the business for which such license was especially granted.

§ 234-9 Noncompliance; nontransferability.

[1997 Code § 234-7]
A. 
No license certificate shall be issued to any person who has not complied with the laws of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of Absecon City providing regulations respecting the safety of persons who may have occasion to use the premises, place or thing licensed, and in case any person licensed fails to comply with such laws or ordinances after due notice and opportunity to be heard, the Council of Absecon City may revoke such license.
B. 
No license provided for by this chapter shall be transferred from one person to another person, and no license shall cover any other place of business than that for which it was issued.

§ 234-10 Prorating of fees; exception.

[1997 Code § 234-8]
All licenses issued for new businesses between the first day of November and the first day of May following in any year shall be issued for 1/2 of the fees mentioned in Section 234-4 hereof, with the exception of seasonal business such as, but not limited to, tax services, holiday-related businesses, etc.

§ 234-11 Police enforcement.

[1997 Code § 234-9]
Any proper officer be and is hereby authorized and directed to use such of the police force of the City as is necessary to execute and enforce all necessary and lawful police regulations as may best protect and facilitate the carrying on of the several businesses, trades and occupations licensed by this chapter.

§ 234-12 Word usage.

[Ord. No. 04-2001 § 1; Ord. No. 21-2003 § 10]
A. 
The use of the word "person" shall, for the purpose of this chapter, be deemed to include persons, firms, copartnerships and corporations, excluding units of local government.
B. 
The use of the word "business" shall, for the purpose of this chapter, be decreed to include all businesses, trades, professions and vocations, except that no Mercantile License is required for any person/business offering ONLY a service if said service requires an annual State licensing. If any person/business offering such a service, sells any merchandise or product, either retail, wholesale or at auction, then a Mercantile License is required.
C. 
The use of the words "criminal history record background check" or "background check" shall, for the purpose of this chapter, mean a determination whether a person has a criminal record by cross referencing that person's name with the records available to the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police.
D. 
The use of the words "disqualifying criminal record" shall, for the purpose of this chapter, mean the conviction of a crime:
(1) 
Involving danger to the person pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:11-1 et seq. (homicide); 2C:12-1 et seq. (assault); 2C:13-1 et seq. (kidnapping); 2C:14-1 et seq. (sexual offenses); 2C:15-1 et seq. (robbery); or danger to property pursuant to 2C:17-1 et seq. (arson); 2C:18-1 et seq. (burglary); 2C:20-1 et seq. (theft); 2C:21-1 et seq. (forgery); or to public order pursuant to 2C:34-1 et seq. (prostitution and obscenity); 2C:35-1 et seq. (dangerous substance);
(2) 
In any other state or jurisdiction for conduct which, if committed in New Jersey, would constitute any of the crimes included above;
(3) 
Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) above, an applicant shall not be disqualified for a license on the basis of any conviction disclosed by a criminal history check if the individual has demonstrated evidence of rehabilitation or if the offense is not relevant to the particular business. In making such determination, the following facts may be considered: the nature of the business being sought to be licensed, the nature and seriousness of the offense, the circumstances under which the offense occurred, the date of the offense, the age of the applicant when the offense was committed, whether the offense was repeated and other evidence of rehabilitation including subsequent conduct in the community and the acquisition of academic or vocational education.
E. 
The use of the word "applicant" shall, for the purpose of this chapter, shall mean if an individual, such individual; if a partnership, all partners; and if a corporation, limited liability company or other business entity; all shareholders or interest holders having more than 10% ownership.

§ 234-13 Licenses issued only for lawful purposes.

[1997 Code § 234-11; Ord. No. 21-2003 § 11]
It shall be a condition to the issuance of any and all licenses under this chapter that said business shall be used and operated only for lawful purposes. No commercial landlord shall permit any unlawful business to lease, rent or otherwise use space in the landlord's property. It shall also be the obligation of all commercial landlords to advise their tenants that the City of Absecon has a Mercantile License Ordinance that may require said tenant to obtain a license before operating their business.

§ 234-14 Violations and penalties.

[1997 Code § 234-12; Ord. No. 21-2003 § 12]
A. 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished for each offense by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment for any term not to exceed 90 days in the County jail or in any place provided by the municipality for the detention of prisoners, or both. The Municipal Judge before whom any person is convicted of violating this chapter shall have power to impose any fine or term of imprisonment not to exceed the maximum fixed in this chapter.
B. 
In default of the payment of any fine imposed hereunder, any person convicted of any violation may, in the discretion of the Judge by whom he was convicted, be imprisoned in the County jail or place of detention provided by the municipality for any term not to exceed 90 days.
C. 
The maximum fine for a commercial landlord failing to notify his/her tenant(s) in accordance with Section 234-13 above, shall be $50. Subsequent offenses shall be in accordance with paragraph a. above.

§ 234-15 Determination of compliance.

[1997 Code § 234-13]
Every person conducting a business required to be licensed hereby shall permit the Mercantile Tax Collector or his accredited agents or assistants to have access to any building for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been compliance with the provisions of this chapter and other ordinances and to determine the fees to be paid, and any refusal thereof shall be deemed a violation of this chapter, and the violator shall be subject to the penalties.

§ 234-16 Scope.

[1997 Code § 234-14]
Except as the same may be clearly inconsistent herewith, this chapter shall not be deemed to repeal any ordinance passed for the purpose of regulating a business, trade or industry.