Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


54 Fairmount Avenue 
Chatham, NJ 07928

Doing Business in Chatham Borough

chatham nj downtown

Chatham Borough welcomes new business! We would like to make the process as easy as possible; we hope this information will help guide you to a successful ribbon cutting! Please feel free to contact Melanie Politi for assistance and direction This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (973) 635-0674 ext. 231

Opening a Business

To open a business in Chatham:

  1. Identify a location where the business’s use is permitted under the zoning ordinance 
  2. Obtain “Use Approval” by filing for a Commercial Certificate of Continued Occupancy (CCO)
    1. If the requested use is not permitted in that zone, be prepared to go to the zoning board or planning board prior to starting construction.
  3. Once approval is given, contact our contracted Construction and Building department in the Borough of Madison for construction permits (if needed).
  4. Depending on your needs, you may also need the following:

Zoning Compliance

The Borough’s zoning ordinance specifies what uses are permitted in each zoning district. The Zoning Map shows the various business districts, and the Land Development Ordinance describes what uses are permitted in each zoning district.

Sign Permits

All signs must comply with the Borough’s Sign Ordinance and require a Sign Permit.  Signs are reviewed by the Borough’s Sign Committee and potentially by the Historic Preservation Commission. 

Building Permit [Construction Permit]

If you will be doing any construction on the premises, please contact the zoning official for guidance, and the Construction Office in Madison can help determine the permits required. 

It is extremely important to make sure that you follow the permitting process and get permits for all construction and renovation, including plumbing, electrical and construction.

Retail Food Establishments

Retail food establishments such as restaurants will require permits issued by the Clerk’s Office: we are contracted with the Westfield Regional Health Department to provide health services.

Sidewalk dining is permitted (and encouraged) in the Borough.  The establishment will need to obtain a Sidewalk Dining Permit from the Borough.

Commercial Districts

There are multiple business districts in the Borough, along with several industrial districts: our zoning map shows exact locations.

The central business district centered around Main Street contains a broad variety of restaurants, as well as banks, shops, and personal services establishments. The buildings reflect a range of styles with some dating back to the 19th century and others from the early 20th century.  At the east end of Main Street are a cluster of colonial style buildings, some of which date back to pre-Revolutionary War times.  This area contains a mix of small shops, offices and two high-end restaurants.

Both the central business district and the east Main Street commercial area are designated as historic districts and are subject to additional restrictions to preserve its character and historical charm, please see the Historic Preservation Commission’s (HPC) page.

At the west end of Chatham are a small shopping center and several commercial buildings that include a pharmacy, restaurants, dry cleaners, banks, a physical therapy office, medical offices, and a pottery painting studio.

The Borough has designated the former industrial area in the southeast corner of town along the Passaic River and bordering Summit as an area for mixed use developments.  The area contains a mix of storage facilities, repair shops, restaurants, and a popular brewery.  A portion of this area has been designated as a redevelopment area and a 250-unit apartment building will be open for occupancy by early 2024.