Business Certificates & Common License Applications

Business Certificates

What is a business certificate?

Often referred to as DBA ("doing business as"), a business certificate creates a public record of the name and address of the owner(s) of a business and contains the name and address of the business and the names and residential addresses of all business partners.  Consumers are entitled to this information according to Massachusetts regulations.

Who files one?

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 110 section 5 states that anyone conducting business in the Commonwealth under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business, whether individually or as a partnership, shall file a business certificate in the clerk's office of every city or town where an office is situated. Under Chapter 110, section 6 a business certificate is not required if a corporation is doing business in its true corporate name, or if a partnership is doing business under any title which includes the true surname of any partner. Certain other associations and partnerships may also be exempt (refer to section 6 for details.)  Businesses who are limited liability corporations (LLC's), S corporations or incorporated through the Commonwealth are not required to file a certificate.  Please consult your legal representative for additional information.  

How do I file one?
Forms are available in the City Clerk's office as well as online.  All persons named on the certificate must either sign the form in person or have their signatures on the form notarized before filing may be accepted. If the business is being conducted from a home, an Occupancy Permit must be obtained from the Building Commissioner before filing the Business Certificate.

The business certificate is valid for 4 years from the date of issue and the filing fee is $60.00.

  • If the business address changes, the applicant should file a change of address in the City Clerk’s Office; if a business is discontinued, the applicant should file a discontinuation form; If ownership of the business changes, a new business certificate is required.  Filing a name, ownership or discontinuance change requires a $15.00 fee.

Licenses Required by City Administrative Regulations and filing fees 

Business Certificate
Discontinuance | Name Change



Valid for 4 years per state statute

Common Victualler$100.00Annual
Gasoline and Fuel Storage Varies by tank capacity/automobiles – see application
Hackney$100.00Per vehicle annually
Livery Service$100.00
Per vehicle | new application
Per vehicle annual renewal
Junk Dealer & Second Hand Dealer$125.00Annual
Motor Vehicle Class I and II$100.00Annual
Raffle$50.00See application