Business Certificates

What is a Business Certificate? 

A business certificate is the public record of the name and address of the owner(s) of a business, and is commonly referred to by the name “D.B.A.” (“doing business as”) or “Sole Proprietorship”. Its purpose is primarily for consumer protection and public information. 

Who must file a Business Certificate?

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 110, §5 states that any person 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 certificate) in the office of the clerk of every city or town where an office of any such person or partnership may be situated.

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. Businesses who file with the Secretary of State’s Office do not need to file in the town.

How do I file or renew a Business Certificate?

The application form is available at the Town Clerk’s Office and online on the Town Clerk page. There is a $40 fee for filing, and the certificate must be renewed every 4 years.

What do I do if I discontinue or withdraw from the Certified Business, or move to another location?

If you are no longer in business or you move out of Maynard, you should file a “Withdrawal from Business” form with the Town Clerk. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid paying unnecessary personal property taxes. The fee for withdrawing from a business is $10.00.

Does the filing of a Business Certificate protect me from others using the same name?

No. The protection of a trademark (word, name, symbol or device) in Massachusetts is accomplished through the Secretary of State’s Office.

Further information

For further information call the Town Clerk at 978-897-1300 or see Town Clerk.