Business Certificates - DBA
All fictitious name certificates for businesses (commonly known as "doing business as" or "DBA" certificates) are filed with the Town Clerk. The DBA files allow consumers to identify and locate the proprietor of a business, which goes by a name other than that of the proprietor. The filing of a DBA certificate also serves as notice that the filer claims the exclusive use of the name contained in the certificate. Once filed, a certificate is valid for four years.
WHO HAS TO FILE A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE? Any person, partnership, or corporation conducting business in Northfield under a name other than their own or corporate name.
HOW MUCH DOES A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE COST? The cost in Northfield is $20.00
WHAT IS NEEDED TO FILE ONE? A completed business certification form. If the complete application is to be returned to the Town Clerk by mail, the applicant's signature must be notarized prior to submission.
HOW CAN I OBTAIN THE BUSINESS CERTIFICATION FORM? Business Certificates may be obtained from the Town Clerk’s Office.
WILL I GET A TAX I.D. NUMBER WHEN I FILE A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE? No, the tax identification number comes from the Internal Revenue Service. You may obtain an Employer Identification number through a call to 1-800-829-4933.
HOW OFTEN DOES A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE HAVE TO BE RENEWED? Every four years. If the business is discontinued, the Town Clerk's office must be notified. There is a discontinuance fee of $10.
WHAT IF THE BUSINESS ADDRESS CHANGES? The applicant should come in to the Town Clerk's office and file a change of address form. There is a small processing fee of $5.
WHAT IF THE OWNERSHIP OF THE BUSINESS CHANGES? If it is a complete change of ownership, a new business certificate must be filed, with a fee of $20.00.
Law Relating to Business Certificates:
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
ACTS AND RESOLVES
CHAPTER 337. AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE FILING AND RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATES STATING THE REAL NAME OF THE PERSON TRANSACTING BUSINESS.
Be it enacted, etc., as follows:
SECTION 1 . Chapter 110 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out Section 5, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:
Section 5. 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 in the office of the clerk of every city or town where an office of any person or partnership may be situated a certificate stating the full name and residence of each person conducting such business, the place, including street and number, where, and the title under which, it is conducted, and pay the fee as provided by clause (20) of section thirty-four of chapter two hundred and sixty-two. Such certificate shall be executed under oath by each person whose name appears therein as conducting such business and shall be signed by each such person in the presence of the city or town clerk or a person designated by him or in the presence of a person authorized to take oaths. The city or town clerk may request the person filing such certificate to produce evidence of his identity and, if such person does not, upon such request, produce evidence thereof satisfactory to such clerk, the clerk shall enter a notation of that fact on the face of the certificate. A person who has filed such a certificate shall, upon his discontinuing, retiring or withdrawing from such business or partnership, or in the case of a change of residence of such person or of the location where the business is conducted, file in the office of said clerk a statement under oath that he has discontinued, retired or withdrawn from such business or partnership or of such change of his residence or change of the location of such business, and pay the fee required by clause (21) of said section thirty-four. In the case of death of such a person, such statement may be filed by the executor or administrator of his estate. The clerk shall keep a suitable index of all certificates so filed with him which are currently in force and effect, setting forth the pertinent facts, including a reference to any statement of discontinuance, retirement or withdrawal from, or change of location of, such business, or change of residence of such person. A certificate issued in accordance with this section shall be in force and effect for four years from the date of issue and shall be renewed each four years thereafter so long as such business shall be conducted and shall lapse and be void unless so renewed. Copies of such certificates shall be available at the address at which such business is conducted and shall be furnished on request during regular business hours, to any person who has purchased goods or services from such business. Violations of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars for each month during which such violation continues.
SECTION 2. Such certificates in force and effect on the effective date of this act shall remain in effect until July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven and shall be renewed on or before July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-seven unless a statement of discontinuance, retirement or withdrawal from such business has been filed with the city or town clerk.
APPROVED OCTOBER 4, 1985
Last modified May 13, 2005