FILING A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE IN NORTHAMPTON
A Business Certificate is commonly referred to as a d/b/a or "Doing Business As" form. Its purpose is primarily for consumer protection and is considered a public record.
Pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 110, section 5, a person must file a business certificate when conducting business in Northampton under any title (business name) other than the real name of the individual, partnership, or corporation. (Note: Certain exemptions to filing are allowed under section 6: a corporation doing business as its true name; a legal partnership is doing business under any title which includes the true surname of any partner; certain other exemptions exist for trusts and limited partnerships.)
COMPLETING THE FORM
The following information about the business is required:
- Name of the Business
- Physical Location Where the Business is Conducted (not P.O. Box)
- Phone Number & Mailing address for the Business
- Owner(s) of the Business
- Owner's Address (physical location, not P.O. Box)
- The type of business being conducted (such as retail, restaurant, therapist, etc.)
WHO MUST SIGN THE FORM?
- For a sole proprietorship the sole owner needs to sign.
- For a partnership of two or more people (but not a formal legal entity), both or all of the partners must sign.
- For a legal partnership or a corporation, any officer who has signatory authority may sign.
ALL SIGNATURES MUST BE MADE IN FRONT OF A NOTARY.
HOW DO I GET A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE FILED?
To file a Business Certificate, visit the City Clerk's Office during office hours. If you prefer, you may file via US Mail. Simply print out the Form, fill it in, include the payment, have signatures notarized, and return to:
City Clerk's Office
210 Main St., Room 4
WHAT IS THE COST OF THE BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?
The fee is $50 per filing, including renewal. Certified copies of the filing are $10 each.
We accept cash, money order or business check only.
HOW LONG IS A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE GOOD FOR?
The Certificate is valid for four (4) years from the date of filing. They are renewable thereafter.
WHAT IF I DISCONTINUE DOING BUSINESS IN NORTHAMPTON, MOVE MY BUSINESS TO A NEW LOCATION IN NORTHAMPTON, OR MOVE TO A NEW HOME ADDRESS?
The law requires that you notify us if certain changes regarding the information you provided about yourself or your business. You must file a "Statement of Discontinuance, Change of Residence, Change of Location of Business, Withdrawal, or Deceased from Business or Partnership" form with our office if any of the listed items below apply. There is a $25 fee to file this form; $10 for a certified copy of the filing. We accept cash, money order or business check only.
- If you discontinue your business in Northampton;
- If you move to a new home address;
- If you withdraw or retire from the business;
- If you move to a new location within Northampton.