What is a business certificate?
A business certificate is the registration of a business that is being conducted and is located within the Town of Westford. It is commonly referred to as a " DBA" or "Doing Business As" certificate. 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 under any title or business name other than the real name of the person conducting the business must file a certificate. A person is defined as an individual, a partnership, or a corporation.
Exemptions to filing are allowed under §6 if the 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 exemptions exist for trusts and limited partnerships.
How do I file or renew a business certificate?
Forms for filing are available in the Town Clerk’s Office. The certificate includes the name and residence of each person conducting the business, and the location where the business is conducted. The named individuals must either appear in person at the Town Clerk’s Office in order to execute the document, or have their signatures on the form notarized by a Notary Public. The filing fee is $30, and the certificate is valid for four years from date of execution.
What do I do if I discontinue or withdraw from the business, or move to another location?
A "Statement of Discontinuance, Change of Residence..." form must be completed and filed ($10.00 fee) with the Town Clerk if one of the following occurs before the expiration:
Business is discontinued
One or more of the persons named on the certificate is withdrawn or retired from the business or partnership
One or more of the persons named on the certificate dies
Change of residence of one of the named persons on the certificate
Change of location where the business is conducted
What is the penalty for failing to file a business certificate?
The requirement to file a business certificate is a State Law (MGL Chapter 110, §5). Failure to do so is punishable by a fine of up to $300.00.
Where can I obtain further information?
For further information about filing a business certificate, call the Town Clerk’s Office at 978-692-5515. For information about registering a trademark or trade name, contact the Secretary of State’s Office at 617-727-8329.