Business Certificate

In order to regulate trade, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 110, Section 5 requires any person conducting a business, whether individually or as a partnership, under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business to file a business certificate with the City Clerk.  These certificates are often referred to as “doing business as” certificates.  For example, if you are Jane Smith selling books as a sole proprietor, a partnership, or a corporation, and you are using Books Galore as a business name, you are required to have a business certificate on file with the City Clerk unless the business is incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Business certificates are valid for four years from the date of issuance.  The business certificate should be posted in the place of business and be furnished upon request by any person who has purchased goods or services from such business.

You must modify your existing certificate of any business changes or file a Discontinuance with the City Clerk if your business ceases to operate.  The fee for these filings is $10.00.

Procedure for Applying for a Business Certificate 

All owners must appear together.  Bring the completed, unsigned, Business Certificate Application to the City Clerk, along with: 

  • Photo identification for notary public
  • $25.00 fee (cash or check made payable to the City of Pittsfield)