Business Certificates (DBA's)
The primary purpose of filing a business certificate is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the name(s) and address(es) of the owner(s) of a business. A business certificate filing is commonly called a DBA (doing business as). Banks will require a certified copy of a business certificate before issuing a business checking account.
The filing of a business certificate does not protect a business name as does a corporate filing or a trademark registration. The protection of a trademark (word, name, symbol or device) in Massachusetts is accomplished through the Secretary of State’s Office.
PLEASE NOTE: A business certificate is not proof of conformity to Zoning By-laws or Board of Health regulations. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact the Building Inspector and the Health Agent in order to comply with Town by-laws, rules and regulations.
Who Must File a DBA?
Any person conducting business under any title other than the complete real name of the owner, whether individually or as a partnership, must file in the office of the clerk of the city or town in which the business is located. A person is defined as an individual, a partnership, or a corporation. Exemptions to filing are allowed 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.
How to File or Renew a Business Certificate
Forms for filing a DBA are available in the Town Clerk’s Office and below on this page. The certificate includes the name and residence of each person conducting the business, telephone number, and the location where the business is conducted. The named individuals must either appear in person at the Town Clerk's Office with a driver's license or other acceptable form of identification to execute the document or have their signatures on the form notarized by a Notary Public. The certificate is valid for four years from the date of filing. When filing by mail, please complete the form and sign in the presence of the clerk's office or a notary. Mail the form to Town Clerk, 110 Main St, Monson, MA 01057, along with your payment (See fees below). We will certify and return one to you as proof of filing. Please be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
IN SUMMARY: To file your DBA you will need to provide the following:
1. 1 copy of the DBA form. The form must be signed in front of the Town Clerk or notary
2. Payment of $25.00, check made payable to the Town of Monson
Discontinuance/Withdrawal/Re-Location of a Business
A “Statement of Discontinuance, Change of Residence…” form must be completed and filed with the Town Clerk if one of the following occurs before the expiration of the DBA:
The business is discontinued;
A person named on the certificate has withdrawn or retired
from the business or partnership;
A person named on the certificate dies;
A person named on the certificate has a change of residence;
There is a change of location of the business.
Forms are available at the Town Clerk’s Office and below on this page. The completed form must be signed by the Town Clerk/Asst. Town Clerk or notarized by a Notary Public.
The Monson Assessors’ Office will be notified of all discontinuances for their property tax records.
Must the Certificate Be Displayed?
The business certificate does not have to be displayed but you must, upon request during regular business hours, provide a copy to any person who has purchased goods or services from your business. A business certificate is a public document and is kept on file in the Town Clerk’s Office until one year after expiration. It may be viewed by anyone making a request.
Penalty for Failing to File a Business Certificate
The requirement to file a business certificate is governed by State law (MGL Chap. 110, Sec. 5). Failure to do so is punishable by a fine of up to $300 for each month during which such violation continues.
$25.00 – Business Certificate Filing (includes one certified copy)
Checks should be made payable to the Town of Monson.