What is a Business Certificate, DBA (doing business as)?

A Business Certificate is a local registration of a business that is conducted within the Town and filed with the Town Clerk, either in person or by mail, in every city/town where a business of any such person, partnership or corporation may be situated. It is commonly referred to as a "d/b/a" (doing business as). The primary purpose of filing is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and addresses of the owners of the business. Essentially, the public has a right to know who "is" a particular business, since a customer will not know who owns the business simply by the name of the business.

Note: A business certificate is not a license to do business in the Town of Bedford. Additional licenses / permits issued by other town departments or state agencies may be required in order to do business. Please refer to the Town of Bedford Zoning Bylaws for conducting a business in the business district or the residential / home business. You may be required to check with the Code Enforcement Office at 781-275-7446.

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1. What is a Business Certificate, DBA (doing business as)?
2. Who must file?
3. Who must sign the Business Certificate?
4. How long is my Business Certificate valid?
5. What if I “go out of business”, change my residence; change the location of the business or want to change the name or owner of the business?
6. Does the filing of a Business Certificate protect me from others using the same name?
7. What are the fees?
8. Must I display a copy of my Business Certificate?
9. What is the penalty if I do not file a certificate or statement?
10. Where do I get tax information regarding my business?