The purpose of a Business Certificate, also known as a D/B/A (Doing Business As), is to disclose business ownership information. Many banks consider it a requirement for opening a business banking account.
Massachusetts General Laws, Ch.110 § 5 require that all businesses operating under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business, whether individually or as partnership, obtain a Business Certificate.
A Business Certificate is not required if any corporation is doing business under its true corporate name, nor is it required to any partnership doing business under any title which includes the true surname of any partner. For details, refer to Massachusetts General Laws, Ch.110 § 6.
Home Based Businesses
If the business is located in your home, you must first acquire a Home Occupation Permit in person from the Office of Community Development at 19 Moore St. The permit is a zoning check per the Belmont Zoning Bylaw 3.4.2 and is valid for four (4) years. The price is currently $30 for a Home Occupation Permit, payable at the Office of Community Development.
*Please note that if the residence is leased, a letter of consent is required from the landlord and must be presented to the Office of Community Development with the Home Occupation permit application.
The Business Certificate is valid for four (4) years and costs $50, cash or check made payable to the Town of Belmont. Applicants must apply in person at the Town Clerk's office with valid photo ID and all owners of the business must be present to sign the documents. The forms required are available in the Town Clerk's office and may be filled out between the hours of 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday.
A Business Certificate does not protect your business name or trademark. For details in regards to incorporation, creating partnerships and LLCs, or protecting your trademark, visit the Secretary of State's website here.
Filing by Mail
Withdrawing a Business Certificate by Mail
If you would like to withdraw your Belmont Business Certificate, you may use the Business Certificate Withdrawal Notary Form to file by mail. You must send this form and a check payable to the Town of Belmont for $20 to file for a withdrawal.