Business Certificate Information and Application


 (MGL, Chapter 110, Section 5, 6; 227:5A)

Whenever you are conducting a business under a name other than your own or a corporation's, you must obtain a "doing business as" (dba) or business certificate from the Town Clerk in the town where the business is located.

Click to view the Step by Step Guide to Starting a Business from the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED).

Please note: A business certificate is not a license to do business in the Town of Boxborough. 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 Boxborough Zoning Bylaw for conducting a business in the business district or the residential/home business. If needed you may be required to check with the Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer (978) 264-1725.

Who must file?

Any person conducting a business under any title (business name) other than the full name of the person conducting the business must file a certificate.  A person is defined as an individual, a partnership, or a corporation.

Where do I get the forms and how do I file?

All forms may be obtained from and filed at the Town Clerk’s Office during normal business hours (Monday-Thursday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm; Monday evenings 6:00pm-8:00pm) or downloaded here: DBA Form

Forms can be signed in person at the Town Clerk’s office or you can have your application notarized and mailed to the Town Clerk at 29 Middle Road, Boxborough, MA, 01719, along with a check for $20 made out to the Town of Boxborough.

Who must sign on behalf of the business?

If the business is owned solely by one person, only that person needs to sign.  If it is a partnership of two or more people (but not a formal legal entity), both or all of the “partners” must sign.  If it is a legal partnership, any officer who has authority to sign on behalf of the partnership may do so.  If it is a corporation, an officer who has signatory authority must sign – which is usually the President, but not always.  All signatures must be made in front of a notary, the Town Clerk, or the Assistant Town Clerk.  Do not sign the certificate unless it is in front of one of these three individuals.  An individual must be 18 years of age or older to legally sign a business certificate.

How long is a business certificate valid?

Business Certificates are valid for a period of four (4) years from the date of its original filing.  They must be renewed every four (4) years for as long as the business is being conducted.

Does filing a business certificate protect me from others using the same name?

No. The protection of a trademark in Massachusetts is accomplished through the Secretary of State’s Office. 

What is the fee for filing/renewing a business certificate?   


Must I display the certificate?

The law states that copies of your certificate must be available at the address at which the business is conducted, and shall be produced for inspection upon request during regular business hours to any person who has purchased goods or services from such business.

What is the penalty for failutre to file a business certificate?

The law states that violations will be punished by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each month during which the violation continues.

Where do I get tax information regarding my business?

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) can answer all of your questions regarding collecting sales tax or other tax questions you may have.  The Taxpayer Assistance Bureau is open from 8:45am – 5pm, Monday – Friday.  The toll free number is (800) 392-6089 or (617) 887-6367.  DOR has a publication entitled “A Guide to Sales and Use Tax” which answers the most commonly asked questions about sales/use tax.

You obtain an FID number from the IRS at (800) 829-1040 or (617) 523-1040.


Department of Revenue

Secretary of State’s office


For further information, call the Town Clerk's Office at 978-264-1727.