Business Certificate FAQs

Who must file a Business Certificate?

According to MGL, Chapter 110, Section 5:

  • Any person conducting business under any title other than the complete real name of the owner, whether individually or as a partnership. 
  • Any corporation doing business in a name other than the corporate name. (Must be filed by a corporate officer.) Note that INC., CORP., and LTD. may only be used by a corporation.

Wakefield’s application form can be accessed here.

Where does one file?

File with the office of the City or Town Clerk, in person, in every city or town where an office of any such person, partnership, or corporation may be situated. 

What if there is a change to my business?

Upon discontinuing, retiring, or withdrawing from such business or partnership, or in the case of a change of residence of such person or of the location where business is conducted, a change form must be filed with the Office of the Town Clerk. Wakefield’s change form can be accessed here.

Does a Business Certificate expire?

A business certificate is in force and in effect for four years from the date of issue. A new filing must be made every four years as long as the business is conducted.

Do I have to display the Certificate?

No, but you must provide a copy on request, during regular business hours, to any person who has purchased goods or services from such business.

May I file by mail?

Yes. The forms may be obtained from the Town Clerk. All persons applying for a Business Certificate and named on the form must appear before a Notary Public to have their signatures witnessed. Wakefield’s application form can be accessed here.

What are the fees in Wakefield?

  • Business Certificate filing: $50
  • Certified Copy of the certificate or change form: $10
  • Withdrawals, discontinuances, changes, etc: $10

Are there penalties?

Violations of these provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than $300 for each month during which such violation continues.