Business Certificate (D/B/A)

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Business Certificates

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Q:  How do I obtain a business certificate?
A: Whenever you are conducting business under a name other than your own full name or the corporation's, you must obtain a "doing business as" (dba) certificate from the City Clerk in the City where the business is located. The d/b/a certificate is maintained in a public file and allows consumers to identify and locate the proprietor. You may file the (dba) in person, and/or with your partner if a partnership, in the City Clerks office. You may pick up a business certificate form at the City Clerk's Office. The form must be returned notorized.

In Haverhill, the filing fee for a d/b/a certificate is $60.00. A certified copy is available for an additional $10.00 at the City Clerks Offfice or $15.00 by mail. The certificate may be filed in person or by mail, if by mail it must be notorized. The certificate expires four years from the date of issue. For further information, call the City Clerk's office.

Q: What is needed to file one?

A: A completed business certification form and a note from the Building Inspector that you are in the proper zone to run the business.

Q: Will I get a tax ID number when I file a business certificate?

A: No, the tax identification number comes from the Department of Revenue at the state level. You must apply to the State for the number.

Q: What if the business address changes?

A: The applicant should come in to the City Clerk's office and file a change of address form.  The cost is $20.00.

Q: What if the ownership of the business changes?

A: If it is a complete change of ownership, a new business certificate must be filed with:

  • a fee of $60.00
  • an additional $10.00 fee for a certified copy at the City Clerks Office or $15.00 by mail.
  • a fee of $20.00 for discontinuing an old business

Q: What if it is a partial change of ownership?

A: If one of the parties remains the same, the former owner must file a withdrawal form with:

  • a fee of $20.00
  • an additional fee of $10.00 for a certified copy at the City Clerks Office or $15.00 by mail.