How to Register a Trade Name in Massachusetts

By Mark Kennan

If you want to do business under any name besides your legal given name, you need to use a trade name, also known as a "doing business as," or DBA, name. For example, if you want to call your delivery service "Mere Minutes," you have to register that name. In Massachusetts, the state doesn't handle the registrations of business names for unincorporated businesses. Instead, you must register the name in each city or town where you will do business to receive a "doing business as" certificate, which is renewable. Be sure to note the expiration date of the certificate and renew as indicated.

Step 1

Identify the city or town in which you need to register your trade name. For example, if you plan to open your business in Boston, you need to register with the Boston Office of the City Clerk.

Step 2

Obtain the required registration forms from the city or town in which you want to do business. For example, you can download the Business Certificate registration form from the City of Boston website.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now

Step 3

Complete the required registration forms for the locality in which you want to register. In Boston, the form requires the trade name, your address and signature. You also have to have the form notarized.

Step 4

Submit the form to the appropriate office along with any required fees. In Boston, you can either file in person or by mailing in the registration. You should mail forms to the Office of the City Clerk, Boston City Hall, Room 601, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201, ATTN: Business Certificates. You can also drop it off in person at the same address.

Protect your brand. Register My Trademark Now
How to Legalize a Business Name in Louisiana
 

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Open a Sole Proprietorship Business in Florida

Compared to other business structures, sole proprietorships are relatively straightforward to set up. A sole proprietorship only has one owner who assumes liability for the business's debts. Opening a sole proprietorship involves selecting a business location, registering its name, applying for licenses and permits, and registering to pay taxes. Although uncomplicated, it is essential to set up a sole proprietorship correctly so as not to incur jurisdictional fees or penalties.

How to Establish a DBA

A DBA, or "doing business as," is a name you use for your business besides your real name. DBAs are also known as fictitious names or trade names in some states. For example, if you want to call your business "Glamorous Ghost Writers," you have to register that name before you may use it for business. A DBA allows you to have a more descriptive name for your business than just "Jane Doe" or "Kevin Smart, Inc." Even in states where registration is not necessary, you often receive additional protection against others using the same name if you register with the state.

How to Change Your Name if a Marriage Certificate Does Not Have Your Married Name

Most people who change their name when they marry change their name on their marriage license, which makes the name-change process much easier. If, however, you didn't initially change your name and now you want to, you'll typically need to file a legal petition, asking for a name change. Name-change laws vary from state to state, so consult the law in your area before attempting to change your name.

File a Trademark Online. LegalZoom. Learn More.

Related articles

Setting Up a Sole Proprietorship in Texas

One of the first decisions you must make when starting your own business is to choose which business form you want to ...

How to Register a Trade Name in New Jersey

In New Jersey, a trade name is considered any name a business uses in the course of doing business that does not ...

How to Fill Out DBA Forms

DBA is short for "doing business as." Sole proprietors and even larger companies may elect to operate under DBAs or ...

How to Transfer a DBA to Florida

When you operate a business in one state and use a fictitious name, or “DBA” as it's commonly referred to, (which is ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED