Business Certificate Information

How to File a DBA


What is a Business Certificate

All fictitious name certificates for businesses (commonly known as "doing business as" or "DBA" certificates) are filed with the Town Clerk. Massachusetts requires any person or business entity who is conducting business under an alias (i.e. any other name than their own), including corporations, to file a business certificate in the community where their business is principally headquartered.

A "DBA" which stands for "doing business as", contains the name and address of the business and the names and residences of the principals of the business. This certificate must be signed by the business owner in the presence of a designated clerk in the Office of the Town Clerk or a Notary Public.

DBA certificates allow consumers to identify and locate the proprietor of a business. The filing of a "DBA" certificate also serves as notice that the filer claims the exclusive use of the name contained in the certificate. Filing a business certificate at the local level, however, does not protect your name. If you have a business name or a symbol that you consider unique and valuable you may want to register it as a trademark or a service mark.

It is the responsibility of the business owner(s) to check with the Corporations Office in Boston to verify that you are not using a corporate name that is protected in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Also, Corporations would fall under M.G.L. Chapter 110, Section 6.

How to file for a D.B.A.

Instructions for Filing a Business Certificate in the Town of Dennis, MA
Required by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 110, Section 5

Before applying for a Business Certificate, a pre-application must be signed by the Building Commissioner or his designee. The Building Commissioner's office hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30 am 4:30 pm. There is a one time fee with the Building Department for the pre-application. 

You can apply for or renew your Business License online by clicking this link:  Online Permitting and following the instructions below:

  1. You’ll need to create an account for yourself, click “Register here” and follow the prompts.
  2. In search bar, type in “Business Certificate”, hover over “Business Certificate” and click, at the Business Certificate tab, click “apply”
  3. Click the box that has “Apply”
  4. Follow the steps to provide contact information and your business information.
  5. Once your "Permit" is issued from the Building Commissioners Office, you will need to go to the Town Clerk's Office with your $30.00 payment and you will be issued a Business Certificate.

The "DBA" Business Certificate is valid for 4 years and the fee is $30.00. A notice will be sent to the mailing address on file when it is time for renewal. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Dennis.

Any change in a Business Certificate must be recorded in the Town Clerk's Office with a $15.00 fee. Such changes include Discontinuance, Change of Name or Address, and Additon of Partner.

It is important to file for a Discontinuance Form if you close your business. A copy of this form should be kept for your records and/or tax purposes.