Business Certificates

Filing a Business Certificate

What is a Business Certificate? (MGL Ch 110 Sec.5)

A business certificate is the registration of a business that is being conducted and is located within the Town of Hull. It is commonly called a “d/b/a” (doing business as). Its primary purpose is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and address of the owners of the business.

Click HERE to download a Business Certificate application.

Who Must File?

Any person conducting a business in Hull, individually or as a partnership, under any title or name other than their own name must file a business certificate with the Town clerk. If a corporation is operating a business in a name, other than the incorporated name, they too need to file.


The following are exempted from filing a business certificate with the Town Clerk:

  • Corporation doing business under its true corporate name which is required to file records and reports with the state secretary, corporations division.
  • Partnership doing business under a title which includes the true surname of any partner.
  • Association which has complied with MGL ch.159 sec.5&6 related to common carriers whose agents must file information with the state treasurer.
  • Partnership, Joint Stock Company or association conducted under a written instrument or declaration of trust, provided that the names of the trustees, with a reference to the instrument or declaration of trust, have been filed on a business certificate.

Where does one File?

File with the Town Clerk, 253 Atlantic Avenue, Hull, MA  02045, either in person or by mail. If filing by mail the business certificate must be completed, signed and notarized. A check in the amount of $20.00 made payable to the Town of Hull, and a self-addressed stamped envelope must accompany the certificate.

If your Business is located in your residence you must check with the Building Inspector and or Health Inspector to see if any special permits are required depending on the nature of your business.

Please Note: The issuance of a Business Certificate by the Town Clerk does not certify or imply that the business registered there under is in conformance with applicable local, state or federal laws or regulations. It shall be the responsibility of the business owner to demonstrate compliance with all Town of Hull Building, Zoning, Health, and Licensing requirements.

Does the filing of a Business Certificate protect me from others using the same name?

No, the protection of a trademark (wood, name, symbol or device) in Massachusetts is accomplished through the Secretary of State’s Office. (See website below)

What if I am no longer in Business or I move?

If a business is discontinued, or it the information related to the business or the individuals conducting the business changes after the original filing, a statement of discontinuance or the new information must be filed with the Town Clerk.

The fee for withdrawals, discontinuances, changes, etc. is $10.00.

Click here for Business Certificate Change Form.

What if the Ownership of the Business Changes?

If it is a complete change of ownership, a new business certificate must be filed, with a fee of $20.00.

Does a Business Certificate Expire?

Yes. A business certificate is in force and effect for four (4) 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, however you must provide a copy on request during regular business hours, to any person who has purchased goods or services from such business.

Will I get a Tax I.D. Number when I file a Business Certificate?

No, the tax identification number comes from the Internal Revenue Service. You can obtain an Employer Identification number through a call to 1-800-829-4933.

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