Who must file a business certificate?
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 110 section 5 states that any person conducting business in the Commonwealth under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business, whether individually or as a partnership, shall file (a certificate) in the office of the clerk of every city or town where an office of any such person or partnership may be situated.

Under Chapter 110, §6 a business certificate is not required if a corporation is doing business in its true corporate name, or if a partnership is doing business under any title which includes the true surname of any partner. Certain other associations and partnerships may also be exempt (refer to above citation for details.)

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1. What is a business certificate?
2. Who must file a business certificate?
3. Are there any special requirements for a home-based business?
4. How do I file or renew a business certificate?
5. What do I do if I discontinue or withdraw from the business, or move to another location?
6. What is the penalty for failing to file a business certificate?
7. Are business certificates public documents?
8. Does the filing of a business certificate protect me from others using the same name?