Massachusetts Business Facts
With the most educated workforce and one of the highest median incomes in the nation, Massachusetts has one of the healthiest economic climates of all states. Massachusetts also has a low poverty rate and contains one of the largest economies in the nation, with clusters of STEM facilities and top colleges and universities a benefit to both employers and job seekers.
Massachusetts is the headquarters of major companies including General Electric, The TJX Companies, Raytheon, Staples and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
Massachusetts and in particular its capital, Boston, has been hailed as the best startup location in the United States. Massachusetts provides entrepreneurs with numerous incubators and accelerators for small business success and the state’s innovative business ecosystem introduces and establishes partnerships between tech firms and institutions of higher education. Massachusetts is also known as a worldwide leader in various industries including maritime trade, higher education, finance and biotechnology.
There are 3 basic options: a Corporation, LLC or DBA. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Massachusetts, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Massachusetts state databases:
Restrictions on Massachusetts Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Massachusetts.
How to form an LLC in Massachusetts
How to Incorporate in Massachusetts
NOTE: When registering a new company the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can take several weeks to file the paperwork. You can expedite the process by hand delivering the documents directly to them or one of their field offices and paying an additional fee.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Massachusetts is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Massachusetts
A Massachusetts DBA is filed with your city clerk’s office. You’ll want to contact your local City Clerk to find out exactly what forms to submit and what their submission process is. You can find the local county recorder’s office by searching “YOURCITY city clerk”.
Optional considerations when registering a Massachusetts business
Hire a professional Registered Agent. Many business owners list their home or business address on the Certificate or Articles of Organization. This can cause issues because it becomes public record (you’ll get lots of junk mail). A professional Registered Agent will provide their address and forward any important documents to you, this is also convenient if you have to move (you don’t have to file forms or pay fees, just update your address with your agent).
Ready to register a business in Massachusetts?
We specialize in registering businesses in Massachusetts.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be required to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s highly recommended that you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft. You can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We can obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you may need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county depending on the type of service you offer. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
DBA: Your Business Certificate is valid for 4 years at which point you’ll need to renew it with your town or city clerk.
LLC: Massachusetts LLCs are required to file an annual report every year on or before the anniversary date of the filing of the original Certificate of Organization. The filing fee is $520.
Corporation: Corporations in Massachusetts must file an annual report each year within two and a half months of the close of the corporation’s fiscal year end. The filing fee is $109.
Ready to start a business in Massachusetts?
Corporations Division (for Corporation and LLC filings)
One Ashburton Place, 17th floor
Boston, MA 02108
Massachusetts Taxation Department
Massachusetts Labor and Employment Department
Massachusetts Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA)
2. SCORE Massachusetts
3. Massachusetts Legal Statutes
4. Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce
6. Angel.co Massachusetts Startups
7. Massachusetts Business News
10. Massachusetts Green Business
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.