Obtaining And Filing A Business Certificate In New York
Every county requires anyone operating a profit-seeking business, in a name other than their own, to acquire a business certificate. Each county clerk’s office files forms for particular cities. Check with your local county office before filling out the proper form.
Before going to the county clerk’s office, get hold of “form X-201 for sole proprietors only” or “form X-74 for two or more owners.” These forms are available at most stationary stores that sell business forms. You will need to buy three. One is filed with the clerk’s office, one certified copy is filed with the bank, and one certified copy is displayed at your place of business. The form is relatively easy to fill out but use caution because it will be rejected if there are too many white-outs, cross-outs, or other correction marks.
There are guidelines that you must follow when selecting a name, including conducting a name search. The name search is easy to do and does not require much time. The clerk’s office now has most of this information online, so go to their website or you can go to the actual office and conduct a share on their computer. After knowing your name is not taken, you can place it on the form. Know the following words cannot be used: Associates, Group, Consultants, Limited, LTD, Inc., Corp., Corporation, or Incorporated. Some other words are periodically added to the list, so it is in your best interest to check this thoroughly when you go to the clerk’s office.
In New York County, filing fees are one hundred twenty dollars ($120) to file and ten dollars ($10) for each certified copy. It is imperative to know that they accept cash, certified checks, and post office money orders ONLY. Any other form of payment not listed will be rejected, so please make sure to use one of the payment types specifically mentioned. You will need to get your forms notarized. Make certain the notary’s signature is in the right place, right below the acknowledgment at the bottom of the form. Know they will not accept the form if you use a Post Office Box address; the name of the business is a proper name (that is not your own), or your place of business is not located in the county in which you are filing.
To file a discontinuance of a business certificate, there is no filing fee. However, to change the address costs another one hundred dollars ($100) plus ten dollars ($10) per certified copy. The form you need to amend your business certificate is form T-244; discontinuance of a general partnership is form T-176, and discontinuance of a sole proprietor is form T-341.
County Clerk Offices:
New York County Clerk | 60 Centre Street New York | (646) 386-5955
Kings County Clerk | 360 Adams Street Brooklyn NY 11201 | (347) 404-9772
Bronx County Clerk | 851 Grand Concourse Bronx NY 10451 | (718) 618-3305
Richmond County Clerk | 130 Stuyvesant Pl Staten Island 10301 | (718) 675-7700
Nassau County Clerk | 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, NY 11501 | (516) 571-3000
Queens County Clerk | 88-11 Sutphin Blvd. Jamaica | (718) 298-0600
Suffolk County Clerk | 310 Center Drive Riverhead, NY 11901 | (631) 852-2000
Westchester County Clerk | 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., White Plains NY 10601 | (914) 995-3070
To establish a separate Tax ID for your company, you will need an SS-4 Form for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) you can get from your accountant. You can also call the IRS Service Center at 800-298-3676 and give your information over the phone. They sometimes ask you to also fax the form, but check with them first. Please know you do not have to create a separate tax identification number, but a lot of sole proprietors like to do it to keep personal and business expenses and income separate. Usually, this is called a “doing business as” or DBA business.
Disclaimer: We are sharing general information. You still should consult your attorney before making any final decision concerning anything we speak about on this website since information or procedures may have changed.
About the Author
Jacquéline Edwards is a Business Manager with over twenty years of experience for Business Pipeline, Inc, a business management firm designed to assist business owners with bookkeeping and business management needs.