Establishing a Business
Starting a Business
Starting a new business is a significant commitment. Learn about what you need to do and who can help!
The city clerk issues business certificates for registering a business in Northampton. A business certificate is commonly referred to as a D/B/A form or a "Doing Business As" form. A business certificate must be filed when conducting business in Northampton under any title (business name) other than the real name of the individual, partnership, or corporation.
New for profit and non-profit corporations must register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth of MA. This can be done online at the Secretary of State's Office. Existing corporations and trademarks in Massachusetts can be searched online at the Secretary's corporate divisions section of its website.
Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) also known as a federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. This number is used for both federal and state tax purposes. To obtain a federal EIN, you must file an application for Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Applications can be made online or by phone at 1-800-829-4933.
The Economic Development team for the City of Northampton provides site selection services and keeps a listing of available commercial and industrial properties in Northampton to help you locate a suitable property to meet your needs.
Zoning & Land Use Permitting
It is important to confirm that your business will be located in the proper zoning district. The Office of Planning & Sustainability can help identify appropriate zoning districts for your business. Some businesses are also allowed as home occupations. Please contact the Office of Planning & Sustainability for more information.
The Building Department issues commercial, residential, mechanical and zoning permits. Please reach out to the Building Department to let them know of your plans so that they can guide you in the direction to obtain all applicable building permits.
Additional Permits (if applicable)
- Health Department Permits (Food Establishment, Tobacco Permits, Body Art Permits, etc.)
- License Commission Licenses (Liquor, Entertainment, Common Victualler Licenses)
- Department of Public Works (Utilities/Trench, Curb Cuts, Stormwater and other Public Works Permits)
- Fire/Rescue Department (Fire Safety, Hazardous Materials)
State & Federal Taxes
Most businesses or their owners are required to pay income tax on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Other taxes that might be required are: unemployment tax, worker's compensation, payroll tax, sales tax. It is your responsibility to inform yourself and to comply with the state and federal tax filing requirements.