Any person, whether individually, a partnership, or a corporation conducting business under any name other than the complete name of the person or corporation conducting the business, must file with the Town Clerk's Office a Business Certificate (also referred to as a "DBA" certificate). (M.G.L. c.110, s.5)
Filing a business certificate at the Town Clerk's Office does not protect your name such as a corporate filing or a trademark registration does. It merely allows consumers and or creditors to identify the names of the actual owners of a business. State law requires this filing.
A business certificate does not give you permission to operate a business, it only registers the name. It is your responsibility to obtain all the necessary licenses and/or permits required by the town. The Building Department can tell you if your location is properly zoned. The Health Department can tell you if you need a food service permit. The Town Administrator's Office can tell you if you need a liquor license. Etc.
The fee for a Business Certificate is $40 and is good for four years.