DBA FAQs

WHAT’S A DBA?

A Certificate of Conducting Business Under an Assumed Name, commonly known as a DBA or Business Certificate, is a legal document that allows an individual or group of individuals to conduct business under an assumed name. 

Pursuant to §130 of the New York State General Business Law, if you plan to conduct commercial activity in Broome County under any name other than your own (and you don’t have an established a corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company), you must file a DBA in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.

  • For example, if John Doe wants to start selling pizza under the name “Johnny’s Original Italian Pizzeria,” he needs to file a DBA.

A DBA gives you exclusive use of the business name in Broome County and will allow you to open a bank account under the “assumed” name.

 

WHERE CAN I GET THE FORMS?

You can download the forms for free below or you pay $1 for a pre-printed form in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.

 

IS A DBA A BUSINESS LICENSE?

No, a DBA is NOT a license to do business in Broome County or the State of New York. 

  • The County Clerk's Office is not a licensing agency.

To determine if you need any local licenses or permits, you should contact the City, Town or Village where you wish to operate your business. 

Municipality

Phone Number

Email

City of Binghamton Clerk

(607) 772-7005

clerk@cityofbinghamton.com

Town of Barker Clerk

(607) 648-4445

barkerclerk@stny.rr.com

Town of Binghamton Clerk

(607) 772-0357 Ext. 26

townclerk@townofbinghamton.com

Town of Chenango Clerk

(607) 648-4809 Ext.   3

townclerk@townofchenango.com

Town of Colesville Clerk

(607) 693-1174

ColesvilleClerk@echoes.com

Town of Conklin Clerk

(607) 775-3454

sjacobs@townofconklin.org

Town of Dickinson Clerk

(607) 723-9401 Ext. 202

scerretani@townofdickinson.com

Town of Fenton Clerk

(607) 648-4800 Ext. 102

Tfenton-clerk@stny.rr.com

Town of Kirkwood Clerk

(607) 775-1966

kelley@townofkirkwood.org

Town of Lisle Clerk

(607) 849-6969

 

Town of Maine Clerk

(607) 862-3334

grover@townofmaine.org

Town of Nanticoke Clerk

(607) 692-4041 Ext. 20

nanticokeclerk@stny.twcbc.com

Town of Sanford Clerk

(607) 467-3214

 

Town of Triangle Clerk

(607) 692-4332 Ext. 1020

triangleclerk@stny.rr.com

Town of Union Clerk

(607) 786-2915

townclerk@townofunion.com

Town of Vestal Clerk

(607) 321-6017

dwallace@vestalny.com

Town of Windsor Clerk

(607) 655-2023

Windsortc1@echoes.net

Village of Deposit Clerk

(607) 467-2492

VOD.K.Budine@gmail.com

Village of Endicott Clerk

(607) 757-2435

 

Village of Johnson City Clerk

(607) 798-7861

cindyk@villageofjc.com

Village of Lisle Clerk

(607) 692-2137

 

Village of Port Dick Clerk

(607) 771-8233

 

Village of Whitney Point

(607) 692-4907

clerk@whitneypoint.org

Village of Windsor Clerk

(607) 655-2024

VillageofWindsor@echoes.net

For more information on starting a business, please reference Empire State Development’s “Guide to Owning and Operating a Small Business” at www.esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/NYS-SMALL-Business-Guide042019.pdf.

 

WHAT IF I PLAN TO CONDUCT BUSINESS IN OTHER COUNTIES?

You must file a separate DBA in every county where you intend to do business, not just in the county where your office is located.

 

HOW DO I DETERMINE IF THE NAME I WANT TO USE IS AVAILABLE? 

To check if your preferred name is available in Broome County:

  • Visit www.GoBCClerk.com
  • Search Records as Guest
  • Type your preferred name in the Party 1 field
    • Do not use apostrophes, commas or any other punctuation.
      • Incorrect:  Angela's Sweet Treats
      • Correct:     Angelas Sweet Treats
  • Search
    • If the name isn’t taken, you will see the following prompt:

 

ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS TO WHAT I CAN USE FOR MY BUSINESS NAME?

Yes.  There are certain statutory restrictions regarding what you can use as a business name.

  • Proper names or initials used in the assumed name must be that of the filer(s).
  • Additionally, DBAs can’t contain words such as "Corporation," "Incorporated," "Limited," "Limited Liability Company," "Limited Partnership," or their abbreviations, as those terms imply the business is incorporated.   
    • Incorporation creates a business entity that’s legally separate from its owners.
    • If you wish to incorporate your business, please visit  www.dos.ny.gov/about/corps-licensing.html or call the NYS Department of State at (518) 473-2492 for more information.

 

WHO IS LIABLE FOR BUSINESS DEBTS UNDER A SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP OR GENERAL PARTNERSHIP?

Unlike business corporations and limited liability companies, in a sole proprietorship or general partnership, there’s no legal distinction between the business and its sole owner(s).  

Despite doing business under an assumed name, the owner(s) are personally liable for the business’s debts, losses and liabilities.  In other words, the owner’s personal assets could be used to satisfy a business-related judgment or lien. 

 

CAN I FILE A DBA FOR MY LLC WITH THE COUNTY CLERK?

No.  Corporations, limited partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs) are required by statute to conduct business under their true legal name. If they wish to conduct activities under an assumed name, they must file a Certificate of Assumed Name with the NYS Department of State, not the Broome County Clerk’s Office.

 

WHAT FORM SHOULD I USE FOR MY DBA?

There are four basic DBA filings in the Broome County Clerk’s Office:

  1. Sole Proprietorship (Individual DBA):
  • Use: In a sole proprietorship, you alone own and control the business. You reap the profits and are personally liable for the business’s debts and other obligations.
  • Form:  Certificate of Doing Business Under an Assumed Name
    • Our forms are free if you download them online and print them yourself.  They’re $1 each if you purchase them at the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • Filing Fee: $30.20
    •  $25 to file the Certificate; and
    •  $5.20 for a Certified Copy, which is required to open a bank account.

 

  1. General Partnership (Business Certificate for Partners):
  • Use:  A general partnership is a business owned and operated by two or more people who are equally responsible for the business’s debts and obligations.
  • FormBusiness Certificate for Partners
    • Our forms are free if you download them online and print them yourself.  They’re $1 each if you purchase them at the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • Filing Fee: $30.20
    •  $25 to file the Certificate; and
    •  $5.20 for a Certified Copy, which is required to open a bank account.

 

  1. Amended Business Certificate for Individuals or Partners:
  • Use:  Amendments are filed to update the facts in the original certificate or the last amended certificate.  Use this form to change the business address, the business name, the individual filer’s name or to add/remove partners. Amendments require a reference to the original or most recent filing.
  • Form:  Amended Business Certificate
    • Our forms are free if you download them online and print them yourself.  They’re $1 each if you purchase them at the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • Filing Fee: $30.20
    •  $25 to file the Certificate; and
    •  $5.20 for a Certified Copy, which is required for banking purposes.

 

  1. Certificate of Discontinuance of Business
  • Use:  A DBA should be discontinued when the individuals or partners cease to conduct business. Like an amendment, a discontinuance requires reference to the original filing and any amendments.
  • Forms:  Sole Proprietor Discontinuance / General Partnership Discontinuance
    • Our forms are free if you download them online and print them yourself.  They are $1 each if you purchase them at the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • Filing Fee:   No fee.

 

CAN I MAIL MY COMPLETED DBA FORM TO THE BROOME COUNTY CLERK’S OFFICE?

Yes, you can either file your DBA in person (no appointments necessary) or you can mail your complete, notarized DBA form to:

  • Broome County Clerk’s Office
  • 60 Hawley Street, 3rd Floor
  • Binghamton, NY 13901

If filing by mail, please:

  • Include a brief cover letter explaining what you want to do.
    • Please include a phone number in case we need to contact you.
  • Don’t sign the form until you’re in the presence of a Notary Public.
  • Enclose a check for $30.20 made payable to the Broome County Clerk.
  • Send us a self-addressed stamped envelope, so we can return the Certified Copy to you.

Note:  The Broome County Clerk’s Office offers free Notary services.  Valid government-issued photo ID is required.

 

DO DBA’S EXPIRE OR NEED TO BE RENEWED?

In New York State, DBAs have no expiration date and renewals aren’t necessary. 

You do, however, need to file a Certificate of Discontinuance if you’re no longer conducting business.

 

WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?

  • Cash
  • Checks (made payable to the Broome County Clerk)
  • Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard & American Express)

 

WHO CAN IN CONTACT WITH UNANSWERED QUESTIONS?

Please call the Broome County Clerk’s Office at (607) 778-2255 Ext. 6.