County Clerk Update
by Suffolk County Clerk Judy Pascale
Starting A Business In Suffolk County
State law provides that the County Clerk’s Office files certificates for persons conducting business under an assumed business name. These are usually referred to as DBA’s. DBA certificates must contain specific information. A Business Certificate form for filing can be obtained by visiting the County Clerk’s website at www.SuffolkCountyNY.gov/Clerk and clicking on online forms.
There are three basic DBA filings: Original; Amendments; Discontinuances.
Prior to filing an original DBA, the filer should review business names already assigned to ensure that the desired name is available. A list of current DBA’s is available for public review on the County Clerk website. All business names must consist of words that are used in the English language or it will be presumed to be a surname which can only be used by the person whose surname it is. Using a dictionary is advised to determine if the name you seek to use is acceptable. After checking on available names, and choosing a name that is available, a completed DBA form is filed in the Clerk’s Office with a fee of $35.00. The fee of $35.00 covers the filing, a certified copy for the filer’s record and a certified copy for a business bank account.
Amending a DBA
A DBA can be amended by filing a copy of the appropriate amendment form at the Clerk’s Office. The form can be obtained from various stationery stores, or by visiting the County Clerk’s website.
Amendments can only be filed to change the business name, the business address, or to add or remove partners. Amendments and discontinuances require a reference to the original or most recent filing. The filing fee for an amended DBA is $35.00.
Discontinuing a DBA
A DBA can be discontinued when the individual or partners cease to conduct business. Like amendments, discontinuance requires reference to the original filing and amendments. Again, the form can be obtained from various stationery stores, or by visiting the County Clerk’s website. There is no fee for filing discontinuance.
Other Business Types
In addition to a DBA and Partnership, there are other types of business that can be started in New York such as Limited Liability Companies and Corporations. Both of these business types and others are created with the New York Secretary of State. Additional information can be obtained at www.DOS.NY.GOV.
Upon creating a new business it is always advisable to discuss with an attorney and tax professional which business type suites your goals and needs.