The County Clerk's Office always looking for ways to help our citizens interested in starting a new business in Erie County. Starting a business can be a long and detailed process but with the right resources it does not have to be a frustrating or tedious one. That is why we have created a "Starting your New Business" Brochure which outlines the resources available to local business and answers a number of questions new business owners may have.
The most common forms of business structures are: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company and corporation. If you plan to conduct business under a name other than your own as a sole proprietorship or partnership, you are required to register the name. New York State Business Law Section 130 prohibits anyone from doing business under a name other than his / her own or as a partnership unless an Assumed Name Certificate is filed in the Clerk's Office. (These certificates are also very loosely referred to as "Doing Business As" (DBA) certificates.) Assumed Name Certificates or Business Certificates must contain specific information, such as the names, addresses, and ages (ONLY if under 18) of the persons filing the Certificate. Keep in mind that registration of an assumed name in the Clerk’s Office is NOT a license to conduct business; a separate license may be required, depending on the type of business you intend to engage in. To determine whether special licenses are required, you should contact the New York State Department of State, or the City or Town in which you wish to operate your business.