Starting a Business

The County Clerk's Office is 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" (see below) Brochure which outlines the resources available to local businesses 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 in which you intend to engage.  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.

Business Certificates can be filed by mail. Certified copies are needed for many business purposes including opening a business checking account.

Print the form found here, complete form, and have signature notarized. Two (2) certified copies of the filed business certificate will be returned.

Send the original form, $35.00 check or money order payable to Erie County Clerk, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: 

Erie County Clerk, 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202

 

Forms & Resources

Small Business Contact Info

Erie County Basement Records: (716) 858-8785 (option 4)

8th Judicial District Court Resource Center: (716) 845-1816

Fees

Assumed Name Certificate Filing $25.00
Amendment of Assumed Name Certificate $25.00
Certified Copy $5.00
Certificate of Discontinuance $0.00