Business Certificate for Sole Proprietorships and General Partnerships



County Clerk's Office County
If you plan on conducting for-profit business through a sole proprietorship or general partnership under any name other than your own, you are required by law to file what is called a Certificate of Assumed Name with the county clerk in the county or counties where your business is located. This certificate is commonly called a "business certificate."

If you use a trade name, you will likely need a Certificate of Assumed Name. This requirement differs for sole proprietorships and general partnerships:
  • A sole proprietorship is a type of business entity that has no separate legal existence from its owner. There is only one owner, and this person does business in his or her own name or by using what is called a trade name. A business certificate is needed only if a trade name is used.
  • A general partnership is a type of business entity in which partners (owners) share the profits or losses of the business in which they invest. Typically, general partnerships conduct business under a trade name according to a partnership agreement. General partnerships require a business certificate if the business operates under a trade name, which is generally the case.
These two types of business entities can file for a certificate directly with the county clerk's office in the county in which the business will be based. However, business owners should consult with an attorney to learn about the full implications of various legal structures and related agreements with regard to financial and legal liability, taxation, and planning for the possibility of sale or dissolution.

Organized business entities, like corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies must file a Certificate of Assumed Name if they are operating under any name other than the name they were incorporated or formed under. These organizations must file the Certificate of Assumed Name with the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations. Click the following link for more information about Certificates of Assumed Name.

For information about filing your certificate in a specific county, contact the county clerk's office in your borough.

Bronx County Clerk's Office
851 Grand Concourse
Room 118
Bronx, NY 10451
Phone: (866) 797-7214
Fax: (718) 590-8122

Kings County Clerk's Office
Supreme Court Building
360 Adams Street
Room 189
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: (347) 404-9750

New York County Clerk's Office
60 Centre Street
Room 161
New York , NY 10007
Phone: (646) 386-5955

Queens County Clerk's Office
88-11 Sutphin Boulevard
1st Floor
Jamaica, NY 11435
Phone: (718) 298-0605

Richmond County Clerk's Office
130 Stuyvesant Place
2nd Floor
Staten Island, NY 10301
Phone: (718) 675-7700

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