Please note that the Erie County Clerk's office, recommends that you consult with an attorney prior to filing these forms in the Clerk's Office.
New York State Business Law Section 130 prohibits anyone from doing business under a name other than his / her own (as a sole proprietorship) or as a partnership unless an Assumed Name Certificate is filed in the Clerk's Office. These certificates are also referred to as "Doing Business As" (DBA) certificates, or more correctly, Business Certificates or Assumed Name Certificates. Business certificates must contain specific information, such as the names, addresses, and ages (if under 18) of the persons filing the Certificate. A Business Certificate form for filing can be obtained from one of the various legal stationery stores or via our Business Center page.
The Certificate is NOT a license to do business in Erie County or in the State of New York. 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.
Original Business Certificates
Prior to filing an original Business Certificate, the filer should review business names in the Clerk's Office already assigned to ensure that the desired name is available. A current list of filed Certificates is available for public review at the Corporations-Assumed Names counter of the County Clerk's Office Basement Records. In addition, we recommend that you search the New York State Department of State website.
After checking on available names,
- One original signed and notarized Certificate is filed in the Clerk's Office.
- 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.
Assumed Name Certificates may be filed in the Clerk’s Office for general partnerships. Again, a list of filed Certificates, while not indexed specifically as partnerships, may be searched at the Clerk’s Office to ensure that the desired name has not already been chosen by another entity. The Partnership Certificate must be signed by all partners and notarized. The form for filing can be obtained from one of the various legal stationery stores or on our Starting a Business Home Page.
Amendment of an Assumed Name Certificate
A Certificate can be amended by filing an original signed and notarized Amendment with the County Clerk’s Office. The form for filing can be obtained from one of the various legal stationery stores or on our Business Center page.
Generally, Amendments may be filed to change the business name, the business address, or to add or remove partners. Amendments require a reference to the original or most recent business filing and the Corporation-Assumed Names counter in the Basement Record Room of the Clerk’s Office can assist with identifying this reference.
Discontinuance of Assumed Name
The use of an assumed name can be discontinued when the individual or partners cease to conduct business. Like Amendments, the Discontinuance requires reference to the original filing and amendments. The form for an individual discontinuing an assumed name as well as the form for filing can be obtained from one of the various legal stationery stores or on our Business Center page. There is no charge for filing a Discontinuance of Assumed Name.
Incorporation and Formation of Limited Liability Companies or Partnerships, including Limited Partnership
The County Clerk's Office also maintains corporate and business entity records that were originally filed in this office and continues to take amendments and discontinuance documents for those entities.
Currently, Certificates of Incorporation, Articles of Organization for limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships, as well as any Assumed Name Certificates for corporations, limited liability companies and limited liability partnerships or limited partnerships are filed with the New York Department of State which may then forward copies to the Erie County Clerk, at the request of the filer. More information may be found at www.dos.ny.gov.