Step-by-step checklist for starting a small business in Massachusetts

1) Check Business Name Availability:

2) Filing a business online:
Filing fee: $275 for a MA corporation or $500 for a MA LLC
• Process time: 3 days to process articles of incorporation or organization if you mail them.
• FAX and Online filings are auto-expedited
• Expedite fee: LLC -$20, Corp - $15

3) Registering with the Department of Revenue:
• MA sales tax: 6.25%
• Income tax: 5.25% tax on earned income (salaries, wages, tips, commissions) and unearned income (interest, dividends, and capital gains)
• Corporate income tax is calculated by using the corporation’s taxable net income plus its property/net worth. The income tax is calculated at a rate of 8 percent of the corporation’s taxable net income. The property/net worth measure is imposed at a rate of $2.60 per $1,000 of either a corporation’s taxable MA tangible property or its taxable net worth. The minimum corporate excise tax is $456.

4) Getting a Business License:
•  No general state business license. Check your city clerk. If doing business as a DBA, you need a local business certificate. You need to register DBAs with your city or town clerk. Check for any other certificates or licenses needed.

5) Other licenses:
• The Division of Professional Licensure oversees 31 boards of registration. Check out what professions need licenses:

6) Workman's Comp and Unemployment Insurance

7) Web domain guide:
• or go to

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