Apply For A Business License Boston, Massachusetts

What should be done to obtain a Boston, MA business license?

First, you will need to discover if you are able to have your proposed business at the location that you wish in Boston, Massachusetts. You will need to contact the Property and Construction Management Department at (617) 635-4100 to verify that your property is appropriately zoned and approved for the type of business that you will have. Next, you will need to apply for a business license if your business type requires it (check the list below) and pay the corresponding fees as dictated by the City of Boston. Lastly, you will be obligated to register your business with the City of Boston. This only occurs the first year and every fourth year thereafter. Go to Boston Business to learn more.

Which businesses demand a business license or business permit in Boston?

  • Food and Alcohol License
  • Non-Live Entertainment License
  • Automatic Amusement Devices License
  • One-Time Event Entertainment License
  • Raffle Event Permit
  • Building Permits
  • Electrician and Mechanical License
  • Restaurant License
  • Mobile Food License
  • Lodging House License Application
  • Dormitory License Application
  • Fortune Teller License Application
  • You may obtain all of these license and permit applications directly at the City of Boston’s website at: Boston Business License. It is important to know that the applications are not interactive. You will need to print them out and either mail them, fax them, or remit them in person. The information that you will require follows:

    Physical and mailing address:
    City of Boston
    Licensing and Permitting
    One City Hall Square, Room 809
    Boston, MA 02201
    Phone: (617) 635-4170

    What is the anticipated cost of a Boston business license?

    If you are a business owner, whether or not you are mandated to apply for a business license you need to register their business with the city and every fourth year after that. There is a cost for registration and the business licenses themselves range from $25 to $6,750 depending on the type of business and expected business profit. If you have any questions regarding the cost of the business license that you are seeking, please call the City of Boston at (617) 635-4170.

    Is there possible financial assistance for Boston business owners?

    Yes, the City of Boston has both grants and loans to offer, with some business loans reaching up to $150,000. There are five entities that offer this assistance. They are Boston Loan Development Corporation, Boston Industrial Development Financing Authority, Restore Boston, Partners with Nonprofits, and the Property Locator. For complete details please visit the City of Boston’s webpage at Boston Business Financial Assistance. Additionally, you may also call (617) 918-6262 if you have any questions regarding business financing.

    What should be done for a Boston home-based business?

    No special business license is required for home businesses. However, if your business license is within the list then you must obtain a business license for that particular activity. Please note that the list is subject to change at any time, therefore it is always recommended that you speak with the city to verify if you will need a license. All business owners are required to register their business and to have the business property verified. Visit Boston Licensing for details.

    Who should be contacted for additional questions or concerns?

    It is recommended that if you have any remaining questions or concerns whatsoever, that you contact the City of Boston Licensing and Permit Department at (617) 435-6500. This will prevent unnecessary time wasted when a simple phone call can clarify any questions. The address is:

    City of Boston
    Licensing and Permitting
    One City Hall Square, Room 809
    Boston, MA 02201
    Phone: (617) 635-4170

    Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

    Boston Brockton Cambridge
    Chicopee Haverhill Lawrence
    Lowell Medford Newton
    Quincy Somerville Springfield

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    This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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