Apply For A Business License Lawrence, Massachusetts

Are you starting a business and want a business license in Lawrence, Massachusetts?

The first step in starting a business in Lawrence, MA is to contact Office of Planning at (978) 620-3500 to discuss your business plans. Once you have discussed your business ideas with the Office of Planning, you will need to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy. You must print out the Certificate of Occupancy application from the City of Lawrence website at

This document poses such questions as pertaining to the use of your business space, what materials you will use, if any hazardous materials will be used or produced at the place you conduct your business, and so on. Please note that you will need a new Certificate of Occupancy anytime your business moves or changes ownership. Additionally, it is important to know that the real estate taxes, water and sewer, and inspection fees must be paid to a current standing. When you have completed your Certificate of Occupancy application, you will need to submit it with the fee that is assessed by Office of Planning. Please consult with them to find out what you will owe. You may visit them at:

City of Lawrence
Office of Planning
225 Essex Street, 3rd Floor
Lawrence, MA 01840

You should receive your Certificate of Occupancy in about two weeks, but if you have any questions you may call (978) 620-3500. If you will have a residential-based business, you will still be required to contact Office of Planning for property certification. You will need to apply for a business license. There are a few specialty licenses, but if your business type is not one of these below, you will need to obtain a generic business license as known as the Business Certificate. Furthermore, it is suggested that you speak with a representative of the City of Lawrence to ensure whether or not you will need to as the city may update the list at any time.

What are the specialty business licenses that the City of Lawrence offers?

There are a few business-specific licenses that are offered:

  • Transient Business License
  • Pawnbroker License
  • Raffle and Bazaar License
  • Food and Beverage License

*If your business service is not one of these, you will be required to gain a standard Business Certificate with the City of Lawrence. You can find these applications at Lawrence Business License.

What information is necessary to complete a Lawrence business license?

Although some of the license applications vary, here is some of the generic information that will be needed:

  • Name of business
  • Business owner’s name
  • Business owner’s address
  • Signature(s)
  • Proof of notary public
  • Name of applicant
  • Applicant’s address
  • Applicant’s phone number
  • Property owner’s name
  • Property owner’s address
  • Property owner’s phone number
  • If property owner has any other locations, those addresses are also required
  • Applicant’s signature
  • City Tax Collector staff name and signature certifying taxes are not owed
  • Water staff name and signature certifying taxes are not owed
  • Inspectional Services staff name and signature certifying taxes are not owed

Do you have to pay fees for a Lawrence business license?

The standard business certificate costs $30. A fee applies for amended business licenses as well. Upon business closure or withdraw, a $20 fee will be due to the city. The fee for a Transient Vendor License is $50 annually, the fee for a Pawnbroker License is $350 for every three years and the fee for a Raffle and Bazaar License is $30. You may want to contact the City Clerk if you have any questions or concerns in regards to fees.

Do you need more information?

If you still need information that is not provided here, you will want to visit the City of Lawrence, Office of the City Clerk at 200 Common Street, Lawrence, MA 01840. They can also be contacted via telephone at (978) 620-3230. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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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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