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Forms for Filing a Business Certificate

There are two different Business certificates that can be filed in the state of New York. These forms are available at most stationary stores that sell business forms. You will need to buy three. One is filed with the clerk’s office, one certified copy is filed with the bank and one certified copy is to be displayed at your place of business. The form is fairly easy to fill out but use caution because it will be rejected if there are too many white-outs, cross-outs or other correction marks.

If you are filing as a sole proprietor (one owner) you need FORM – X 201 “BUSINESS CERTIFICATE”
If you are filing a partnership (2 or more owners) you need FORM – X 74 “BUSINESS CERTIFICATE FOR PARTNERS”


There are guidelines that you must follow when selecting a name, including conducting a name search. The name search is easy to do and does not require much time. The clerk’s office usually has the computer and books on file to do the search. After knowing your name is not taken, you can place it on the form. Know the following words can not be used: Associates, Group, Consultants, Limited, LTD, Inc., Corp., Corporation or Incorporated. Some other words are periodically added to the list so it is in your best interest to check this thoroughly when you go to the clerk’s office.
On form X-201 you MAY NOT use any term implying more than one owner, i.e. GROUP, CONSULTANTS, ASSOCIATES, etc.

The following terms MAY NOT be used on any certificate: LIMITED, LTD., CORPORATION, CORP., INCORPORATED, INC., P. C., LP, LLC, and LLP.

There are certain situations when the clerk’s may ask you to explain the use or meaning of the business name on your certificate.


New York County Clerk, 60 Centre Street, Room 109B, New York, NY (212) 374-8359

Kings County Clerk, 360 Adams Street., Law Desk, Brooklyn, NY (718) 643-8012

Queens County Clerk, 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard, Jamaica, NY (718) 520-3704

Richmond County Clerk, 130 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, NY (718) 390-5389

Bronx County Clerk, 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY (718) 590-3642

Westchester County Clerk, 110 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Boulevard, White Plains, NY (914) 285 3080

Nassau County Clerk, 240 Old Country Road, Mineola, NY (516) 571-2664

Suffolk County Clerk, 310 Center Drive, Riverhead, NY (631) 852-2000


In New York County filing fees are one hundred twenty dollars ($120) to file and ten dollars ($10) for each certified copy. It is very important to know that they accept cash, credit cards, and post office money orders ONLY. Any other form of payment not listed will be rejected, so please make sure to use one of the payment types specifically mentioned. You will need to get your forms notarized. Make sure the notary’s signature is in the right place, right below the acknowledgment at the bottom of the form. Know they will not accept the form if you use a Post Office Box address; the name of the business is a proper name (that is not your own); or your place of business is not located in the county in which you are filing.

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