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Start Your Business

Even if you’re running a home-based business, you will have to comply with many local, state, and federal regulations. Do not ignore regulatory details. You may avoid some red tape in the beginning, but your lack of compliance could become an obstacle as your business grows. Taking the time to research the applicable regulations is as important as knowing your market.
Here are all of the resources you need to get your business up and running.

Lay The Foundation

Register Your Business

Find A Location

Determine Your Permits

Obtain Occupancy Certificate

Cut The Ribbon

Do Your Research

Reach out to people in the business community, research online, and ask people you trust about the idea. Feedback is a vital part of any successful business.
Consider area resources that can help you ensure that your business will be successful.

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan gives you an objective view of your business idea so you can enhance its strengths and address any challenges. It’s usually a requirement for receiving any loans or working with financial institutions.
Your business plan will become the foundation for future planning as your business grows.
The Massachusetts Small Business Development Center has resources to help you with your business plan.

Find A Location

Starting a small business doesn’t have to require a lot of money, but it will involve some. There are several ways you can fund your small business including financing, small business loans, or crowdfunding.
In addition to talking to banks and investors about your business, here are some additional financing programs to consider.

Register Your Business

Pick A Structure

First you must decide on the legal structure of your business.

Get Your EIN

You will need to apply for an EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS.

Register With The State

Now it’s time to register your business here with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Register With The Department of Revenue

Now, register with the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

Do You Need To Register With The City?

If you are a business entity registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and doing business in the same name as your corporation then you do not need to get a business certificate in the City.

Registering With The City

If you need a business certificate from the City of Newburyport. The City Clerk will issue you a certificate that confirms your registration with the City for a time period of four years (cost: $35). Get the business certificate here.

Find A Location  

Lease or Own?

Consider whether you want to lease or own space.

Browse Available Spaces

Take a look at available space in the City of Newburyport.

Let The Pros Help

The best way to see what is available is by contacting us to get a customized list of options based on your business profile and needs.

Check The Zoning

Check to make sure the City Zoning allows for the kind of use you will be doing on-site.

Determine What Permits Are Needed

Site Plan

A site plan is required for most commercial or industrial projects, including the renovation of an existing building. Contact the Inspections Department at 978-465-4405 at least 24 hours before the desired inspection date.

Getting Approvals

After the cover sheet is stamped received and paid by the Building Department the owner / applicant / engineer will bring it to the Assessor’s Office, where that office will add the official lot designation to the cover sheet.

Almost There!

The plan will be reviewed by the individual departments for compliance with their respective rules and regulations. Official address will be issued by the City Engineer’s Office upon his approval of the plans.

Obtain Occupancy Certificates


Get Occupancy Review Packet

The next step is to obtain you Occupancy Certificate (CO) from the City of Newburyport. The purpose of the Occupancy Certificate is to show what the structure is used for, that the structure is suitable for occupancy, and that the structure complies with all building codes.

Communicate with the Building Inspectors

Schedule a time to speak directly with one of the building inspectors. Because occupancy permit requirements are highly variable depending on the space and the work you are doing to it, it is best to have this discussion early in the process so you have a good idea of improvements you’re going to need to make.
The building inspectors have office hours daily on weekdays from
8:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Monday - Thursday
If you call during one of these times, you will be able to speak to somebody immediately. You can call their office at 978-465-4405.

Follow the Checklist

The following steps must be taken (if applicable) to open a new business.
Zoning Approval form must be filled out and then signed by the Zoning Officer.
If the Zoning Approval is approved, the applicant must have sign-offs from the Electrical, Plumbing/Gas, Fire, Building, Health, and Water Departments at a minimum.
Once signatures have been obtained the form and an application for payment must be submitted to our office to obtain a Certificate of Inspection
 If the business is food-oriented, please obtain the Food Service Plan Review Packet. Dumpsters are required for food operations. For any questions please contact John Fralick III,  Health Inspector - (978) 465-4410.
If tobacco products are to be sold you must obtain a tobacco sales permit from the Board of Health.
Check with the License Commission to determine if any other permits or licenses are required.
Signage; permits must be obtained from the Building Department for any outside signage relative to the proposed business.
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