Small Business Startup FAQs

Where Do I Register My Business Name in Broome County?

Pursuant to §130 of the New York State General Business Law, if you plan to conduct business in Broome County under any name other than your own (and you don’t have an established corporation, limited partnership or limited liability company), you must file a DBA in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.

  • For example, if John Doe wants to start selling pizza in Binghamton under the name “Johnny’s Original Italian Pizzeria,” he needs to file a DBA in our office.

A DBA gives you exclusive use of the business name in Broome County and will allow you to open a bank account under the “assumed” name.

For more information, please reference our DBA FAQs.


Is a DBA a Business License?

No, a DBA is NOT a license to do business in Broome County or the State of New York.

  • The County Clerk's Office is not a licensing agency.

To determine if you need any local licenses or permits, you should contact the City, Town or Village Clerk where you wish to operate your business.

Municipality Phone Number Email
City of Binghamton Clerk (607) 772-7005
Town of Barker Clerk (607) 648-4445
Town of Binghamton Clerk (607) 772-0357 Ext. 26
Town of Chenango Clerk (607) 648-4809 Ext. 3
Town of Colesville Clerk (607) 693-1174
Town of Conklin Clerk (607) 775-3454
Town of Dickinson Clerk (607) 723-9401 Ext. 202
Town of Fenton Clerk (607) 648-4800 Ext. 102
Town of Kirkwood Clerk (607) 775-1966
Town of Lisle Clerk (607) 849-6969  
Town of Maine Clerk (607) 862-3334
Town of Nanticoke Clerk (607) 692-4041 Ext. 20
Town of Sanford Clerk (607) 467-3214  
Town of Triangle Clerk (607) 692-4332 Ext. 1020
Town of Union Clerk (607) 786-2915
Town of Vestal Clerk (607) 321-6017
Town of Windsor Clerk (607) 655-2023
Village of Deposit Clerk (607) 467-2492
Village of Endicott Clerk (607) 757-2435  
Village of Johnson City Clerk (607) 798-7861
Village of Lisle Clerk (607) 692-2137  
Village of Port Dick Clerk (607) 771-8233  
Village of Whitney Point (607) 692-4907
Village of Windsor Clerk (607) 655-2024


What Business Structure Best Suits My Needs?

The most common business structures are sole proprietors, general partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations.

For a thorough overview of your various options, please visit

Here’s a brief synopsis:

Sole Proprietorships:

A sole proprietorship is a business that’s owned and operated by one person. It’s the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to start a business.

  • Legally, all you have to do is file a DBA in the Broome County Clerk’s Office and obtain the licenses and tax ID numbers that the federal, state or local government requires for your type of business.
  • The biggest downside to operating as a sole proprietor is you’re personally liable for all the business’s debts, losses and liabilities. In other words, your personal assets could be used to satisfy a business-related judgment or lien. This is known as having “unlimited liability."
  • Sole proprietors report their business profits and losses on their federal and New York State personal income tax returns.
  • This business structure may be a good choice for new entrepreneurs with low-risk businesses.


General Partnerships:

A general partnership is a business that’s owned and operated by two or more people who share the profits and are equally responsible for the business’s debts and obligations.

  • Like sole proprietorships, general partnerships are quick and easy to set up by filing a DBA in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • While not required, it’s strongly advisable to draft a formal written partnership agreement to clearly define each partner’s ownership stake, duties and responsibilities and to establish how your profits and losses will be split.


Limited Liability Company:

A limited liability company (LLC) is an unincorporated business organization of one or more people who generally have limited liability for the business’s debts and contractual obligations.

  • An LLC is a separate and distinct legal entity from its owners, so it protects your personal assets (like your vehicle, house or savings accounts) from business-related lawsuits, liabilities, judgments and creditors.
  • LLCs are processed through the NYS Department of State (DOS), not the Broome County Clerk’s Office.
  • LLCs may be a good choice for medium- to higher-risk businesses and for owners with significant personal assets.



One or more people, called incorporators, may form a corporation with the NYS Department of State (DOS).

  • A corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners. While the cost to form a corporation is higher than the other structures, they provide the strongest protection against personal liability for business-related debts.
  • Unlike sole proprietors, partnerships, and LLCs, corporations pay income tax on their profits and require more extensive record-keeping, operational processes, and reporting.
  • Corporations are a good choice for medium- to higher-risk businesses that need to raise money and may plan to "go public.”


How Do Taxes Differ for Sole Proprietors, Partnerships, LLCs and Corporations?

Please reference the “New York State Tax Guide for New Businesses.”

  • Pages 5 – 11 cover the tax responsibilities of sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs and corporations.


Who Should I Contact for Help Starting My New Business?

For detailed information on starting a new business, please reference Empire State Development’s “Guide to Owning and Operating a Small Business."

New York Business Express is another excellent resource new entrepreneurs. Their Business Wizard can help you identify which regulations apply to your business and it will develop a comprehensive list of everything you need to get started.

Additional local resources include:


  • Greater Binghamton SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free, confidential business advice through its network of volunteer retired business executives.
    • For more info, click on the link above or contact SCORE at:


Do I Need to Get a Sales Tax ID Number?

If your business will be selling tangible personal property or providing specific taxable services in New York, you may be required to collect and remit New York State and local sales tax to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DFT) on a quarterly basis.


Do I Need a Federal Employer Identification Number?

A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by federal and state authorities to identify a business entity.


How Do I File a Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) Organization?


Where Do I File a Religious Corporation in New York State?

The only Corporation that’s filed in the Broome County Clerk’s Office is a Religious Corporation.

If your religious group intends to maintain a principal office or place of worship in Broome County, you will need to file Articles of Incorporation or a Certificate of Incorporation in the Broome County Clerk’s Office.

  • Filing fee is $25

Religious corporations that don’t have, or don’t intend to have, a principal office or place of worship in New York State should file their Certificate of Incorporation with the Department of State.

For more information, please reference the Religious Corporations Law.

If you have any other questions regarding the formation of a Religious Corporation, we’d recommend you contact a licensed attorney for assistance.