Suffolk County Clerk Departments & Services

Sole Proprietorship (Individual)

If you are conducting business under an assumed name as a sole (individual) proprietorship, you must complete and file a Certificate of Conducting Business Under An Assumed Name for an Individual form.

For your convenience, form completion and filing instructions are located on the Forms page at

There are certain statutory restrictions regarding what you may use as a business name; not all submitted names or titles are permissible. See General Business Law #130 (GBS) for additional information.

The use of words, which denote more than one person, (i.e. "associates", "and company", "group", etc.) are not permitted when filing a business certificate for assumed name as a sole (individual) proprietorship.

Proper names or initials used in the assumed name must be that of the filer(s).

The terms “associates”, “consultants”, “group”, “& company”, “& son” or any term implying more than one owner cannot be used on the sole (individual) proprietorship form.

An attorney-in-fact or agent may not sign on behalf of an individual or partner filing a business.

The terms "limited”, "LTD", "INC" or "CORP" cannot be used for this certificate as they imply that the business is incorporated. If you wish to incorporate, this must be processed through the Department of State in Albany, contact them at (518) 473-2492 or on the web at

A business or partnership must file a business certificate in all counties in which it conducts or transacts business, not just in the county where its offices are located. Such filing generally initiates in the county where the business address is located.

If you are purchasing an existing business registered with the County Clerk and wish to keep the same name, the previous owner(s) need to file a Certificate of Discontinuance form before you register your business certificate.