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Government Regulations



Massachusetts Information Privacy Laws

The New Privacy Laws go into effect March 1, 2010 and all businesses must comply - regardless of the size or location of your business.  If you take checks, debit or credit card payments, keep social security info (for employees or others) or drivers license numbers, you must comply.  Businesses that use personal information of Massachusetts residents must have a Comprehensive Written Information Security Program (WISP) and have policies and practices in place to safeguard personal information against identity theft. More information

Sales Tax
Some businesses are required to collect sales and use taxes from customers that will in turn be paid to local, state or federal governments.

Self-Employment Tax
Every working person contributes to Social Security and Medicaid. As self-employed, you contribute through a selfemployment tax through your personal income taxes.

Business Taxes
As a business owner, you are required to file state taxes though your personal income taxes. Business tax forms and
information can be found by contacting the Department of Revenue’s Customer Service Bureau.

Business Licenses
Depending on your business type and it’s location, you may be required to obtain licenses, certificates or permits.
Check with the license office in the city or town your business will be located to find out what is required.

Fictitious Business Name
The county recorder has a list of business in their office. You must apply for a business license using a business name that is not already being used by another business.

Business Insurance
Protect your business against unforeseen events. Business insurance may be required by law. Contact your insurance
agent or broker for more information.

Resale Certificate
This permit allows products to be purchased, tax free, for
resale. To apply for this certificate, you must have a State Issued Employee Identification number (EIN). Information
and applications can be found by contacting the Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Sales and Use division.

Employee Identification numbers (EIN)
All businesses must have this number to pay social security, federal withholding and federal unemployment to the IRS.
You can obtain the application at most SSI offices. You can download the application (SS-4) from the IRS website or by requesting one over the telephone. If you tele-TIN the completed application, it would be processed immediately.

Zoning Regulations
Depending on your business type check with the office in the town hall or city your business will be located to
find out zoning restrictions.

Environmental Regulations
Some business may have to comply with environmental regulations that mandate responsibility and awareness.
Hazardous Material, Petroleum storage, Wetlands regulations, USDA regulations, FDA Regulations, DEQ Regulations


Workman’s Compensation
If an employee is injured on the job this insurance will cover medical bills. Policies can be obtained by contacting your insurance company.

State Withholdings
You are required to deduct from employees pay for state payroll taxes. Information can be found
by contacting the Dept of Revenue & Division of Unemployment Assistance.

Federal Withholding
Some businesses may need to withhold Federal Income Tax, Social Security, and Unemployment taxes. Information can be found by contacting the Internal Revenue Service.

Hiring Regulations
Businesses are required by law to abide by nondiscrimination regulations. Some interview questions are illegal. Hiring a person under-18 years of age requires a business to follow guidelines outlined by the Department of Labor.

Safety and Health Regulations
All business with employees must comply to Occupational Health and Safety regulations. Information can be found by contacting the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration