Doing Business in Amesbury

Business is booming in Amesbury thanks to a solid commercial base, pedestrian-friendly downtown, and reasonably priced retail/office space. Amesbury businesses enjoy a healthy relationship with City government and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce, and can find support at every turn - whether you're expanding in your current location, looking for a new location within Amesbury, moving from another community, or starting a brand new business. Amesbury is committed to growing its small businesses, retaining its larger industries, and helping new businesses prosper!

Getting Started

Often, the most difficult part of opening or expanding a business is knowing how to get started. The City of Amesbury and the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce are here to support you as you get started. Whether you are a restaurant, clothing store, or a small manufacturer, we're here to help you navigate the various steps to support your path to opening or reopening your doors to customers. Please note, this information is just a guide and not meant to be an all-encompassing resource for starting a small business. We hope it helps you get started on the right foot in Amesbury!

Market Square
    - Consult the City of Amesbury Zoning Ordinance to make sure that your business/property meets the zoning requirements for the site.


    - Please consult with the appropriate government entities regarding these responsibilities, including: 1) Legal Structure - Connect with the State about excise taxes, filing fees and name inquiries; 2) Federal Tax or Employee Identification Number (EIN) - Define your business structure and obtain identification numbers from the IRS; and 3) State Taxes - If you will be selling products subject to sales tax, you must receive a Sales Tax Vendor Number from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue.


    - You will need a Business Certificate, or Doing Business As (DBA) from the City Clerk. A Business Certificate is in effect for four (4) years from the date of issue. A new filing must be made every four years as long as the business is being conducted.


    - If your business needs a sign, you will need to complete a Sign Permit Application, which requires review by the Design Review Committee and approval from the Planning Board. This process can take up to 2 months, inquiry early to have your sign up before opening. 


    - Contact Fire and Police for guidance on your design and layout.


    - Consult the Inspectional Services Department to create a timeline for construction and occupancy permits.


    - Contact the Mayor's Office to discuss the Liquor Licensing process.


    - In general, anyone who manufactures, sells, or distributes products that can be consumed by humans or that touch the human body (like nail salons) need to have a health permit and an annual inspection. This includes food you make at home and sell to the public.


    - Are you going to be offering outdoor dining options? Do you need to utilize the public way to display your merchandise? If you would like to use the sidewalk or parking spaces to support your business, please let us know. 

We're here to help! 

Office of Community & Economic Development: (978) 388-8110
Amesbury Chamber of Commerce: (978) 388-3178

Download and print a PDF version of this information.


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