County Clerk:Business Certificates/Court Records/Land Records/Notary Public

Business Certificates

Office of the County Clerk
Bradford Kendall, County Clerk

What is a Business Certificate?

A Business Certificate is a legal document which can be filed in the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office, by an individual or group of individuals who wish to conduct business in the County of Dutchess under an assumed name. (Assumed names are often referred to as DBAs). You may be required to have a Business Certificate to be licensed by other agencies or for tax, insurance or banking purposes.


How do I file a Business Certificate?

Obtain a Business Certificate or Business Certificate for Partners form from a stationery store -or- download it from our website.  This form may also be downloaded from

Do a search under Assumed Names at the 2nd floor Records Room of the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office to determine if the business name you intend to use is already being used in Dutchess County. If it is, an alternative name should be selected.

Complete the appropriate Business Certificate form, appear at the Customer Service Counter (2nd floor) of the Dutchess County Clerk’s Office with the form and the fees noted below, and bring official photo identification. If you plan to have the County Clerk staff notarize your document, do not sign until you are in the presence of the staff person.

How much does it cost to file a Business Certificate?

  • $25.00 to file a Business Certificate
  • $5.00 for each certified copy


Payment must be in the form of cash, money order, or certified check only, please.

How do I change a certificate I already filed?

Use the Amended Business Certificate form to make changes such as partners or addresses. The fee for the Amendment is $25.00, also in the form of cash or money order, please.

How do I discontinue a business?

Use the Certificate of Discontinuance of Business or Certificate of Discontinuance of Business as Partners form (available from a stationery store). There is no fee to file this form.

How do I get a Sales Tax I.D. number?

Information can be obtained from or 1-800-829-3676.


Corporations, Limited Partnerships, LLC's or LLP's must be filed with the Department of State, NYS DIVISION OF CORPORATIONS 518-473-2492.  These papers cannot be filed at the County Clerk's Office.


For information regarding incorporations, LLC and LLP's and not-for-profit corporations, contact the NYS Department of State, Division of Corporations, 41 State Street, Albany, New York 12231. Telephone 1-518-473-2492 or 1-900-835-2677 or website:  You may also wish to consult an attorney.

You may find helpful information and guidelines for new business at the following websites:

  - NYS Division of Licensing Services:  1-518-474-4429 or
  - Empire State Development: (ebiz-NYS)
  - US Small Business Administration:
  - NYS Small Business Development Centers:
  - Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop:

Federal I.D. number, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) information can be obtained from


Limited Liability Corporations - Notice

Section 206 OF THE LIMITED LIABILTY CORPORATION requires that a notice of formation be published in “Two newspapers of the county in which the office of the limited liability corporation is intended to be located, one newspaper to be printed weekly and one newspaper to be printed daily, to be designated by the county clerk,”

For that purpose I have designated the following newspapers:


Poughkeepsie Journal
85 Civic Center Plaza
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Tel: 845-437-4751
E-mail (preferred) -


Southern Dutchess News
84 E. Main Street
Wappingers Falls, NY 12590
Tel: 845-297-3723
E-mail (preferred) -

The Millerton News
c/o The Lakeville Journal
Attn:  Legal Department
PO Box 1688
Lakeville, CT  06039
Tel:  860-435-9873 Ext. 192
Fax: 860-435-2725
E-mail (preferred) -

Hudson Valley News
PO Box 268
Hyde Park, NY 12538
E-mail (preferred) -
Tel: 845-233-4651


For more information on the formation of LLC’s please visit


Court Records


What legal/court documents can I view?

The public can view any legal/court document other than adoptions, retentions, matrimonial actions and youthful offender cases. [Only the parties to the action and/or attorneys of record can view matrimonial files. You must have photo Identification in the name as it appears on the divorce or the name (i.e. maiden name) approved by the DIV. JGMT.]

If you are mailing a request for a CONFIDENTIAL file, your signature, FULLY ACKNOWLEDGED by a NOTARY, is required.  A notary stamp and signature alone is not sufficient.

It is a crime punishable by law to alter or remove documents from the premises of the County Clerk's Office.

Where do I obtain information concerning Criminal Proceedings?

The Dutchess County Clerk’s Office is the source for criminal records filed with the New York State Supreme Court and the Dutchess County Courts. Only felony convictions are filed with the County Clerk’s Records Room. Federal, city and town proceedings are the responsibility of those government bodies and are not filed with this office.

Individuals may not initiate criminal proceedings directly. If you wish to initiate a criminal proceeding please consult an attorney, law enforcement agency or the district attorney’s office.

How about Civil Actions?

To start a civil action proceeding in Supreme Court, please provide a $210.00 check payable to the Dutchess County Clerk for an index number.  Download Applications for Index Numbers (.pdf) from our website. 

You must submit a summons with notice or summons and complaint at the time of purchasing an index number.

Does the County Clerk’s Office assist with small claims action?

The County Clerk's Office DOES accept Small Claims Assessment review papers.

Small claims actions (under $3000 and all landlord-tenant disputes) are handled by towns and villages only.

For information on court dates, jury duty, bail bond hearings or small claims, please see the courts listed in the blue pages of your telephone book.


Land Records

The Records Room of the Dutchess County Clerk is located on the 2nd floor of the County Office Building at 22 Market Street in Poughkeepsie.

What type of land records are available?

We have over 12,000 maps dating from 1822.   The modern maps are primarily subdivision maps as opposed to surveys of individual lots. Very often a map that you may need is mentioned in your deed. All of our maps are indexed by name. Other land records include deeds, mortgages, satisfactions of mortgages and powers of attorney.

Can I have a search performed by telephone?

No.  Searches are not done by telephone. Some document searches are allowed to be done, but only in person.  The fees are payable in advance. A certificate setting forth the findings is provided.

What about bankruptcy proceedings?

The County Clerk’s office does not have any bankruptcy proceedings. Those records are in bankruptcy court.

Does the County Clerk provide information to credit bureaus?

No. Credit bureaus have their own employees who physically come to the Record Room to search judgments, etc.

What are the fees for mail requests?

A copy of a document is $10.00. A certified copy is $11.00.  (This includes a search fee of $5.00.)

Make checks out to:
     Dutchess County Clerk's Office
     22 Market Street
     Poughkeepsie, NY   12601
     ATTN: Second Floor Mail

(**Mail requests should be answered within 10 working days)

It seems that a lot of information is available to just about anyone!

Most records in the County Clerk’s office are available to the public. One notable exception is divorce files. By New York State Law, the only parties allowed access to the file are the plaintiff, defendant and the attorney of record. You must produce a photo ID in the same name as noted in the divorce (or, if  the divorce judgment states that you were permitted to change your name, the ID must be consistent with the change noted) before we can allow you to view the file.

We are primarily a filing office. The County Clerk’s office receives completed documents for recording. We are charged by law to see that certain requirements are met, such as notarization. We do not police the contents of a document nor are we able to offer any legal advice.

Dutchess County Clerk's Office


Notary Public


What are the eligibility requirements for a Notary Public Commission?

You must be at least 18 years of age at the time you apply. Nonresidents (including attorneys admitted to practice in New York State) must have an office or a place of business within the state to become a Notary Public.

How can I apply to become a Notary Public?

Information on becoming a New York State Notary Public, as well as the application, can be obtained at  You can register for an exam at the test site on the day of the exam. The test fee is $15.00, payable by check or money order to the New York State Department of State.

What are the regulations and procedures at the test center?

You must bring a photo ID card to the test center on the day of your exam to verify your identity.  If you do not have a photo ID, you will not be admitted. For security reasons, all applicants are thumb- printed prior to taking the exam.

Be early. Give yourself some time before the exam. You should report to the test center at least 15 minutes prior to the starting time because seats are assigned on a first-come/first-served basis. There is no guarantee that enough space will be available to accommodate everyone who arrives. Bring acceptable supplies. You should bring two #2 pencils to the exam. You cannot use study or reference material during the exam.  You will be given a maximum time limit of one hour to take this exam.

What type of examination is given?

The written exam is multiple choice. You will mark your answer by filling in circles on a machine-readable score sheet.  Exam topics include law, general terms and information related to the duties and functions of a notary public, as outlined in the Notary Public License Law available online at the Division of Licensing Services.

How do I apply for my commission?

Within two years of passing the Notary Public exam, you must submit the original "PASSED" notice with your application form, your signed oath of office card and fee.

What is the address, phone number and web site of the New York State Department of State, Division of Licensing Services?

NYS Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, 84 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208-3490, (518) 474-4429


Bradford Kendall,County Clerk Bradford Kendall
County Clerk
Dutchess County Seal