A business certificate is required when you conduct a business under a name other than your own. The certificate should be issued from the Town where you conduct your business, even if that address is only a post office box.
A Special Permit or a Variance may be necessary if you attempt to make alterations, build, or conduct a business that is not in compliance with the current zoning by-laws. The Building Inspector (Zoning Officer) will issue a letter detailing the zoning by-law which you need relief from. There is a form which needs to be filed with the Town Clerk along with a copy of this letter and a check for $20.00. This will allow the process to begin and a hearing will be set with the Board of Appeals who will make the decision on whether or not to allow the Variance or Special Permit.
After the hearing, if approved, there is a 20 day waiting period to allow for a court appeal to be filed if any objecting party so desires. At the end of this period, if no court appeal has been filed, a letter will be issued from the Town Clerk indicating that no appeal has been filed and this can be filed along with the appropriate paperwork with the Registry of Deeds in Dedham.