Massachusetts law about corporations

Laws, regulations, cases, and web sources on corporations law.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Best bet

Corporations Division, Secretary of the Commonwealth.
The Division handles filings and "stores certain records for thousands of corporations, LLCs, and other business entities organized or registered to do business in the Commonwealth."

The website also has instructions on how to file documents with the Division, as well as other general information about the agency and its services.

Contact information

Secretary of the Commonwealth
Corporations Division
One Ashburton Place, 17th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Phone: 617-727-9640

Online databases

The Corporate Database includes records for thousands of corporations, LLCs, and other business entities organized or registered to do business in the Commonwealth, including profit, non-profit, and professional corporations and foreign entities.

Other searchable databases include: Corporations Card File, Rejected Filings, UCC Database, Liens Database, Trademark Database, and Reserved Business Names.

Massachusetts laws

MGL c. 55, § 8 Political contributions by corporations; penalties

MGL Title XXII Corporations (Chapters 155-182)
Links to 100 chapters in the subdivision of the Code called Title XXII Corporations. Includes:

MGL c. 221, § 46 Practice of law by corporations; prohibition; exception

Massachusetts regulations

950 CMR 102.00-113.00 Secretary of the Commonwealth, Corporations Division


Selected cases

1A Auto, Inc. v. Director of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, 480 Mass. 423 (2018)
Under MGL c. 55, § 8, corporations may not make contributions to political candidates or their campaigns.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010)
"The Government may not suppress political speech on the basis of the speaker's corporate identity. No sufficient governmental interest justifies limits on the political speech of nonprofit or for-profit corporations."

Varney Enterprises, Inc. v. WMF, Inc., 402 Mass. 79 (1988) 
"In this case, we hold that, except for small claim matters, a corporation may not be represented in judicial proceedings by a corporate officer who is not an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth." The case interprets MGL c. 221, § 46, Practice of law by corporations; prohibition; exception.

Web sources

Closing your Massachusetts business registration, Mass. Dept. of Revenue. 
Outlines the steps to close a Massachusetts business registration with the DOR and other state and federal agencies.

The Corporate Transparency Act: Federal legislation requiring beneficial ownership information reports, Mass. Secretary of State.
This act reforms anti-money laundering laws and is intended to help prevent and combat money laundering, terrorist financing, corruption, and tax fraud. Beneficial ownership reports must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Treasury.

The Corporations book, Mass. Dept. of Revenue. Division of Local Services.
A list of corporations subject to taxation in Massachusetts.

Do corporations have standing?, Mass. Trial Court Law Libraries, 2019.
"Corporations may enter into contracts, and sue or be sued in court, in the same way as natural persons or unincorporated associations of persons."

"Forming a corporation in Massachusetts," Digital Media Law Project.
"Outline of the steps you need in order to form a corporation. Part of Digital Media Law Project's "Creating a Business."

Researching Massachusetts corporations, State Library of Mass.
Provides a timeline of the statutory oversight of corporation filings to help researchers find historical articles of organization and other filings. Download the file to click on hyperlinks.

"Why incorporate in Delaware? Benefits and considerations," Forbes Advisor.

Print sources

Business corporations, with forms, (Mass. Practice v. 13) West Group, annual.

The corporate records handbook : meetings, minutes & resolutions by Anthony Mancuso, Nolo, 2022. (eBook available here with library card).

Incorporate your business by Anthony Mancuso, Nolo, 2021. (eBook available here with library card).

The law of corporations, 3rd ed., James D. Cox, Thomson/West.

The law of corporations in a nutshell, 8th ed., West Academic, 2020.

Massachusetts corporation law and practice, Wolters Kluwer, loose-leaf.

Massachusetts corporations and other business entities, Lexis, with supplement.

Principles of corporate governance: analysis and recommendations, American Law Institute.

Securities litigation and enforcement in a nutshell, 2nd ed., West Academic Publishing, 2021.

Contact   for Massachusetts law about corporations

Last updated: February 14, 2024

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