By Joseph Autilio - Executive Director, Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
Answers to agents’ questions regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Q. Why do I sometimes have trouble locating my business online?
A. There are likely two reasons you may have difficulty finding your business online. First and foremost, the Board continues to uncover business brokers who have not obtained a license for the business. The relevant licensing law applies not only to individuals who want to do brokering, but also to businesses that engage in brokering, and that includes advertising the business as a broker. In fact, if your business is a corporation, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a limited liability partnership, you need to first create that business with the Massachusetts Secretary of State/Corporation’s Division and then get it licensed as a business broker with the Board.
The second most common reason you may be unable to locate your license as a business broker online involves “Doing Business As” (D/B/A) certificates. Specifically you may be doing business under a D/B/A name which is different from the name under which your business is licensed. If you enter the D/B/A name on the Board’s online “Check a License” feature you’re not going to find the business. The Board requests that you send us any D/B/A certificates for the business broker. The Board will store the D/B/A information in its database so that we have a more complete record of the business broker. However, while the Board can store D/B/A information for business brokers, it is not interactive. In other words, it is not a field in the Board’s database that is available to the public. As noted in prior articles, the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure—the Board’s parent agency—is working with other state agencies to transform our agency database. When that occurs, the Board will be able to have “interactive use” of business D/B/A names. “Interactive use” means that you will be able to look up a licensed business under its D/B/A name as well as the actual name under which it is licensed.
For now it is important to inform the public of both your business D/B/A name and the name under which your business actually holds its license, and of course, it’s important that business brokers provide the Board with any D/B/A certificates. Also remember that providing the public with the business broker’s license number is the most precise way to locate the business online.
Q. Are there any persistent problems with broker surety bonds?
A. Yes. The most persistent problem is that the candidate for broker licensure fails to sign the bond. Remember both the agent for the surety company and the candidate for broker licensure must sign the bond. One immediate consequence for a broker candidate who fails to sign his/her surety bond is the inability to take the broker’s examination.