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New York Collection Agency License: Step-by-Step Guide

In New York, collection agencies are not required to be licensed at the state level. However, local cities/counties may require licensing. New York City and the City of Buffalo require all entities engaged in the business of collecting personal or household debts to obtain a Collection Agency license.


Please note that in the New York City, a Collection Agency license is required if the collection agency's principal purpose is to collect debt from NYC residents, regardless of the agency's location. This license is also required of debt buyers, as well as law firms and attorneys engaged in debt collecting activities.


The licenses in New York City are regulated by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) . The licensing in Buffalo is handled by the Buffalo Department of Permit & Inspection Services .


In this guide, we cover the application process in the City of Buffalo and NYC only. For information regarding licensing requirements in other cities/counties, please visit your local government.

1

New York City application forms are available online on the NYC Business Licenses and Permits page . To apply for a collection agency license, you will need to complete the following forms:


  • NYC Collection Agency License application form available here .

  • NYC Basic Business Application form available here .

  • NYC Child Support form available here .


Applicants located outside of New York City are also required complete the Debt Collection Agency Non-Resident form found here .



Buffalo application forms can be found on the City of Buffalo License Applications page .


  • Buffalo Collection Agency License application form available here .



Note: As document links are updated regularly, they may have expired. If you have trouble accessing the links, go directly to the relevant agency page to find the application you need.


2

Fulfill Requirements and Obtain Required Documents

Apart from a completed license application form (and any other applicable form), the following is also required:


  • New York City applicants:

    • Business Certificate - Obtain the appropriate business certificate based on your business’s legal structure.

      • Business/Assumed Name Certificate - Required of Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than their own.

      • Partnership Certificate - Required of General and/or Business Partnerships.

      • Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing - Required of out-of-state businesses. Note that the certificate must be issued by the business’s home state Secretary of State.

      • Corporations, LLCs, Limited (Liability) Partnerships must remain active and be registered with the NY Department of State.


  • Buffalo applicants:

    • Financial Statement - Provide a recent copy of your financial statement and/or prior year’s Income Tax Return.

    • Police Record Check - Obtain and submit a record check completed at the applicant’s local police agency.

    • Corporate Filing Receipt or DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate - Submit the relevant document, along with the license application.


3

Obtain Your NY Collection Agency Bond

In New York City, all applicants who collect child support payment debts are required to submit a surety bond.


In Buffalo, all Collection Agency License applicants must furnish a surety bond notarized with the signatures of the Principal and Attorney-in-Fact. The bond must be accompanied by a Power of Attorney sheet and an Assets & Liability sheet.


  • Bond Amount : $5,000


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4

License Fees

  • New York City applicants:

    • Licensing Fee:

      • $150 if applying between February 1st and July 31st of an odd year

      • $113 if applying between August 1st of an odd year and January 31st of an even year

      • $75 if applying between February 1st and July 31 of an even year

      • $38 if applying between August 1st of an even year and January 31 of an odd year


Note: Fees may be paid by credit card or a check/money order made payable to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. However, for online applications fees must be paid with a credit card.


  • Buffalo applicants:

    • Licensing Fee : $315


Note: Fees may be paid by check/money order made payable to the City of Buffalo.


5

Submit Your Collection Agency License Application

In New York City, Collection Agency license applications may be submitted online through the NYC DCA online services portal , or in person at the following location:


NYC Submission Address:
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
Licensing Center
42 Broadway, Lobby
New York, NY 10004


For information regarding NYC licensing process and requirements, contact DCA at 311 (local) or (212) 639-9675.


In Buffalo, Collection Agency license application must be mailed directly to the Office of Licenses, along with all applicable documentation and fees to:


Buffalo Mailing Address:
Office of Licenses
65 Niagara Square, 301 City Hall
Buffalo, NY 14202-3303


For further information regarding licensing in the City of Buffalo, you may contact the Office of Licenses at (716) 851-4078.



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