How to Start a Pennsylvania LLC

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Last Updated: August 15, 2022

In this guide on how to start an LLC in Pennsylvania, we take you through the best services you’re going to need one you actually form your LLC in Pennsylvania. You may be starting a business around some of the nation’s most important industrial centers like coal, steel and railroads. That is what the state is known for (before WWII).

There is also a chance that you love mushrooms since the state produces 425 millions pounds annually worth more than $330 million. Isn’t that crazy!?

You can always use a LLC formation service that will help you with an operating agreement, registered agent service and make sure you’re setting up your individual or business entity to cover the right Pennsylvania business taxes.

Well – let’s get moving and figure out if your Pennsylvania LLC is going to be b e a Limited Liability Company in the professional services world or if you’re starting the next mushroom business.

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent (LLC Service – $39 + state filing fee)

Use Northwest Registered Agent ($39 + state filing fee) and they will also give you the first year of their registered agent service included too. Go check it out and you’ll appreciate that you did.

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Name Your Pennsylvania LLC

It’s necessary for you to create an LLC name for your article before you get registered.

Names should be registered under state laws.

The following requirements must be considered:

  • The LLC name must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”
  • The LLC name should not have any words that could make people mistake it for a government agency. Words like “FBI,” DEA,” and “Treasury” are not allowed in LLC names.
  • The name should not imply that it is something it is not. For example, you cannot use the word “Banking” unless your LLC will actually be a bank.
  • You can reserve your LLC name with the state for 120 days by filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the PA Department of State. The filing fee is $70.

You’re also going to want to make sure your name isn’t taken so look it up with the state which you can do right here: https://www.corporations.pa.gov/search/corpsearch

You can also find all the right forms from the states in the dos.pa.gov site which you can find right here: https://www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/RegistrationForms/Pages/default.aspx

One other thing that’s important is to make sure you have a domain / .com available to setup your business structure with. It is important to legally have the right entity setup with the state but it’s also just as important to make sure you’re using GoDaddy or another domain registration service to capture the domain you need for your business.

As you build your Pennsylvania LLC, make sure you setup the right business structure and feel like you’re comfortable with your business name because it’s a pain to change it. You also want to make sure you’re not using any fictitious business name either so be careful!

Assign a Registered Agent for Your Pennsylvania LLC

A registered agent is the individual or business you name to receive service of process notices and other legal documents on behalf of your LLC. The registered agent must have a physical street address in Pennsylvania and be available during normal business hours.

You can learn more about the requirements for being a registered agent on the Department of State website.

You will need to list the name and address of your registered agent on your Certificate of Organization.

If you are forming a one-member LLC, you can act as your own registered agent. However, we do not recommend this because it would require you to list your home address on the public record.

If you hire a professional registered agent service, they will handle these notices and documents for you so you can focus on running your business.

The cost of hiring a registered agent service is typically around $100 per year.

You should also be able to find a law firm who can help you do this without being your own registered agent. Many of the services we recommend for LLC Service formation will have registered agent services that you can use.

If you’re trying to keep your personal assets and business address separate, this will also be really important to have a service like this to help. Whether you have a single member LLC or you’re building a massive group of professional companies, you’re going to need to act as the business owner and not the registered agent.

You don’t want to use a restricted professional company from the state so when you’re picking a professional services company like a registered agent – make sure it’s not restricted professional services. There are restricted professional companies out there so be careful!

Prepare and File Certificate of Organization

The Certificate of Organization is the document that officially creates your Pennsylvania LLC. The Certificate of Organization must include:

  • The LLC’s name and address
  • The LLC’s registered agent and address
  • The date on which the LLC will dissolve, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of each organizer
  • Whether the LLC will be managed by members or managers
  • The names and addresses of the initial members or managers, if any
  • Whether the LLC is member-managed or manager-managed
  • The signature of an organizer

You can find the Certificate of Organization on the Department of State website. The filing fee is $125.

To file by mail, send your completed form and filing fee to:

Pennsylvania Department of State

Corporation Bureau

Room 156, North Office Building

Harrisburg, PA 17120

To file in person, take your completed form and filing fee to:

Pennsylvania Department of State

Corporation Bureau

15th Floor, Forum Place

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Whether you’re creating a Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company and you’re going to hire employees or it’s just a single member LLC – you’re going to need to file this. This will come in handy with Pennsylvania law which requires you do this. This is different than your operating agreement, which you’re also going to need but is not the tactical steps – it’s just the official document that LLC owners need to file.

Create an operating agreement

An operating agreement is a legally binding document that outlines the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC.

The operating agreement should include:

  • The names and addresses of the members
  • How new members can be admitted to the LLC
  • How members can withdraw from the LLC
  • The LLC’s purpose
  • The powers of the members and managers
  • The duties of the members and managers
  • How the LLC will be managed
  • How decisions will be made
  • How profits and losses will be distributed
  • What happens if the LLC is dissolved

The operating agreement does not need to be filed with the state, but it is a good idea to keep it on file with your other important business documents. This LLC operating agreement is something you can always come back to and if you have more than one member in the LLC, you’re going to need one. This will help you conduct business and when (and if) you have disputes about what to do with the business – this will help you.

Think about how you should separate your personal and business assets – this is very similar in the sense that you want to have an operating agreement that lays out how you’ll handle business finances and operating agreements and roles for your business.

You can find a template for an operating agreement on the Department of State website or you can go to one of the services we recommend who has templates for you.

Get an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service

You will need an EIN to open a bank account and to file your annual taxes. You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail. To apply online, go to the IRS website and click on “Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)”.

This is one of the most important steps because it will lead you to the rest of the services you need. If you’re going to hire employees, collect sales tax, work with charitable organizations or just need a way to run payroll for your employees – you’ll need a Federal Employer Identification Number.

There isn’t an annual registration for this – you just get it one time and it’s associated to your Pennsylvania LLC so get one. By having one, you can also open up a bank account and start to apply for a credit card, workers compensation insurance, and liability protection.

Get a Business License

Depending on the business you are starting, you may need to get a local business license or permit from the city or county where your LLC will be located. To find out if your business needs a local license, contact your city or county clerk’s office. There are different types of businesses that have different Business Licenses.

If you are starting a home-based business, you may need to get a zoning permit from your city or county. Zoning permits ensure that your business complies with local zoning ordinances.

It’s always good to check in with your local Chamber of Commerce because they can help guide you on what licenses and permits you might need for your specific business.

There are a variety of business licenses and permits, so it’s best to consult with your local Chamber of Commerce or even the Department of State for more information. If you’re running a Pennsylvania LLC in your home or just need some help figuring out if your business name needs to have a license – it’s always best to check with a lawyer.

Filing an Annual Report

Every Pennsylvania LLC must file an annual report with the Department of State. The annual report is due by June 1st and must be filed online. The filing fee for the annual report is $70.

To file your annual report, go to the Department of State website and click on “Submit Annual Report”. You will need to enter your LLC’s information and then pay the filing fee.

You will need to file an annual report every year, even if your LLC has no income or assets. The annual report is due by June 1st and must be filed online. The filing fee for the annual report is $70.

Paying Annual Taxes

Your LLC will need to pay annual taxes to the state of Pennsylvania. The amount you will owe depends on your LLC’s income and assets.

To find out how much you will owe in annual taxes, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

If you do not pay your annual taxes, your LLC may be subject to late fees and interest. Additionally, your LLC’s annual report may be rejected if you do not pay your taxes.

You will have an annual registration whether it’s a Pennsylvania LLC, Foreign LLC or just a sole proprietorship . Make sure you’ve setup to conduct business where you can track your federal income taxes, Pennsylvania sales tax and if needed – use a Commercial Registered Office Provider who can help you with this.

Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to open a business bank account for your LLC. This will help you keep track of your LLC’s income and expenses. Additionally, it will make it easier to file your taxes.

To open a business bank account, you will need your LLC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and your Articles of Incorporation or Organization. You will also need to bring a photo ID.

When you open a business bank account, make sure to ask about any fees that may be associated with the account. Some banks charge monthly fees, while others charge for transactions.

Once you have opened your business bank account, you will need to deposit money into the account. You can do this by transferring money from your personal bank account or by accepting payments from customers.

You will need to keep track of all the money that goes in and out of your LLC’s bank account. This will help you when it comes time to file your taxes.

File for a Business Credit Card

It is a good idea to file for a business credit card for your LLC. This will help you build business credit and separate your personal and business expenses.

To get a credit card, you will need your LLC’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and your Articles of Incorporation or Organization.

Get your Small Business Insurance

As a business owner, it is important to have the proper insurance for your LLC. This will help protect your LLC from any liability claims that may arise.The type of insurance you need will depend on the type of business you are running. For example, if you are a consultant, you will need different insurance than if you are a restaurant.

Small Business Owners are going to want to separate their personal assets like we’ve talked about because the last thing you need is to have your personal and business assets tied together. You may also want to consider getting liability protection as you start to grow your business.

FAQs

How much does it cost to get a LLC in Pennsylvania?

To form a LLC in Pennsylvania, it will cost you $70. This filing fee is for your annual report. You will need to file an annual report every year, even if your LLC has no income or assets.

What is required to start an LLC in Pennsylvania?

To start an LLC in Pennsylvania, you will need to file your Articles of Incorporation or Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State. You will also need to pay a filing fee.

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in Pennsylvania?

It usually takes about 3-5 days for your LLC to be formed once you have filed your Articles of Incorporation or Organization.

How do I start an LLC online in Pennsylvania?

To start an LLC online in Pennsylvania, you will need to file your Articles of Incorporation or Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State. You will also need to pay a filing fee.

Can I form an LLC in Pennsylvania without a lawyer?

Yes, you can form an LLC in Pennsylvania without a lawyer. However, it is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer before starting any business.

What are the benefits of forming an LLC in Pennsylvania?

Some of the benefits of forming an LLC in Pennsylvania include: personal asset protection, flexibility in management structure, and pass-through taxation. LLCs are also relatively easy and inexpensive to form.