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502 W 7th ST, STE 100, Erie, PA 16502 | (610) 456-2133
by Pennsylvania Registered Office LLC

Pennsylvania Foreign Corporation Registration

Register a Foreign Corporation in PA

If you are a corporation based in another state and want to do business in Pennsylvania, you will need a Certificate of Authority to operate in Pennsylvania. You can get one by filing a Foreign Registration Statement and a Docketing Statement with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, Corporations Bureau. After you submit your forms, the state of Pennsylvania will return a completed Certificate of Authority to you. A Pennsylvania foreign corporation should not be confused with an out-of-country corporation. Any corporation not actually formed (created) in the state of Pennsylvania is called a foreign corporation.

Interested in an easy way to register your foreign corporation in Pennsylvania? Our Out-of-State Registration Service includes the preparation and filing of your Pennsylvania foreign corporation forms with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. You’ll also get a year of our registered agent service, a secure online account where you can access your important business documents at any time, and an immediate online business presence.

Register Your Foreign Corporation Today!

If you want to do the filing yourself: No problem! Our guide below will walk you through each step of the process of registering your foreign corporation in Pennsylvania.

How to Register a PA Foreign Corporation

If you’re interested in expanding your business into Pennsylvania, you’ll want to make sure to register as a foreign corporation before conducting business in the state. You can register your foreign corporation by doing the following:

  1. Appoint a Pennsylvania Registered Agent
  2. File your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements
  3. Get your Certificate of Authority

What counts as doing business in Pennsylvania?

According to Pennsylvania law, if you maintain an office for your business, sell personal property or goods, create contracts concerning local business or sales, or your business owns real estate for general purposes you are doing business in the state. There are some exceptions, like maintaining accounts in a financial institution or selling through independent contractors, but these circumstances are uncommon.

1. Appoint a Pennsylvania Registered Agent

Unlike a lot of other states, Pennsylvania only requires businesses to have a registered office address. Essentially, the state wants to make sure that active businesses have a maintained, designated location for delivery of legal mail rather than a specific person (a.k.a. a registered agent) appointed to accept service of process.

In order to satisfy this registered address requirement, you’ll need to provide the state with the address of a maintained office that will be open during regular business hours to accept legal mail for your business. Luckily, the state allows business owners to hire a Commercial Registered Office Provider who focuses on maintaining a registered office. Which is exactly what we do.

Can I be my own registered agent in Pennsylvania?

Yes, but only if you live in the state full time. This is usually not the case for people registering foreign businesses, which is why it’s common for companies expanding to other states to hire a Registered Agent Service like us.

For just $49 a year, we will not only act as your Pennsylvania registered agent, but you’ll also get an online account where you have immediate 24 hour access to all of your important business documents, and compliance reminders when other important state forms are due.

Get $49 Registered Agent Service

2. File your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements

You will need to include 2 statements when filing to register your Pennsylvania foreign corporation: the Foreign Registration Statement and a Docketing Statement. The Foreign Registration Statement filing fee is $250, and there are several different way you can submit your filing:

  • Hire a company that specializes in registering foreign corporations in Pennsylvania. We can do this for you! Once you hire us, we’ll simply ask you for the information needed for your statements and then submit the filing for you.
  • Create a free account with the PA Business One-Stop Shop and then complete, submit, and pay for your filing online.
  • Mail or hand deliver your statements to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office in Harrisburg.

You’ll need to include the following information on your Foreign Registration Statement:

  1. What type of business entity you’re registering.
  2. The full, correct name of the corporation in its home jurisdiction and an alternate name, if yours is not available in the Commonwealth.
  3. The jurisdiction where the business incorporated.
  4. The street and mailing address of the corporation’s principal office.
  5. The address of your Commercial Registered Office Provider.
  6. Whether the corporation has any series. (This only applies to LLCs.)
  7. Date of foreign corporation registration.
  8. Organizer’s signature.

Once completed, your Foreign Registration Statement is ready to file!

What is the Pennsylvania Docketing Statement?

Pennsylvania requires all businesses registering as a foreign entity to submit a docketing statement with their Foreign Registration Statement. This is a simple form that requires information about your corporation’s finances:

  1. Corporation Name
  2. Tax Responsible Party
  3. Description of Business Activity
  4. FEIN (EIN or FTIN)
  5. FYE (Tax Year or Fiscal Year End)

There is no additional filing fee for this form. You will submit this with your Foreign Registration Statement.

How do I submit my Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements in Pennsylvania?

There are a few different ways to file your forms with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, Corporations Bureau:

OnlineĀ using the PA Business One-Stop Shop

Mail or hand deliverĀ to:

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

How much does it cost to register a foreign corporation in PA?

$250. Whether you’re registering a foreign corporation or a foreign non-profit corporation, the $250 filing fee is what you’ll need to pay in order to register your business with the state.

What do I do if my corporation’s name is taken?

Although the odds are slim, there’s a chance that an existing business entity in PA may already be using your business’s name. If that’s the case, you’ll have to choose a different name for your foreign corporation in Pennsylvania. Use the Pennsylvania Business Name Search to check name availability.

If your business name is available, you can reserve it for up to 120 days by filing a Pennsylvania Entity Name Reservation and paying the $70 filing fee. This will ensure this name will be available to you when you’re ready to file, so long as you file within that 120 day time period.

3. Get your Certificate of Authority

Your Certificate of Authority will be sent to you once the state has processed your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements. Once approved to do business in Pennsylvania, the state will send your certificate either to the physical address or to the email address you listed at the top of the form. The time it takes to get your certificate will vary depending on how you submitted your filing:

Online 10 business days
Mail 15 business days + mailing time
In-Person 1-2 business days + mailing time
Expedited Same day (+$100), 3 hours (+$300), 1 hour (+$1,000)

PA Out-Of-State Registration: $399

When you hire us to register your foreign corporation in Pennsylvania, we do more than just submit your paperwork to the state. We also give you everything your corporation needs to get its feet on the ground in PA. Our service includes:

  • A Pennsylvania foreign corporation formed by professionals
  • 1 year of Pennsylvania registered agent service
  • Instant online business presence with a website, domain, SSL, email, and phone number with local area code
  • Instant access to your online account: track and manage registered agent services and all corporate filings, documents and notifications
  • Pennsylvania foreign corporation compliance reminders
  • Free use of our address in Harrisburg for added business security
  • Lifetime client support

Register Your Foreign Corporation Today!

Pennsylvania Foreign Corporation FAQs

How are foreign corporations taxed in Pennsylvania?

All corporations in Pennsylvania, domestic or foreign, are subject to pay the state’s corporate net income tax. PA used to have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the country at 9.99%. However, starting December 31, 2023, the state is slowly reducing the corporate income tax rate by about .50% a year up to the year 2031.

What does this mean? If you register your business now in 2024, you’ll be required to pay a 8.99% corporate net income rate. The next tax year, the rate will be 8.49%. The next, 7.99%. This decrease in rate will continue until it reaches 4.99% in 2031.

Is there an annual fee for foreign corporations in PA?

Currently, businesses in Pennsylvania are required to only file a Decennial report (every 10 years). However, starting in 2025 PA businesses will be required to file an annual report with the state. It will cost $7 to file.

How long is a foreign corporation registered in PA?

In perpetuity. Meaning, it will be registered until you choose to withdraw from doing business in the state or, in rare cases, your registration is revoked by the PA Secretary of State.

You can withdraw your PA foreign corporation by filing a Statement of Withdrawal of Foreign Registration with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and pay the $70 filing fee.