Starting a Pennsylvania LLC grants you the freedom to run your business without risking your personal assets. And, when you buy our Pennsylvania LLC formation package, you’ll also get privacy protection, a secure online account, and a document delivery system that lets you view your documents 24/7. We do all that and more at a price our national competitors can’t match. We even provide local customer service from seasoned agents who are familiar with every aspect of forming and maintaining a Pennsylvania LLC.
Get to Know Our Pennsylvania LLC Service
Once you order our Pennsylvania LLC formation service, we file your Certificate of Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations and list our business address on your formation paperwork. This provides an extra layer of privacy. Here’s what happens after we file your formation paperwork.
- The state declares your LLC is authorized to do business.
- We upload your approved LLC documents to a secure online account that you can easily access.
- We supply you with high-quality registered agent service for a year.
- When the year is over, we send a renewal notice offering another year of registered agent service for $49, the same price you paid initially.
We’ll also give you free membership certificates and initial resolutions. We’ll even upload an operating agreement template into your online account. We know that every business is different, so you can customize the template to match what your Pennsylvania LLC needs. But, if you want to form an LLC by yourself, that’s always an option too. We’ll explain more about the solo route below.
Starting a Pennsylvania LLC
You can opt to form an LLC by yourself, but it requires a lot more work. But, even if you decide you don’t mind the work, you can still hire us to be your Pennsylvania registered agent for just $49 a year.
Here’s what starting a Pennsylvania LLC looks like if you decide to file on your own.
Name Your Pennsylvania LLC
Naming your Pennsylvania LLC is exciting because it makes the whole process of starting a business feel that much more real. You’ve got an opportunity to be creative, but you still have to abide by some rules Pennsylvania has for naming your LLC. Pennsylvania state statute 15 PA Cons Stat § 204 (2021) states that the name of your LLC:
- must contain an identifier like “company,” “limited,” or “limited liability company,” or similar words or abbreviations
- must be available, which means another company can’t already be conducting business under the same name.
- must be “distinguishable” from similar business names (unless you have permission from the other business).
- must not contain words like “corporation” or “incorporated,” or any related abbreviation implying the LLC is a different type of entity.
If you already have a name in mind for your Pennsylvania LLC, check the state’s business entity database to ensure the name isn’t already taken.
Hire A Registered Agent for Your Pennsylvania LLC
Pennsylvania law is unusual because it only requires businesses to have a registered office address. Meaning, the state is more focused on making sure Pennsylvania LLCs maintain a designated location for delivery of legal mail rather than having a specific person there to accept service of process.
To satisfy the registered address requirement, Pennsylvania law allows you to hire a Commercial Registered Office Provider, which is a business that focuses on maintaining registered offices. In other words, a business like us.
While you can act as your own registered agent, that also means you’ll have to stay in one place most of the day in case an important document shows up. When you hire a professional company like Pennsylvania Registered Agent, we do the waiting for you while you get on with the business of running your LLC.
File Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization
To file a Certificate of Organization for your Pennsylvania LLC, you must provide the following information.
Veteran/reservist-owned small business fee exemption (optional) – Check this box if you are a military veteran or reservist. Pennsylvania will waive your filing fee if you attach proof of status.
Business name – It must include a business identifier like “limited liability company.”
Registered agent address – This is your registered address OR the name and county of your Commercial Registered Office Provider.
Organizer – Write the name of the person or persons filing the document.
Effective date –You can make your LLC official upon filing or specify a future date.
Restricted professional company self-identification (optional) – Check this box if you’re starting a restricted professional LLC. If you are, you must also choose the type of business from the provided list of options.
Benefit company self-identification (optional) – If you’re running a benefit company, check this box. You may also include optional information about the specific type of public benefit you’ll provide.
Additional provisions (optional) – Attach a separate sheet if you want to include information like a list of members.
Docketing statement – This is automatically included if you file online. But if you file by mail, you must download a New Entity Docketing Statement, fill it out, and attach it to your certificate.
Organizers’ signature – The person or persons filing your documents must sign here.
You can file your Certificate of Organization online, in person, by mail, or by fax. To file by fax, you’ll need to have a direct deposit account already established with the state. The cost to file is $125 and normal processing time is 15 days.
If you want to speed things up, you have a few options as long as you don’t mind paying extra and filling out an Expedited Service Request. Also, you must file your expedited request and formation paperwork in person. For same-day service, file before 10 a.m. and pay an additional $100 fee. For three-hour service, file before 2 p.m. and pay an additional $300. And, for one-hour service, file before 4 p.m. and pay an extra $1,000.
Next Steps for Your Pennsylvania LLC
Create an operating agreement – This is not required by state law, but it’s still a good idea. An operating agreement is an internal document that acts as a how-to manual for an LLC. You can include provisions for how your LLC will handle internal disputes, profit distribution, and so forth.
Obtain an EIN – Not every business needs an Employee Identification Number, but it’s still smart to get one from the IRS and save yourself some trouble later. You can apply for an EIN online via the IRS website.
Open a business bank account – Your business should have its own bank account, even though it’s not required by law. Opening a business account is the best way to keep your personal money from mingling with your LLC’s money. You want there to be no doubt that there’s separation between you and your LLC.
Can I reserve a name for my Pennsylvania LLC?
Yes. If you know what business name you want but are waiting to file state paperwork, you can reserve a business name by filing a Name Reservation Form with the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations. The filing fee is $70. Submitting the form reserves your name for 120 days.
Do I need to file a Pennsylvania annual report?
Maybe. Pennsylvania uses a decennial report, which means some businesses must file a Decennial Report of Association Continued Existence every 10 years. There’s a $70 filing fee, and forms should be sent by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.
Based on current law, a decennial filing will not be required if your business files anything (such as an amendment) with the Department of State within the ten year period. If you forget to file a decennial report, your business entity won’t be dissolved, but you will no longer have exclusive rights to your business name.
How are Pennsylvania LLCs taxed?
By default, your Pennsylvania LLC gets taxed as a pass-through entity. What does this mean? It means you must use your personal taxes to report your share of the business’ profits. You will also need to pay federal self-employment taxes (15.3%) and Pennsylvania’s personal income tax (3.07%).
Pennsylvania LLCs can also elect to be taxed as an S or C corporation by filing paperwork with the IRS.
Do I need a Pennsylvania business license?
You probably need a sales tax license, as it’s illegal to make taxable sales to Pennsylvania customers without one. You’ll need another license if you’re running a Restricted Professional LLC, which is a business offering one of the following services: chiropractic, dentistry, law, medicine and surgery, optometry, osteopathic medicine and surgery, podiatric medicine, public accounting, psychology or veterinary medicine. These are all professions that require specialized training or education. Other than that, local licensing requirements will vary. Pennsylvania has a local registrations, permits, and zoning tool you can use to nail down more details.