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by Pennsylvania Registered Office LLC

Pennsylvania Foreign LLC Registration

Register a Pennsylvania Foreign LLC

If you run an LLC based in a different state and you want to operate in Pennsylvania, you will need to register your business as a foreign LLC and get a Certificate of Authority. You can do this by filing a Foreign Registration Statement and Docketing Statement to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, Corporations Bureau and pay the $250 filing fee. The state will send you your Certificate of Authority once your filing has been approved.

Want to the make the process of registering your foreign LLC in Pennsylvania as easy as possible?¬†Our Out-of-State Registration Service not only includes the preparation and filing of your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements, but also a year of our registered agent service, a secure online account where you’ll have 24/7 access to your important business documents, and an immediate online business presence for your foreign LLC.

Register Your Foreign LLC Today!

More of a DIYer? No problem! We’ve created the guide below just for you. We’ll walk you through each step of the process of registering your foreign LLC in Pennsylvania.

How to Register a Foreign LLC in PA

You’re ready for your LLC to start doing business in Pennsylvania, but you’ll want to make sure you register as a foreign LLC before conducting business in the state. You can complete your LLC’s foreign registration by:

  1. Getting a Pennsylvania Registered Agent
  2. Filing the Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements
  3. Get your Certificate of Authority

What counts as doing business in Pennsylvania?

If you plan on hiring and paying employees, maintaining an office for your business, owning real estate for general purposes, or entering into any contracts with local businesses, you will be considered “doing business” in Pennsylvania and will need to register as a foreign LLC. Pennsylvania law makes some exceptions, but more than likely these exemptions will not apply to your business.

1. Get a Pennsylvania Registered Agent

Odds are, if you’re starting a foreign LLC you already have a registered agent in your home jurisdiction. But if you plan on doing business in Pennsylvania, you’ll also need to get a registered agent here, too. Pennsylvania is unique in that only requires businesses to have a registered office rather than a registered agent. Basically, the state wants to make sure there is a maintained office where your legal statements can be sent to rather than an individual.

The Pennsylvania Foreign Registration Statement requires you to list the address of a maintained office that will be open and available to accept service of process during regular business hours. State law does allow businesses to hire a Commercial Registered Office Provider who actively maintains a registered office. Which is exactly what we do.

Can I be my own registered agent in Pennsylvania?

Yes, but only if you’ll be available during all regular business hours at the registered office you’ve listed on your state paperwork. Let’s be honest, this isn’t possible for most people. Especially not for business owners expanding their business to a new state. This is why it’s common for businesses to hire a Registered Agent Service like us.

For only $49 a year, we’ll act as your Pennsylvania registered agent, send you compliance reminders when other important state forms are due, and give you a secure, online account where you can access your important business documents immediately and any time.

Get $49 Registered Agent Service

2. File Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements

In order to register your foreign LLC, you’ll need to file two documents with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State: a Foreign Registration Statement and a Docketing Statement. You will submit these forms together. The filing fee is $250, and you have several different options when it comes to how you can submit your filing:

  • Hire a company with expertise in registering foreign LLCs in Pennsylvania, like us! Once you hire us, we’ll ask you for the required information for your statement and then submit the filing for you.
  • Register for a free account at the PA Business One-Stop Shop. Your can complete, submit, and pay for you filing inside your account.
  • Mail or hand deliver your statements and filing fee to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office in Harrisburg.

In order to complete your Foreign Registration Statement, you will need to include the following:

  1. Type of Business Entity (LLC or PLLC)
  2. The full, legal name of your LLC and alternative name (if required)
  3. The state or jurisdiction where you formed your LLC
  4. Your LLC’s business address (and mailing address, if different)
  5. The address of your registered office
  6. Indicate if your LLC is a Series
  7. Effective date of registration (effective on date of filing unless otherwise indicated)
  8. Indicate if your LLC is a Professional LLC (PLLC) and if so, which professional service it renders
  9. Organizer’s Signature

Once you’ve filled out the form, your Foreign Registration Statement is ready to file!

What is the Pennsylvania Docketing Statement?

In order to successfully register your foreign LLC in Pennsylvania, you are required to include a Docketing Statement with your Foreign Registration Statement. This simple form requires some financial information about your LLC. Specifically:

  1. The LLC’s legal name
  2. The name and address of the person responsible for inital tax reports
  3. A description of your LLC’s business activity
  4. Your LLC’s EIN, FEIN, or FTIN
  5. Your LLC’s tax year or fiscal year end

While it’s kind of annoying to have to include another form with your filing, at least this form’s $0 filing fee won’t add to your registration costs.

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

There are several ways you can file your registration forms with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, Corporations Bureau:

Online: PA Business One-Stop Shop

Mail or In Person:

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?

The filing fee to submit your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements is $250.

What do I do if a PA business is already using my LLC’s name?

Though rare, sometimes those looking to register a foreign business in Pennsylvania may find that another PA company is using their name. Unfortunately, if you find yourself in this situation, you’ll have to choose a different name for your foreign LLC. When it comes to business names in Pennsylvania, it’s first come, first served.

Use the Pennsylvania Business Name Search to check if your LLC’s name is available. If it is but you’re not ready to file yet, don’t worry! You can reserve the name you want for up to 120 days. All you have to do is complete and submit a Pennsylvania Entity Name Reservation and pay the $70 filing fee. As long as you file your registration forms within that 120 day time frame, the name is all yours.

3. Get your Certificate of Authority

Once your Foreign Registration and Docketing Statements are approved by the PA Secretary of State, your Certificate of Authority will be issued. The state will send the certificate to either the mailing address or email address you included in your forms. Processing times will depend on the way 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 Service: $399

Our Out-of-State Registration Service includes more than just filing your state paperwork. When you hire us to register your business in Pennsylvania, you also get:

  • Lifetime client support from our local experts
  • 1 year of our Pennsylvania Registered Agent Service
  • An instant online business presence with a unique business domain, an email address and website with SSL at that domain, and a phone number with a local area code
  • Instant access to your online account: track and manage registered agent services and all corporate filings, documents and notifications
  • Pennsylvania foreign LLC compliance reminders
  • Free use of our address in Harrisburg for added business security

Register Your Foreign LLC Today!

 Pennsylvania Foreign LLC FAQs

How are foreign LLCs taxed in Pennsylvania?

Foreign LLCs are taxed the same way domestic LLCs are taxed: both are considered pass-through entities by default. Unless your LLC has chosen a different tax election (like S-Corp or C-Corp), registering a PA foreign LLC allows you to claim business’s taxes on your own personal tax return and avoid the state’s corporate income tax. This does not mean you’re not paying any taxes. You are still required to pay the federal self-employment tax of 15.3% and the state’s 3.07% personal income tax, but you won’t be responsible for the state’s high corporate income tax rate. (Currently 8.99%!)

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 (including domestic and foreign LLCs) will be required to file an annual report with the state. The filing fee is $7.

How long is a foreign corporation registered in PA?

For as long as you’d like! Your foreign LLC will be registered in Pennsylvania until you choose to withdraw from doing business in the state. Sometimes, in very rare circumstances, the PA Secretary of State can revoke foreign registration if deemed necessary.

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


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