Step 1) Name Your Pennsylvania LLC

Choose a Business NameAs mandated by Pennsylvania law, all LLC’s operating within the state need to attach one of  the following words after their business names: “Company”, “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited”. Your chosen LLC name must be unique and distinguishable from other business names used by existing businesses.

To check for business name availability, you can use the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s  business name search tool. If you want to reserve your business name, you can do so by filing a Name Reservation (Form DSCB:15-208) at the Pennsylvania Department of State. You can reserve your business name for 120 days. This form can be filed online or through postal mail along with a $70 filing fee.


Step 2) Appoint a Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentIn the state of Pennsylvania, all LLCs are required to have a registered office (registered agents in other states) to receive legal documents and mails on their behalf.

Your registered office can be an individual or a business entity authorized to conduct business in the state of Pennsylvania. It should also have a physical office within the state.

For a list of available commercial registered office providers in the Pennsylvania, you can check out this site. Registered agent fees vary from state to state, but on average, you can pay as much as $160 every year for their services. To can take advantage of a free registered agent service for one full year if you  start your LLC with IncFile.


Step 3) File Your Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCTo start forming your articles of incorporation, you have to file your Certificate of Organization Domestic Limited Liability Company (Form DSCB:15-8913) with the Department of State. Below are some of the information that you need to prepare:

Your Certificate should be submitted along with a New Entity Docketing Statement (Form DSCB:15-134A). Information included in this form include the LLC name, complete name and address of the person in-charge of the initial tax reports, LLC purpose, effective date , EIN and the fiscal year end of the LLC.

You can file your articles of organization as well as your docketing statement online  or through postal mail.

LLC Filing Fee: $125


Step 4) Obtain an EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCA Pennsylvania Employer Identification Number is a mandatory requirement when starting an LLC in the state.

An EIN is a 9-series identification number similar to a social security number in individuals. It is essential that you obtain an EIN because it is the IRS’ way of monitoring your business taxes and activities.

The EIN is used for a variety of purposes: from opening a business bank account, hiring employees, filing for income tax returns and a lot more. You can obtain this requirement free of charge at the IRS website.


Step 5) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountFor healthy financial management, you have to open a business bank account. By having one, you will avoid a mix up between your personal and business finances.

You will also be able to keep track of your expenses better because all transactions are related to your business alone.

Recommended Resource: There are many types of business bank accounts available, to help you choose the best one you can check out this roundup.


To-Do After Forming a Pennsylvania LLC

1) Make a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanWhile a business plan is not a mandatory requirement when starting an LLC in Pennsylvania, writing one will enable you to lay out your business objectives and strategies well.

A business plan is not just a blueprint that will guide you as you build your business, it is also a tool that will assist you in finding the right financing for your business.

You can start writing your business plan with the help of the following resources.

Writing a Business Plan Quick-Links


2) Stay on Top of Your Pennsylvania Taxes and Finances

Small Business TaxesKeeping track of your Pennsylvania taxes and finances is essential if you want to maintain the financial health of your business.

To make sure that you fulfill your state tax obligations, you have to register before the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue (DOR). You can register online at Pennsylvania’s Revenue e-Services Center or send your Form PA-100 through postal mail.

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3) Get Your Pennsylvania Business Licenses

Business LicensesYour Pennsylvania business licenses are mandatory requirements so you need to obtain them before you launch your Pennsylvania LLC. Business licenses vary from state to state and will also depend on the nature, size and the entity type of your business.

Recommended Resource: For professional help in compiling business permits and licenses for your Pennsylvania LLC, here is a great package to assist you. You can also make use of this resource roundup provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration.


4) Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Create an Operating AgreementA Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company is one of the most flexible business structures. You can operate your business in whatever way you want, ownership status, organizational and corporate structures are also highly flexible.While this flexibility can be an advantage, it can also be a great disadvantage, which is why you need an Operating Agreement.

An Operating Agreement is a highly important legal document that outlines your ownership status, financial and operational relationships and corporate rules. You can use this Operating Agreement template and format it based on your specifications.


5) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe business industry is one of the most competitive places to be in so you need to make sure that you outdo other startups and get ahead of the competition. A business website is essential if you want to reach a larger market population. It will also be easier to relay your message and branding if you have a website.

Good thing building a business website is so much easier today because there are platforms like WordPress which you can even use for free to build a website in as fast as minutes. Bluehost is also an excellent web building software which has a one-click automatic WordPress installation and a customer support service in place.

Resource for Getting Started: Start building your business website now with the use of this step-by-step guide to assist you.

Please note that this guide is made to provide you with information and instructions to form your Pennsylvania LLC. It should not be considered a legal document or a legal advice. For specific questions on starting an LLC in Pennsylvania, please address them to your lawyer.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

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