Wed 25 May 2016 | By:

47 Best Resources for Starting a Business in Pennsylvania

Resources for Starting a Business

Pennsylvania is one of the most beautiful states in the U.S. Its natural scenic beauty which is beyond compare, abundant outdoor activities and rich history and culture makes it one of the country’s most treasured states.

Pennsylvania’s economy is the sixth biggest in the entire U.S.. It is also home to 53 of the largest and most established companies in the nation by sales. With the presence of top caliber schools in the state, its skilled and talented workforce is considered one of the best in the country.

Business licensing is also lenient in the state making it favorable for business owners and entrepreneurs. However, in a report by Forbes Magazine in 2015, Pennsylvania ranked 36th in the most friendliest states in the U.S.

State tax costs on businesses, ease of doing business, ease of hiring and assistance programs were scored by Thumbtack a grade of F in their Small Business Friendliness Survey in 2015.

Pennsylvania is definitely not for the weak of spirit. If you want to make it in the state’s business industry, you have to work hard inorder to achieve your goals. With a highly competitive market, the following useful resources will be very helpful. Check them all out!


top small business resources in Pennsylvania

1) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Pennsylvania

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Pennsylvania is an organization funded by a joint agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The main focus of the organization is to help small businesses start, grow and prosper in the state of Pennsylvania. SBDC Pennsylvania also assists entrepreneurs make wise and smart decisions by providing them with small business assistance programs, resources and scheduling helpful events for them.

2) Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation

Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation is a premier lending network that provides entrepreneurs and small business owners with access to low-cost financing options. With over 20 years of offering fixed rates in the industry, LVEDC has partnerships with banks and other financing institutions to help entrepreneurs find the best rates on loans and give them access to federal, state and local financial programs and incentives.

3) PA Chamber of Business and Industry

PA Chamber of Business and Industry is an organization that has over 7,000 members in the state of Pennsylvania. The main goal of the organization is to fully support small businesses by providing them a variety of programs and opening opportunities to help them grow and succeed.

4) Metro Action

Metro Action is a non-profit organization that promotes community development in northeast Pennsylvania. To be able to contribute to the community, Metro Action supports small business growth in the area by offering small businesses and entrepreneurs with financial funding and assistance through business loans and business counseling services.

5) University of Pittsburgh – The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence

University of Pittsburgh – The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence is a private business organization providing individualized and personalized mentoring and coaching to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the state of Pennsylvania. Every participant of the program is matched with an experienced business leader or founder who will share their expertise to help the new entrepreneur widen his network and develop his company for long-term success.

6) Go Mt. Airy

Go Mt. Airy is a website of Mt. Airy that features support programs and organizations who are willing to help small business owners and entrepreneurs start and grow a business in Pennsylvania. From opening your small business to developing it, Mt. Airy has the business resources, business directory and partner organizations to help you out.

7) Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County

Riverfront Alliance of Delaware County helps small business owners build their enterprise and grow them in Delaware County. To fully assist entrepreneurs, the Riverfront Alliance has prepared a list of partner organizations that they can seek assistance from. The list of organizations include the Delaware County Commerce Center, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Chester Business Association, SBA and more.

8) Bradford Office of Economic & Community Development

Bradford Office of Economic & Community Development delivers the best possible service to its clients by offering financial incentives and access to countless state-of-the-art sites and facilities. They can also introduce entrepreneurs to the most recent economic development programs which are offered at all levels.

9) Huntingdon County Business & Industry

Huntingdon County Business & Industry  does not only aim to promote economic development in the County of Huntingdon, it also aims to advance the commercial, recreational, educational and agricultural aspect of the county. Related to business, the organization provides full support to entrepreneurs who want to start, grow and relocate their businesses in the county providing them with funding, online support and resources and professional services.

10) Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’ main goal is to improve and develop the economy of the Lehigh Valley Metropolitan Area through business-to-business marketing, government affairs, affinity programs, trainings and assistance programs and community development.


how to guides for starting a business in pennsylvania

1) How to Start a Business in Pennsylvania

Starting a business in Pennsylvania is a challenging task. It requires money, time and effort to be able to complete the entire process. To make sure that everything gets done right, I suggest that you look into this straightforward 6-step guide which comprehensively discusses the steps to build your business efficiently. It also contains affordable resources which you can try out.

2) How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania

An LLC is a business structure that will give your business countless benefits. However, the process of forming an LLC is not easy and to assist you this 5-step guide gives you a step-by-step account of the procedures and requirements involved. It also has useful and affordable resources which you can use.

3) How to File a DBA in Pennsylvania

A Pennsylvania DBA is a requirement that must be obtained if you want to operate under a different trade name from the business name legally registered before the Secretary of State. To save time and effort, you can follow this simple 3-step guide which will walk you through the steps of the process. Useful resources are also mentioned in this guide.

4) How to Finance a Business in Pennsylvania

It’s easier to build a business if you have enough financial resources to shell out. Undercapitalization is such a dangerous start because it will hinder your business from reaching its full potential. Invest in your business by choosing the right financing option which is discussed in this resource guide.

5) How to Get a Pennsylvania Registered Agent

A Pennsylvania Registered Agent is your partner in success. These professionals play such a huge part in the overall success of your business that you need to appoint one wisely. You can start hiring now with the use of this resource guide which discusses the purpose of an agent, the basic requirements and some useful resources which can give you the best registered agent service there is.

6) How to Form a Corporation in Pennsylvania

A corporation is a form of entity that can give you and your Pennsylvania many advantages. If you want to have full protection against liabilities, incorporating your business into a corporation is the best step. If you want to start forming your Pennsylvania Corporation now, you can use this 6-step guide plus some useful resources to help you.

7) How to Incorporate in Pennsylvania

Incorporation is an essential procedure to structure your business into an entity. Once your Pennsylvania small business is incorporated, it will be granted its own rights and privileges. Apart from this, you will also be able to take advantage of its many benefits and perks. Incorporating your business on your own can be confusing but with this 4-step guide, the process is made easier.




The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The organization has a wide network of established and experienced professional volunteers who are more than willing to impart their knowledge to new entrepreneurs. Some of the services they offer include the following: : one-on-one business consultations, mentoring, coaching and other business assistance.

2) SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government agency and one of the largest providers of small business assistance and programs to small business owners and entrepreneurs in the entire U.S. The SBA has statewide offices in all 50 states so entrepreneurs can gain access to their services easily. The government agency provides complete support in the following areas: local business programs, loans and business grants, management trainings, seminars, coaching and other helpful programs.

3) Startup Savant

Startup Savant is a free online business magazine that promises its readers of a simplified approach to entrepreneurship. If you’re a new entrepreneur or a first-time business owner, this website is especially made for you! It features how-to guides, inspiring true-life stories, business resources and tools, honest business tool reviews and comparisons and other meaningful articles. You can also search for useful business tools for  incorporation, accounting and bookkeeping, business planning, finding the right financing option and more here. Startup Savant definitely has everything!

4) is a full business website that gives you information on everything business. It features the latest business news, practices and trends used in the small business industry. If you want to read inspiring and motivational true-life stories of people, you can find it all here at

5) AllBusiness

AllBusiness is an all-in-one business website that features everything about business and entrepreneurship. If you need how-to guides on starting a business, AllBusiness is your go-to! Articles featuring a step-by-step process of business development are featured in the website. AllBusiness also touches topics on marketing, finance, human resource and business operations.

6) Wealthy Gorilla

Wealthy Gorilla is not just a free online business magazine, it is also a life magazine that features inspiring true-life stories of people who dared to dream, overcame challenges and emerged successful. Heartwarming stories of entrepreneurs and professionals will encourage you to pursuit your dreams and passions in life.


Top Pennsylvania Startup Communities and Working Spaces

1) Netrepid Virtual Incubator

Netrepid Virtual Incubator is a business incubator  meant for growing startups in Pennsylvania. The incubator has a credible evaluation panel that evaluates potential startups and provides them with the seed technology that is required of their business. Netrepid is more innovative compared to traditional business incubators.

2) Penn Center for Innovation – UPstart

UPstart through the Penn Center for Innovation fosters entrepreneurial spirit by supporting entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania in their endeavors. The center provides resources for entrepreneurs, connects them with partner organizations who offer valuable services and assists them in the startup process by offering unique services needed to grow a successful business.

3) Erie Technology Incubator

Erie Technology Incubator offers an 8-week accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs bring their business to success. Erie Technology nurtures and mentors startups by assisting them find the right support. They also offer services such as strategic guidance, mentoring, coaching and networking.

4) Alpha Lab

Alpha Lab is a business incubator that aims to help great founders, build companies and assist innovative technology startups launch their enterprise successfully. Alpha Lab focuses mainly on helping early-stage technology companies by offering them an extensive mentoring program, educational sessions and a creative entrepreneurial environment

5) IUP Incubator

IUP Incubator is Indiana County’s small business incubator dedicated towards developing and improving the county’s economy by encouraging high-tech startups. The incubator offers the following services to its tenants: low space rent, receptionist service, mentoring, business advice, private conference rooms and networking.

6) Thrill Mill

Thrill Mill is Pittsburgh’s premier early stage startup accelerator. It is a non-profit organization that offers services like business mentorship and coaching, programming, financing options, partnerships and a creative and collaborative working space for new entrepreneurs and early-stage startups in different industries.

7) Startup

Startup is a coworking space that redefines business. The coworking facility has the best tools and resources to take your new idea to greater heights, boost your work productivity and establish a network of people. Startup has great amenities, conference rooms, networking events and excellent utilities.

8) Benjamin’s Desk

Benjamin’s Desk is a premier coworking facility designed for the innovative entrepreneurs, professionals and early-stage startups. Benjamin’s Desk values connectivity, community, productivity, flexibility and security. The coworking space also offers flexible and affordable subscription plans.

9) Revv

Revv is a community of technology companies situated in the heart of Pittsburgh. Revv offers an affordable, flexible and productive workspace for early-phase enterprises. It offers all-inclusive monthly leases and state-of-the-art facilities. The coworking space also hosts community gatherings and business events.

10) StartupTown

StartupTown is a nonprofit and community based coworking facility that aims to promote innovation, neighborhood development and a robust entrepreneurial spirit in Pittsburgh. StartupTown offers flexible leases, free wifi, shared kitchens, a business address and other state-of-the-art amenities and facilities.


Small Business Professional Services in Pennsylvania

1) Snyder Law

Snyder Law is a private law firm that extends assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania who want to start their business but are clueless on the business policies and climate of the state. Snyder Law promises to deliver quality services from business conception, formation, growth and ownership.

2) RKL

RKL is an accounting and business consulting company that provides service in the following areas: audit and accounting, employee benefit plans, tax services, small business services and IT consulting. The firm also has  investment advisory and investment banking services.

3) Sozo Firm

Sozo Firm offers strategic business consulting services that focuses on three areas efficiency, customer service and marketing. Founded in 2004, Sozo Firm has been assisting small businesses, corporations and nonprofit organizations in the development of business optimization strategies. The firm aims to help entrepreneurs and professionals achieve the following goals: develop new business ideas, generate and increase revenue, cut on cost, encourage and motivate workers and improve customer satisfaction.

4) Andrew Jensen

Andrew Jensen is a marketing and performance expert that provides assistance to small and mid-sized companies, startups and nonprofits to grow and develop their business optimization strategies. He places great emphasis on personal and onsite consulting with his clients.

5) McLaren & Company, P.C., CPAs

McLaren & Company, P.C., CPAs offers affordable small business services in Pennsylvania. The firm can assist entrepreneurs from financial statement audits, to individual and business tax accounting. Other services include individual and business tax preparation, bookkeeping services and payroll and sales tax return preparation.

6) Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP

Trout, Ebersole & Groff, LLP is a small business accounting firm that follows a client centered approach in delivering their services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Some of the services they offer include: accounting and bookkeeping, budgeting and forecasting, business startup services, cashflow management, compliance filings, financing requests and a lot more.

7) David Giacomucci & Company

David Giacomucci & Company is an accounting and bookkeeping firm that specializes in assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The firm offers the following services: bank statement reconciliation, income statement preparation, balance sheets, general ledger adjustment, consultations and other business services.

8) Burke, Vullo, Reilly, Roberts, Attorneys At Law

Burke, Vullo, Reilly, Roberts, Attorneys At Law is a privately owned law firm that provides legal representation to small and mid-sized businesses. Some of the key areas in business law that the firm focuses on are commercial transactions and litigation, business formation, contracts and negotiation and commercial litigation.

9) Spadea Lignana, Attorneys At Law

Spadea Lignana, Attorneys At Law is a national and full-service business law firm in Pennsylvania. It is also one of the most established with many decades of experience in the field. The team of attorneys in Spadea Lignana are focused on creating real world solutions for their clients to ensure that every the return of investment for every dollar spent. Some of their practice areas include franchising, buying or selling a business, securities law, litigation, general business and lease negotiation.

10) Price Law Offices, P.C.

Price Law Offices, P.C. is a law firm that provides accurate and quality legal advice, guidance and representation to individuals and businesses all throughout Southern Pennsylvania. Practice areas include business formation and reorganization services, business contracts and transactions, intellectual property, business litigation, contract drafting and review, civil litigation and more.


Pennsylvania Startup Toolkit To Get Started On A Budget

1) Business Planning

Writing a business plan is the first step to achieve business success. By writing a solid and professional business plan for your Pennsylvania small business, you will be able to lay out your objectives properly, create effective strategies to achieve them and set a measurable standard of evaluating progress.

The process of business plan writing can be quite challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult because there are numerous tools that you can use to hasten the process. LivePlan is a business plan software that has all the right time-saving tools to complete your business plan in the most efficient way possible.

2) Online Incorporation Service

Incorporation is an important legal procedure that you need to do inorder to protect your and your business from liabilities. Basically, when you incorporate your business, you’re creating a separate and independent entity which has its own rights and privileges. Running an incorporated business will give you an assurance that you will not be held liable for any mistakes or problems your business encounters in the future.

Incorporation can be quite time-consuming and stressful so if you want to save yourself from all the hassle, you can use the services of online incorporation providers such as IncFileMyCorporation and CorpNet. These three offer the best value in the industry!

3) Building a Business Website

Pennsylvania’s business industry is highly competitive so if you want to stay afloat, you have to create compelling business website to reach a wide market. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new or established company, having a business website can make a big difference.

Good thing, building a business website is so affordable and easy today. There are plenty of website building tools that you can use such as Bluehost and Rainmaker. If you want a well-designed and fully functional business website, Bluehost and Rainmaker can help you.

4) Accounting Software

Financial management is an important aspect of business that you need to focus on as early as possible. You need to track your expenses and organize your records properly to be able to operate your business smoothly.

If you want to stay as hand on as possible, you can use accounting softwares such as Xero, QuickBooks and FreshBooks. These three accounting softwares have some of the most modern and intuitive tools that you can use for accounting and bookkeeping.


Wrapping Up On Starting A Business in Pennsylvania

Wrapping Up and Starting a BusinessThese resources are provided by both Pennsylvania’s private and public sector for entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the state. There are various stages in business development and every phase is challenging, which is why you need to get all the help that you can. You are not obliged to use these resources, however, doing so will make a huge difference.

By taking advantage of all these, you will be able to complete tasks efficiently. It will also allow you to focus your attention on other important tasks and responsibilities. At the end of the day, we all want what’s best for our business and making use of these resources will surely give you an edge over other startups.

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via