Business Resources in Pennsylvania
Find the best resources to help create your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation (S-Corp or C-Corp), or limited liability company - single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or file a DBA in Pennsylvania.
Use the following business resources in Pennsylvania to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Articles of Incorporation, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.
Becoming an Entrepreneur in Pennsylvania
Just Starting Out
Every Pennsylvania business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.
Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:
Coming Up With a Name
One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in Pennsylvania. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your Pennsylvania startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.
Different Types of Business Formation
A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.
Forming Your Pennsylvania Business
Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your Pennsylvania business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.
This Pennsylvania Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.
Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in Pennsylvania.
Highly Recommended Services for Your Business
Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your Pennsylvania startup:
A Pennsylvania registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.
Pennsylvania requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be a Pennsylvania resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that Pennsylvania.
We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.
Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as a fictitious name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of Pennsylvania.
You can probably think of a dozen different companies in Pennsylvania whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.
Financing Your Pennsylvania Business
Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.
When planning your Pennsylvania business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.
Setting Up a Bank Account
Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.
Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.
Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.
Getting a Business Credit Card
Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.
Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.
Finding Small Business Loans
Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.
A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.
Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs
Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.
Maintaining Your Small Business
Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your Pennsylvania business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.
Make Sure Your Business is Compliant
When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.
Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping
Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your Pennsylvania business a lot of money in taxes each year.
Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.
Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.
Set Up a Business Phone
Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate.
There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your Pennsylvania business set up phone services.
Build a Business Website
With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times.
So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.
Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your Pennsylvania business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.
Business Resources for Women
Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.
Pennsylvania Business Resources
Small Business Development Center
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 to make wise and smart decisions by providing them with small business assistance programs, resources and scheduling helpful events for them.
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.
The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
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.
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.
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, business grants, management training, seminars, coaching, and other helpful programs.