How to Create an LLC in Pennsylvania

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How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania:
5 Simple Steps to Get Started
According to the IRS, each state may use different regulations around forming an LLC, and you should check with your state if you’re interested in starting a Limited Liability Company. To simplify the process of forming an LLC in the Commonwealth (state) of Pennsylvania, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide to detail each step of the process and answer any questions you may have.

Step 1
Name Your Pennsylvania LLC

Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business in Pennsylvania. You can quickly and easily do a name check on the Pennsylvania Secretary of State website business name database to verify the business name you want is available. For a $70 fee, you can reserve a name for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation (Form DSCB:15-208) online or by mail.

In order to comply with Pennsylvania state law, your company’s name must contain some form of the term “Limited Liability Company.” This can appear as the whole phrase written out or an appropriate abbreviation. The name of a limited liability company may not contain any words implying that it is a corporation, such as “corporation” or “incorporated” or an abbreviation of these terms.

Step 2
Appoint a Registered Office in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania requires an LLC to have a either a registered office (most states require a registered agent) or a commercial registered office provider for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued. If you choose to have a registered office, you must have a person who is available at that address during normal business hours, though you don’t need to specify the name of the person. However, if you choose the commercial registered office provider option, then you would list the name of that provider and the county where their office is located. The commercial registered office provider must be a business entity authorized to do business in Pennsylvania.

Step 3
File Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization
To officially create your LLC in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to complete the Certificate of Organization Domestic Limited Liability Company (Form DSCB:15-8821) and file it with the Pennsylvania Department of State. Attached to the Certificate you will need to include a New Entity Docketing Statement (Form DSCB:15-134A). For a $125 fee, this can be done either online or by mail. To complete these forms you will need to know the following:

Certificate of Organization:

  1. The final name and address of your LLC
  2. The address of the company’s registered office or the name and address of the company’s commercial registered office provider
  3. The name(s) and address(es) of all organizers
  4. What professional services your LLC will provide (if any)

New Entity Docketing Statement:

  1. Name and address of the person responsible for initial tax reports
  2. The business activity of the LLC
  3. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC (see Step 5 below)
  4. The LLC’s fiscal year end

Step 4
Create an Operating Agreement

You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC.

Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way toward ensuring your company’s success.

Step 5
Apply for an EIN and Review Tax Requirements

An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required of your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.

It’s possible your company will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state and whether you have employees. Registering online through the Revenue e-Services Center or mailing in Form PA-100 is the best way to start the process of ensuring you meet all the tax requirements in Pennsylvania.

If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

Other Considerations
Foreign LLCs and Business Licenses
Foreign LLCs

If your company is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to follow all the steps outlined above with a few minor differences.

You will need to file a Foreign Registration Statement (Form DSCB:15-412) with the Pennsylvania Department of State as well as a New Entity Docketing Statement (Form DSCB:15-134A).

You can file these forms online. The filing fee is $250.

Business Licenses

Some industries require federal, state, and local licenses to operate in Pennsylvania.

You can get federal licenses and perform a Pennsylvania license and permit search on the appropriate licensing for your business.

Because business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government and for such a multitude of reasons, there isn’t one central location to find everything you need to be compliant. Do careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need or hire a professional service to do it for you.

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