Pennsylvania Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Pennsylvania?

Starting a business in Pennsylvania means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

FILE YOUR BUSINESS

Although it may seem difficult to start a business in Pennsylvania, it doesn’t have to be. When you form your business, you will need to file the right documents and pay the right filing fees. But formation is just the beginning. You must also pay other fees throughout the life of your business, which is an important part of keeping your business state compliant. If this sounds scary, don’t worry.

Below, we’ll walk you through the kinds of fees you might encounter as a Pennsylvania business owner, and explain the tools and services we can provide to make discovering and paying these fees smooth and easy.

If you’re just starting your business, use our LLC Formation Service or Corporation Formation Service to help simplify the process.

Step 1:  Pay your Pennsylvania business’s initial filing fees

Different business structures require different filings in Pennsylvania. For a corporation, you need to file Articles of Incorporation. For an LLC, you create a Certificate of Organization. For a general partnership, you would need to file a Certificate of Partnership Authority. All these documents are filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State website, by mail, or in person. The filing fees will be different depending upon the business structure. For example, the number of authorized shares issued by the corporation determines the fee.

If you feel overwhelmed with the process, don’t worry. We can make it easy for you. With our Expedited Filing Service, our experts can help you file your documents, so it’s done correctly.

Step 2:  Reserve your Pennsylvania business’s name

You must choose a unique name for your company to legally transact business in Pennsylvania. Before filing your formation documents, do a business name search on the Secretary of State’s website to check that the name you choose hasn’t already been taken. The filing of your company formation documents will reserve the name. But if you don’t want to create your business just yet and make sure a specific name is available for the future, you can reserve a name without creating a company. After the payment of a small filing fee, the name will be reserved for 120 days.

To make it easy for you, we offer a Name Reservation Service. Let our experts help you file your documents correctly and on time.

Step 3:  Reserve a “doing business as” name in Pennsylvania

You may find that you need to have another name associated with your company. For example, some businesses need a different name for marketing purposes or other business needs. If this need arises, you need to create a doing business as (DBA) or a fictitious name.

We can easily help accomplish this with our DBA Registration Service. Let us create the paperwork to file your DBA so you don’t have to worry about it.

Step 4:  Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

If you’re creating a business in Pennsylvania, you need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued by the Internal Revenue Service. This number is a tax identification number for your business, similar to a social security number for an individual. Having an EIN allows you to accomplish many business-related tasks, such as obtaining business loans, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees. 

We can obtain your EIN through our EIN Service and allow you to focus on starting and growing your business.

Step 5:  Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Pennsylvania business

It’s not necessary to have an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement when you first create your business with the filing of the formation documents. It’s still a good idea to create these documents when you’re starting your business, though. These documents are necessary for controlling your business and defining how it’s run. 

Some people hire lawyers to draft these documents, which can be very expensive and time consuming. If you have an LLC, we can make it cheaper and easier for you with our Operating Agreement Templates.

Step 6:  Apply for your Pennsylvania business’s necessary licenses and permits

There is no requirement at the state level for a general license to operate a business in Pennsylvania. Many cities in Pennsylvania require business licenses, though. Also, there are potentially dozens of licenses and permits that could be necessary at the federal, state, or municipal level.

Use our Business License Report Service, so you know the licenses and permits necessary to legally operate your business.

Step 7:  Pay Pennsylvania’s registration fees for out-of-state businesses

Every non-domestic company that wants to do business in Pennsylvania has to file a foreign registration statement with the Secretary of State. If your company was created and formed outside of Pennsylvania, then this form is necessary.

Step 8:  Check Pennsylvania’s decennial report requirements and fees

Pennsylvania requires that every company registered to transact business in the state file a report every 10 years. Your business will remain in good standing with the state if the report is filed on time. If you don’t file your decennial report, the state will unregister the company with the state.

We offer an Annual Report Service to help you keep track of these reports and get them filed correctly and on time.

Step 9:  Keep your Pennsylvania business legally compliant

Every time there is a change to your business structure or a change in a detail about ownership or formation, you need to file an amendment with the state. For example, if there are changes to your corporate structure, Articles of Amendment have to be drafted and filed with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. Examples of changes in your business that require an amendment filing are:

  • Changes to the name of your business
  • Updates to board and officer names and duties or responsibilities
  • Changes in stock in the business
  • Any other changes or alterations to the Articles of Incorporation/Certificate of Organization

Use our Amendment Service and Worry-Free Compliance Service to keep your company legally compliant and able to transact business in the state.

We’re here to help you with your Pennsylvania business’s needs

We can get you started on the road to success with creating a business in Pennsylvania. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service provides immediate notification of issues that need to be dealt with. Our experts can make it easy for you to get everything filed correctly and on time.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

FAQs

  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Pennsylvania?

    Pennsylvania doesn’t charge late fees for the failure to file reports on time. However, if your company fails to file the proper reports, eventually the state will dissolve your business. You will receive a notice of pending dissolution so that you will know to file the documents immediately.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Pennsylvania government?

    If you can’t pay your fees on time, then the state reserves the right to dissolve your business, preventing you from legally operating in the state.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Pennsylvania business?

    Pay fees for forming your Pennsylvania business to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Pennsylvania business?

    The largest fee that you will have to pay is typically the fee associated with the documents that form and initially create your business. For example, the number of authorized shares issued by the corporation determines the fee.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Pennsylvania government?

    For filings sent by mail, Pennsylvania allows customers to pay with a check, money order, credit card, or trust account. Online filings through Pennsylvania’s online business portal require credit or debit card payments.

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