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Learn How to Form a Pennsylvania Professional Limited Liability Company

In some states, professionals that hold a license can form a professional limited liability company (PLLC) rather than the more common LLC.

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A Pennsylvania professional limited liability company (PLLC) is a business structure available to licensed professionals. Its flexibility is one of the secrets behind its popularity. The process to register a Pennsylvania PLLC is fairly simple, and with the right help, it can be quick and easy. Here’s how to get started.

Who can form a PLLC in Pennsylvania?

A professional limited liability company is also known as a restricted professional company. Pennsylvania only allows certain professionals to form a PLLC. These are:

  • Chiropractic
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Law
  • Medicine and surgery
  • Osteopathic medicine and surgery
  • Public accounting
  • Psychology
  • Veterinary medicine

All other professionals who wish to establish a company can create a standard limited liability company (LLC). Professionals can also form a professional corporation (PC) or look into the various types of partnerships available.

Part of the reason professionals opt for a PLLC is due to ease of management. Taxes and regulations are slightly more flexible for LLCs than PCs, for instance.

Pennsylvania offers simplified processes to register a PLLC through the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop and the Pennsylvania Department of State site.

Choose a name for your Pennsylvania professional limited liability company

There are a few boxes to tick when naming a Pennsylvania PLLC. The name must be available and needs to include the words “company,” “limited,” or “limited liability company.” These requirements are determined by the Pennsylvania Department of State.

It’s important to note that the words “corporation” or “incorporated” cannot be part of the name since these are different legal entities, and Pennsylvania happens to offer a professional corporate business type as well.

First, do a business name search through the Pennsylvania Department of State site to ensure the name is available. If you find the ideal name but aren’t yet ready to file, use ZenBusiness’s name reservation service to hold your name for up to 120 days as permitted by the state. You may also want to reserve a name for your website through ZenBusiness’s domain name service.

Select a Pennsylvania registered office

A registered agent (called a registered office in Pennsylvania) is required to accept legal notices, including government communications and notifications of pending lawsuits. Registered agents must have an office in the state and be available during normal business hours, which can be a burden for business professionals. Although you can serve as your own registered agent, consider signing up for ZenBusiness’s registered agent service to avoid being tied to the office all day or being served with a lawsuit in front of customers.

Complete and file a Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization

Members must file a Certificate of Organization to form a PLLC. The filer does not have to be a member or owner to do this. They only have to be appointed to facilitate the filing.

One of the considerations before filing is whether the PLLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Member-managed occurs when members oversee the day-to-day activities of your PLLC and make decisions on the PLLC’s behalf. Manager-managed occurs when you appoint a member(s) or hire an individual(s) from outside the PLLC with or without a stake in ownership to manage your PLLC. Otherwise, the registration process is simple and can be done online or through the U.S. Postal Service.

Online Filing for a PLLC

The Pennsylvania Department of State provides an online portal to process applications.

  • Users simply click on the Keystone page to gain access to the registration portal.
  • New registers should form their account and existing users simply need to complete their existing credentials.
  • Select the form you need to complete and follow the online process.
  • A payment portal allows you to make payment.

Manual Filing for a PLLC

Articles of Organization along with other required documents plus a $125 filing fee payable by check can be sent via mail.

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

The forms are found on the Pennsylvania Department of State site.

Handle Pennsylvania tax obligations

Businesses in the United States may be taxed at federal, state, and local level.

Federal Requirements

One of the federal tax requirements is that most businesses registered with a state, including businesses with employees and PLLCs with multiple members, must apply for their Employer Identification Number (EIN). ZenBusiness provides an EIN service to its clients to help with this.

State Requirements

Pennsylvania’s Department of Revenue offers businesses access to an intuitive website. It provides a wealth of information on the applicable taxes as well as the means to manage these taxes more effectively.

Local Requirements

Each county has its own tax requirements, and businesses need to find out from their local government what these tax requirements are.

Obtain Pennsylvania business licenses and permits

Certain businesses require special licenses and permits to operate, including licensed professionals. These credentials are industry-specific, which means that one professional may have a completely different set of licenses than another.

When forming the PLLC, it’s important to ensure that all licenses and permits are in place. Check with state regulators, federal laws, and local authorities to ensure all these boxes are ticked. ZenBusiness offers a business license report to help you determine what licenses and permits your company needs.

Acquire insurance for your Pennsylvania PLLC

One of the most important elements of setting up a business is ensuring that risks are minimized. A professional limited liability company may have to look into the following kinds of insurance where needed.

  • Professional liability insurance
  • Malpractice insurance
  • General business insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Unemployment insurance

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has more information about coverage requirements for businesses.

Open a business bank account

A business account is an important step to forming a business. It’s the simplest way to keep proper track of the incoming and outgoing funds in a business as well as keeping business and personal funds from co-mingling.

Business accounts can also reduce some risk when it comes to financial management. This is because secure banking, special signing arrangements, and proper record-keeping takes place.

Ready to kick-start your business?

At ZenBusiness, we are proud to support small businesses through a variety of different tools and services. Whether you need a registered agent service, want to reserve a business name, or are looking to register a domain name, our goal is to help you stay on the road to success. Check out our services and contact us today to see how we can help you grow your company.

Pennsylvania PLLC FAQs

  1. 1. What are the filing fees for a Pennsylvania PLLC?

    It costs $125 for a regular filing. If submitting by mail, payments should be made by check to the Department of State. To expedite the application, applicants can pay $100 for same-day service, $300 for three-hour service, or $1,000 for one-hour service. These requests have special cut-off times.

  2. 2. Do I need a lawyer to form a Pennsylvania PLLC?

    No. However, with complicated business structures, legal assistance may be recommended.

  3. 3. Does Pennsylvania have a professional corporation (PC) entity?

    Yes, it does, but a PLLC may offer additional advantages in terms of taxation and flexibility.

  4. 4. Can professionals from different fields form a Pennsylvania PLLC together?

    A PLLC in Pennsylvania is also known as a restricted professional limited liability company. The restriction is limited to certain types of professionals. Professionals within a particular field may be permitted to form a PLLC together.

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