Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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Simple Steps to Start Your Pennsylvania LLC

As a prosperous, ideally located state in the Eastern United States, Pennsylvania is a great place to start a business. It has a rich history as one of the original 13 founding states of the US and being where the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution were drafted. Pennsylvania is among the top 10 most prosperous states in the nation and is home to some of the biggest insurance and financial businesses, in addition to 50 Fortune 500 companies.

If you want to start your own business in Pennsylvania, one of the best ways to do so is by forming a Pennsylvania LLC . Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Pennsylvania makes forming an LLC easy and inexpensive. LLCs are great for small and medium businesses because they give you many of the protections and advantages of larger corporations — without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities. Let’s start by looking at the advantages of Forming a Pennsylvania LLC.

Advantages of Forming an LLC in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania LLCs have several benefits for business owners.

  • Starting a Pennsylvania LLC is quick and easy — you can complete all the necessary forms and actions online to start your company.
  • An LLC limits your personal liability — any liabilities created by your Pennsylvania business (debts, obligations and other liabilities) are legally considered to be completely separate from your personal assets as the business owner or founder.
  • Pennsylvania LLCs are easy to maintain — LLCs are light on rules and regulations. There’s no need for boards of directors, complex rules and regulations or formal annual meetings.
  • LLCs are very easy to manage and you can add and amend members and make other changes with just a little paperwork.
  • Tracking, filing and paying taxes is simple and easy — any income you earn through your Pennsylvania LLC is reported on your personal tax return. This means you won’t run into "double taxation" issues common with larger corporations.

Start your Pennsylvania LLC in Six Steps

1. Name Your Pennsylvania LLC

  • Your Pennsylvania LLC needs an original, unique name. It should:
    • Be distinctive and not used by another company in Pennsylvania
    • Not be confusable with the name of another company in Pennsylvania
    • End with the words "Limited Liability Company" or the abbreviations "LLC." "Limited" and "Company" can be abbreviated to "Ltd." and "Co."
    • Pennsylvania does have certain other restrictions on what you can name your new LLC, these are covered in detail in the "Naming Your LLC" section
    • For example: "Pennsylvania Natural Resources Survey Reports LLC" or "Finister and Sons, Limited Liability Company"
  • To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Pennsylvania business entity name search

2. Your Pennsylvania LLC Needs a Street Address

A Pennsylvania LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), where your office is located or any physical address of your preference — even outside of Pennsylvania. It cannot be a PO Box.

3. Your Pennsylvania LLC Needs a Registered Agent

Every Pennsylvania LLC must have a "Registered Agent." In small businesses the Registered Agent is sometimes the same person as the founder, owner or operational manager if they meet all the criteria. The Registered Agent in a Pennsylvania LLC is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence from the Pennsylvania Department of State.

At Incfile, all of our packages include a "Registered Agent" service free for the first year and $119 per year thereafter. This is a service unique to Incfile. We also have a dashboard you can login to and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.

4. You Should Provide Names and Addresses of all Pennsylvania LLC Members

Your Pennsylvania LLC members are the people who own and run the business. They will be the individuals who withdraw profits from the business to pay themselves. Pennsylvania requires you to list the names and addresses of all managers or members when you register the Pennsylvania LLC. You can register these addresses as street addresses or PO Boxes. If you are the sole owner, operator and manager of your LLC, then you are the only member.

5. You Need to File a Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement with the Pennsylvania Department of State

Once you've gathered all the information together for your LLC, you’ll need to file formal documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State. Filing a Certificate of Organization and a Docketing Statement creates your Pennsylvania LLC. You can do this online or download a PDF, fill it out and mail it in. Here at Incfile we can file your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement on your behalf with the Department of State for Pennsylvania and create your LLC.

6. You Can Create a Pennsylvania LLC Operating Agreement

Pennsylvania LLCs aren’t required to have an operating agreement, but they are extremely useful for several reasons. Your operating agreement covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas. If your LLC has multiple members, it's essential to have an Operating Agreement. Learn how to create your operating agreement.

Starting Your Pennsylvania LLC: Useful Resources

Form a Pennsylvania LLC without Breaking the Bank

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you Create Your LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Pennsylvania?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$125 3 Weeks 8 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Decennially in years ending with the number "1" (2021, 2031, etc.)

Due: Any time during the reporting year.
*The decennial filing is only required if no other filings (agent changes, amendments, etc.) have been submitted to the state during that 10 year period.

Filing Fee: $70

Learn more about starting a business in Pennsylvania

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