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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania?

Legally registering your business — and keeping it in good standing — requires a monetary investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Pennsylvania Department of State (DOS), while others are due to the federal government or other state entities. We’ve summarized some of the most common fees and requirements here.

Note that Pennsylvania business licenses and permits might need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Pennsylvania LLC Fees

When you first start your business in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the Pennsylvania DOS and pay a filing fee. Here are the current fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$131 12 Weeks 50 Business Days
State Fee $131
State Filing Time 12 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 50 Business Days

When you form your business through Incfile, we charge you this fee and forward it to the Pennsylvania DOS when we file your formation paperwork.

If you'd like to fill out your paperwork yourself and expedite formation with the Pennsylvania DOS, you'll also need to file an Expedited Service Request.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free — just pay your required state fee
Some states allow you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC in the United States should have an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This unique number is provided by the Internal Revenue Service and you use it when you file taxes, open a business bank account and pay employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS, or have Incfile do it for you.

Foreign LLCs

Incorporating your company is not always an easy process. Incfile is here to help you decide not only how to incorporate, but to understand exactly which type of status to file.

Pennsylvania Foreign LLC Registration

Before you can expand your business from another state into Pennsylvania, you must request Pennsylvania Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Pennsylvania Foreign LLC, you must complete a Foreign Registration Statement and pay a processing fee of $250. The state may have additional requirements, so contact the Pennsylvania Department of State for more information.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Pennsylvania LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.

You'll likely have to complete an application and pay a filing fee, but each state has different requirements, and some take longer than others to process the paperwork.

To plan accordingly, compare state filing fees and state filing times first. Also, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Annual Report Requirements for Pennsylvania

Most states require businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with the government entity that administers business formation, usually the Secretary of State.

Pennsylvania requires this report to be submitted on a decennial basis (every 10 years), in years ending with "1," e.g., 2021, 2031, etc. That report is only necessary if no other filings have been submitted during that time, such as business amendments, agent changes, etc.

When you file your decennial report, you'll need to pay a fee of $70.

Here are the decennial filing requirements for Pennsylvania:

Annual Report

Frequency

Decennially in years ending with the number “1” (2021,2031, etc.)

Due Date

Any time during the reporting year.

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

Filing Fee

$70
Incfile can also complete and file your Pennsylvania Decennial Report on your behalf

Pennsylvania Business Licenses and Permits

Your business may need to obtain local, state or federal business licenses and permits to comply with certain requirements. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others have ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The type of business you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

2

The location of your LLC (state, county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business in the city of Altoona)

3

The industry your LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, state and local governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need
  • The application forms you will need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

The state does not require you to have a Pennsylvania LLC Operating Agreement in place.

An Operating Agreement is a document detailing how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

This document can be invaluable in helping to ensure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.

Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template for you when you form your business.

You can make changes to the template later, based on your unique requirements.

Other Potential Pennsylvania LLC Fees or Requirements

You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

Obtaining a Fictitious Name or DBA

Pennsylvania also allows business owners to file for fictitious names. However, you must establish a Pennsylvania DBA if you choose to use anything other than your legal name as a business name.

If you decide to go that route, you'll need to file a Registration of Fictitious Name form in addition to filing for the Certificate of Organization. This filing carries a fee of $70.

Incfile can file your Fictitious Name or DBA forms on your behalf

Changing the Registered Agent

Your LLC needs a Pennsylvania Registered Agent, or Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP), which must be appointed when you first form your business. Because Pennsylvania only requires you to file a Registered Agent address and not necessarily a name, you'll make this change by filing a Change of Registered Office form and paying a fee of $5.

Choose Incfile to serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you start your business with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a name for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation form and paying a fee of $70.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Pennsylvania business at the time it's formed. Over time, these facts might change. If they do, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the Pennsylvania DOS and pay a fee of $70. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

You'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment when you:

  • Change your LLC's name
  • Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
  • Change your LLC's business address
  • Alter the stated business activities of your LLC

Getting a PA Certificate of Good Standing

Some organizations may request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove that you've met your commitments, you'll need a Pennsylvania Certificate of Good Standing, or what the state calls a Subsistence Certificate. You must file for this via the state's online portal, Penn File, and pay a fee of $40.

Incfile can obtain a Subsistence Certificate on your behalf

The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC may be required to pay. In some unusual circumstances, other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above may also be required.

Of course, your LLC will also need to pay taxes. You'll find more information about that on the PA Business Tax page.

FAQs About Pennsylvania LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Department of State on your behalf when forming your Pennsylvania business.

Where Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations
  • Where you are located
  • The type of business you run

Many new businesses need some kind of license, but you may be required to obtain additional permits. Our Business License Research package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your LLC needs to be compliant.

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