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