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PENNSYLVANIA

Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


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Pennsylvania LLC Form, Filing and Permit Requirements

If you want to form an LLC in Pennsylvania, there are certain forms, requirements and legalities you need to get in place. Below is a rundown of what you’ll need to do, together with details on each form required for your Pennsylvania LLC. Some of these forms you only need to submit once, while others must be filed on a regular basis. You will need to set reminders in your calendar to file forms regularly if you're filing yourself — if you file with a service such as Incfile, we'll take care of form renewals for you.

A Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement

The Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement are the formal documents filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State to create your LLC. They state certain information about your business. Once the documents are filed with the Department of State, they legally create your business as an LLC in Pennsylvania. Here’s what’s typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent
  • Names of any managers or members of the LLC at the time of filing

Here at Incfile we automatically create and file your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement when you start your business with us. You only need to file these documents once. There is a fee levied by the Department of State of Pennsylvania to cover your filing. The fee is currently $125.

Business Licenses for Your Pennsylvania LLC

Depending on the type of Pennsylvania business you’re running, you will need to obtain various business licenses and permits.

A business permit or license from your city

Various cities in Pennsylvania have slightly different rules and fees for permits and licenses. Check with your local Pennsylvania city administration to see what their rules are. You will need a separate permit or license for each city your Pennsylvania LLC operates in.

Additional business permits and licenses

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to get additional permits and licenses from the city, county or state of Pennsylvania. You can get an idea of the types of permits and licenses you might need from the State of Pennsylvania website.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of Pennsylvania business you are running, you may need to get licenses and permits from the federal government and various national agencies. You can find a complete list on the US Small Business Administration website.

Incfile Business License Research Package

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Pennsylvania Tax Registration

You will need to file for various different types of tax registration including Unemployment Compensation tax, State Income Tax Withholding, and Sales tax. Certain industries may also have to pay other taxes. You can find out all about Pennsylvania taxes and how to file for them on the Revenue Services Center.

Operating Agreement for Your Pennsylvania LLC

Setting up an LLC is easy, but actively managing one can be more complex. An operating agreement defines how your business works and ensures all the founders, owners, members or managers have a common understanding. An operating agreement normally covers areas including:

  • Legal Standing: Declares the legal standing of your LLC, that it was formed in Pennsylvania and including dates, formation details and other important legal information.
  • LLC Ownership: States how ownership of the business is split between members. This influences how the business is run, voting rights and several other areas.
  • Ownership Percentages: Defines the amount each member has invested and the percentage of ownership of each Pennsylvania LLC member.
  • LLC Management Type: States whether your LLC will be managed by managers (people the owners appoint or its members (owners).
  • Management Relationships: Declares the relationship between the members and the managers of your Pennsylvania LLC including the roles, rights and responsibilities of each.
  • Voting Powers and Decision Authority: States how high-level decisions will be presented, discussed and acted on, including the voting rights of each LLC member.
  • LLC Rules: Defines the rules, procedures and policies to follow for adding, removing, amending and making other changes to members and managers. This includes moving ownership between members.
  • Profit and Loss Allocation: How profits or losses will be split and allocated between Pennsylvania LLC members.

You are not required by Pennsylvania state or federal law to have an operating agreement for your LLC, but we recommend one for several reasons. An operating agreement:

  • Strengthens your legal standing as an LLC and adds credibility for your organization
  • Clearly states how your business will operate, so there’s no confusion or ambiguity
  • Reduces misunderstandings and disagreements between LLC members, important for a harmonious business
  • Allows you to create your own rules for your LLC, rather than being subject to the default Pennsylvania state rules for an LLC
  • Reduces the need for every member of an LLC to approve and sign off on every decision

Your operating agreement only needs to be created once and will need to be updated if significant changes are needed.

Annual Report for your Pennsylvania LLC

Unlike most states, you do not need to file an annual report in Pennsylvania — instead, businesses need to file a “Decennial Report” that is due every ten years. Decennial reports must be filed in any year that ends with the numeral “1.” Certain professional LLCs do need to file annually.

As you can see, there are several forms and permits you need to conduct business.

Ready to Start your Pennsylvania LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you Create Your Pennsylvania LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as Filing the 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 Free To Launch Your Business

Clear Pricing. No Contracts. No Surprise.

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 1 Week 2 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:Pennsylvania LLC's are  currently not required to file annual reports.

Learn more about starting a business in Pennsylvania

Additional resources, guides, and articles for better decision making.

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