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PENNSYLVANIA

Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


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Naming your Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company

You need the right name for your Pennsylvania LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. Pennsylvania has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.

General Pennsylvania Department of State Rules on Naming Your LLC

  • The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Pennsylvania
  • Pennsylvania LLC names must use the English alphabet, regular numerals or Roman numerals
  • The name of your Pennsylvania business must end with "Limited Liability Company," "L.L.C." or "LLC"
  • "Limited" and "Company" can be abbreviated to "Ltd." and "Co."

Don't Confuse Your Pennsylvania Business Name With Another Business Name

  • It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Pennsylvania business
  • When deciding if names are substantially similar, you cannot claim a different type face, font, accents, subscript / superscript characters, punctuation or words like "the," "and," "of" etc. to claim your business name is different
  • The following words can’t be used to say your business name is different to another business name: Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp, Co, Inc, Ltd, PC, Professional Corporation, Limited Partnership, LP, L.P., Limited Liability Limited Partnership, LLLP or L.L.L.P.
  • For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different to each other
  • The following terms can’t be used to say your business name is different to another business name:
    • Suffixes like Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp, Co, Inc, Ltd, LLC.
    • Definite articles like "A", "And", "An", "&" "The" etc
    • The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
    • Punctuation and symbols
    • Abbreviations of words
    • Different typefaces, fonts, superscript, subscript etc
  • It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Pennsylvania business
  • For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different to each other

Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name

  • The Pennsylvania LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency.
  • There are certain prohibited and restricted words that have limitations on how they can be used in a Pennsylvania LLC name, they include "bank," ‘‘banking," ‘‘banker," ‘‘trust," ‘‘college," ‘‘university," ‘‘seminary," ‘‘certified public accountant," ‘‘public accountant," ‘‘architect," ‘‘architecture," ‘‘engineer," "engineering," ‘‘surveyor," ‘‘surveying," ‘‘pharmacist," ‘‘druggist," ‘‘apothecary," ‘‘drug store," ‘‘pharmacy," ‘‘drugs," ‘‘medicine store," ‘‘medicines," ‘‘drug shop," ‘‘pharmaceutical," ‘‘homeopathic," ‘‘homeopathy," “‘annuity," ‘‘assurance," ‘‘beneficial," ‘‘bond," ‘‘casualty," ‘‘endowment," ‘‘fidelity," ‘‘fraternal," ‘‘guaranty," ‘‘indemnity," ‘‘insurance," ‘‘insurer," ‘‘reassurance," ‘‘reinsurance," ‘‘surety," ‘‘title" ‘‘mutual," or “electricity or gas utilities.”
  • Certain restricted words need additional paperwork if you want to use them in your business name. This includes both names associated with institutions, e.g. bank, credit union and words associated with certain qualified professions like doctors, engineers, attorneys or architects.
  • You can also be a Pennsylvania LLC with a different "doing business as" name. In Pennsylvania these are known as "Fictitious Names" and need to be registered with the Department of State. Learn about fictitious names.

Pennsylvania Information on Naming an LLC

  • You can reserve a name through a PDF form. Please note that you do not need to reserve a name if you are forming an LLC. By registering a LLC, the name will automatically be reserved for your business. You would normally only reserve a name if you are not planning on forming a new company anytime soon.
  • Just filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is formally formed before using the name for anything else.

Rules on Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside Pennsylvania

In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your Pennsylvania LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself "Google Search Optimization Services," since Google is a trademark.

The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office. or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new trademark registration service. You should also bear in mind that your Pennsylvania business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.

How to Search for Your Pennsylvania Business Entity Name

Search the database of the Pennsylvania Department of State for your proposed business name to see if it's unique.

What Should You Call Your Pennsylvania LLC?

Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:

  • Describes what your Pennsylvania business does
  • Appeals to your planned audience
  • Makes your business easy to find
  • Is relatively unique
  • Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service

Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your Pennsylvania LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.

You’ve Found the Perfect Name, What Next?

Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for Starting Your Pennsylvania LLC and Form Your LLC today.

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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Prepare & File Articles Of Organization
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EIN / Tax ID Number
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299

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Everything from Silver & Gold +

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