How to start a Pennsylvania LLC
By Bazal Razzaq
Updated: September 29, 2023, 12:30pm
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- Name your Pennsylvania LLC
- Designate a Registered Agent for your Pennsylvania LLC
- File for Certificate of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement for Pennsylvania LLC
- File for Employer Identification Number
- File for the Annual Report for Pennsylvania LLC
- Keep your Pennsylvania LLC compliant
- How To Form An LLC In 50 States
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The Process to form an LLC varies from state to state, and Pennsylvania LLC has its own set of guidelines. You will have to file Articles of Organization from the Pennsylvania Department of State, which is $125. It can be applied online or by mail.
You can read our step-by-step guide on “How to get an LLC in Pennsylvania.”
#1 Name your Pennsylvania LLC
Choose a company name to start an LLC in Pennsylvania. The name of your company should match the naming criteria of Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company. Follow the naming requirements as given below;
- Company name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviations LLC, L.L.C.
- The Company name must not include words with a government agency FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.
- The company should not use Restricted words like Attorney, University, or Bank which require additional paperwork and a licensed person such as a doctor, or a lawyer to be a part of an LLC.
- Your company name must not match the name of any Pennsylvania LLC.
Before filing, use Pennsylvania’s business entity search engine to check if the name is available. Doing this beforehand will save a lot of your precious time. You can also reserve a name of your choice for 120 days with a fee of $70.
#2 Designate a Registered Agent for your Pennsylvania LLC
Pennsylvania needs a registered agent to carry out legal processes in the state. It is called a registered office. The appointed registered agent receives legal documents and notices on behalf of the LLC.
A registered agent could be anyone you or any employee of the company. You can also hire from a registered agent service to do the job. A registered agent must fulfill the following criteria-
- The registered agent must be 18+ in age.
- They must have a physical address in the state.
- The agent must be available during regular working hours.
#3 File for Certificate of Organization
To complete the registration of your LLC in Pennsylvania, you will be required to file for a Certificate of Organization. The filing can be done online or through mail. Then, you can also determine if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed.
You can file the form online with Pennsylvania PENN File.
Apply through the mail-
You can download the form and send it through mail at the address mentioned below.
Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105
The State filing costs approximately $125, payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is non-refundable. If you are planning to expand your existing Limited Liability Company to Pennsylvania, then you first need to form a foreign LLC.
You will be asked to provide the following information-
- The name of your Limited Liability Company.
- Name and Address of your Registered Agent.
- Name of every Organizer in the LLC.
- The filing or later date of your LLC Certificate.
- Mention if the LLC will or will not provide professional services.
- Signatures of all the Organizers.
- Highlight if the LLC is a public benefit company or not.
#4 Create an Operating Agreement for Pennsylvania LLC
It is not compulsory to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC in Pennsylvania, but it is a good practice to get one. The operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and working of the LLC.
The agreement ensures that all the business owners of the LLC know their role and to avoid any future conflicts. The operating agreement includes the following-
- Name of LLC and its address.
- Duration of Limited Liability Company.
- Name and physical address of the LLC.
- Purpose of the Business.
- Members of the LLC and their contribution.
- Division of Profit and Loss.
- Hiring and leaving procedure of the members.
- Management process of the LLC.
- Liability clauses and Indemnification.
#5 File for Employer Identification Number
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns a nine-digit number to identify the taxes for LLCs. The number can be obtained online or through mail.
The EIN is required for the following reasons:
- File and manage taxes at the Pennsylvania state and federal levels.
- Open a bank account for your LLC.
- Hire employees.
The EIN is obtained from the IRS free of charge by the owner of the business. It can be done online or through mail.
Get EIN from the IRS online.
Apply through Mail-
Get EIN by mail or fax. The address is given below;
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
#6 File for the Annual Report for Pennsylvania LLC
The previous decennial Annual report requirements have been revised in November 2022. Starting from 2024, LLCs will submit an annual report to the Department of State with a filing fee of $7.
#7 Keep your Pennsylvania LLC compliant
The owners of the LLC must comply with state, federal and local government regulations. The fees and license permits depend on the type of business license you need.
Keeping in mind the nature of your business, you will be required to register for one or more than one tax. If you are selling a product, you will have to apply for a seller’s permit with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website. If you are hiring new employees for your LLC, then register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation and Employee Withholding Tax with the Department of Revenue.
You will have to comply with the hiring laws as well.
- Check if New employees can work in the US.
- Mention new employees as “New hires” to the state.
- Deducting Employee’s taxes.
- Give Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Employees.
- Print and place workplace compliance posters in your workspace.
Once the LLC is registered, it will give you a legal foundation to conduct the business. Remember to keep your LLC compliant and in an active state on the website. Some but not all LLCs are required to file for a Certificate of Annual Registration. The filing is done by April 15th of every year. Also, make sure you make the quarterly tax payments and maintain a physical address for your Pennsylvania LLC.
Hopefully, these steps were beneficial in guiding you to form your own LLC in Pennsylvania.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is better to make sure that Your LLC follows the naming requirements such as:
- Include the “Limited Liability Company” Phrase or its attributes LLC or L.L.C.
- Don’t use restricted words like FBI, State Department etc.
- Receive licensing while using words such as doctor or lawyer.
Pennsylvania LLCs don’t need a DBA as such. The name of LLC serves as the company’s brand name which can accept checks and other payments.
Your home or office street address can act as a registered office for the LLC in Pennsylvania.
There is no annual fee involved unless you run a restricted professional LLC or benefit LLC. The decennial report must be filed every 10 years which costs $70.