Pennsylvania LLC

How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania

Quick Start Guide ← you are here
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Pennsylvania.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Pennsylvania LLC Costs:
Pennsylvania state fee: $125

Need help?
Hire a reliable service to form your LLC:
IncFile ($49 + state fee), LegalZoom ($149 + state fee), or Hire us.

How to Form an LLC in PennsylvaniaA Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a legal business structure used to protect your personal assets (home, car, bank account) in the event your company is sued.

A Pennsylvania LLC can be used to operate a business, or an LLC can be used to hold assets (such as real estate, vehicles, boats, and aircraft).

If you’d like to form an LLC in Pennsylvania yourself, follow our Quick Start Guide below (the brief overview), or click on the detailed lessons above.

Need to save time? Hire a reliable service to form your LLC:
IncFile ($49 + state fee), LegalZoom ($149 + state fee), or Hire us.

1. LLC Name

• Search your desired LLC name to make sure it’s available for use.

• Your name must be unique among the existing businesses registered in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania LLC name search: https://www.corporations.pa.gov/search/corpsearch

Designator: your LLC name must include a designator at the end. Pennsylvania law allows for the following: LLC (most common), L.L.C., LTD, Ltd., Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Company, Ltd. Liability Co., Limited, Company, or Co.

Tip: Secure your domain name ahead of time:

GoDaddy Domain Search:

2. Registered Office

• A Registered Office is an official address on file with the state that is used for legal mail (called Service of Process).

• Your Registered Office Address must be located in Pennsylvania. It must be a street address. PO Boxes are not allowed.

Your options: home address, office address, friend’s address, family member’s address, or the address of a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP).

Benefit of using a CROP: your address will remain off public records for privacy.

CROP Recommendations: IncFile (for $99/year) or Northwest Registered Agent (for $125/year). IncFile is cheaper, but their support is not as good as Northwest Registered Agent.

3. Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement

Official PA LLC forms: Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement

PA LLC filing fee: $125

Filing methods: by mail, online (recommended), or walk-in.

File online: https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Account/Register_account

File by mail:

PA Department of State
Bureau of Corporations
PO Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

LLC approval time: 7-10 business days.

What you get: Stamped and approved Certificate of Organization and Welcome Letter.

Expedited filing: $100 extra for same-day approval. Must be filed in-person in Harrisburg. Use expedited service request form.

Need to save time? Hire a reliable service to form your LLC:
IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

4. LLC Operating Agreement

• Your LLC’s Operating Agreement is an “internal document”. It does not get mailed to the state, or any other agency. Just keep it with your LLC business records.

• The Operating Agreement is where the owners (called Members) of the LLC are listed. This document governs how much each member owns, how profits are split, how taxes are paid, and more.

• If you have a single-member LLC, it’s still best practice to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC.

Free Operating Agreement download: PDF | Google Doc | Microsoft Word

5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)

• An EIN is issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used for opening bank accounts, filing taxes, and employee payroll, if applicable.

• Think of the EIN as a “social security number” for your LLC.

Common names: Federal Tax Number, Federal Employer Number, FEIN, Federal Tax ID Number, EIN, Employer Identification Number. They are all the same thing.

Wait for LLC approval: Only apply for an EIN after your LLC is approved.

Fee: $0. EINs are free from the IRS. You can obtain an EIN by mail (Form SS-4), fax (855-641-6935), or online (recommended).

• If you are a non-US resident or don’t have a social security number, you cannot obtain an EIN online. Mail or fax Form SS-4 and write “Foreign” on line 7b.

• If your LLC is owned by another LLC, you cannot obtain an EIN online. Mail or fax Form SS-4.

6. Decennial Report

• Unlike most states which require an Annual Report, Pennsylvania just has a Decennial Report. This report is due once every 10 years, in years ending with a “1” (2021, 2031, etc.).

Purpose: to keep the state updated with your LLC’s contact information.

Reminders: the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations will mail reminders 2 months before the due date.

Penalty if not filed: forfeiting the rights to your LLC name.

7. Business Licenses and/or Permits

• You need to contact the city, county, township or borough where your LLC is located to determine if you need a business license and/or permit. These requirements vary widely, depending on where the business is located, and what industry you are in.

Recommendation: for assistance, check out License Suite.

8. Taxes

Federal taxes: LLCs have “pass through” taxation. Profits or losses flow through to your personal tax return and are usually listed on a Schedule C.

State and local taxes: Pennsylvania LLCs must register and pay taxes with the PA Department of Revenue, as well as your local municipality (city, town, county, etc.).

Recommendation: hire an accountant after your LLC is formed. Read our how to find a great accountant guide, or check out Thumbtack.

9. LLC Bank Account

Maintain liability protection: open a bank account for your LLC to keep business finances separate from personal finances.

Items needed: Approved Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization, EIN, and Driver’s License.

Shop around: some banks charge monthly fees for an LLC bank account. Others don’t. Call a few banks in PA to compare your options.

Debit card: Your bank will issue a debit card after you open the account.

Credit card: Start building business credit. Shop business credit cards here.

Pennsylvania State Agency

PA Department of State
PA Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
717-787-1057 (8:00am – 4:45pm M-F)

(online filings)

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach LLC formation (for free) in all 50 states. We're here to help, so reach out with any questions!

4 Comments

  1. Brett Boulin March 23, 2017

    I can’t thank you enough for this site. I went from paying $250+ to form my llc to paying $0 ( I’m a veteran). This site could not have made it easier and I will promote it any chance I get. Thank you so much Matt. You are the man!!!!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 23, 2017

      Hi Brett, thanks so much man!! Really appreciate the kind words :) Happy to hear that we could really help and serve you. Best wishes with the business my friend!!

      reply
  2. VW June 21, 2017

    Thanks so much for posting this very helpful information!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 23, 2017

      You’re very welcome!

      reply

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