Business License in Pennsylvania

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After you form a Pennsylvania LLC, you need to comply with any county and city license and permit requirements.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Pennsylvania LLC is located.

Not complying with license and permit requirements is risky and can result in penalties and fines, or worse, not being able to conduct business in Pennsylvania.

Types of licenses & permits you may need in Pennsylvania

Below are some license and permit examples your Pennsylvania LLC may need:

  • City business licenses/tax permits
  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Signage permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Alcohol & tobacco permit
  • Liquor license
  • Sales tax permit
  • Use tax permit
  • Seller/reseller permit
Need Help? If you don’t want to make phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend hiring IncFile.

Do it yourself in Pennsylvania

No State Business License in Pennsylvania
The State of Pennsylvania does not have a general, state-level business license. Instead, business licenses are issued at the local level and depend on the type of business your PA LLC engages in.

Pennsylvania State Agency Business Licenses
You may need to contact a PA state agency that regulates the business your LLC is engaged in to find out if you’re required to get a license or permit:

Contact Your Local Officials
Since licenses and permits for Pennsylvania LLCs are controlled at the local level, we recommend contacting the county and the city where you do business. You can find the contact details of your local officials here:

County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania County Websites

We also recommend contacting the city where you do business as well.

Professional Licenses
Professional LLCs (PLLCs) must obtain permission from the State Board or Commission that regulates their activities: Pennsylvania Department of State: Board Contacts

These occupational licenses are a requirement to practice these professions in PA, but are not to be confused with a business license. If you are required to hold an occupational license in Pennsylvania, you may also be required to obtain a local business license as well.

Next Step

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your Pennsylvania LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Pennsylvania LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

8 comments on “Business License in Pennsylvania”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Hi. I am an online seller on Amazon and Etsy. From what I know, I need just Sales license, right?
    Thank you, Alina

    • Hi Alina, yes, I believe so, but we don’t advise on the the exact licenses/permits that are needed for each type of business (because it varies so widely). However, we have some recommendations on this page if you need help. Thanks for your understanding.

  2. Hi Matt. I’m from Florida and am having a debate with a relative here in Pa. In Pennsylvania, what type of business, or sector of business, needs a health license?

  3. Hello. I had a LLC with another partner from 2003-2005 in PA. I can see my business name is still active and registered to me. I am now back in the short term rental business and ready to invigorate the LLC. I believe since I am the sole individual registered to the name, I am permitted to file regular annual tax returns. I used to file K1s back in 03-05. I simply do not know where to start. I don’t even know what my EIN was or how to check it it still exists. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Hi Gail, while you could use this LLC, it doesn’t sound like the 2nd Member correctly transferred their LLC Membership to you. Was this documented or do you have an amended LLC Operating Agreement showing the sale/transfer? Did the LLC file a final 1065 Partnership Return? There are more questions, but it all sounds a bit iffy. You would need to take numerous steps and file quite a few things before things were cleaned up. It might be worth considering forming a new LLC.

      • Yes, I have documentation of the transfer that also says I am the only member. This was 2006 so I cannot recall 100% if we filed a final return. I am still using the same accountant so I will ask them although I doubt any records exist at their firm from that year. I remember sharing all the legal documentation back then and for some reason I recall that since I was only remaining member, taxes get filed via my personal return (is that accurate?) Online it reads as “active” when I search for it on the state website. I guess I now have two more questions: 1) if I create a new one, is there a way to transfer the name I used and 2) am I making a bigger deal than necessary about simply starting a new one? I know some people who create a new LLC for every investment property they own….does a resource exist that guides a recommended structure for how to handle whether to use 1 or more? Seems like a lot to track. Thank you.

        • Hi Gail, okay, that’s great to hear about the documentation of the transfer. I asked because even if an LLC is active, doesn’t mean its internal affairs are in order. You wouldn’t want what you think is an ex-Member claiming they are still a Member, for example. Or years where the IRS is expecting 1065 Partnership returns.

          Managing multiple LLCs does require organization and can be a bit much, depending on the person and the situation. We don’t have a page at this time that discusses one LLC vs multiple LLCs.

          If you want to keep this LLC, it’ll need to file a Pennsylvania LLC Decennial Report. You can ask your accountant and/or call the IRS and request an EIN Verification Letter (147C). When speaking with the IRS, you can also ask if the LLC is expected to file a Partnership Return or if it’s on file as a Disregarded Entity > Sole Proprietorship. If it’s still classified as a Partnership, you’ll need to file Form 8832 and change the classification to Sole Proprietorship (#6 > C).

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