How much does an LLC cost in Pennsylvania? (2023 details)

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LLC Cost
Starting an LLC in Pennsylvania comes with more costs than just filing the initial paperwork. But it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.

We explain all of the initial and ongoing Pennsylvania LLC costs below, as well as give you tips on how to save money.

How much does an LLC cost in Pennsylvania?

It costs $125 to form an LLC in PA. This is a fee paid for the Certificate of Organization.

You’ll file this form with the Pennsylvania Department of State. And once approved, your LLC will go into existence.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

In addition to this LLC filing fee, there are other costs to be aware of when forming a Pennsylvania LLC.

Costs to forming a Pennsylvania LLC

There is a $125 one-time state filing fee to form a Pennsylvania LLC.

There are also ongoing fees (like a $70 Decennial Report fee), which we discuss below.

LLC Costs in Pennsylvania

RequirementCost
LLC Name$0
Registered Agent$0 or $125 per year
Certificate of Organization$125
Operating Agreement$0 (free on our site)
EIN Number$0 (free through IRS)
Decennial Report$70 (every 10 years)
Taxesvaries (filed and/or paid every year)

Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization Filing Fee ($125)

Starting an LLC costs $125 in Pennsylvania. This is the state filing fee for a document called the Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization.

The Certificate of Organization is filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State. And once approved, this is what creates your LLC.

The $125 fee is a one-time fee. You don’t have to pay any monthly (or annual) fees to start your Pennsylvania LLC.

Note: LLCs are the most common business structure used in Pennsylvania. They are the most popular business entity because they offer liability protection for the LLC owners.

Depending on the state, the Certificate of Organization form is sometimes called a Certificate of Formation or the Articles of Organization. Cert. of Organization is the most common name used in Pennsylvania – but they all mean the same thing: the form used to create your LLC.

Pennsylvania business name cost ($0)

Naming your Limited Liability Company doesn’t cost anything. Your Pennsylvania LLC Name is approved (at no extra cost) when your Certificate of Organization filing is approved by the state.

You may have read online that LLC Name Reservations are required. However, this is not true in most states. Most states don’t require a Name Reservation to form an LLC.

How much does a DBA cost? ($70)

A DBA is filed with the state or the county. In Pennsylvania, a DBA costs $70.

Note: A DBA is sometimes called a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, Assumed Name or Fictitious Business Name. They all mean the same thing.

Tip: You aren’t required to get a DBA for your LLC. It’s optional. For more information, read our article: Do I need a DBA?

Pennsylvania Registered Agent Fee ($0 or $125/year)

Pennsylvania law requires that you designate a Registered Office when forming your LLC. Luckily, there is no registered office fee to pay when you list this on your Certificate of Organization.

A Pennsylvania Registered Agent is a person or company who receives legal documents and state notices for your LLC. A Registered Agent needs a street address (the Registered Office) in the state and should generally be available during normal business hours.

There is no additional cost if you will be your own Registered Agent, or have someone you know be your LLC’s Registered Agent.

However, you have the option of hiring a Registered Agent service (aka Commercial Registered Office Provider). This will cost you between $100 to $300 per year. But Registered Agent service companies offer other helpful business services and can protect your privacy.

Hiring a Registered Agent service is a good idea if:

  • You don’t have an address in the state (Pennsylvania law requires a physical address in the state to be listed as Registered Office)
  • You want to keep your address off public record (depending on which company you hire, you may be able to use their address to keep your address private)

Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.

(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)

LLC Operating Agreement Fee ($0)

A Pennsylvania LLC Operating Agreement is a written contract between the LLC Members. Operating Agreements include detailed information about LLC ownership, how the LLC is managed, and how profits are distributed.

Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs should draft an Operating Agreement, keep it with their business records, and give a copy to each Member.

Most websites charge $50 to $200 for LLC Operating Agreements.

Here at LLC University®, we offer free LLC Operating Agreement templates for all types of LLCs.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

LLC EIN Number Fee ($0)

An EIN Number is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

This number is used to file income taxes, to open an LLC bank account, and to hire employees (if applicable).

Although many websites charge a service fee to get an EIN for your LLC, it can actually be done for free.

You can obtain an EIN for your LLC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. The online filing can be completed in a few minutes.

Pennsylvania LLC Decennial Report Fee ($70 every 10 years)

Pennsylvania requires you to keep your LLC’s information up to date by filing a Decennial Report.

This keeps your PA LLC in good standing and in compliance with state law so it can continue operating. You simply confirm the information on the Decennial Report, file it with the Pennsylvania Department of State, and pay the Decennial Report fee.

The Pennsylvania LLC Decennial Report costs $70 every 10 years. This fee is paid every decade for the life of your LLC.

Pennsylvania Business License and Permit Fees (varies)

Depending on where your LLC does business in Pennsylvania and the industry you’re in, you may need to obtain additional Business Licenses or Permits. For example, you may need to get a City Business Permit.

The costs for these other business licenses or permits will vary depending on location and industry, but usually the fees are not very high. Some licenses and permits are issued at the state level, and others are issued by a municipality (the town, city, or county).

LLC Taxes (varies)

There are many different types of Pennsylvania LLC taxes that owners must pay, so this annual cost varies widely.

Some of the taxes LLC owners pay include:

  • Federal taxes
  • State income tax
  • Local income tax
  • Business taxes
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Sales and use tax
  • Payroll tax (if you have employees)
  • Property tax (if the LLC owns property)

Your Pennsylvania LLC taxes depend on your industry and amount of business activity, so we’re not able to provide an estimate. Every business is different, and your specific circumstances determine what taxes apply to your LLC.

Note: By default, a Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship. And a Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Hiring an Accountant

How much your small business pays in taxes is best determined by working with a qualified accountant in Pennsylvania.

The amount you’ll pay your accountant will vary. However, most accountants will charge $300 per year for a simple tax return, or up to $900 for more detailed filings.

Note: We recommend speaking with a few accountants in Pennsylvania to make sure they can help you meet all of your federal, state, and local tax obligations. We offer detailed tips on How to Find an Accountant.

Pennsylvania Department of State

If you have any questions about the cost of opening a Pennsylvania LLC, you can contact the Bureau of Corporations at the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Pennsylvania LLC Department of State Bureau of Corporations
(Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Corporations Building)

Pennsylvania LLC Cost FAQs

It costs $125 to start a Pennsylvania LLC. This is a one-time filing fees for the LLC Certificate of Organization.

Some LLCs may need a business license in Pennsylvania. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. The cost of local business permits varies. And depending what your company does, your LLC may need to obtain business insurance.

All Pennsylvania LLCs need to pay $70 per year for the Decennial Report. These state fees are paid to the Department of State. And these are the only required annual Pennsylvania LLC fees. You have to pay this to keep your LLC in good standing.

If you hired a Registered Agent service, you’ll have an annual subscription fee to pay each year. This is usually about $125 per year.

Some LLCs may need business licenses in Pennsylvania. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. You’ll need to check with your municipality to see if there are any annual renewal fees for the business permit.

And of course, every year your LLC will file (and/or pay) taxes.

You aren’t required to hire a professional service company to form your Pennsylvania LLC. You’re allowed to form your LLC yourself if you’d like.

However, if you want to save time and make sure your LLC is filed correctly, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent has excellent customer service and they include Registered Agent services free for the 1st year. They also offer other services, like an Operating Agreement and filing your Decennial Report.

Check out Best LLC Services for more suggestions.

No, you aren’t required to hire an attorney to form your LLC in Pennsylvania. You’re allowed to form your LLC yourself if you’d like.

However, some people may want to hire an attorney if their LLC has a complex ownership or management structure, has investors, or requires industry-specific documentation.

A business attorney usually charges between $800 and $2,500 to form an LLC.

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Pennsylvania:

  1. Choose an LLC business name and make sure it’s available
  2. Choose who will be your Pennsylvania Registered Office
  3. File the Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization
  4. Complete and sign an Operating Agreement
  5. Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
  6. Open an LLC bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Pennsylvania

You can get an LLC cheaply by filing your formation documents yourself. You’ll also save money by being your own Registered Office, and using our free LLC Operating Agreement template.

By forming your LLC yourself, being your own Registered Agent, and using our Operating Agreement template you can save over $400.

How long it takes to get an LLC in Pennsylvania depends on how you file your Certificate of Organization.

You can get an LLC in PA approved in 4 weeks if you file online. On the other hand, filing by mail takes about 4 weeks (plus mail time).

It varies. Some banks charge monthly fees ($10 to $20 per month), but these can sometimes be avoided by meeting certain requirements. For example, if you make a certain number of direct deposits or maintain a specified minimum balance, then they’ll waive the monthly fees.

And you might be able to find a bank that doesn’t charge any monthly fees.

Before you open your LLC business bank account, we recommend calling and asking if there are ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fees.

A Foreign LLC is an LLC formed in another state that must register (aka Foreign Qualify) in Pennsylvania. This is because the LLC is doing business in both states.

The Pennsylvania Foreign LLC cost is $250 to file the foreign registration statement.

If you form an LLC in PA, it is called a “Domestic LLC”. If you formed your LLC in another state, it would be a Foreign LLC once you register it in Pennsylvania.

Yes, Pennsylvania is a great state to start a business. Pennsylvania doesn’t charge a state business license fee, has quick approval times and helpful representatives at the Department of State if you have questions.

However, the most important factors in deciding where to start a business are where you live and where you’re doing business.

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Pennsylvania, then you should start your business in Pennsylvania. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business. And just because a certain state has cheaper LLC fees doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to form your LLC there.

For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in Pennsylvania, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in Pennsylvania (and pay fees). And you’ll end up paying Pennsylvania taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you are a Pennsylvania resident, then yes, Pennsylvania is the best state to form an LLC. If you don’t live in and do business in Pennsylvania, then no, Pennsylvania probably isn’t a good state to start an LLC.

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.

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