Pennsylvania Filing Forms

Pennsylvania LLC Filing Forms

Quick Start Guide
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) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

3 Ways to Form an LLC in PA (Pennsylvania)

Updated February 21st, 2017. The information in this lesson accurately reflects the new PA LLC laws, Act 170 of 2016 (effective February 21st, 2017) and Act 135 of 2016 (effective January 2nd, 2017).

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations. These are the two documents that officially form your LLC in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania LLC Department of State Bureau of Corporations

(Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Corporations Building)

After completing the Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement, you can submit it to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations in 1 of 3 ways:

1. Online: the filing fee is $125 and your LLC will be approved in 7-10 business days.

2. By mail: the filing fee is $125 and your LLC will be approved in 7-10 business days.

3. Walk-in: this requires an expedited fee on top of the $125 filing fee. This is the state’s only expedited filing option. The expedited fee goes up depending on how fast you need your LLC approval.

• For an extra $100: same-day approval (must be received by 10:00am)
• For an extra $300: 3-hour approval (must be received by 2:00pm)
• For an extra $1,000: 1-hour approval (must be received by 4:00pm)

Tip: Most people who do the walk-in filing, choose the $100 expedited option and arrive shortly after they open at 8:00am.

Our Recommendation:
If you don’t need your LLC approved the same-day, we recommend filing online (this is what most people do). If you need your LLC formed right away and you can’t wait a few days, we recommend the walk-in filing (if you’re willing to drive to Harrisburg).

Important: Before proceeding with this lesson, make sure you have searched your Pennsylvania LLC name and selected your LLC’s Registered Office.

If you need to skip ahead, you can do so here:
File online
File by mail
Walk-in filing

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

Instructions for Filing Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization & Docketing Statement Online

Create an online account with PENN File:
https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Account/Register_account

Enter your contact information and create a login. Create 2 security questions as well. Keep this information in a safe place. The address you enter is where the copies of documents will be returned by mail. Once finished, click the “Register” button.

You’ll receive a message letting you know your information is saved. Click “Okay” and you’ll be redirected to the login page. Here is the link if you need it: https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Account/ValidateUser

After you login:
– Scroll down to the “Start or Manage Business Filings” section.
– Click “Domestic Limited Liability Company” (links will appear below).
– Click “Certificate of Organization – Domestic Limited Liability Company (8821)”.

Let’s get started…

Search

The name of the limited liability company:
Enter your desired LLC name exactly as you want it, including your preferred capitalization. Leave out the designator, as you’ll select that from the drop down menu.

Comma: You can use a comma in your Pennsylvania LLC name or you can leave it out. For example, “ABC Widgets, LLC” and “ABC Widgets LLC” are both acceptable.

Designator:
Select your preferred designator from the drop down menu. PA law allows for lots of options when it comes to designators. Most filers choose the designator “LLC”.

Search:
Click the blue “Search” button to do a preliminary name check.

Name Availability Disclaimer:
You’ll see one of the following two messages:
– “name appears to be available…”
– “name is not currently available…”

This name search functionality is not very robust. Further, the PA LLC filing fee of $125 is non-refundable and the #1 reason LLCs in PA are rejected are because the name is not available. For this reason, please make sure you’ve read our Name Search Lesson and have thoroughly searched your desired LLC name.

Once you’ve found an LLC name that is available, click the “Save and Continue” button at the bottom.

Business Details

Before completing this section, make sure you have read the Pennsylvania Registered Agent Lesson and chosen your Registered Office Address.

• If your Registered Office Address will be your home, your office, a friend’s address, or a family member’s address, select “(a)”, enter the street address and county, and then click “Save and Continue”.

• If you hired a Registered Agent, known as a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP) in PA, select “(b)”, wait for the page to refresh, then select their name and county from the drop down menus. If you don’t know what county your CROP is located in, you’ll need to call or email them. Once finished, click “Save and Continue”.

Remember: PO Boxes are not allowed and addresses must be a street address located in PA.

Recommendation: If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP), we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125/year). If you’d like to shop for additional CROPs, please see this page on the state’s website.

Important: If you need to hire a CROP, you must do so first before listing them in your Certificate of Organization. Otherwise, you could be held civilly and/or criminally liable.

Organizer(s)

Select “Individual Name” (wait for the page to refresh), enter your name and address, then click the “Add Organizer” button. If you are the only person organizing the LLC, click “Save and Continue” to proceed. If you need to add additional Organizers, please do so, and then click “Save and Continue”.

Tip: The definition of an Organizer often confuses people. The Organizer is simply the person submitting the documents to the state. Not all Members of the LLC need to be the Organizers, and an Organizer is not automatically a Member of the LLC (although they can be). You’ll list the Members of your LLC in the next lesson, Operating Agreement.

To learn more about the difference between an LLC Organizer and a Member, please see this article.

Form Questions

Effective date of Certificate of Organization:
If you’d like your LLC to go into existence on the date it is approved by the state, then check off the first box (this is what most filers do). However, if you need your LLC to go into existence on a future date, check off the second box and select the date using the calendar button to the right. Don’t worry about what time you choose; it’s not important. You cannot back-date your filing.

Tip: If you’re forming your LLC in October, November or December, and you don’t need your LLC open right away, you can forward date your filing to January 1st of the following year. This will save you the hassle of filing taxes for those months with no/little activity.

The company is a restricted professional company organized to render the following restricted professional service(s):
• If you’re forming a regular LLC (which most filers are), select “not applicable”.

• If you’re licensed by the state (Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine and surgery, Optometry, Osteopathic medicine and surgery, Podiatric medicine, Public accounting, Psychology, or Veterinary medicine), you’re filing technically becomes a Professional LLC (PLLC) and you need to select “applicable” (wait for the page to refresh). Then select your profession from the drop down.

Important: As per Title 15, Section 8998, Professional LLCs in Pennsylvania are required to file a Certificate of Annual Registration each year and pay an annual fee for each member. This is mandatory for PLLCs and if not filed, will result in penalties and fines.

This limited liability company shall have the purpose of creating general public benefit:
• If you are forming a regular LLC (which most filers are), select “not applicable”.

• If you are forming a Benefit Company LLC, select “applicable” and enter the purpose of the business in the box that appears below. Benefit Companies fall under Title 15, Section 8892, and are companies created to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

Once you’re finished with the Form Questions section, click “Save and Continue”.

Docketing Statement

Enter your name, address, and the description of your business. Enter a few words or complete sentence about what your business will do. It does not have to extremely specific (unless you want it to), and don’t worry, you are not going to be forced to do this forever. Your LLC is allowed to engage in any lawful activity.

Note: this information gets passed on to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for registering your LLC for state taxes. They will assign your LLC a Pennsylvania Tax ID Number and mail you a confirmation letter about 2-3 weeks after your LLC is approved.

Regarding the FEIN, honestly, we think this section is quite stupid as you should not have an EIN yet. We recommend leaving this section blank and applying for your EIN after your LLC is approved. We’ll walk you through how to get an EIN from the IRS in one of the next steps.

Once finished, click “Save and Continue”.

Attachments

On this page, you can upload any additional provisions or supporting documentation for your filing. This section is not applicable to most filers, so if that’s the case, you can just click “Save and Continue”.

Declaration & Signature and Online Payment

The date and your electronic signature should be auto-filled. Click “Review Filing” to proceed.

Double-check all your information for accuracy and check for any typos. If you need to make changes, click the “Edit” buttons. Once ready, click “Proceed to Cart” at the bottom. Then on the next page, click “Checkout”.

Enter your credit/debit card information and the billing address associated with your card. Then click the “Make Payment” button to electronically submit your filing.

Congratulations, your PA LLC has been submitted to the state for processing! Now you just need to wait for approval.

Pennsylvania LLC Approval (Online Filing):
After filing your PA LLC online, the state will approve it in 7-10 business days. The state will email you a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Organization along with a Welcome Letter. You’ll also receive a duplicate copy in the mail a few days after you get the email.

Next Step:
Click this link to jump down to the next step.

Instructions for Filing Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization & Docketing Statement by Mail

We will first walk you through filling out the Certificate of Organization, and then (a few paragraphs down), we will walk you through the Docketing Statement.

Download the Certificate of Organization:
Form DSCB:15-8821

Note: You can print the form, fill it out by hand (use a black pen), then sign; or, you can type in the form on your computer, then print and sign. When printing, use regular white paper (8.5″ x 11″). The state prefers typewritten over handwritten forms.

Instructions on pages 3 and 4: We recommend reading the state’s instructions in pages 3 and 4 in addition to ours.

Return document by:
• If you want your document returned by mail, check off the first box and enter your mailing address. This address does not have to match the rest of the filing, and the address can be located in any state.
• If you want your document returned by email, check off the second box and enter your email address.

Free LLC Filing for Veterans and Reservists:
As of 2017, Pennsylvania LLCs are free for Veterans or Reservists. You’ll need to verify your status with a form or ID and check off this box. Please see instructions here. If you are not a Veteran or Reservist, leave this box unchecked.

1. The name of the limited liability company is:
Enter your Pennsylvania LLC name exactly as you would like it, including your preferred capitalization, as well as the designator. Pennsylvania law allows use of the following designators, which must be included at the end of your LLC name:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • LTD
  • Ltd.
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited
  • Company
  • Co.

Tip: Most filers choose the “LLC” designator.

Comma: You can use a comma in your Pennsylvania LLC name or you can leave it out.
For example, “ABC Widgets, LLC” and “ABC Widgets LLC” are both acceptable.

Reminder: The #1 reason Pennsylvania LLC filings are rejected is because the name is not available. Make sure to review our PA LLC Name Lesson before proceeding.

2. Registered Office Address:
Please make sure you have read our Pennsylvania Registered Agent lesson before completing this section of the form.

• Complete section 2a only (leave 2b blank) if you are using any of the following as your Registered Office: your home, your office, a friend’s address, or a family member’s address. Then enter their street address and county on line 2a.

• Complete section 2b only (leave 2a blank) if you hired a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). The state has all CROP addresses on file, so you only need to enter the name of the CROP you hired and the county in which they are located. If you’re not sure what county they are located in, please call or email them.

Remember: PO Boxes are not allowed.

Recommendation: If you need to hire a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP), we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125/year). If you’d like to shop for additional CROPs, please see this page on the state’s website.

Important: You must hire a CROP first before listing them in your Certificate of Organization. Otherwise, you could be held civilly and/or criminally liable.

3. The name of each organizers is:
Enter the names of all your LLC’s Organizers in this section. If your LLC has multiple Organizers and the space is not enough, you can attach an extra piece of paper (8.5″ x 11″) and include their names there.

Note: The person filing this form is known as the Organizer. Only one Organizer is needed to submit this form to the state. An Organizer can be a Member, but the Organizer is not automatically a Member (although they may be). This is often a little confusing at first. For more clarity, check out this article: Difference between LLC Organizer and LLC Member.

4. Effective date of Certificate of Organization:
If you want your Certificate of Organization to be effective upon filing with the Pennsylvania Department of State, then check off the 1st box. This means your LLC will go into existence on the date it is approved by the state.

If you want your LLC to go into existence at a later date, then check off the 2nd box and enter that future date. This date cannot be more than 90 days out. You cannot back-date this.

Tip: If you’re forming your LLC in October, November or December, and you don’t need your LLC open right away, you can forward date your filing to January 1st of the following year. This will save you the hassle of filing taxes if you don’t need the company open right away.

5. Restricted professional companies only:
• If you are forming a regular LLC (which most people are), leave this section blank.

• If you are licensed by the state (Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine and surgery, Optometry, Osteopathic medicine and surgery, Podiatric medicine, Public accounting, Psychology, or Veterinary medicine), your filing technically becomes a Professional LLC (PLLC) and you need to check off the respective box.

Important: As per Title 15, Section 8998, Professional LLCs (PLLCs) in PA are required to file a Certificate of Annual Registration each year and pay an annual fee for each member. This is mandatory for PLLCs and if not filed, will result in penalties and fines.

6. Benefit companies only:
• If you are forming a regular LLC (which most people are), leave this section blank.

• If you are forming a Benefit Company LLC, please check off the respective box. Benefit Companies fall under Title 15, Section 8892, and are companies created to have a positive impact on society and the environment.

7. Additional provisions:
This section lets you know that you can add attachments if you need to include additional provisions to your LLC. This does not apply to most filers and there is nothing you need to do here.

Date and Signature:
Enter today’s date and have anyone’s name that is listed in #3 sign here.

Your Certificate of Organization is now ready for filing, but you also need to complete a Docketing Statement.

Download the Docketing Statement:
Form DSCB:15-134A

Note: this form gets forwarded to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and they will create a Pennsylvania Tax ID Number for state taxes. They will mail a confirmation letter about 2-3 weeks after your LLC is approved.

1. Entity Name:
Enter the name of your LLC exactly as you entered it in your Certificate of Organization.

2. Tax Responsible Party:
Enter the “primary member’s” name and mailing address. For most filers, this will be your name and address.

3. Description of Business Activity:
Enter a few words or sentences about what your business will do. It does not have to extremely specific (unless you want it to), and don’t worry, you are not going to be forced to do this forever. Your LLC is allowed to engage in any lawful activity. This information is just for initial registration with the Department of Revenue.

4. FEIN [Employer Identification/Federal Tax ID Number]:
Honestly, we think this section is quite stupid as you should not have a Federal Tax ID Number yet. We recommend leaving this section blank and applying for your Federal Tax ID Number after your LLC is approved. The state will accept this form if you leave this blank.

5. FYE [Tax Year or Fiscal Year End]:
Most businesses run on the “calendar year”, which is January 1st to December 31st. If that is the same for you (which it is for most filers), enter “12/31”. If your business runs on a different fiscal year, please enter that fiscal year end date instead.

Note: this form does not require a signature. You’re now ready to mail your documents to the state.

Prepare Payment:
Prepare a check or money order for $125 and make it payable to “Pennsylvania Department of State”.

Important: Check must have name and address. If you are paying with a personal check, it must have a pre-printed name and address on it. If not, the state will reject it. If your checks don’t have this, you’ll need to use a money order. Also, the state doesn’t care whose name is on the check.

Mail Documents:
Mail your completed Certificate of Organization, Docketing Statement, and $125 filing fee to:

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

Tip: You can send these documents via regular USPS mail, or you can send via UPS or FedEx for a slightly faster approval time.

Congratulations, your PA LLC has been mailed for processing! Now you just need to wait for approval.

Pennsylvania LLC Approval by Mail:
The state will approve your LLC in 7-10 business days. The state will send back a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Organization along with a Welcome Letter. These items will arrive by mail or email, depending on what you checked off at the top of the Certificate of Organization.

Video Instructions

Note: This is an older video that shows filing by mail only (no online filing). Both the Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement have since changed, but we are including this video as it still provides helpful information regarding Pennsylvania LLCs.


Video Transcript:

Welcome to the Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement video. A Limited Liability Company is a hybrid between a Partnership and Corporation. It provides the liability protection of a corporation with the “pass-through” tax advantages similar to those of Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships. In order to form your LLC, a Certificate of Organization must be filed with the Corporation Bureau, accompanied by a Docketing Statement. A Docketing Statement is a 1-page document which ask a few simple questions such as: what type of entity your business is, what state it is located in, your business name, a brief description of your business’s activity, your desired fiscal year, and a few other questions. We will show you how to complete the Docketing Statement later in this video. Your desired business name must be available for use. Please make sure you have watched the Name Research video. An actual street address or rural route box must be used as the businesses address. A PO Box is not allowed. If you do not currently have an existing business address, the State of Pennsylvania allows you to use your home address as your business address. If you do not have an existing business address and you do not wish to use your home address, you can elect to use a Registered Agent, and you may then use their address on your Certificate of Organization. A Registered Agent may be someone whom you know, who lives in the State of Pennsylvania, and is allowing you to use their address for purposes of receiving your LLC’s mail. You can alternatively hire a company to act as your Commercial Registered Agent and they will then receive and forward your mail for you. Typical fees for commercial Registered Agents range between $100 – $350 per year. We have included a link below this video to Northwest Registered Agent. We have heard many great things from our clients about their excellent customer service and their annual fee is between $100-$125 per year, depending on how many years you sign up for. There will be a few items to think about and have ready prior to completing your Certificate of Organization. No. 1: The address where you would like the approved Certificate of Organization sent back to. No. 2: Whether you will be using a business address, your home address, or the address of a Registered Agent. No. 3: The names and addresses of the organizer (organizers). The organizers are simply the individual (or individuals) who filed a Certificate of Organization with the State. This would be yourself if you’re a Single-Member LLC (or you and your business partner or partners if you’re a Multi-Member LLC). No. 4: Whether your LLC will be “member managed” or “manager managed”. The State of Pennsylvania allows LLCs either be “member managed” (by the owners) of the LLC or “manager managed” (by an elected manager or managers). If this sounds confusing to you, then this section of the Certificate of Organization will not be applicable. It is more common to see “member managed” LLCs. If this is the case (and most likely will be), you will simply strike or cross out this section. We will show you where to do this later in the video. And No. 5: The date your business will start or the date your business was started. To form your LLC, the Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement are the only documents you will need to file with the State of Pennsylvania (the Operating Agreement and EIN which are in the upcoming Lessons do not go to the State of PA). Remember to include all 3 pages of the Certificate of Organization, the 1-page Docketing Statement, and your filing fee). The filing fee is $125. The $125 filing fee must be made payable to “Department of State”. In the next few slides, I will go over the accepted forms of payment that go along with your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement. You can either send in a personal check or money order along with your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement. Again, the $125 filing fee must be made payable to “Department of State”. If you are sending in a personal check, your check, you must have a printed name and address on it. Let’s take a look at a few examples. This check would not be accepted and your filing would simply be sent back because there is no name or address on the check. This check would be accepted because there’s a name and an address on the check. Note: the address must be printed. It cannot be handwritten. Also, the address does not have to be a Pennsylvania address or the address of the LLC. It can be an address from any state. You will notice that my checks do not have an address under my name. In this case, I need to use a money order. Here is an example of a money order that was used for a filing of mine. I have just blacked out my address for privacy, but you can see that it is made payable to “Department of State” for $125. After you mail your documents and the $125 filing fee to the State, you can expect to receive a stamped and approved Certificate of Organization within 7-10 business days (they keep the Docketing Statement). Until that point, do not order business cards, do not obtain your EIN (also known as the Federal Tax ID Number), do not register domain names, or start to use your LLC name until you receive approval from the State. If there are any errors with your filing or if your desired LLC name is not available, the State will simply send back your documentation (including your payment) along with instructions on what needs to be corrected. Here’s an example of a stamped and approved Certificate of Organization. You’ll notice it has the Entity Number and Date Filed at the top, the Approval Stamp in the center, and the Approval Date in the lower left. Once you receive this, your LLC is officially formed. Let’s get started filling out your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement. You can access them from the “downloads” section in this Lesson and from there, you can either print them out or download and save them to your computer. Here is the Certificate of Organization which you can find in the “downloads” section. You have 2 options: you can either print this document out and handwrite (it is required that you use blue or black ink), or, you can save this document. It’s a PDF, so you can save it to your computer and you can type in the information. You’ll see here I have already filled out this document so you will just need to make the necessary corrections that apply to you. The very 1st box at the top, you’re going to enter the name and address where you would like the Certificate of Organization sent back to once it is approved (so here, I’ve entered my address). We’re next going to jump down to Section 1 where you’re going to enter the name of your LLC. Make sure that you include the abbreviation “LLC” or they will not approve your filing. No. 2, if you’re using a home address or a business address, that goes in Section A (you’re going to write your address, your city, State, zip and county. If you choose to use a Registered Agent, you will put their name and address in Section B. In Section 3, you’re going to list the organizers of the LLC. For this example, this is a Single-Member LLC, so I filled in my name and my address. If you have multiple members, you would put their name and address on each of the lines provided. if you have more than 3 or 4 members and you cannot fit it into here, attach an additional page and include that when you mail this in. Continuing on page 2, No. 4 says “Strike out if inapplicable term (A member’s interest in the company is to be evidenced by certificate of membership interest)”. This is not applicable; if you’re on the computer, you can simply strike this out in the PDF document ,or, if you are doing this handwritten with pen, you can just simply cross or strike it out. No. 5, “Strike out if inapplicable (Management of the company is vested in a manager or managers)”, this is most likely that you are going to be a member managed LLC. In that case, you can strike this out, or, if you’ve opted to be manager managed (and a manager who is not a member of the LLC is managing the LLC), you can leave this alone. In this case, I’m going to strike this out. Section 6, I’m going to enter the effective date that the business was started. Do not worry about the hour, if any. In Section 7, this is also inapplicable, and you can strike it out. No. 8 simply states that if you need to attach additional provisions (for example, if you had more organizers and you couldn’t fit them in section 3), you can attach an additional 8-and-a-half-by-11). Moving down here, you’re going to enter the date. I put the 1st day of January 2012, and simply, if you’re a single member, you’ll sign on the line, or if you have multiple members and organizers, you each sign here. Make sure to include this 3rd page here with your filing. You’ll notice here it just says “Typewritten is preferred. If no, you can complete the form in blue or black ink”. Tells you, you know things, we’ve already gone over (the filing fee, $125, made payable etcetera, etcetera). Don’t worry about this, we’ve covered this all in the video; just make sure to include this page with the filing (for some reason that, they request that). Let’s take a look again at an example of a filing fee and the form of payment. Again, you can use a personal check or you can use a money order as specified earlier depending on whether or not your check has a printed address on it. Here’s an example of a money order for $125 made payable to the “Department of State”. If you are writing a personal cheque, you will simply make it payable to “Department of State” for $125 and sign the check either. Either your personal check or the money order, is going to go in the same envelope with the Certificate of Organization and the Docketing Statement. You’re going to mail those documents (the Certificate of Organization, the Docketing Statement, and your filing fee to the Department of State, Corporation Bureau, P.O. Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722). I recommend you pause this video and write down that address. Keep in mind, if you have any questions while going through your filing, you can call them at the number listed on the Certificate of Organization (717-787-1057), and you can also leave any comments or questions in the Comments Section below this video. Let’s take a look at the Docketing Statement. Here is the Docketing Statement. There are a few boxes where we will need to check off a few items. Here, underneath “Pennsylvania Entities”, we’re going to put an “X” or a “check mark” next to “limited liability company”. You can ignore “Foreign Entities” and “Other”. No. 1, you’re going to enter the name of your LLC. Again, make sure to include the abbreviation “LLC”. No. 2, you’re going to include the name and mailing address for the person responsible for filing taxes (most likely, this is going to be yourself if you’re the organizer, or it could be your business partner). I’ve included my name and my address here. Again, this document can be filled out on the computer (or you can print it out and handwrite it in blue or black ink). No. 3 ( a “Description of business activity”), a lot of people think this is more complex than it needs to be it. It can be a very simple, very broad, you know, generic description of what your business does. So here, for “At Your Door Quick LLC”, its “Courier services”. If you’re really not sure what your LLC is going to be used for, or, what some people do is they’ll write, you know, “general business management”, or “business consulting”, or “management consulting”, or “marketing consulting”, etcetera. You can leave it fairly vague, and this is simply used for the Corporation Bureau and their statistics. Okay, Section 4, you’re going to write the date, the specific date that the business was created. In this case, I’m putting today’s date (1/1/2012). No. 5, where they’re asking for your EIN, because you haven’t done that yet, you simply just write “Applied For”. No. 6, you’re going to write December 31 or December 31st. And No. 7, where it says “Fictitious Name”, you’re going to simply put “Not Applicable”, and that’s it. The Docketing Statement is fairly simple. Make sure to include the Docketing Statement with your filing. Again, that’s going to be the 3 pages of the Certificate of Organization, the Docketing Statement, and your payment (whether that’s a personal check or money order). You’re then going to mail all those documents and your form of payment to the Corporation Bureau and wait approximately 7-10 business days, and you’ll receive back a stamped approved copy of your Certificate of Organization. You can now move forward onto the next Lesson which will be the Operating Agreement, and for the 4th Lesson which is your EIN (remember to wait until you receive back the stamped and approved copy of the Certificate of Organization). That wraps it up for this video.

Next Step:
Click this link to jump down to the next step.

Pennsylvania LLC Walk-in Expedited Filing

This section only applies if you need to expedite your LLC filing and you are going to drive to Harrisburg to deliver it in-person.

If so, please scroll up to the File by Mail section, complete your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement, then come back here to prepare the rest of the expedited filing.

Download the Expedited Service Request:
Form DSCB:15-153(a)(15)

• Enter your name, address, phone, and email address.
• Select counter pickup (in person) or email, depending on how you want to pick up your forms.
• Select the level of service you want and make note of the “received by” times.
• Select whether you’ll pay by check or credit card (credit cards are charged when you drop off forms).
• Check off the box at the bottom stating that you agree to the terms found in the PA Bulletin.

Prepare Payment:
• If you are going to pay by credit card, you will do so when you get there.

• If you are going to pay by check or money order, please bring two. One will be for $125 and the second will be for the amount you selected in the Expedited Service Request Form ($100, $300, or $1,000). Please make them both payable to “Pennsylvania Department of State”.

Important: Check must have name and address. If you are paying with a personal check, it must have a pre-printed name and address on it. If not, the state will reject it. If your checks don’t have this, you’ll need to use a money order. Also, the state doesn’t care whose name is on the check.

Head to Harrisburg:

Items to bring:
– Expedited Request Form
– Certificate of Organization
– Docketing Statement
– 2 checks or money orders made out to “Department of State” (unless you are paying with credit card)

Bring them to the Bureau of Corporations:
401 North Street
Room 206
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Hours:
8am – 4:45pm (tip: the earlier you arrive, the better)

LLC Approval for Walk-in Filings:
You can either pickup your documents later that day, or the state will email them to you. You will receive a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Organization along with a Welcome Letter.

Next Step

Once you’ve filed your Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Pennsylvania LLC Operating Agreement.

Pennsylvania Department of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations at 717-787-1057 (Monday through Friday, 8am – 4:45pm).

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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 people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.


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14 Comments

  1. Brandon Leichter August 8, 2016

    Hi Matt! I am forming an LLC in anticipation of making some real estate investments. Give the fact that my business has not actually completed any transactions, does the “effective date” have any meaning? For example, If I wanted to arbitrarily choose an effective date of July 23, 2016, can I do so? Thank you, this is an amazing source of information!

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz August 8, 2016

      Hey Brandon! Glad you are finding the course helpful, and thanks for the kind words. The effective date is the date your LLC officially goes into existence with the state.

      You can’t back-date it, but you can forward date (up to 90 days). Here’s a reason you might need to forward date:

      If you’re forming your LLC in October, November, or December, and you don’t need your business open during those months, forward date your filing to January 1st. This will save you the hassle of having to file an RCT-101 w/ PA Department of Revenue for the year the LLC was open (but not really active). It’s not a major thing though, just an FYI as it might help paint some context.

      Also, great to hear about the upcoming purchases! Let me know if you need anything else.

      reply
  2. Jamal June 19, 2017

    Hi Matt! Thank you so much for this great source of information! it’s by far the best step by step guide to form LLC in the internet!

    you said above “After filing your PA LLC online, the state will approve it in 7-10 business days. The state will email you a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Organization along with a Welcome Letter.”

    I just received a copy of the Certificate of Organization along with a Welcome Letter within less than 24h! but the certificate of organization is not stamped! is my LLC approved now? can I apply for EIN?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 20, 2017

      Hey Jamal! Thanks for the nice comment :) Did you file by mail or file online? If you file online, yes, approval times are much faster. If not, wow, that was fast. We’ll chat with the state and see if approval times have gotten faster. Can you snap a picture of your form and email it to us? We’ll take a look and let you know. You can find our email on the contact us page. You’re LLC is most likely approved, but we’ll double-check for you if you’d like.

      reply
  3. Ashlee Yang June 20, 2017

    Hi Matt,

    This is extremely helpful and resourceful! Thank you! I do have a quick question. I want to form a LLC in the Education field. I wonder if there is any impact if I choose “Not applicable” to the question “This limited liability company shall have the purpose of creating general public benefit”? Is it required for ALL education related company to choose Applicable to this question?

    Thank you Millions!
    -Ashlee

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz June 23, 2017

      Hey Ashlee! Thank you for the lovely comment. No, this is not a requirement for all education companies. In fact, it’s not a requirement for any company. It’s instead for those who specifically know they want to form a Benefit LLC. Think of a Benefit LLC as hybrid between a for-profit and a non-profit company that has a positive social impact and usually a charitable component. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fundraisers or can’t raise money without making this election. Hopefully that helps clear things up. People forming Benefit companies usually know at the onset and have spoken with their accountant about any pros and cons.

      reply
      • Ashlee Yang July 5, 2017

        Thank you very much Matt! You are being really helpful!!! So does this website!

        reply
        • Matt Horwitz July 6, 2017

          Thank you Ashlee. You’re very welcome!

          reply
  4. Max Oliver September 10, 2017

    Hello Matt,

    I am currently registered and operating in PA as one-person sole proprietorship (fictitious name) since 2002 and I have an EIN number. I would now like to change the business category from a sole proprietorship into a one-member LLC. But I would also like to chance the business name (ex. ABC to XYZ) and retain the EIN. I understand that I need to write/notify IRS of the name change.

    I found your university website in my search. I have a PENN File account but I’m not sure how to proceed.

    1) Should I amend the fictitious name to change the name of the business (ABC->XYZ) first; and then create a new LLC using the same name (XYZ), and dissolve fictitious name.

    2) Or Should I create a new LLC using the old name (ABC) with “Consent to Appropriation Name”, amend the ABC LLC to XYZ LLC, and dissolve the fictitious name (ABC)

    I understand that it would have been easier to just create XYZ LLC and dissolve ABC but I need to retain the history of my company since I am trying to apply for an MBE status.

    I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you very much in advance.

    Max

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 12, 2017

      Hi Max, no, you should not amend the Fictitious Name filing as a Fictitious Name cannot be “changed to” an LLC. You simply form an LLC and then file a Cancellation of Fictitious Name. You don’t need a Consent to Appropriation of Name as Fictitious Names do not hold rights to their name, so the LLC will be approved regardless. Retaining the history can be done through the preservation of the EIN, although the details around the MBE status can be a little gray. It might be best not to cancel the Fictitious Name right away, but wait until you get the MBE status awarded first.

      You’ll need to mail a letter to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service, Cincinnati, OH 45999-0023) letting them know the details and that you’d like to associate your EIN with your Single-Member LLC. Let the IRS know the following in the letter: the new LLC will be taxed as a Disregarded Entity/Sole Proprietorship, the LLC will not be taxed as a C-Corporation or S-Corporation, the LLC will does not have employees, and the LLC does not have excise tax liability. Of course, if any of those statements are true, then you will need a new EIN for your LLC and cannot use your existing one. Include your existing EIN in the letter as well as a copy of your approved LLC Certificate of Organization, your phone number, and your mailing address. The IRS will mail you a confirmation letter within 30-45 days.

      reply
  5. Hope September 16, 2017

    Hey Matt,
    I filed a cert of organization with the name “Biz, limited liability company” and fictitious name as “Biz, LLC.” Both has the same address. Now i received a letter saying that there’s a name conflict and another letter saying welcome with the Cert of Org attached. I called the Bureau of PA but was told that I should not worry about the conflict and that the business exits under my name as the filer. It’s been like 4 months now. I haven’t received any docketing paper from PA or PA EIN. I need your advise. Please respond through email, thanks.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 17, 2017

      Hi Hope, hopefully I can help straighten things out. It seems like you’re confused on a few different points. You cannot register a Fictitious Name with the letters “LLC” in it (or the words spelled out). That’s why your Fictitious Name was rejected. Further, “Biz, limited liability company” and “Biz, LLC” have the same root (“Biz”). Having LLC spelled out or abbreviated technically mean the same thing (that the entity is an LLC). So “Biz, limited liability company” and “Biz, LLC” are the same thing. You’ll need to call the PA Department of Revenue to see if an account was created for you. The account should have been created shortly after the Bureau approved your LLC. The EIN is issued federally by the IRS, not from the state of Pennsylvania. You need to apply for an EIN with the IRS. We have a video lesson for EIN (also known as Federal Tax ID Number) on the website. Hope that helps!

      reply
  6. Cari September 17, 2017

    I am starting a new LLC, I have gone through the steps of creating LLC:
    1. Name Search
    2. Registered Agent
    3. Filing Forms
    4. Operating Agreement

    When I go to checkout it says my cost is $70.00. It clearly states that creating an LLC is $125.

    Am I missing something?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz September 17, 2017

      Hi Cari, you likely selected a Fictitious Name registration ($70) instead of an LLC filing, which is $125. In lesson 3 (Filing Forms), please look for the text “after you login” and make sure you are selecting the proper filing. Here are the steps:
      – login
      – scroll down to “Start or Manage Business Filings”
      – click “Domestic Limited Liability Company”
      – click “Certificate of Organization – Domestic Limited Liability Company (8821)”
      Hope that helps!

      reply

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