LLC, Business License, Incorporation
Pennsylvania remains one of our most popular states for incorporation and LLC formation. With the sixth largest population in the United States, Pennsylvania has a thriving business community. Some of the largest U.S. companies, including Sunoco and Comcast, maintain their headquarters in Pennsylvania. This state also services many small businesses, particularly in major industries like manufacturing, education, and agriculture.
Incorporating your business entails initial and ongoing requirements. However, it also can provide your business with substantial advantages. If you have already decided to incorporate in Pennsylvania, incorporate.com can assist you through the various stages of the process.
General Pennsylvania Incorporation Information
A corporation, which is considered a separate legal entity, has liabilities and legal rights. In the eyes of the court, it is seen as a person and, as such, it stands alone from its board of directors and shareholders. As a "person," a corporation has many of the same legal rights and responsibilities as a living, breathing human being. Many large companies with numerous employees choose to incorporate under either a C-Corp or an S-Corp corporate structure. Incorporating also allows companies to issue stock.
Choosing to incorporate your business can be a lengthy and time-consuming process. With decades of experience at-hand and a team of professionals who fully understand the process of incorporation, incorporate.com has helped countless businesses through the process of incorporating in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S.
How to Incorporate in PA
The first step which one must take to incorporate in Pennsylvania corporation is to choose a business name. This name will need to be unique, and it cannot be confused with any other existing entity. If you need assistance with choosing a corporate name, incorporate.com can research the availability, ensuring you do not choose a name that has already been claimed by another business. Once a business name has been selected, it must then be registered with the state.
Articles of Incorporation and corporate bylaws must also be drawn up. The bylaws of your corporation should include the number of directors that will comprise your board of directors. Pennsylvania requires that there are at least three directors: a President, Treasurer, and a Secretary. Directors may be appointed or recruited, and all corporate directors must be a minimum of 18 years of age. They do not need to live in the State of Pennsylvania and do not need to be shareholders of the corporation.
All Articles of Incorporation must be filed with the State of Pennsylvania. These articles will include information about your business, such as the stated purpose of the corporation; the number of shares of stock that will be issued; the legal address of the corporation the name and address of the registered agent; and finally, the name of the corporation itself.
Additional Steps for Pennsylvania Incorporation
Pennsylvania is one of only a few U.S. states that require a business to publicly publish an announcement of a newly-formed entity. Theintent to form a corporation must be published in two newspapers, one of which must be a legal journal. This requirement applies only to corporations and non-profits formed in the state of Pennsylvania.
incorporate.com can help you gather the necessary information and submit the required Pennsylvania forms to incorporate. Additionally, our experienced professionals can assist you with forming your articles of incorporation and corporate bylaws. We offer an average turnaround time of 5 to 7 days from the time you submit the order to us. Let us use our years of prompt, professional service to help you begin the process of incorporating your business today.
Many businesses begin as sole proprietorships, but very often, business owners realize that they may need more protection for business and personal assets. Forming an Limited Liability Company can offer a business entity legal and financial protection to itself and its members. Learn more about how to form an LLC in the state of Pennsylvania.
General Pennsylvania LLC Information
An LLC creates a legal separation between your business and you. Unlike a sole proprietorship where a business and its owner are one and the same, an LLC will turn your business into a separate entity. A LLC designation in Pennsylvania ensures that business owners and organization members are not personally responsible for the debts a business incurs. For example, if a business that is structured as an LLC faces a lawsuit, the personal property, assets, and savings of members of the LLC cannot be attached to the lawsuit.
Forming an LLC in PA
Pennsylvania has several requirements for creating a limited liability corporation. A properly formatted business name is the first of these requirements. The name you choose cannot already be registered with the state of Pennsylvania. When you form your LLC with incorporate.com's help, we'll research your company name to make sure it meets Pennsylvania's standards.
Permitted designations: Pennsylvania LLC names may be followed by several approved designations.
- LTD. Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
Restricted words: The use of certain words in LLC names is "restricted" in Pennsylvania, meaning special approval by the state is required.
- Credit Union
- Little League
- Little Leaguer
- "Psycho-" as the root of any name
Once a name has been chosen, a Certificate of Organization must be filed with the Department of State. This certificate should include the exact names of who will be managing the company and its members. Pennsylvania requires an LLC to have one, or more than one, managers or members. Addresses of the manager or managers must accompany the Certificate.
In addition to filing a Certificate of Organization, Pennsylvania LLCs must also file a Docketing Statement with the State. This statement includes basic information about your business, including the name of your LLC, as well as the physical address of your LLC. According to Pennsylvania laws, a P.O. Box address is not an acceptable address. A Pennsylvania LLC must list an actual street or rural route as its address. As an alternate option, a Pennsylvania LLC can use a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP) address.
incorporate.com can file the Certificate of Organization and the Docketing Statement with the State on your behalf.
Additional Requirements for Starting an LLC in PA
If an LLC has more than one member or employee, Pennsylvania requires that the LLC have an Employer Identification Number.
Prior to launching a new business in Pennsylvania, if you have not done so already, you may need to obtain a business license. The licensing process can take research to ensure you file all the proper forms and pay all the necessary licensing fees with the various licensing departments.
Pennsylvania Business License Registration
A business license is typically required in all states to legally operate a business. Pennsylvania is no different. Depending upon the type of industry in which your business is engaged, it may also need to be inspected and licensed by one or more Pennsylvania professional licensing boards.
While sole proprietors and general partnerships may not have to register for a Pennsylvania state business license, they may still need to acquire local licenses. If your business is a corporation, LLC, limited partnership, or limited liability partnership, you must register your business with the PA Department of State. incorporate.com can research the specific requirements that you must fulfill in order to obtain your Pennsylvania Business License.
Registering a Business License in PA Additional Requirements
In addition to state requirements, the Pennsylvania city where your business is located may have its own requirements. Information from local city governments should be obtained in order to ensure that a business is fully licensed and compliant in Pennsylvania. Municipal or city-specific requirements vary from city to city. For instance, both Philadelphia and Harrisburg require that all businesses and individuals who conduct business in either city obtain a yearly business privilege license, even if these businesses or individuals do not reside in Philadelphia or Harrisburg.
Should you choose to establish your business activity in the state of Pennsylvania, incorporate.com can help you research the required permits, forms, and information that you must submit to the state to obtain your license, as well as any fees due at the time you submit this paperwork.
Too busy to research your licensing requirements? We can help.