6 min read
How to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania
The many tax incentives and financial assistance programs help entrepreneurs in Pennsylvania start and grow their businesses more easily and efficiently. Besides supporting a large population, the state is at the center of other populous US states and Canada. Hence, businesses in Pennsylvania enjoy serving tourists and tourist-centered industries year-round. You can also take advantage of the favorable business climate by starting an LLC in Pennsylvania. So without further ado, let’s find out how to do just that:
Pick a Business Name
The first step to starting an LLC in Pennsylvania is to pick a business name. However, you cannot name your business whatever you please. The name you choose must comply with Pennsylvania business name regulations. It is advised to come up with a few names since you may find that some of your ideas are not available. You can search for business name availability in Pennsylvania here.
Reserve the Business Name
After finalizing an available name, it is best to reserve it to avoid repeating the first step. You can reserve your business name at the Pennsylvania Department of State. It costs $70, but the cost is worth securing the service. You can reserve the name online or through the mail.
Get a Business Address
Getting a business address is the third step to starting an LLC in Pennsylvania. While you can provide any address, including a residential or out-of-state address, it cannot be a P.O. Box and must be a physical street address.
If you don’t have an office address yet or want to change the office location after some time, consider getting a virtual mailbox to execute this step. A virtual mailbox can also help protect your privacy if you plan on running the business from home.
Name a Registered Agent
A registered agent, known commonly in the state as a commercial registered office provider, is a person officially responsible for handling business documentation. You can name yourself or a business member as your business registered agent. You can also hire a registered agent service for this purpose. But whoever you choose must have a physical street address in Pennsylvania. They must also be available during work hours to receive and file documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Naming a registered agent is an official requirement alongside business registration. However, it is important to name a person or entity and ensure they’re ready to accept the position officially.
Prepare and Submit Certificate of Organization
Preparing and submitting a certificate of organization is the most vital step in starting an LLC in Pennsylvania. The step may sound complicated, but it only requires filing a form. The information required on the form includes complete basic information about a business, such as:
- Business name, address, and purpose
- Registered agent name and address
- Business members’ names and addresses
- Business duration
- Provisions for the regulation of the internal affairs of business
- Name and signature of the person filing the form
The certificate of organization can be filed online or through mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State. It costs only $125.
*Find the full cost of starting an LLC in Pennsylvania here.
Obtain an EIN
On the approval of a certificate of organization, you will receive a certificate of establishment from the state. Utilize this certificate to obtain your business's EIN or Employee Identification Number. EIN is like a social security number for businesses. It allows them to open bank accounts and hire employees.
You can obtain an EIN for free. Simply register your business with Internal Revenue Service.
Prepare and Submit Docketing Statement
Pennsylvania offers multiple tax incentives to small businesses. However, it requires every business to register for tax information as soon as the business becomes a legal entity. Like the certificate of organization, the docketing statement can also be filed online through the Pennsylvania Department of State website or the mail. Since the docketing statement requires EIN, it is important to stick to the order of steps.
Add a Reminder for Business Report
Unlike many states requiring annual report submissions, Pennsylvania only requires business reports every ten years. As a Pennsylvania LLC owner, you must only submit a business report in the year ending with “1,” meaning that the next report for Pennsylvania businesses is due in 2031. Hence, depending on when you start an LLC in Pennsylvania, it will be a few years before you need to file this report. Add a reminder in your work calendar, so you don’t forget to execute this step when the time comes.
Prepare an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is an official document outlining a business’s management systems and operational framework. Preparing an operating agreement isn’t necessary to start an LLC in Pennsylvania, but getting one can significantly help protect you and your business.
Besides the usual contents of operating agreements, you can add profit sharing, voting rights, processes to add or eliminate members, recruitment processes, members’ contributions, and other roles and responsibilities to prevent unwanted demands or requests. Create your Pennsylvania LLC operating agreement here.
Get a Website
After establishing the business on paper, it is time to establish it in the digital space. Since googling for everything has become the norm, marking a digital presence in the form of a website has become essential for businesses. A website not only makes a business look more legitimate and trustworthy but also helps grow it in time.
If you want to fast-track your business’s growth, head to Trady.com.
Trady.com is a website-building service dedicated to trades and home companies. Building a website with Trady.com is fast, easy, and cheap. Moreover, it brings exclusive features such as booking appointments and making payments online that help convert website visitors into customers. Find more features offered by Trady.com here.
Market Your Business
While a website is essential, you cannot wait for your audience to find you through google searches. Marketing is important for every business. Therefore, you must create social media profiles and business accounts on platforms like Yelp and Nextdoor and run ads on local websites, newspapers, etc. But that’s not all – you will need to keep all profiles and accounts updated and create marketing campaigns before advertising your business.
If it sounds overwhelming, don’t worry, and head to Trady.com again.
Trady.com also provides end-to-end marketing services for trades and home companies, including digital, social media, and traditional marketing. Start with Trady.com’s 14-day free trial to explore more.