Pennsylvania LLC Costs

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Pennsylvania’s small business owners and entrepreneurs often benefit from forming a limited liability company. An LLC is a business structure that provides business owners with liability protection, unique taxes, special incentives, and a flexible management structure. Some business owners think that forming an LLC in Pennsylvania is a long and expensive process. However, it is actually straightforward and affordable for most businesses.

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Costs to start an LLC in Pennsylvania

1
LLC Certificate of Organization ($125)

2
Pennsylvania decennial report fee ($25)

3
Pennsylvania registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)

  • When forming an LLC in Pennsylvania, you must appoint a registered agent.
  • You are letting the Pennsylvania Department of State know someone is available during business hours to accept tax notices, subpoenas, and other services.
  • In Pennsylvania, anyone can act as a registered agent as long as they meet the state requirements, including yourself.
  • The total cost of appointing a registered agent will vary depending on the appointed agent, LLC needs, and state filing fees.

4
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania ($250)

  • You will register your LLC as a foreign LLC if you have an existing one in another state and want to expand.
  • You will complete the Foreign Registration Statement form (Form 15-412) and submit it online or by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • The cost to register your foreign LLC in Pennsylvania is $250.

5
LLC name reservation fee ($70)

  • You do not have to reserve a Pennsylvania LLC name before formation.
  • However, reserving the company name ensures no one else can reserve and register the same LLC name.
  • Pennsylvania LLC names must be unique.
  • You can reserve an LLC name for up to 120 days in Pennsylvania.
  • You can use the PENN file portal to reserve the LLC name online.
  • Or, you can complete the Name Reservation/Transfer of Reservation form (Form 15-208) and submit it by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • The filing cost to reserve a Pennsylvania LLC name is $70.

6
DBA filing fees in Pennsylvania ($70)

  • The acronym DBA stands for the business term ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or an assumed name, is any name an individual or business uses to operate that is not the legal name.
  • A DBA name in Pennsylvania must be unique and meet the state requirements.
  • You can register your Pennsylvania DBA using the PENN filing system.
  • Or, you can complete the Registration of Fictitious Name form (Form 54-311) and submit it by mail to the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • The cost to register a Pennsylvania DBA is $70.

7
Cost of certified document copies (varies depending on the document)

  • You will order certified LLC documents by completing the Copy/Certification Request form and submitting it to the Pennsylvania DOS Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations.
  • The cost for certified LLC documents will vary depending on the request.

8
Pennsylvania Certificate of Subsistence ($40)

  • Banks and money lenders will require you to present a copy of the Pennsylvania of good existence, or Certificate of Subsistence, before allowing you to open a business bank account.
  • You will order your LLC’s Certificate of Subsistence using the Business One-Stop Shop website.
  • The LLC filing fee for a Certificate of Subsistence in Pennsylvania is $40.

Steps to start an LLC in Pennsylvania

1
Choose a business name

When deciding on an LLC name in Pennsylvania, you will want to consider a few things.

  • An LLC name in Pennsylvania must be unique and available for use in the state.
  • The Pennsylvania LLC name must meet all of the state naming requirements.
  • It is always a good idea to check web domain availability to keep branding and marketing easy.

You will use the Pennsylvania Department of State Business Entity Search to conduct a name search.

LLC name reservation fee

Pennsylvania does not require the reservation of an LLC name before formation.

You can reserve a Pennsylvania LLC name online or by mail. The reservation is good for up to 120 days before formation.

The cost to reserve a company name in Pennsylvania is $70. An LLC name is good for up to 120 days. Pennsylvania does not require you to reserve an LLC name.

2
Appoint a Pennsylvania registered agent

When forming an LLC in the state, you must appoint a registered agent in Pennsylvania.

The price for a Pennsylvania registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.

A registered agent in Pennsylvania is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.

The registered agent you choose must be a Pennsylvania resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.

ZenBusiness

  • Starter Plan – $39 a year plus State Fees
  • Pro Plan – $149 a year plus State Fees
  • Premium Plan – $249 a year plus State Fees

ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service for Pennsylvania LLCs. The price is $99 per year.

Northwest

  • Total Out The Door Pennsylvania LLC Formation Service Package – $45 a month and includes:
    • Pennsylvania State Fee
    • Filing Service Fee
    • Registered Agent
    • Tax ID
  • Annual Plan – $225 plus State Fees a year

LegalZoom

  • Economy – $79 plus $153 Pennsylvania filing fees
  • Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
  • Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees

3
File Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization

You must file your LLC’s Certificate of Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

You can file the Certificate of Organization online using the Penn One-Stop Shop.

Or, you can complete the Certificate of Organization form (Form 15-8821) and submit it by mail.

The cost to file a Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania is $125.

Pennsylvania does not offer any expedited LLC services.

Mailing address:
Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
PO Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105

The Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization form will ask for specific information.

  • LLC name and address
  • Registered agent information
  • Names of LLC organizers

The fee in Pennsylvania for filing the LLC Certificate of Organization is $125.

4
Get a Pennsylvania LLC EIN

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).

The IRS issues a 9-digit EIN to LLCs for no additional cost. It acts as a Social Security Number for companies for income tax purposes.

You must apply for an EIN if you convert a sole proprietorship into an LLC.

Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.

Business banking for a Pennsylvania LLC

Financial experts will recommend opening a business bank account separate from your personal one. It will protect your assets and credit scores.

In Pennsylvania, banks will require you to submit a copy of the LLC’s Certificate of Organization, operating agreement, and EIN before allowing you to do business banking.

Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.

Business attorney fees in Pennsylvania

Business attorneys in Pennsylvania keep LLC formation on track. Also, when retaining a lawyer, you have someone available to handle in business-issues that arise later.

Pennsylvania business attorneys typically offer free consultations for first-time clients.

Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.

On average, a business lawyer in Pennsylvania will cost $300 per hour.

LLC taxes in Pennsylvania

  • LLCs are considered pass-through entities in Pennsylvania. As an LLC owner, you will file your personal taxes rather than the LLC’s tax returns.
  • The Pennsylvania state tax rate is 6.00%, and the max local and county rate is 2.00%.
  • If you sell physical products in Pennsylvania, you must register for a seller’s permit.
  • If you hire employees, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation.
  • You must also register for Employee Withholding Tax with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
  • By hiring a tax expert, you help ensure that you do not miss important deadlines, accrue late fees, or face possible dissolution.

Business licenses and permits in Pennsylvania

The LLC cost for Pennsylvania business licenses and permits will vary depending on where the company is located and the type of business.

You will use the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s website to locate the license and permits you will need for your business.

A business licence in Pennsylvania varies between $125 to $700. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.

Local government agencies in Pennsylvania will have different license processes and rules. You will want to contact the office to inquire about the process, price, and office hours.

Notary public

You may find that some Pennsylvania LLC formation documents will require a notarization from a notary public.

If you cannot locate one, most government agencies have one in the office.

According to Pennsylvania law, a notary public can only charge a max of $5 per act.

Employer obligations in Pennsylvania

Benefits of a Pennsylvania LLC

  • When you form an LLC in Pennsylvania, you are simplifying business banking. Banks will require that you open separate personal and business banking accounts. It protects future liability.
  • LLCs have different compliance requirements than other business structures. Incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make business decisions.
  • LLCs are pass-through entities in Pennsylvania. Owners file personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s tax returns.
  • You reduce the chances of double-taxation when you form an LLC in PA. C-corporations are double-taxed while LLCs are not.
  • Pennsylvania has state-specific incentives that are available to LLCs. Pennsylvania Opportunity Zones and the Job Creation Tax Credit program (JCTC) are available to LLCs in the state.

FAQs

How long does it take to register an LLC in Pennsylvania?

It takes the state of Pennsylvania 4 weeks to process all LLC registrations.

Pennsylvania does not offer any expedited services.

How do I dissolve my Pennsylvania LLC?

You must dissolve your inactive LLC in Pennsylvania to avoid ongoing costs and state fees. You can file your Articles of Dissolution online or by mail.

Pennsylvania does not charge for LLC cancellation.

Does Pennsylvania have an annual report fee for LLCs?

One of the benefits of forming an LLC in Pennsylvania is they do not have a biennial or annual fee.

Instead, they have a decennial fee that is due every ten years.

Does Pennsylvania have a publishing requirement?

Some states, such as Nebraska, have additional costs for publishing requirements. However, Pennsylvania has no publishing requirements for an LLC.

Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Pennsylvania?

You do not have to submit an operating agreement to the Pennsylvania Department of State. But, it is always a good idea to have one on file to head off any future misunderstandings.

Most banks in Pennsylvania will require you to present a copy of a business operating agreement.

Does Pennsylvania have an annual franchise tax?

Since 2007, Pennsylvania has not imposed a franchise tax or Capital Stock on LLCs.

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