How to Set Up an LLC in Pennsylvania

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A limited liability company (LLC) acts as a hybrid business that combines the flexibility of a partnership with the limited liability protection of a corporation. Pennsylvania LLCs appear as separate legal entities from the owners of the business. Pennsylvania LLCs must obtain the proper permits and licenses to legally operate in the state of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Pennsylvania LLCs must file the appropriate documents with the state of Pennsylvania as a condition of formation.

Create a business name for the Pennsylvania LLC. According to the Citizen Media Law Project, a Pennsylvania LLC business name must contain the words "limited liability company," "company" or the appropriate abbreviation.Pennsylvania state law requires LLCs to select a business name that isn't in use, or held on reserve in the state. A free name availability search may be conducted on the Pennsylvania Department of State website.

File a certificate of organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The Pennsylvania Department of State website has a blank certificate of organization that may be printed, filled out and delivered to their office. A Pennsylvania certificate of organization contains the name and address of the LLC, as well as the name and address of a Pennsylvania resident agent. A resident agent must be a person 18 or over, or a business that agrees to accept legal process on behalf of an LLC. In addition, a resident agent must maintain a physical address in the state of Pennsylvania. The names and addresses of the LLC organizers must be included in the certificate of organization. As of 2010, it cost $125 to file a certificate of organization in the state of Pennsylvania.

File a Docketing Statement with the Pennsylvania Department of State. According to the Citizen Media Law Project, the Docketing Statement may be filed free of charge, and contains general information such as the name and address of the LLC.

Create a written operating agreement for the LLC. Pennsylvania LLCs aren't required to file a written operating agreement with the state. However, LLCs should keep a written operating agreement on the business premises as a document of reference. A written operating agreement will govern the operation of an LLC, and establish the responsibilities of the members. There is no set criteria for creating a written operating agreement, but certain provisions regarding ownership interests and allocation of profits and losses may be included in an operating agreement.

Request an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. LLCs may apply for an EIN by fax, phone, mail or online. Online and phone applications allow an LLC to receive an EIN for immediate use. Faxing Form SS-4 to the IRS will allow an LLC to receivie an EIN in four business days. Pennsylvania LLCs that mail Form SS-4 may wait up to four weeks to receive an EIN.

Register for Pennsylvania business taxes with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. LLCs that sell goods to the public will require a sales and use tax permit, as well as a seller's permit. Furthermore, LLCs with employees must obtain a Pennsylvania state ID number. LLCs may be required to pay a capital stock tax, depending on net income and net worth, according to the Citizen Media Law Project. LLCs must provide a federal EIN to obtain a Pennsylvania state ID number. LLCs may register for business taxes on the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue website.

Obtain licenses and permits to operate the LLC. The licenses and permits required to operate an LLC depend on the nature of the business. All LLCs must obtain a general business license to operate in the state of Pennsylvania. LLCs with a retail location may be required to obtain a zoning permit. LLCs that provide professional services, such as architects, barbers and accountants, must obtain an occupational license from the state of Pennsylvania. Contact the city or county clerk's office to ensure the LLC has all local permits and licenses necessary to legally operate the LLC.



About the Author

Christopher Carter loves writing business, health and sports articles. He enjoys finding ways to communicate important information in a meaningful way to others. Carter earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from Eastern Illinois University.

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