Pennsylvania State Requirements for Starting a Small Business

by Hal Bartle; Updated September 26, 2017

Starting and running your own business is part of the American Dream. If you are planning on starting your own small business, you may consider starting it in Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a diverse state with large urban areas, growing suburban areas and friendly rural areas. Regardless of the type of business you start, there are some requirements that you fulfill in order to conduct business in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Address

If you plan on starting a business in Pennsylvania, you must have a physical address in the state, complete with the number and street name of where the business is located. This cannot be a post office box.

Registered Agent in Pennsylvania

Businesses in Pennsylvania must have a registered agent. Registered agents are people who receive service of process for the business. Service of process is a legal term that describes important court documents, such as complaints and subpoenas. You can be the registered agent for your business, or you can hire a commercial registered agent company to act as your business's registered agent.

Business Form Registration

Business forms are the legal structure of a business. In Pennsylvania, if you are planning on starting a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), limited partnership or limited liability partnership, you must complete and submit the required documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State Corporations Bureau. If you are starting a corporation, you must file the articles of incorporation; LLCs must file a certificate of organization; and limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships must file registrations. General partnerships and sole proprietors do not have to file organizing documents with the state.

State Tax Registration

Businesses must register for taxes in Pennsylvania through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Depending on the type of business you plan on starting, if you have employees and the business structure that you choose, there are a variety of taxes for which you may be liable. Common taxes for businesses in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are the business income tax, the sales and use tax and the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation tax.

Business Licenses

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will also require certain businesses to obtain business licenses. Common examples of businesses that require licensing are: accountants, real estate agents, funeral directors, architects, beauticians, barbers, car dealers and auctioneers. If your business requires a license, you must call the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs for the contact information for the applicable licensing board.

References

About the Author

Hal Bartle has been writing professionally since 2009. He has been published on various websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Saint Joseph's University and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law.