how to apply for llc in pennsylvania [Expert Guide]


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Last updated : Aug 12, 2022
Written by : Hermina Blanquet
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how to apply for llc in pennsylvania


Comment by Kendall Mutschler

do you want to start an llc in pennsylvania this year but unsure where to begin today you will learn about the most common ways to start your business including the correct forms you'll need how to register your llc critical naming requirements and all other vital tips and tricks then as a bonus later on in the video i will reveal to you a trustworthy registered agent who will help set up your llc for free so make sure to stick with me until the end the state of pennsylvania like other states has several specific llc requirements there are three main ways you can start an llc in pennsylvania first is the diy or do-it-yourself process where you mostly depend on pennsylvania state's website the second way is hiring a professional service that practically offers more efficiency and security in the process of creating your llc while the third one is hiring an attorney we will skip the attorney hiring portion because that's expensive and most business owners won't need that service first let's take a look at the steps required for starting an llc on your own step one name your business before anything else you will have to think of the llc's legal business name each llc in pennsylvania must have a distinct llc name that is not currently in use you must include the terms limited liability company or an abbreviation such as llc you cannot include phrases such as a corporation which would lead people to believe you are a different business organization knowing if your business name is taken or not is very easy just go to google and type in the words business entity records pennsylvania secretary of state and click the first search result i also have the link in the description below for your convenience it will lead you to a landing page of business entity records in pennsylvania scroll down a little and you will see some search options which make checking the availability of your business name easier generally you can click the first option entity name and type in your business name for example i am typing a very common business name here fast computer repair which will give you a list of existing business names a unique business name will say no match is found just like this random name i typed in keep in mind that the division of revenue doesn't check names for trademark compliance it's ultimately up to you and your business attorney to ensure that your llc's name doesn't infringe on any other company's rights step two pennsylvania requires llc to have a registered agent an agent has a physical address a po box is not allowed and is available during business hours this agent will serve as the llc's primary point of contact for receiving key legal papers tax warnings summons subpoenas and so on you can register yourself or someone in your company but i highly recommend getting a professional registered agent as they have more knowledge by protecting your company in cases of possible cracks while i agree that family members or friends are reliable enough to be trusted as your llc's agent you are more comfortable sleeping at night knowing that your agent is professional and trained to manage legal documents to avoid problems concerning court schedules filing reports with the secretary of state etc besides hiring a professional registered agent is not expensive in fact there are companies that offer a free registered agent as part of your package when you form your llc through them inc file is a company i recommend which has this free service inc file offers a free registered agent on your first year of signing up for their service during that free year you can already take advantage of a professional and trained agent to receive legal documents on your behalf a dashboard where you can always access the correspondence that your agent has received as well as email notifications and automatic forwarding whenever your registered agent receives documents step 3 filing the pennsylvania llc certificate of formation after that you must file the certificate of formation with the pennsylvania secretary of state's business entities division and the office of the judge of probate to officially incorporate a domestic pennsylvania limited liability company the pennsylvania state filing cost for llc's is 125 dollars for domestic llc's and 250 dollars for foreign llcs basically a domestic llc means that you are already a resident of pennsylvania and you want to build a business in pennsylvania foreign llc on the other hand is for people living outside pennsylvania but wanting to start a business or a franchise of their business in pennsylvania with that said most businesses would be applying for a domestic llc you can file the certificate of formation online or by mailing it to the secretary of state expect the llc certification process to take approximately two weeks this is three to four days for the judge of probate and ten days for the secretary of state step 4 prepare an operating agreement now an operating agreement is a good idea to have in place with the other members if your llc has more than one member although a limited liability company operating agreement is not necessary for pennsylvania your operating agreement should clarify how your company or business will handle big picture issues such as allocating earnings and losses and dissolving the company your operating agreement should also cover the transfer of membership interest profits or losses and distributions initial investments decision making powers voting rights and management and lastly dissolving the business step five of file annual reports unlike most states pennsylvania does not require llc's to file annual reports with the secretary of state however only foreign llcs and pennsylvania llcs engaged in certain specified restricted professional services must file a certificate of annual registration with the department of state these must be filed with the pennsylvania department of state corporation bureau by april 15th of every year the registration may be filed online or by postal mail an annual fee of 560 times the number of members of the llc must be paid step 6 obtain an ein an ein or employer identification number is a federal tax id issued by the irs your ein is used by them to readily identify your firm and tax filings all pennsylvania firms pay a business privilege tax and the state requires you to have an ein to file you may also be required to provide your ein when opening a bank account or applying for municipal permits or licenses obtaining an ein is a slightly longer process compared to their previous steps i'm sure you know anything to do with the irs is confusing first you have to have complete knowledge of your llc such as your company information managing member information business address business information company details and even critical information regarding vehicular assets and federal excise taxes this is another reason why getting a professional registered agent is way more convenient as they can do this for you as part of their service now let's talk about the second option to form an llc and that is hiring a professional formation service professional


Thanks for your comment Kendall Mutschler, have a nice day.
- Hermina Blanquet, Staff Member


Comment by Gennie

hey my name is eric in today's video we're going to be talking about how to start an llc in pennsylvania so this is going to be a meaty video but there's going to be a lot of free resources for you in the description below i'm going to walk you through exactly all the different ways you can do this so there's really three main methods to setting up an llc you can do this through your state website pa.gov or you can hire an attorney and i'm going to show you how you can vet attorneys and also get a free consultation with them and then the third method is using free online tools and as we go through this video we'll be talking about a lot of topics and things that you should be aware of we're going to be discussing what an llc actually is because a lot of people are misinformed on what an llc actually does for you we're going to be talking about a term called piercing the corporate veil if you don't know what that term is you've never heard of that you're definitely going to want to stay on till the end of this video to figure that out to learn more about that we're also going to be discussing why a registered agent is important as it pertains to piercing the corporate veil and one of the first things i want to talk about are learning center resources for you as you're going through this process so i have set up with my own business and i know when you get started it is really overwhelming and one of the resources i have found helpful is inc file because they have a learning center over here and they have a start a business checklist there's lots of resources for you here if you're starting out with your business and as you go down it's just going to walk you through on all the steps you need to know for setting up your business just a helpful free resource for you that you can find in the description below so another resource i would like to give you is the irs.gov website for small businesses where this really comes into play for you is you may find this helpful for establishing your ein your employer identification number if you're planning on creating a business and you're going to have profits you're going to need an ein this is going to walk you through if you do need an ein and how to apply for it online this is helpful because if you go through an attorney or an online tool or your state website there may be an up charge for doing this if you go directly through the irs.gov website there's not going to be any kind of extra fee for going through their website so that's why i make mention of this so as far as going through your website you'll find the url here in the description below this is going to take you through the registration forms i found the pennsylvania state website to be a little bit messier what you can see here is you're going to go down to domestic business corporation and articles of incorporation and what you'll do is you'll fill out this form a couple things that i do want to highlight in this form is that there's a 125 filing fee in the state of pennsylvania there is no way to get around that filing fee you are paying that filing fee whether you go directly through the state through an attorney an online tool there's going to be a 125 filing fee but one of the things i don't really like is they don't give you a lot of information on here on how to fill things out like it's very confusing uh a lot of times some of the states will have these helpful online tools that walk you through and there's like info boxes you can click that's not the case with this particular service they do have this website right here so what happens is you're gonna open this up create a pen file login and that's how you'll actually be able to upload this completed document what i wanted to highlight on here though is section two it's talking about a proposed registered office along with the name of this corporation's commercial registered office provider so what is the registered office why is that important well that really goes back to what an llc actually is so at this point i think it'd be important to establish this because sometimes people aren't familiar with this but basically what llc does is it creates limited liability for you and the way it does that is it creates a division between your business and your personal assets so in the unfortunate case if you're sued the person suing you can only go after your business assets and not your personal assets such as your car your bank account or your home now if your llc is not set up correctly and there are cracks in your llc what that attorney is going to try to do that is suing you is pierce the corporate veil they're going to try to find cracks in your llc one way that they do that is they'll look at your registered office and your registered agent for that office so another ink file resource here in the learning center is about registered agents and what a registered agent does is they make sure that they're a third party that is taking all your important documents paperworks if you were to get sued they're going to make sure that you have that paperwork as well but they're also going to make sure that your tax forms and requests are up to date requests to complete permits company filings reports are all up to date so if you need to renew in the state of pennsylvania they're going to make sure you're doing that essentially a registered agent acts as a third party to make sure that you're dotting your eyes and crossing your t's with your llc and as we just discussed that's really important because if you do get sued that person that's suing you is going to look for cracks in that llc so they can pierce the corporate bail and then go after your personal assets as well so i don't love the fact that that's just kind of haphazardly thrown in here with no kind of explanation of that on this form but that's just my personal opinion i don't love these forms like this i like online tools that actually walk you through the steps and explain everything to you so another way that you can get your llc set up is you can go through an attorney uh you can always look up something on google locally but one service that i like is called avo and i'll explain why i like this service i'm not affiliated with them in any way i've just used them over the years to find good attorneys and what i would recommend is if you're using this tool i'm going to give you this link with all these filters set up what i want to do is i want to look for attorneys that specialize in limited liability companies but they also offer a free consultation and then what i'm going to do is i'm going to look for attorneys with a 9 and up rating on avo so what we've done is we've filtered this down to a list of attorneys in pennsylvania that have a good auto rating you can see their reviews but they also focus in limited liability companies and setting them up so if you use the [ __ ] link in the description below again it's not an affiliate link or anything like that but it will open up to this page to attorneys that specifically offer free consultations with good ratings on avo and they have experience setting up llc's in yo


Thanks Gennie your participation is very much appreciated
- Hermina Blanquet


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