How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania


If you’re serious about starting a business, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty details. What kind of entity should your business be? Which state or nation is best for its incorporation? How do you set up a bank account in the name of the LLC? What’s an operating agreement and why does my business need one?

Let’s answer these questions together! We’ll walk through these steps as we form an LLC in Pennsylvania.

Choose a business name.

  • Select a name for your LLC.
  • Check that the name is available in Pennsylvania by searching the database of registered businesses at the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • Make sure your chosen business name isn’t already being used as a trademark, which you can do by searching the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office database or through an attorney or trade association.
  • Remember that offensive names are prohibited in some states; check with your secretary of state before choosing a name that might raise eyebrows among corporate officers and investors alike.
  • Your new company may be required to register annually with the state it’s located in (your secretary of state will provide information about this), so don’t choose a business identifier that’s already taken!

Register the LLC.

When you register your new LLC with the Pennsylvania Department of State, you’ll be required to provide:

  • The name of your LLC.
  • The address at which they can send official mail and other notices regarding your company. This must be an address in PA or another state that allows out-of-state registered agents (see below).
  • The name and address of your registered agent—the person designated as responsible for receiving official correspondence from the state on behalf of your company.

Create an operating agreement.

You should also create an operating agreement for your business. This is a written, legal document that describes how you want your LLC to be managed and what its rules are for:

  • Who will be responsible for what tasks?
  • How will profits and losses be distributed?
  • When and how will the LLC dissolve?

Report changes to the LLC.

Once you’ve formed an LLC, you’ll need to report any changes that affect your business. These include:

  • Address change
  • Change of officers
  • Change of manager
  • Change in registered agent or registered office address, name, or type of business entity (for example, if you change from a sole proprietorship to an LLC).

Obtain a federal tax ID number.

Next, you will need to obtain a federal tax identification number. This is an Employer Identification Number or EIN, which is basically the same thing as your Social Security Number (SSN).

To get an EIN, follow these steps:

  • Go to the IRS website and click on “EIN Online” at the top of their homepage.
  • Under “More Information” in section 1 of this page, use drop-down boxes to select “Employer ID Numbers” from Section 2 and “By Mail” from section 3. Then click Continue.
  • In Step 2: Form SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number (EIN), fill out all fields under section 4a and click Continue when you are done filling out those fields. If there are any questions that you do not know how to answer about yourself or your business entity (like whether or not it has employees), leave those questions blank for now so that we can come back later if necessary!

Follow these steps to find success with your Pennsylvania-based LLC.

To start your LLC, you’ll need to file a certificate of organization with the state. You can get that at the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.

Once your business is registered, you’ll want to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The IRS will give this number if you’re required to pay taxes as a business owner and employee. The application usually takes five days to process, after which time it will be mailed out in 7-10 days.

The final step is registering for state sales tax purposes by filling out Form ST-4S and submitting it along with two copies of proof of PA residency and one copy of proof of legal existence (for example: Articles of Organization) or annual report on file at Secretary of State’s office


We hope this guide has helped you understand the basics of forming an LLC in Pennsylvania. As always, if you have any questions about the process, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team!

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