How to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania

Last Updated on February 4, 2022

Costs to form a Pennsylvania LLC

To form a Limited Liability Company in Pennsylvania, file the Certificate of Organization with the Pennsylvania Department of State.  The LLC filing fee is $125.

Approval for the LLC is typically around two weeks.  Expedited filing is available if formation needs to happen faster.  For an additional $100 filing is the same day, $300 receives 3-hour filing, and $1,000 gets 1-hour filing.

Steps to Form a Pennsylvania LLC

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  The screenshots show how to file online.  To file by mail, download the Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization (Form DSCB:15-8821).

Step 1: Create an Account with the Secretary of State

  • Begin by creating an account on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
  • After logging into the account, scroll down to “Start or Manage Business Filings,” select “Domestic Limited Liability Company: and then select “Certificate of Organization – Domestic Limited Liability Company (8821)
How to Form a Pennsylvania LLC.png

Step2: Veteran Status

If you are a Veteran or active reservist, check the box, otherwise leave it blank and then “Save and Continue.”

Pennsylvania Veteran Status LLC

Enter the name you want for the LLC.  Under Pennsylvania law, the LLC’s name has to be different from other entity names registered with the Department of State.  You can run a Pennsylvania LLC name search before filing to ensure the one you want is available.

The name of the LLC must also include a designator at the end of the business name.  A designator is a phrase of abbreviation used to describe the type of business entity.

Available designators include:
– ​​​Limited Liability Company
– Limited Liability Co.
– Ltd. Liability Company
– Ltd. Liability Co.
– Company
– Co.
– L.L.C.
– Limited
– Ltd.

Select the available designators from the drop-down box.

Enter the name and designator and click “Search.”  If the name is available, a message says it appears to be available but won’t be finalized until the Department of State reviews the application.

If there is a name you want, but are not ready to register the LLC, you can file the Name Reservation Form (SSCB:15-208). The name reservation will hold a name for up to 120 days, at a cost of $70.

Pennsylvania LLC Name Registration

Step 4: Business Details

(a) Initial Registered Office – If the initial registered office is the LLC’s physical address or the address where the business records are stored, select (a) and enter the address below. A Post Office Box is not allowed. The Registered Office Address can be your home address or any physical street address in the state.

(b) Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP) – If hiring a commercial registered office service, they must first be registered with the Department of State.  If they are, select (b) and enter their name and county from the drop-down menus.

Pennsylvania LLC Registered Agent

Step 5: Organizer Information

An LLC Organizer is someone involved with the formation of the Certificate of Organization.  The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney, or accountant, but any of the initial members can be listed as an organizer.

At least one organizer and their address must be listed.  After all of the organizers have been listed, click on “Save and Continue.”

Step 6: Form Questions

Effective date of Certification of Organization – If you want the LLC to start immediately, choose the box that says, “The Certification of Organization shall be effective upon filing in the Dept. of State.”.  If you want to LLC to start later, select the box that says “The Certification of Organization shall be effective on (month date year hour, if any)” and enter the date of your choice. 

PN LLC Effective Date

Professional Company – If the services of the LLC have to be licensed by the state, enter “Applicable” in the drop-down menu and select the types of licenses services.    Some common licenses are for Chiropractic, Dentistry, Law, Medicine, Optometry, Podiatric, Public accounting, Psychology, or Veterinarians.

Public Benefit – A public benefit LLC is one that intends to have a positive impact on society and the environment.  Most filers will select “Not Applicable.”

Step 7: Docketing Statement

Name & Address – Enter the name and address of the person responsible for filing the initial tax reports.

FEIN – The FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) is a unique federal business identification number, much like a social security number for an individual.  We recommend leaving this field blank until the LLC is filed with the Department of State. 

Description of Business Activity – Provide some basic information about what the business does.  If you want to keep the business purpose more open-ended, you can enter “Any lawful business activity for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized in Pennsylvania.”

Step 8: Attachments

This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs.  Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.

Step 9: Declaration & Signatures

The person signing verifies they are authorized to execute the Certificate of Formation, and they are the ones submitting this document to the Department of State.

Step 10: Review

Review that all of the information is correct.

Step 11: Pay and File

Pay and file the Certificate of Organization.

If mailing in the Certificate of Organization, ​​​Docketing Statement (DSCB:15-134A) and payment to:
​​​PA Department of State Bureau of Corporations
PO Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

The docketing statement requires the entry of the Employer Identification Number (EIN), fiscal year, and other details.