The cost to start an LLC in Pennsylvania is $125. When filing the LLC’s Certificate of Organization, this fee is paid to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Pennsylvania was the first state, and for a brief period in the 18th Century, it housed the capital of the United States. The state’s rich history and culture continue today in cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and its abundant farming country. People looking to start new businesses will find many opportunities in the state.

What Does a Pennsylvania LLC Cost?

Pennsylvania LLC Online Filing Fee $125

To start an LLC, you will need to pay $125 to file your Certificate of Organization online with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Pennsylvania Decennial Report Fee: $70

Pennsylvania requires LLCs to file a decennial report with the Department of State.

Pennsylvania’s decennial reports are due every ten years in years that end in 1.

Registered Office Fee

Pennsylvania allows you to be your own Registered Office (aka registered agent) or Commercial Registered Office Provider. However, a registered service can help keep your company compliant and remind you of important filing deadlines.

Pennsylvania Foreign LLC Formation Costs

If your LLC is already registered in another state and wants to expand your business to Pennsylvania, you will need to register it as a foreign LLC.

A $250 fee is required to register a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania. A Foreign Registration Statement ( Form 15-412) can be filed to register a foreign LLC within Pennsylvania.

Licenses and permits for business

Your business may need permits or licenses from the federal, state and local governments depending on your industry or location to legally operate in Pennsylvania. This applies regardless of whether you are forming an LLC or another type of business structure.

Additional LLC Filing Costs

Incorporating LLCs requires that you pay an optional fee

Form 15-208 ) and paying the $70 fee.

How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania

It is as easy as filing a certificate stating the organization to form a Pennsylvania limited liability corporation. $125 will be required for this simple filing. A separate paper, called a docketing Statement, will be required. However, you do not have to pay an additional fee.

These filings in Pennsylvania are made through the Department of State. It lists the most current fees on its website.

Pennsylvania Filing Fee

The most important step to forming your Pennsylvania LLC is filling out your Certificate of Organization. Even though you have created your LLC, it’s only the beginning. Before you open your doors for the public, there are many things that you should consider.

It is best to plan ahead and anticipate any problems that may arise.

Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization Filing Fee $125

This document is short and essential, similar to a birth certificate. Your LLC is not valid without it. Your LLC is legally allowed to do business, pay taxes, and take legal action once filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State. You must ensure that the certificate is properly filed and completed correctly.

It is easiest to file it online using Penn File, the state’s online document system.

A lawyer may be able to help you draft a Pennsylvania LLC certificate if your business is complex. You probably know what your requirements are if that is the case. The form certificate for organization found on the state’s site will work fine for most people.

You must file the docketing statements along with your Pennsylvania LLC certificate. However, this document is not subject to a separate cost.

Pennsylvania LLCs – Additional Costs to Be Considered

While $125 might be enough to get your LLC started, it may not be enough. Your LLC may require a little more to get the ball rolling. Consider the following list of costs as a guideline and consider whether you might need any of them for your LLC.

Business License – Variable

Pennsylvania does not have a statewide business license. However, the county or city where your LLC is located may. Check the requirements in your area for your type of LLC before you start.

Let’s look at Philadelphia’s website for business licenses. A basic commercial activity license is free. A license for an auto repair shop costs $207 annually. Lodging and hotels booking agent license costs $7,000

It is important to research before you decide to open a shop.

Registered Agent Fee – About $100 per Year

You will need to name a registered agent when you create your LLC. This is so the state and public can communicate with you promptly. This is crucial if your LLC is sued. Although it may not be fun, a lawsuit can happen. Your business could be in serious trouble.

Your certificate will include the details of your agent. You won’t have to pay additional fees to the state for naming your Pennsylvania registered agent. You should still consider hiring a company as your LLC’s agent.

Owners are often tempted to act as agents, hoping to save some money. This is a bad idea as it makes your address available to anyone who might want to sue you.

It is easier to hire a Pennsylvania registered agent service for your LLC. They usually charge $100 per annum and provide all the agent services you need. It is a good investment.

LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are a contract that outlines the rules for your LLC. It outlines the rules for your LLC.

If you do not want an operating agreement, Pennsylvania will not force your LLC to sign one. You can include the terms of an LLC operating agreement in your certificate. This is allowed by state law. We don’t recommend this as it is difficult to amend and expensive.

Although you don’t have to have an LLC operating contract, we recommend it. You have less control over what happens in your company if you don’t have a written contract. A contract allows you to keep control of your company in case someone dies, leaves or joins the LLC. Do not leave this up to chance.

You don’t need to file a contract with the state if you already have one. It is possible to write the agreement yourself, but we do not recommend it unless you are a professional lawyer or have a clear idea of what it should look like.

It is expensive to have a lawyer draft it. You would be charged an hourly rate. A lawyer would draft a comprehensive agreement, but spending hundreds or even thousands on small business contracts is unnecessary.

DBA Filing Fee $70

Sometimes the name on your LLC certificate may not be the one you want to put on a sign outside your shop. Perhaps you prefer a more prominent name. Perhaps you would like to clearly state that your LLC is related to (or not related to) another company.

No matter the reason, you will need a fake business name or “doing business as” name. An LLC is covered under Title 54 Chapter 3 of Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. The DBA process is described in Section 311.

You must apply to the Department of State in order to obtain your DBA. The Department of State provides a form specifically for this purpose. After you have filed the form and paid the fee and been approved, everything is set.

Name Reservation Fee: $70

You may have a great plan, and the perfect LLC name but aren’t ready to launch your business. You can file a Name Reservation at the Department of State to ensure that you have permission to use a particular name when you are ready. It costs $70.

After you have submitted your application, you will be granted the reserved name for 120 calendar days.

Domain Names – About $20 per Year

Small businesses are required to be online in this digital age. Your domain name is the first step to creating a great website. Although it was expensive in the past, this is now very affordable.

Even if you do not have any plans to build a website, you must lock down your domain name immediately. You could be blocked from using your domain name by a competitor who may buy similar domains and other domains. Domain squatters will also look through newly registered LLCs and purchase their domains to relist them at huge markups.

A domain ending in “.com” will generally be more expensive than one ending in “.net” or “.info”. Some names may be taken so you’ll need to research (and possibly compromise).


What Costs are Involved in the Formation of an LLC in Pennsylvania?

The formation of an LLC in Pennsylvania involves various costs, starting with a filing fee of $125 for the Certificate of Organization. This state fee can be paid online, via mail, or in person. If you’re in a hurry, expedited filing is available for additional charges.

A registered agent is essential for compliance, and the fee for a commercial agent can range from $100 to $300 annually.

In Pennsylvania, there is a Capital Stock/Foreign Franchise Tax, and the rate varies based on your business entity’s income. You also need to consider the cost of business licenses, which can range from $50 to $300 depending on the type of business and municipality.

Professional licensing may be required for specific professions, and this can involve additional services fees, exams, and specialized training for applicants.

Finally, optional costs include name reservation, DBA (Doing Business As) registration, and obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing. These government fees can add up to another $100 or more.

How Do I Keep My Pennsylvania LLC Compliant, and What are the Ongoing Costs?

Maintaining your legal entity in Pennsylvania involves annual renewal processes, including filing an annual report, which costs $70. The due date for this report varies, and **failure to file on time will result in a delinquent status, along with penalties and interest.

The franchise tax also needs to be settled annually. The exact taxation amount will depend on your LLC’s income and assets. Consult the state regulations for specific guidelines.

Additionally, you’ll need to renew your business license and any professional licenses, each of which has its own renewal costs and jurisdiction-specific requirements.

For foreign LLCs, registering in Pennsylvania requires an extra form and another $250 filing fee.

Remember that workers’ compensation insurance is a requirement for businesses with employees, and rates for this can vary widely based on your industry and other factors.

To sum up the rundown, staying compliant involves multiple government fees and a commitment to compliance. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep an eye on due dates to avoid any unregistered status, penalties, or additional interest charges. Always consult your local municipality and state jurisdiction to ensure you’re fully informed about all required and optional fees.

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Brian Wilson Writer and Editor
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar. Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor's degree in business from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications. Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: Phone: 972-776-4050
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