How to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania

By Michele Vrouvas

Since 1995, Pennsylvania has recognized the limited liability company (LLC) as a viable business structure. Under Pennsylvania law, an LLC business structure blends the best of two corporate worlds, the partnership and the corporation. LLCs are similar to partnerships in that they allow members to take advantage of pass-through taxation and provide a flexible management style. But like corporations, an LLC's members have limited personal liability for the company's actions and debts.

Step 1

Choose a name for the company that contains the word “company," “limited" or "limited liability company." The name must be distinguishable from any business name currently in use, or reserved by another company for use, in Pennsylvania. Go to the Pennsylvlania Department of State’s website to access the business entity name search. Type in your LLC’s proposed name to confirm that it is not already in use.

Step 2

Choose a registered legal address in Pennsylvania to receive documents on behalf of the LLC. If the LLC has only a post office box as an address, hire a commercial registered office provider (CROP) to serve as your LLC's registered address. State law requires all entities to provide a registered address on documents filed with the department of state. The department of state's website has a list of CROP offices.

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Step 3

Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS website. This number must be entered on the docketing statement that is required to be filed when you register your LLC. You can also apply for the EIN by phone, fax or mail.

Step 4

Download and print two forms from the department of state’s website: the Certificate of Organization Domestic Limited Liability Company form and the Docketing Statement. These two documents are necessary to set up your LLC.

Step 5

Complete the Certificate of Organization by stating whether the LLC intends to provide restricted professional services, such as dentistry, medicine and surgery, chiropractic, law, optometry, osteopathic care, podiatric medicine, psychology, public accounting or veterinary care. State the company’s name and registered address. Provide the name and address of each of the LLC's organizers. State whether one or more managers will run the company and whether members are given a certificate of membership confirming their interest in their company. If you do not vest governing power in managers or provide membership certificates, identify who will manage the LLC. Specify the date on which you want the company's formation to take effect.

Step 6

Complete the Docketing Statement by indicating that the company will be structured as an LLC. Provide the company's name, and state the name and address of the person who will be responsible for tax reports. Describe the LLC's intended business activity. Provide the EIN and the date on which the LLC will become effective. Submit the completed Certificate of Organization and Docketing Statement forms to the Department’s Corporation Bureau in Harrisburg with the filing fee noted on the Certificate. You can also register online at the Pennsylvania Open for Business website.

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