A Limited Liability Company (LLC) offers a blend of the limited liability of a corporation and the operational flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Here are the steps you need to form an LLC in Pennsylvania:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

Pennsylvania law dictates your LLC name to contain the words "Company," "Limited," or "Limited Liability Company," or an abbreviation of one of these. The name must be unique, and you can check its availability on the Pennsylvania Department of State business name database.

You can reserve a name for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation (Form DSCB:15-208) with a $70 fee. You may file it online or via postal mail.

If you want to use a fictitious business name, or "D.B.A.", you must register it with the Pennsylvania Department of State. This requires filing a Registration of Fictitious Name form, with a filing fee of $70.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

Your LLC must have a registered office (or agent) in Pennsylvania for service of process. This could be a Pennsylvania resident or a business entity authorized to operate in Pennsylvania, with a physical street address in the state.

Step 3: File a Certificate of Organization

You form a Pennsylvania LLC by filing a Certificate of Organization Domestic Limited Liability Company (Form DSCB:15-8821) with the Department of State. The certificate must include the LLC's name, registered agent's details, organizer's names, effective date, and whether the LLC is a professional service or a public benefit company.

Additionally, you must complete a New Entity Docketing Statement (Form DSCB:15-134A) providing details about the LLC's business activity, federal E.I.N., fiscal year-end, and the person responsible for initial tax reports. 

The certificate and docketing statement may be filed online or by mail, and the filing fee is $125.

Step 4: Prepare an Operating Agreement

Though not required in Pennsylvania, an operating agreement is recommended. This internal document outlines the rights, powers, duties, and obligations of the members. If an existing or newly created LLC does not adopt an operating agreement, its existing articles of organization, bylaws, or operating agreement will collectively serve as its operating agreement.

Step 5: Obtain an E.I.N.

LLCs with more than one member must obtain an I.R.S. Employer Identification Number (E.I.N.), even if they don't have employees. Single-member LLCs need an E.I.N. only if they will have employees or choose to be taxed as a corporation instead of a sole proprietorship. You can obtain an E.I.N. for free by completing an online application on the I.R.S. website.

Step 6: File Annual Registration (Restricted Professional LLCs Only)

Only foreign LLCs and Pennsylvania LLCs involved in specific restricted professional services must file a Certificate of Annual Registration (Form DSCB:15-8221/8998) with the Department of State. This should be filed by April 15th each year, with an annual fee of $560 times the number of members of the LLC

Forming an LLC in Pennsylvania offers benefits such as limited personal liability, management flexibility, and operational simplicity. As always, weigh the benefits and drawbacks before proceeding.

Novo Platform Inc. strives to provide accurate information but cannot guarantee that this content is correct, complete, or up-to-date. This page is for informational purposes only and is not financial or legal advice nor an endorsement of any third-party products or services. All products and services are presented without warranty. Novo Platform Inc. does not provide any financial or legal advice, and you should consult your own financial, legal, or tax advisors.

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