Getting a corporation started in Pennsylvania is a relatively painless process that shouldn’t take you more than a short sitting to accomplish. Unlike some states, Pennsylvania has a user friendly online filing system that is a breeze to operate and can get your entity up and running with little effort. If you have taken the time to check out some of the registration requirements on the Department of State’s website, you will have noticed that an online account is necessary to access their filing system. Once an account has been created, the entire filing process can then be completed from the comfort of your computer chair! You may also send your applications through the mail by downloading and completing the PDF documents then forwarding them in the mail to the Department of State along with any additional certificates/forms that your entity type may require. A filing fee must be included with your application regardless of the filing method (see full list below)

How to File

Step 1- The first step that we recommend filers take is a Business Entity Search of the Department of State’s database to see what names are currently available for use. Filing your registration documents with a name that is already of file in the state will result in your application being rejected. After choosing a name, you may then file a Name Reservation application which will hold onto a desired operating name for 120 days prior to formation.

Step 2- With a name chosen for your entity, you can complete the registration documents corresponding to your entity type. This means that if you are filing through the mail that you will have to download and complete the PDF files that we have supplied. Filers electing to use the online method of application must first create an account with the Department of State before being able to access their filing system. Click on the link below associated with your entity type to get started.

Step 3- Once your application has been completed, any additional certificates must then be gathered and attached before filing. Foreign entities must supply a certificate of good standing from their initial jurisdiction of formation and all entities must include a docketing statement if filing by mail.

Step 4- The final step in the registration process requires you to mail your application and certificates/forms to the Department of State along with a filing fee (fees stated at the top of this webpage). If you have chosen to use the online system, you can complete this process by submitting your credit card number and billing information. Applicants filing through the mail must supply a check or money order made out to the Department of State and send all documents to the address below.

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722 – Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Tips

EIN – All newly formed domestic corporations should be aware that they will be required to obtain an Employer Identification Number. This number is a method of identification used by the IRS, similar to a SSN, which identifies all entities in the United States for tax reporting purposes. With an EIN, you will be able to hire employees, register for bank accounts, apply for loans, and perform a number of other business transactions. We have linked a tutorial on how to obtain an EIN at the heading of this paragraph, which can be used to assist those filing with the PDF Form SS-4 and those applying directly Online.

Corporate Bylaws – Drafting a set of corporate bylaws can only benefit the organizational structure of your entity. This document is an agreement signed by the initial incorporators that will provide a clear outline of the manner in which the company’s internal affairs are to be managed. A number of previously undefined details may be standardized, such as the general meeting times, member shares, interest percentages, and any other provisions you may wish to include. The link at the heading of this paragraph will navigate you to our free template for a corporate bylaw which you will find is downloadable in both Adobe PDF and MS Word formatting.

Renewal – An annual report must be filed with the Department of State to remain in good standing. This renewal a simple procedure that must be done in order for your corporation to continue performing the majority of the business transactions that are crucial to any entity’s operation. During the renewal process you will have the ability to change a number of business details, like the address of your principal office, or the registered agent information. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to access the business forms that the Department of State has provided. Once the appropriate report has been obtained, forward them along with the filing fee to the address below.

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

P.O. Box 8722 – Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

How to (Video)