Pennsylvania LLC Cost
The first expense you’ll encounter when starting a Pennsylvania LLC is the state’s $125 formation filing fee. You’ll also have a recurring fee of $70 every ten years to file your LLC’s decennial report. On top of state fees, you’ll have other costs to consider, like hiring a registered agent, obtaining business licenses, and getting business insurance. We’ll walk you through the most common and crucial expenses involved in starting an LLC in Pennsylvania.
What You'll Find In This Article
- Pennsylvania LLC Formation Filing Fee
- Pennsylvania Decennial Report Fee
- Pennsylvania Registered Agent Fee
- Pennsylvania State Business License Fee
- Pennsylvania Professional Licensing Fees
- Local Business License Fees in Pennsylvania
- Optional LLC Fees in Pennsylvania
- Business Insurance Premiums
- Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania LLC Formation Filing Fee: $125
Registering your Pennsylvania LLC with the state by filing Pennsylvania Articles of Organization will cost you $125. Along with your articles, you’ll need to submit a Docketing Statement, for which there is no fee. If your LLC is a small business run by a veteran or armed forces reservist, you may be eligible for fee exemption, taking your formation filing costs down to zero.
You can file your documents by mail, in person, or online through the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Business Filing Services portal. Processing typically takes about 15 business days. Expedited filing is available in person only at the Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations office in Harrisburg, by using an Expedited Service Request form. The fees for expedited processing are as follows:
- Same-day service (received before 10:00 am): $100
- Three-hour service (received before 2:00 pm): $300
- One-hour service (received before 4:00 pm): $1000
Pennsylvania Decennial Report Fee: $70
After registering your LLC, you’ll need to file a Decennial Report and pay a fee of $70 to the Pennsylvania Department of State every ten years. Your report can be filed anytime during the year as long as it has been ten years since your last filing. For example, if you registered your LLC in 2022, you’d need to file your decennial report anytime during 2032. You’d be required to file again in 2042. Decennial reports can only be submitted by mail.
Find out how to file your Pennsylvania Decennial Report.
Pennsylvania Registered Agent Fee
One important aspect of forming your Pennsylvania LLC is appointing a Pennsylvania registered agent.
Pennsylvania state law requires all LLCs to have a registered office physically located in Pennsylvania where a registered agent is available to accept legal documents during regular business hours (15 Pa CS § 8825).
A member of your LLC can fulfill the role of registered agent, and you can use your business address or a member’s personal address as your registered office. However, many LLCs choose to hire a professional registered agent service and use their address instead. This ensures that someone is always on hand to receive service of process, even when your members are out of town or on vacation or when your business is closed. Hiring a registered agent helps keep your members’ personal addresses off the public record.
Rates for professional registered agent service vary by company. Northwest offers registered agent service for a fixed $125 a year—we never change our price.
Pennsylvania State Business License Fee
Pennsylvania doesn’t issue a general, state-level business license. However, many businesses must register for at least one type of tax license, the most common of which is the Sales, Use, & Hotel Occupancy Tax license. You’ll need to obtain a Sales, Use, & Hotel Occupancy Tax if your LLC will be engaged in retail sales or leasing of tangible personal property. You can register for all Pennsylvania tax licenses online through the Department of Revenue’s MyPath Tax Hub (registration is free).
Pennsylvania Professional Licensing Fees
If you work in a field where practitioners need technical training or specialized education to legally perform their jobs, you’ll need a professional license. The cost and requirements for professional licenses vary by field and license type. For example, a pharmacist’s license costs $45 initially and $190 to renew every two years. Before applying for a license, a pharmacist must have a pharmacy degree, 30 hours of continuing education, and 1,500 hours of experience in addition to passing two examinations. You can find professional licensing information by industry through the Department of State’s Professional Licensing Boards & Commission webpage.
Local Business License Fees in Pennsylvania
Your LLC may need city- or county-level licenses depending on where your business operates and what kind of work you do. Pittsburgh, for example, issues licenses only to certain types of businesses, including bed & breakfasts and parking lot operators. Find information on the licenses required in your area by checking with your local jurisdiction. You can use Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop’s Pennsylvania Municipal Statistics Contact Search to determine who you should contact with your local registration, permit, and zoning questions.
Optional LLC Fees in Pennsylvania
We’ve covered the required costs of starting a Pennsylvania LLC, but there are a few more expenses that may apply to your business.
The fee to reserve a name for your Pennsylvania LLC is $70. You’ll need to file a Name Reservation/Transfer of Reservation form, which will allow you to prevent other businesses from taking your desired name for 120 days.
Name reservation filing can be submitted online, by mail, or in person. Expedited filing using the Expedited Service Request form is available in person only and for additional fees.
DBA (Doing Business as) Name
If you want to get a DBA (called a “fictitious name” in Pennsylvania), it’ll cost you $70. Registering a DBA allows you to do business under a name that is not your legal business name—for example, “Divine Wedding Cakes” instead of “Divine Baked Goods and Wedding Cakes, LLC.”
You’ll need to file a Registration of Fictitious Name with the Department of State and publish a notice announcing your adoption of a DBA in two newspapers located in the county where your business operates. You find full details on publication requirements in state law 54 Pa CS § 311(g).
You can register for a fictitious name online, by mail, or in person. If you need expedited filing, you’ll need to file in person with an Expedited Service Request form and pay an additional fee.
Certified Copies of Business Documents
You can order certificated copies of business documents for $40, plus $3 per page. You may want to keep a certified copy of your Articles of Organization on hand for record-keeping or other business purposes.
You can order certified copies by mail or in person using a Copy/Certification Request form or online through your Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop account. As with other business forms, expedited processing is available in person only and for additional fees.
Pennsylvania Certificate of Subsistence
A Pennsylvania Certificate of Subsistence (also called a Certificate of Good Standing) can be ordered from the Department of State for $40. If you plan to apply for a loan from a bank or to expand your business into another state, you’ll need a Certificate of Substance to verify that your LLC is up-to-date on all its state filings and fees.
Certificate orders can be completed online through Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop. You can also order by mail or in person using a Copy/Certification Request form. To get expedited service, you’ll need to submit your request in person and pay an additional fee.
Here’s how to get a Pennsylvania Certificate of Subsistence.
Business Insurance Premiums
If your LLC has any employees, you’ll need to pay for workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance helps protect employees in the case of workplace injury by covering medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses. The price of workers’ compensation insurance varies according to how many employees you have and how much risk they’re exposed to in the workplace. You can purchase coverage through a private insurer or the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. Or, if you meet state requirements, you can self-insure.
You may also consider purchasing liability insurance for your LLC. Liability insurance can help prevent your business from suffering significant financial losses in the case of property or equipment damage, natural disaster, client injury, or lawsuits. The cost of liability insurance depends on how much hazard is associated with your industry and the level of protection you want to provide your business.
Learn more about LLC Business Insurance.
How much does it cost to register a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania?
To register your out-of-state LLC as Pennsylvania foreign LLC so that you can do business in the Keystone State, you’ll need to pay a $250 fee. Along with the fee, you’ll be required to file a Foreign Registration Statement with the Department of State. Filing is available online, by mail, or in person, but expedited filing can only be done in person (and for an extra fee). In addition to registration costs, you’ll need to be prepared to purchase all applicable business licenses and permits.