We earn commissions if you shop through the links below. Read more

15 Best Business Ideas to Start in Pennsylvania

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

15 Best Business Ideas to Start in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is seeing an uptick in economic activities with the lifting of stringent pandemic restrictions and reopening of businesses. A robust technology sector, especially in the field of biotechnology, is continuing to boost the economy while a projected shift in spending toward services is anticipated to boost the services sector, including the leisure and hospitality industry. 

Against this backdrop, starting a bartending or junk removal business could be a wise move. Other business ideas in Pennsylvania include opening a boutique or a bar. Going into retail trade also seems viable. Explore more business ideas below!

1. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

Starting an insurance agency in Pennsylvania requires obtaining a license from the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. Before applying, complete pre-licensing education and pass the state licensing exam. When starting, choose a specific niche like auto, health, or property insurance to differentiate your business. Networking with local professionals and maintaining a strong online presence are crucial for attracting clients. Regularly update your knowledge of insurance laws and trends to provide the best advice to your customers.

2. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

To operate a wholesale business in Pennsylvania, you must secure a sales tax license through the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Focus on building relationships with manufacturers and understanding your market’s needs to ensure you stock in-demand products. Effective inventory and logistics management will help maintain a smooth operation. Consider selling online to expand your reach beyond local customers. Attend trade shows and industry events to stay updated on trends and meet potential suppliers.

3. Tow Truck

How to start a towing business

Starting a tow truck company in Pennsylvania requires a business license and possibly a CDL license, depending on the tow truck type and usage. For example, in Philadelphia you need a tow company license to operate a towing company. You are also required to obtain a separate tow truck (towing) license to register a tow vehicle.

Investing in reliable tow trucks and training your staff in safety and customer service is essential. Establish a clear service area and consider contracts with local businesses or government agencies. Effective marketing and a reliable dispatch system can significantly boost your business visibility and efficiency.

4. Bar

How to Start a Bar

Opening a bar in Pennsylvania involves obtaining a liquor license from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, which can be competitive and expensive. Choose a location that complies with local zoning laws and has high foot traffic. Focus on creating a unique atmosphere and providing excellent service to stand out from competitors. Keep up with trends in the bar industry, such as craft cocktails or themed nights, to attract a steady clientele.

5. Clothing Boutique

How to start a clothing boutique business

When opening a clothing boutique in Pennsylvania, focus on selecting a prime location with good foot traffic, like near colleges or fashion-forward areas. No specific license is needed beyond the usual business registration and sales tax license. Curate your inventory to appeal to local tastes and trends. Building a strong online presence and utilizing social media can help attract more customers. Excellent customer service and regular promotions will keep your clientele coming back.

6. Bartending Service

How to start a mobile bartending business

To start a bartending service in Pennsylvania, you’ll need a catering license (aka food caterer license) if you plan to serve alcohol, obtained from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. Offering unique cocktail experiences and high-quality service can set your business apart. Networking with event planners and venues is crucial. Keep up-to-date with the latest mixology trends and maintain flexibility to cater to a variety of events, from weddings to corporate functions.

7. Junk Removal

How to start a junk removal business

Starting a junk removal business in Pennsylvania requires a business license from your local authority. Marketing your services effectively in local communities and online is crucial. Consider specializing in eco-friendly disposal methods to attract environmentally conscious customers. Build partnerships with recycling centers and local businesses to expand your service offerings. Reliable service and clear pricing will help you build a strong customer base.

8. App Development

app business idea

For app development, no specific licensing is needed in Pennsylvania beyond the standard business registration. Focus on a niche market or specialize in a specific platform to differentiate your business from competitors. Continuously update your skills with the latest programming languages and technologies. Networking with other tech professionals and attending industry conferences can lead to partnerships and new opportunities.

9. Beauty Supply Store

How to start a skincare business

Opening a beauty supply store in Pennsylvania requires a sales tax license from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Location is the most important aspect; consider areas with high foot traffic or near salons and beauty schools. Stock a diverse range of products catering to different hair and skin types to appeal to a broader audience. Staying informed about the latest beauty trends and products can help keep your stock relevant and sought-after.

10. Dropshipping on Amazon

How to start an ecommerce business

Dropshipping on Amazon involves managing your business through Amazon’s platform, with no special state licensing required in Pennsylvania. Focus on choosing profitable and less competitive products to sell. Excellent customer service and positive reviews are crucial in building your reputation. Stay vigilant about your supplier’s reliability and product quality to maintain customer satisfaction and avoid returns.

11. Blog

blog business idea

Starting a blog in Pennsylvania is simple and doesn’t require specific licenses, just a business registration if monetizing. Choose a niche you are passionate about to maintain consistency and quality. Utilizing SEO strategies and engaging content will help attract and retain readers. Monetize your blog through ads, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products. Networking with other bloggers and attending blogging conferences can provide growth opportunities.

12. Supplements Store

How to start a supplement business

To open a supplements store in Pennsylvania, secure a sales tax license from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. It’s important to comply with FDA regulations regarding supplement sales. Providing knowledgeable advice and stocking reputable brands will help establish credibility. Online sales channels can complement your physical store, broadening your customer base.

13. Clothing Line

How to start a clothing line business

Launching a clothing line in Pennsylvania involves registering your business and obtaining a sales tax license. Focus on creating a unique brand that resonates with your target audience. Quality manufacturing and sustainable practices can differentiate your brand in a crowded market. Online marketing and ecommerce are crucial for reaching a wider audience. Collaborations with influencers and participation in local fashion events can enhance your visibility.

14. Art Gallery

How to start a art gallery

Starting an art gallery in Pennsylvania requires a business license from your local body. Choose a location that attracts tourists and art lovers. Curating diverse and appealing exhibitions will draw more visitors. Building relationships with artists and collectors is crucial for sourcing art and attracting patrons. Host opening receptions and participate in local art fairs to increase your gallery’s profile.

15. Online Resale

How to Start a Consignment Shop

For online resale in Pennsylvania, a sales tax license is required. Specializing in a specific type of product, like vintage clothing or electronics, can help you stand out. Reliable sourcing of items and effective online marketing strategies are key to success. Providing excellent customer service and managing a user-friendly online store will keep customers returning.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

15 Best Business Ideas to Start in Pennsylvania