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How to Get a Certificate of Subsistence in Pennsylvania

Written by:

Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on June 25, 2022

Updated on November 17, 2022

How to Get a Certificate of Subsistence in Pennsylvania

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How to Get a Certificate of Subsistence in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, potential creditors or investors might request a certificate of subsistence for your LLC, and you’ll need to provide one or risk losing crucial financing. Thankfully, this guide provides all the information you need to get this certificate in Pennsylvania. 

What is a Certificate of Subsistence for Pennsylvania? 

In Pennsylvania, a certificate of subsistence, known as a certificate of good standing in most other states, verifies that you’re a legally registered business entity that is up to date on all filings and fees and permitted to do business in the state. 

You do not have to obtain this certificate to do business in Pennsylvania, or in any state. It is simply used to verify your strong status to third parties such as banks.

view of penssylvania

Why Do I Need a Certificate of Subsistence?

Your LLC only needs a certificate of subsistence if another party requests one. For instance, a bank might request one if you’re opening a bank account or applying for a loan. A credit firm might request one if you apply for a business credit card or if you set up credit card processing.

If you’re registering as a foreign LLC in another state, you will probably be asked for a certificate of subsistence. 

A foreign entity is simply a business entity doing business in a state other than the one in which it’s registered. For example, if your business is registered in Pennsylvania but you also do business in Georgia, you’ll need to register a foreign entity in Georgia.

Where to Get a Certificate of Subsistence in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, the department of state issues certificates of subsistence. Just log in to your PENN File account – or create one if you have not yet done so – then look up your business name and order the certificate. The cost is $40 and you should receive your certificate within five business days. 

Requirements for a Certificate of Subsistence

You must be registered as a business entity in that state. Operating as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership does not require registration in Pennsylvania, so those entities are not able to obtain a certificate of good standing. 

Corporations and LLCs, like your business, must be registered with the state, so they are able to obtain the certificate. 

How Much Does a Pennsylvania Certificate of Subsistence Cost? 

Again, the fee to obtain a certificate of subsistence in Pennsylvania is $40. But it’s well worth it because this is an official document that proves your business’ financial accountability and could open the door to greater investment and expansion.