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How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania?

Written by:

Coralee is a business writer with experience in administrative services, education, and software testing.

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.

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania?

How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania?

If you’re thinking of starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Pennsylvania, you’ll want to know in advance how much it’s going to cost. LLC formation fees vary by state, so it’s wise to do a bit of research and prepare yourself, and your new business, for the necessary steps. 

LLC Costs in Pennsylvania

Certificate of Organization$125
Certified Copy -Certificate of Organization$40
Certified Copy – Certificate of Subsistence$40
Name Reservation$70
Registered Agent Service$50 – $300
Operating Agreement$0 – $2500
Decennial Report$70
Business Licenses and Renewalsvaries – check with state and local government

Certificate of Organization Cost

In Pennsylvania, you form an LLC by filing a certificate of organization, which requires a $125 fee. It’s a simple process you can do online using the filing system PENN File provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of State. 

Pennsylvania doesn’t specify turnaround times for filing online, but you can visit their business page to gauge their progress. For example, on July 13, 2022, Pennsylvania was still working through forms filed on July 8, 2022.

If you need a certified copy of the Certificate of Organization, there is a $125 fee. If you need a Certificate of Subsistence, there is a $40 fee. If you’d like the state to hold your LLC name before you register, you can fill out the form here for $70 to reserve it for 120 days. 

Completed paper forms and their accompanying fee should be sent to:

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Registered Agent Cost

In Pennsylvania, you are required to have a registered agent, also known as an agent of service in process.  A registered agent is a person or business authorized to accept and respond to legal, tax, and financial documents on behalf of your business.

In Pennsylvania, you can be your own registered agent, or it can be another member of the LLC. An individual who is not a member or a professional agency can also serve as the registered agent for your LLC. 

Costs for a registered agent service range from $50 a year up to $300 or more. Several online firms, such as ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent, provide quality services at reasonable rates.

Business Licenses and Permits Cost

Starting an LLC requires obtaining the required licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. Fees for these vary, but most costs are minimal.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments to learn more. 

Business license fees depend on the type of business and the agency issuing the license or permit. On average, business licenses cost between $100 and $300+, plus renewal fees.

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package ($149 + state fees). They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

Operating Agreement Cost

In Pennsylvania, your LLC is not required to have an operating agreement in place. But it’s highly recommended, as an effective operating agreement can help avoid disputes and lawsuits that could threaten the stability of your LLC. 

An LLC operating agreement is an important legal document that details who owns the business and provides essential information pertaining to member duties. An LLC operating agreement establishes the financial relationship between members and the basics of the working relationships between those members and the managers who oversee daily operations. 

The operating agreement is not filed with the state, but instead remains private. It’s advisable to hire an attorney to ensure your operating agreement is thorough and legally binding. 

Creating an operating agreement is free if you just draw it up yourself. Alternatively, you can pay around $100 for guidance from an online business advisory.

This is an extremely important document, so it’s recommended that you use the services of a specialist or legal firm. If you choose to hire an attorney, the price will be around $500 for a single-member LLC and $2,500 for a multi-member LLC

LLC Formation Service Cost (Optional)

Forming an LLC in Pennsylvania tends to involve a lot of red tape and paperwork, so for many entrepreneurs just starting out it’s a good idea to hire an experienced service provider. 

Some of the best services for forming an LLC are ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent. LLC Formation service will take care of all the key steps, keeping you updated while allowing you to focus on launching and growing your business.

The cost of professional services depends on your requirements and LLC formation plan. Most LLC service providers offer different plans/packages and there are many LLC services that offer free LLC formation.

Ongoing Pennsylvania LLC Costs

Every state has a different fee structure and timelines for LLC documents and licenses. It’s important to stay up-to-date or your business could face significant penalties. The fees and timelines for Pennsylvania are detailed below. 

Annual Fees

In Pennsylvania, you’ll need to file an LLC decennial report to keep your LLC in good standing. In other states, this is called an annual report and is occasionally referred to as a statement of information. 

Decennial reports in Pennsylvania must be filed by mail. You can print the form here and mail it with the filing fee of $70 to the address below.

Pennsylvania Department of State
Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Business License Renewal Fees

Some business licenses and permits must be renewed periodically, which may have a small associated fee. In Pennsylvania, sales tax licenses are automatically renewed every five years at no charge as long as your business is up to date on its taxes.

Conversely, food facility licenses require annual renewal, with an accompanying fee of $82.

It’s best to create calendar reminders to monitor when expirations are coming up to ensure you have time to apply for renewal and run your business without interruption.