Online Pennsylvania LLC FAQ

How do I form a Pennsylvania LLC?

In Pennsylvania, you create an LLC by filing a "certificate of organization" with the Department of State's office and paying a filing fee. You'll also need an LLC operating agreement, though it doesn't need to be filed with the Department of State. Your operating agreement explicitly states the rights and responsibilities of the LLC owners (and managers, if applicable). An operating agreement clarifies the business arrangement between the owners and governs how your LLC will be run. If you don't create a written operating agreement, the LLC laws of your state will govern the inner workings of your LLC.

After the certificate of organization filing is accepted by the Department of State and you have an operating agreement, your LLC is official, but you will still need to obtain the licenses and permits that all new businesses must have to operate. These may include a business license (sometimes also referred to as a "tax registration certificate"), a federal employer identification number, a seller's permit, or a zoning permit. Forming an LLC does not exempt you from any of these requirements that apply to all businesses.

For more information, see the Licenses & Permits for Your Business area of Nolo's website.

To begin creating your Pennsylvania LLC, visit the Online Pennsylvania LLC page at the Nolo website.

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How much will it cost to form my Pennsylvania LLC?

The price of Nolo's Online Pennsylvania LLC formation service varies depending on your needs.

Nolo's Basic Service. The price starts as low as $79.00 for Nolo's Basic Service, which includes preparation of the certificate of organization, preparation of a customized operating agreement, and standard filing, which will take between two and three weeks.

Nolo's Standard Service. For $249, you get all of the benefits of the Basic Service plus preparation of the IRS application for a tax ID (Form SS-4) and the Business Forms Bundle, containing 30 forms and contracts that every small business needs. Includes access to NoloCloud Legal Forms for business anywhere at any time from your account. Processing time is two to three weeks.

Nolo's Express Premiere Service. For all of these items plus Priority Rush Filing, a personalized LLC records book, membership certificates, an LLC seal, and preparation of the IRS application for a tax ID (Form SS-4), choose Nolo's Express Premiere Service for $299.00. With Priority Rush Filing, your certificate of organization will be filed with the Department of State within one business day, and you'll receive your final LLC documents one week later.

Note that filing fees charged by the state are not included in our package prices. The Department of State charges $125 for LLC formation. This filing fee will be added to your total when you check out.

In addition, restricted professional companies (PLLCs) must file an annual registration with the Department of State, by April of the year after formation and every year thereafter. The fee for this filing is $560 per member. Regular LLCs do not need to file an annual registration.

To compare Nolo's Pennsylvania LLC packages, see the package and pricing details.

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How long will it take to form my Pennsylvania LLC?

If you order the Basic or Standard package, we will file your paperwork with the Pennsylvania Department of State within four to five business days and you'll receive your completed LLC documents two weeks later.

If you order the Express Premiere package, we will file your paperwork with the Pennsylvania Department of State within one business day. You will receive your completed LLC documents by email one to two weeks later, depending on the Department of State's processing times. You'll receive your LLC records kit directly from the manufacturer.

While Nolo will make all efforts to expedite your articles of organization, the Pennsylvania Department of State does experience fluctuations in processing times, so turnaround times may vary.

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How long do I have to work on my LLC formation?

You have 90 days to work on your LLC formation without purchasing it. Every time you work on your LLC formation through Nolo's Online Legal Forms, your answers are automatically saved in the system.

Once you complete and pay for your LLC formation, Nolo's Online Legal Forms will store your personal information for one year.

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Will I have to pay taxes on my Pennsylvania LLC?

Federal taxes. The IRS does not impose taxes on the LLC; LLC income is reported on the members' individual tax returns.

State taxes. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue's website at www.revenue.state.pa.us/ to learn about state LLC taxes in Pennsylvania. You may also find it helpful to read Nolo's article on Pennsylvania LLC Annual Filing Requirements.

Self-employment taxes. LLC members (owners) who are active in the business will probably have to pay self-employment taxes on their share of LLC profits—just as partners in a partnership do. Fortunately, an LLC member can deduct, as a business expense, half of the self-employment taxes paid. (Members in manager-managed LLCs may not have to pay self-employment taxes if they are not active in the business; if you are in this situation, consult a tax adviser to see if you should pay self-employment taxes.)

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Can I form an LLC in a different state than the one in which my business will operate?

You can form an LLC in Pennsylvania even if your business will not be located in Pennsylvania and/or no LLC members will live there. But you will probably still need to qualify your LLC to do business in your home state—and this means you'll have to file additional paperwork and pay additional fees. For more information on whether you'll need to qualify to do business in certain states, read Nolo's article Qualifying to Do Business Outside Your State on Nolo's website. Note that if you don't register to do business in another state when required, you won't be able to enforce contracts in that state.

Also, be ready for some state tax complications if you form your LLC in a state that's different from the state where all of its members live. For one thing, the LLC members might have to pay personal income taxes in the other state on LLC income. (At best, you might get credit for those taxes in your home state and not have to pay twice. At worst, you might have to pay taxes you wouldn't have had to pay at home.) Other state taxes vary from state to state, and might influence your choice of location for an LLC. An LLC—like any business—has to pay franchise taxes, sales and use taxes, other transaction and excise taxes, and employment, property, and transfer taxes.

In addition, in most states, you need to maintain a registered agent in the state where you form your LLC. To avoid these hassles, most smaller LLCs that will operate in only one state form their LLC in their home state. For more information, read Nolo's article Where to Form Your LLC.

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How can an LLC be ended after it has been formed?

Like a corporation, an LLC is meant to be a permanent legal entity, and it will exist—and incur taxes and fees, whether or not you are actively operating a business—until you take legal steps to dissolve it. If you decide to discontinue business as an LLC, you must file a certificate of dissolution with the Department of State. For specifics, see the Department of State's website at www.dos.pa.gov/BusinessCharities/Business/. For general information on closing a business, read the article Closing Your Business: What You Need to Do on Nolo's website.

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What happens after I pay?

Note: You will receive a confirmation email that includes the following information.

Your certificate of organization will be generated and filed with the Department of State. Turnaround times vary according to the package you choose.

If you ordered Nolo's Express Premiere Service, your LLC records binder and company seal will be sent to you independently, directly from the manufacturer.

As soon as your filing is complete, we will email you your final LLC documents, including your customized operating agreement and instructions on a few more steps you need to take, including holding an initial meeting of your members or managers.

After completing your purchase, you may no longer go back and change your answers because your order is being processed. You may, however, view your answers by signing in to your Nolo account at www.nolo.com/products/customer/account/login, clicking on My Account, and clicking on Pennsylvania LLC.

Once we send your documents to the Department of State, we cannot refund your state filing fees and other third-party costs, such as courier and delivery services, should you decide to cancel your order. If you have questions, please let us know here.

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What if I want to change the information I gave you for my new LLC?

You have 90 days to work on your LLC formation documents without purchasing them. Every time you work on your LLC formation through Nolo's Online Legal Forms, your answers are automatically saved in the system.

After completing your purchase, you may no longer go back and change your answers because your order is being processed. You may, however, view your answers by signing in to your Nolo account at www.nolo.com/products/customer/account/login, clicking on My Account, and clicking on Pennsylvania LLC.

Nolo's Online Legal Forms will store your personal information for one year after you pay for your LLC formation.

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I am a veteran. Do I have to pay the state filing fee if I use Nolo's LLC formation service?

Yes, at this time, you cannot use Nolo's service to file for free, because you will have to upload documentation of your veteran status (either a VA card, a DD-214 form, an NGB-22 form, or a DOD military ID card) to the Department of State's website. You can file for free at the Department of State's website at www.corporations.pa.gov. Then you can come back to Nolo to create a customized operating agreement for your LLC.

Where can I learn more about LLCs?

To learn more about limited liability companies, visit the Limited Liability Company area of Nolo's website or read Nolo's Quick LLC: All You Need to Know About Limited Liability Companies, by Anthony Mancuso.

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