Cost to Form an LLC in Pennsylvania

The cost to start a Pennsylvania limited liability company (LLC) is $125. This fee is paid to the Pennsylvania Department of State when filing the LLC’s Certificate of Organization.

There are two options for forming your LLC:

Have a professional service form an LLC for you:

TWO SUCH RELIABLE SERVICES:

four point six out of five ZenBusiness ($39 + State Fees)

Three out of Five Stars LegalZoom ($149 + State Fees)


How Much Does an LLC Cost in Pennsylvania?

The main cost of forming an LLC is the $125 fee to file your LLC's Certificate of Organization online with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Some businesses may need business licenses and/or permits to operate.

Pennsylvania LLC Online Filing Fee: $125

To form an LLC in Pennsylvania, you'll need to file the Certificate of Organization (Form 15-8821) with the Department of State. The Pennsylvania Department of State charges a $125 fee to process and record this document online or by mail.

The Truic Flame Logo

You can form an LLC in Pennsylvania yourself with our free How to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania guide and pay only the $125 fee.

Or, visit our Best LLC Services review to learn more about the cost of using an LLC formation service.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Pennsylvania

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Pennsylvania, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania.

The cost for registering a Pennsylvania foreign LLC is $125. You can register a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania by filing a Foreign Registration Statement (Form 15-412).

Other LLC Filing Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation
Reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to LLC formation by filing a Name Reservation/Transfer of Reservation form (Form 15-208) and paying the $70 filing fee.

“Doing Business As” (DBA) Name
File a Registration of Fictitious Name form (Form 54-311) and pay the $70 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

Certified Document Copies
Obtain certified copies of your Pennsylvania business documents by ordering through the Department of State. Fees vary.

Certificate of Subsistence
Also known as a Pennsylvania certificate of good standing, you can obtain this document by ordering through the Department of State and paying the $40 fee. A certificate of subsistence is often required by banks and lending institutions.

Business Permits and Licenses

Depending on your industry and geographical location, your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Pennsylvania. This is true whether your form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing with our guide to getting a Pennsylvania business license.

The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Have a professional service research business licenses for you.

Ongoing LLC Maintenance Costs

Some businesses will be required to pay ongoing maintenance costs and taxes, such as the Pennsylvania decennial report fee.

Pennsylvania Decennial Report Fee: $70

Pennsylvania requires LLCs to file a decennial report with the Department of State.

Pennsylvania's decennial report is due every ten years in years ending in 1 (e.g., 2021, 2031, etc.).

How to Register a Pennsylvania LLC Yourself

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Recommended: If you already have a business that is running as a sole proprietorship, visit our How to Change from a Sole Proprietorship to LLC page.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Pennsylvania

Step 1: Name Your Pennsylvania LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Office
Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN

Step 1: Name Your Pennsylvania LLC

When you name your Pennsylvania LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Pennsylvania
  2. Meets Pennsylvania naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Pennsylvania guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Pennsylvania.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Powered by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Choose a Registered Office

Pennsylvania does not record registered offices, but all LLCs must choose a registered office. A registered office is the place where the state can contact your business and is where your business will receive service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Pennsylvania registered office must be a physical address in Pennsylvania where your LLC can accept service of process during normal business hours.

The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

ZenBusiness

Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization

The PA Form 15-8821 - Certificate of Organization is a document that is filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State to form an LLC. The fee for filing a Certificate of Organization is $125 online and by mail.

For detailed instructions for completing the Certificate of Organization, visit our How to File the Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization guide.

File a Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form 15-8821 by Mail

Form 15-8821


State Filing Cost: $125, payable to the Department of State

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

Note: You must include a Docketing Statement when filing by mail.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Pennsylvania LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Pennsylvania LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

The Truic Flame Logo

Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Hiring an LLC Formation Service

LLC formation services make the process of setting up your business easier, but they aren't required. Below, we cover what you can typically expect to pay to an LLC formed for you.

Basic LLC Formation Service Package: $39-$79

Online services like ZenBusiness and LegalZoom will take care of the LLC filing process on your behalf for a fraction of the cost of a business attorney.

In addition to filing your Certificate of Organization, LLC formation providers offer other services. LLC formation services will also:

Operating Agreement: $40-$99

Purchasing a custom operating agreement from an online formation service is an easy way to ensure you’ll have a thorough and legally-binding document governing your new LLC.

EIN Registration: $60-$70

After forming your LLC, you’ll need to get an EIN. If you’d prefer not to apply for your EIN directly through the IRS, you can delegate this task to your formation provider for an extra fee.

Registered Agent Service: $0-$125 per year

You'll need to designate a registered office for your Pennsylvania LLC when you complete a Certificate of Organization with the Department of State.

A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving and processing legal documents and service of process on behalf of your business.

While Pennsylvania doesn't prohibit business owners from acting as their own registered office, many people choose to appoint a professional for the sake of privacy, convenience, and discretion.

Learn more about hiring a registered agent service in our Should I Hire a Registered Agent Service guide.

The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Get a free year of registered agent services when you hire ZenBusiness to form your LLC. $39 (plus state fees).

ZenBusiness

Business License Research Service: $99

If your LLC requires several federal, state, and local permits or licenses in order to operate legally, you might want to consider hiring a professional business license research service.

If you’re looking to maximize your time in the early phases of your business, we recommend checking out Incfile's $99 business license research package.

The Truic Flame Logo

Set up an LLC in Pennsylvania Yourself in Five Basic Steps

Pennsylvania LLC

Pennsylvania LLC Cost FAQ

Do you have to pay for a Pennsylvania LLC every year? An orange arrow pointing down

No, you do not have to pay a state fee for a Pennsylvania LLC every year. However, there is a $70 decennial report fee every 10 years. Visit our Pennsylvania Decennial Report guide for more information.

Is an LLC really necessary?An orange arrow pointing down

An LLC provides limited liability protection. This means an LLC protects your personal assets in the event of a business loss, such as a lawsuit or unpaid debt.

We recommend any small business that carries even the smallest amount of risk or liability to form an LLC. Learn more in our Should I Start an LLC guide.

What is the cheapest way to get an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

You can save money on getting an LLC by completing the formation process yourself, making your own operating agreement, being your own registered agent, and getting your own EIN.

Check out our How to Save Money Forming Your LLC guide to learn more.

Is creating an LLC free in Pennsylvania?An orange arrow pointing down

No, creating an LLC is not free in Pennsylvania. There is a $70 fee to file a Certificate of Organization.

Can I pay myself a salary from my LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

You can pay yourself a salary from your LLC, but it would be called a draw or distribution if your LLC is taxed in the default way by the IRS.

Visit our How to Pay Yourself from an LLC guide to learn more.

Is an S corp better than an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

An S corporation (S corp) is an IRS tax status, not a type of business entity. An LLC can be taxed in the default way or as an S corp. For some businesses, being taxed as an S corp can make lots of sense.

Check out our LLC vs. S corp guide to find out if S corp status is right for your business.

Is LegalZoom worth it for an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

LegalZoom creates more LLCs than any other provider. However, they also have mediocre reviews and charge more than any other service provider. We think there are better LLC formation services out there.

Check out our Best LLC Services review to learn more.

What’s better sole proprietorship or LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

A sole proprietorship is only good for businesses that carry very low risk of liability because sole proprietorships don’t offer any liability protection.

Learn more in our sole proprietorship vs. LLC guide.

What all can you do with an LLC?An orange arrow pointing down

There are many advantages to starting an LLC. Visit our guide to learn more about the benefits of an LLC.

Does having an LLC help with taxes?An orange arrow pointing down

An LLC can help with taxes if your business needs more options. An LLC can be taxed via pass-through taxation, as an S corp, or as a C corporation (C corp).

Visit our Choosing a Business Structure guide to learn what type of business structure would offer the most tax benefits to your unique business.

Pennsylvania Business Resources

Other Useful Links

Article Sources