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How to Start an LLC
in Philadelphia,

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We can help you get your

Philadelphia LLC off the ground.

We’ll file your paperwork with

the state of Pennsylvania, so

you can focus on making your

dream business a reality. Just

pay your state fee and we’ll

do the rest.

Learn How To Start a Pennsylvania LLC Yourself

Our DIY guide explains how to

form a Philadelphia,

Pennsylvania, LLC, how to name

it, how to approach Registered

Agents and business licenses,

and more.

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Why Start a



Looking to establish a foothold in a vibrant and diverse economic landscape?

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Philadelphia could be the right move for you.

Philadelphia, nicknamed the "City of Brotherly Love," boasts a rich history, an enviable geographic location, and a range of advantages that make it an attractive destination for business ventures small and large.

Why choose Philly to start your business? Philadelphia has a steadily growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, which serves to create a supportive environment for startups and small businesses. For example, organizations like the Philadelphia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provide valuable guidance on business planning, funding options, and how to navigate business rules and regulations. Similarly, the city offers a variety of business tax credits to qualifying companies.

While every business is different, all Philadelphia LLCs enjoy a unique blend of historical significance, strategic location, and a supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The city's connectivity, diverse economy, access to talent, and commitment to assisting small businesses all contribute to an environment where new ventures can flourish.

Benefits of

Starting a



There are plenty of reasons why you might want to start a business in Philadelphia — here are five of the most convincing ones:

  • Relative affordability: The cost of living in Philadelphia is significantly lower than the cost of living in nearby New York City, and so is the cost of renting retail or office space.

  • Strategic location: Situated in the heart of the East Coast, Philadelphia's central location provides businesses with access to a vast market of consumers and suppliers.

  • Easy online access: Philadelphia has a user-friendly online portal that allows entrepreneurs to easily register their businesses, obtain licenses, and navigate local compliance requirements, reducing potential bureaucratic hurdles.

  • Millions of tourists: Tens of millions of tourists visit Philadelphia (and spend billions of dollars there) each year. So, if you offer products or services that appeal to tourists, the city's thriving tourism industry could be a major boon to your business.

  • Diverse industries: Philadelphia's diverse economy encompasses a wide range of industries, from healthcare and education to technology and manufacturing. Such diversity creates opportunities for businesses to tap into different markets, collaborate across sectors, and seek success in multiple fields.

How to Form a Philadelphia LLC Yourself in 6 Steps

Here’s how to create a Philadelphia LLC of your own:

A man with a title Start na LLC in the background
Step 1: Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search

Establish your business's identity by picking a creative name. During the brainstorming process, try to think of ideas that are one-of-a-kind, a breeze to spell and pronounce, and highly memorable. (Hint: If you're stuck, our free Business Name Generator can help.)

Once you've narrowed down your choices to a few top contenders, ensure they're not already taken by another PA business by performing a search through the Pennsylvania Department of State. Alternatively, use our Business Name Search Tool and we'll do the search for you.

We’ll Search the Pennsylvania Department of State Registry for You

Use Name Search Tool
Business Name Search Tool
Step 2: Provide an Official Business Address (or Get a Virtual Address)

An official business address is about more than just giving your business a set location upon formation — it's also where you'll receive crucial business correspondence, including bills, invoices, and payments.

But what if your business doesn't have a physical street address and you don't want to use your home address to form your LLC? In that case, the most convenient solution is to get a Pennsylvania virtual address.

With our Virtual Address service, you'll get a real street address you can call your own, and we'll also scan and upload your mail to our secure online portal so you can access it whenever and wherever you want.

Step 3: Assign a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is required in all 50 states, Pennsylvania included — the only difference is that, in PA, a Registered Agent is referred to as a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). Both a Registered Agent and a CROP perform the same function: to receive official and legal mail on your business's behalf.

If the state government sends your business a notice that it has past due fees, for example, that notice will be addressed to your CROP. If you miss this type of correspondence, the consequences could be time-consuming and costly.

So, instead of listing yourself or a business partner as your CROP, we strongly recommend using a Registered Agent service. A dedicated professional will receive all legal and official mail on your behalf and promptly notify you of any new correspondence. That means no missed deadlines, no late fees, and no wasted time.

Step 4: File Your Certificate of Organization With the Pennsylvania Department of State

After securing a name, address, and Registered Agent, you'll be ready to make your Philadelphia LLC official by filing your Certificate of Organization with the PA Department of State.

On your Certificate of Organization form, you'll need to provide key details about your business and who owns it.

This certificate must include:

  • Company name
  • Either the business's address or the name and county of your CROP
  • Each organizer's name
  • Date on which the Certificate of Organization will become effective
  • Professional service the business will offer, if applicable
  • Whether or not the company has a purpose of creating a public benefit
  • Signature of each organizer

Once your form is completed, you can mail it to:

File by Mail

Pennsylvania Department of State

Bureau of Corporations and Charitable


P.O. Box 8722

Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Or, if you prefer to file online, you can do so using Pennsylvania's Business Filing Services portal.

Let Bizee Handle All the Paperwork for You for $0 + the Philadelphia State Fee

Form Your LLC Now for Free
What are the Fees and Requirements to Form a Business in Pennsylvania?

State Fee


State Filling Time

4 Weeks

Expedited Filing Time

4 Business Days

Annual Report


Decennially in years ending

with the number "1" (2021, 2031, etc.)

Due Date

Any time during the reporting year.

*The decennial filing is only required if no other filings (agent changes, amendments, etc.) have been submitted to the state during that 10 year period.

Filing Fee


Step 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service

To be clear, not all businesses need an EIN. But if you want to hire employees or if you have a multi-member LLC that will be taxed as a partnership, you'll be required to get one.

You can get an EIN — also known as a Tax ID Number — by applying directly through the IRS. Or, if you want to save yourself some paperwork, use our EIN service and we'll do the legwork for you.

Step 6: Create an Operating Agreement

Like many other states, Pennsylvania doesn't require LLCs to have an operating agreement in order to form. The fact remains, though, that it’s always wise to create one.

Why? An operating agreement essentially serves as a roadmap for running your business. It defines who's in charge, what each person's responsibilities are, and what to do if certain events unfold.

Having a well-written operating agreement can prevent a number of headaches and disagreements down the road. Take the time to create one now — you'll be glad you did. And once you become an Bizee customer, you'll automatically get access to our operating agreement template.

Get a Custom Operating Agreement Free When You Go With Gold or Platinum Packages From Bizee.

Form a Gold or Platinum LLC
Operating Agreement
Other Philadelphia LLC Types

When you create an LLC in Philadelphia, you'll have the chance to form one of these special LLC types:

Restricted Professional Company

If your company will offer any restricted professional services, it will need to be formed as a restricted LLC.

These services include:

  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Medicine and surgery
  • Public accounting
  • Veterinary medicine

Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one is right for your company.

Benefit LLCs

Will your company serve a purpose that benefits the general public? It may be categorized as a benefit LLC.Note that benefit companies are required to prepare an Annual Benefit Report, distribute the report to its members, and file it with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Foreign LLCs

If you formed your LLC in another state but want to do business in Philadelphia (or any other part of Pennsylvania), you'll need to register your company as a foreign LLC.Find out more about Pennsylvania foreign LLC registration.

Helpful Resources for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The city of Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania both offer a variety of helpful resources for small business owners.

Looking for general information? Check out:

And if you need resources for Philadelphia businesses in particular, see:

Common Questions About Creating an LLC in Philadelphia

Get answers to the most common questions about forming a Philadelphia LLC:


How Much Does an LLC Cost in Philadelphia?

See the fees and requirements for forming an LLC in Philadelphia.


How Much Is a Business License in Philadelphia?

The cost of a Philadelphia business license depends on the type of license you need. A general Commercial Activity License, for example, is free of charge. By contrast, a Limited Lodging and Hotels Booking Agent License costs $7,000 to obtain and $5,000 to renew.

To determine which licenses you'll need and how much it will cost you to get them, you can read through the city's various business license guidelines. Or if you'd like us to do the digging for you, use our Business License Research Package. We'll even provide you with the appropriate forms and instructions, so all you'll have to do is fill in the blanks.


How Long Does It Take to Set Up an LLC?

In Pennsylvania, all documents filed with the Department of State take up to 15 days to be processed. For faster processing, you'll need to pay an additional fee for expedited service – which you can also avail from Bizee and we’ll process it on your behalf.

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