What are LLCs?

The Certificate of Organization PA is a document that contains important information about your company and filing this document is a requirement to form your LLC in Pennsylvania.

LLCs are a type of business entity that has become extremely popular for the flexibility they provide to owners, their low cost of formation, and their ability to be run easily.

The benefits of forming your LLC include:

  • Protecting your personal assets from liability.
  • Establishing your business.
  • Providing you with flexible taxes.

Guidelines in Forming and Maintaining an LLC in Pennsylvania

To form and maintain your LLC in Pennsylvania, you will need to abide by the following guidelines:

  1. File your Docketing Statement and Certificate of Organization PA with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Corporations.
  2. Make sure that the name of your LLC is available.
  3. Appoint a Registered Agent for your LLC.
  4. Develop and adopt an Operating Agreement.
  5. Schedule an Organizational Meeting, which will be the first time the members of your LLC meet in an official capacity.
  6. Follow other Pennsylvania regulations and tax requirements.
  7. Submit your Annual Registration.

Choose a Name for the LLC

The name that you choose for your Pennsylvania LLC cannot conflict with the name of any other business. Visit this website to find out if the name you desire for your LLC is open for use.

Pennsylvania law requires that your LLC name contain one of the following designations:

  • Company
  • Limited
  • Limited Liability Company
  • An abbreviation of one of these titles

If you choose to use an abbreviation, you should be aware the state provides no guidelines. While “Co.” and “Ltd.” are acceptable, “Liab” cannot be used.

To use a restricted word in your LLC name, such as “Bank”, you will need to prove a licensed professional is a member of your LLC and you will likely need to file further paperwork with the state. Words that are strictly prohibited are those that would cause people to think your LLC is associated with a government agency.

File a Certificate of Organization

You must file a Certificate of Organization PA to form your LLC. You should include the following information in your Certificate of Organization:

  • The address and the name of your LLC.
  • The name and contact information of your registered agent.
  • Addresses and names for every LLC organizer.
  • Information about if your LLC will be run by a manager.
  • Professional services that your LLC will provide.

You can file your Certificate of Organization online, by mail, or in person. If you apply online, you will need to pay a $125 fee and can expect your Certificate to be approved within seven to ten business days. Mail filings also will take seven to ten days to process, and require the same $125 fee. A $125 fee is required for an in-person filing, and you will need to pay an additional expedited fee. Filing in person is the only expedited filing option in Pennsylvania. The amount of your fee will be calculated based on how fast you need your Certificate processed.

If you pay $100 and submit your Certificate by 10 a.m., you will receive same-day approval. Filing before 2 p.m. and paying $300 will result in a three-hour approval. If you need your Certificate approved in an hour, you will need to file before 4 p.m. and pay a $1,000 expedited fee. You should file your Certificate of Organization PA online unless you need same-day approval.

A New Entity Docketing Statement should be included with your Certificate. The New Entity Docketing Statement must include:

  • Your LLC's name
  • The address and name for the person in your LLC designated to handle initial tax reports
  • The purpose of your LLC
  • Your LLC's effective date
  • Your EIN, if you have one
  • The fiscal year-end

You will also need to decide whether your LLC will be manager managed or member managed before filing your Certificate of Organization.

Appoint a Registered Agent

You will need to appoint a Registered Agent for your LLC, which is a person that accepts legal notices for your LLC. Registered Agents are known as registered offices in Pennsylvania.

Your LLC's registered office can be an authorized Pennsylvania business entity or an individual resident of the state. A registered office must possess a physical Pennsylvania street address to be eligible.

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