PA business registration is a process comparable to that of registering other aspects of one's personal or professional life. That said, the following is an overview of how to start a new business in Pennsylvania.

First Steps to Starting a Business in PA

  • Solidify Your Idea- To start the process, choose your best idea for a marketable service or product. However, this may be more difficult than it sounds. It may take some time to make your decision and figure out whether you have the professional prowess and qualifications to properly spearhead such a venture. Additionally, this could be a great time to start pondering on the viability of turning your idea into a profitable business.
  • Research and Strategy- Take the time to conduct research on the business of your choice.
    • What are you selling?
    • Is it lawful/ethical to sell this good or service?
    • To whom are you selling?
    • How often do you expect them to buy?
    • Are you capable of doing everything necessary to sell this product or service?
    • Who is your competition?
    • How much is the cost to develop, market, sell, and transport your product to make it available to the masses?
    • What type of profit do you expect to make?
    • What is the projected timeline for you to turn a profit? Are there issues with regards to compliance?
  • Create Your Business Plan- To ensure your plan is well thought out, be sure to include your marketing, management, production, and financial strategies in your business plan. For those creating a website, take this time to register the domain name. From there, try a domain registry service, as this will help you find out whether the business name is already in use. Lastly, if you are considering a brick-and-mortar business, take the time to explore potential site locations for your business. As necessary, examine each location for parking access, level of traffic, and general accessibility to customers and delivery trucks.

Putting the Plan into Action

Now that you have an idea of what your business plan entails, it is time to put your plan into action. No matter if you opt to go it alone or solicit the help of a professional, you will need to continue the process with the following steps:

  • Organize Your Business Structure- Before you continue with this process, take the time to decide what type of business you will have. Is it a Limited Liability Company, Nonprofit, Corporation, Sole Proprietorship, or another business structure? If you choose a sole proprietorship, this will necessitate the use of a fabricated name; be sure to check the obtainability of the chosen alias and that the name is properly registered. If you choose a partnership, this is the time to draft your partnership agreement. Additionally, be advised that if the partnership will be using an alias of some kind, you must register this fictitious name as well. If you select a corporation, be sure to file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Need help registering your business name? Try visiting the places such as the Corporation Bureau, the Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI), and/or the Pennsylvania Department of State. On these sites, you will find a helpful wizard that directs you through the procedure of registering a company with the Departments of Labor & Industry, Revenue, and the State. Additionally, the Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI) is designed especially for those who are unacquainted with Pennsylvania taxes, services, and parameters for business registration. This also includes Enterprises that have not registered their Limited Liability Company, Limited Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, or Fabricated Name with the Department of State.
  • Register Your Business - Be sure to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue in order to register for taxes with the state. This involves the completion of the PA 100. This is an online form that allows you to register with the Departments of Labor & Industry and Revenue. However, be advised that it is not a method of registering with the Department of State. Additionally, be advised that it is specially designed for those already acquainted with the PA-100 process and who know about the services and taxes they are registering for. You will also want to obtain your Federal Employee Identification Number (EIN). EINs are issued directly through the IRS. You can register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by calling, applying online, or by mail.

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