Important PA Articles of Incorporation Information

The following information is required to file for incorporation in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • Entity type: You will need to designate your intended incorporation structure when filing for incorporation. Most corporations are classified as stock corporations. Non-stock corporations do not have stock, and investors are referred to as members instead of shareholders. A PA corporation may also be a cooperative, management, professional, statutory close, or insurance corporation.
  • Name of corporation: Corporate business names must differ from existing names. The business name must include either corporation or incorporated. It cannot include words that do not accurately describe the purpose of the business.
  • Registered office: Pennsylvania also requires you designate your registered office on the articles of incorporation. This is the location where you will be available during normal business hours to accept documents. It is possible to use an alternative location if you do not want to make your information public.
  • Listed incorporators: The PA corporation must include at least one incorporator. It is possible to have more than one incorporator. Incorporators are the members that are expected to follow the terms laid out in the articles of incorporation. An incorporator can be any individual at least 18 years old.
  • Available shares: If the corporation will include shares, then the documents must list the number of shares available. You do not have to assign these shares immediately. It is also possible to add additional shares at a later date.
  • Listed shareholders: A shareholder is defined as a member that owns stocks in the corporation. Corporations in PA must have at least one shareholder.
  • Listed directors: The directors are members elected to manage the day-to-day of the corporation. At least one director is required, but this individual does not have to be listed.
  • Officers: The officers are elected members that manage the daily responsibilities of the corporation. Both a president and a secretary are required, but additional roles may also be elected.
  • Effective date: In most cases, the business will become official on the day the documents are filed with the state of Pennsylvania. It is possible to assign an effective date later than the filing date.

Filing for a Pennsylvania Incorporation

Filing for a Pennsylvania incorporation requires that you submit the required documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State. These articles give the state necessary information about the purpose and type of the business.

There are a few methods in which you can file incorporation in the state of Pennsylvania:

  • Mail: You can obtain a copy of the required form by downloading it at the Corporations and Organizations website. You can also order a copy of the form by calling (717) 787-1057. You can send your forms to the Pennsylvania Department of State, PO Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA, 17105-8722.
  • Online: You can also file your required documents online. Although the system requires you to create a username and password, this is the fastest and most convenient method.

Include the following documents along with your incorporation form:

  • Copy of completed docketing statement. This statement also requires that you have an employer identification number (EIN).
  • Copies of consent to the appropriation to name, if applicable. This form is only needed if you have received approval to use a corporation name that is similar to another registered corporation.
  • Government approval documents, if applicable. This form is only needed if your corporation required government approval.

It is possible to expedite the filing process for a fee. The fastest method to apply is online, but this can still take some time. Expediting the process gets you an approval faster, sometimes within a couple of hours. Doing this requires you to visit in person with an expedited form.

There is a $125 filing fee. This check should accompany the application and any required documents. If you decide to expedite the process, there may be an additional fee and this process cannot be completed via mail.

The final step is to publish your incorporation intention. The state of Pennsylvania requires that you publish this information in at least two newspapers and in one legal source.

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