Allegheny Outfitters – Warren, PA
Ready to get your business up and running? Registration is the next key step in your startup journey. This process will vary slightly depending on your business structure, so it’s important to know that information before embarking on this step. Before registering, check out our Planning Section and verify that you’ve completed the necessary preliminary steps prior to registration.
If you have questions at any point throughout this process, we have experts standing by ready to help. Contact Us to get answers to your questions.
Before you do business in Pennsylvania, you may need to register with several state agencies, including the Pennsylvania Department of State, Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, and Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Depending on your business structure, you might need to complete additional steps during your registration process. Whether you are headquartered in Pennsylvania (domestic status) or headquartered outside of Pennsylvania (foreign status) will also affect your registration process. Visit the Business Registration Process section to learn more about how to complete your registrations with each state agency. Please note that some steps of the registration process may have an associated fee.
The basic steps are similar across different business structures, but depending upon the kind of business you’re creating, you may require some additional registrations and certifications.
The registrations you will file with will depend upon the business structure you choose and whether your business will be domestic or foreign.
A domestic business is defined as one that is headquartered or based in Pennsylvania. A foreign business is classified as any business remaining headquartered in their home state or country and expanding into Pennsylvania.
1. Confirm your business name is available.
Before completing any legal documents, creating advertising materials, opening a bank account, or registering with the Commonwealth, verify that your business name is available for use by searching the Pennsylvania Department of State’s business name registration database.
As noted in our section on Your Business Name, please remember it is imperative that you use the exact same name each time you file any type of document with the state to avoid confusion and potential legal issues.
2. Confirm that your professional licensure is current. (Only applicable to Professional LLCs or Professional Corporation. All other business structures skip to step 3.)
If you’re starting a business to provide a professional service, you need to verify with the licensing body that your professional license is current before registering your business.
Examples of businesses that require a current professional license include dentistry, law, medicine and surgery, public accounting, and others. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website to view a full list of professional services included under this category. Note: This is applicable to all professionals that need a state license to practice a profession.
If you need to apply for a new license, renew your current professional license, or search for licensed professionals, visit the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.
3. Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). (If you are a foreign registered business and already have an FEIN, skip to step 4.)
This 9-digit number will be your primary identification number with state government agencies. We strongly recommend you obtain a FEIN whether or not it is mandated for your particular business structure, so you can properly identify your business to all state government agencies.
It is imperative that you use the EXACT same name each time you file any type of document on behalf of your business. If you haven’t reviewed the Your Business Name page, please take the time to read it before proceeding. By establishing a consistent business name, you will avoid confusion and potential legal issues.
4. Register your business structure.
To operate in Pennsylvania, businesses must register their business structure – such as an LLC, partnership, corporation, or other structure – with the Pennsylvania Department of State. There is one exception to this requirement. Sole proprietorships operating under the owner’s Legal Name (first and last name) are not required to register their business structure
If you are a veteran, you may qualify for an exemption to the business registration filing fee. Learn more about the Veteran’s Business Fee Exemption to see if you qualify.
5. Register your fictitious name.
If you are planning to operate your business under a Fictitious Name, make sure to complete your filing as part of this step. A Fictitious Name registration is only needed if an individual or business is doing business under a name that is different from the individual’s personal name or the company’s Legal Name as registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
6. Register for state tax and employer accounts.
Pennsylvania Business Taxes — including Sales, Use, and Hotel Occupancy Tax, Employer Withholding Tax, and Unemployment Compensation Tax Account Registrations – are filed with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. You may register online for your Pennsylvania business tax accounts with both agencies, along with supplying your Workers’ Compensation Account information, through the PA-100 Enterprise Registration Form.
7. Check for special registrations, if applicable.
Depending on the kind of business you will be operating, you may be required to file for additional registrations, licenses, and certifications with other state government agencies. If you are unsure about whether your business requires special registrations, please visit our Special Registrations page or Contact Us for more information.
8. Check with the local municipality concerning taxes, zoning requirements, local licenses and permits, and any other regulations.
Visit our Local Permitting page to learn more about how to contact your local municipality to learn more about local requirements.
Use our Business Registration Checklist to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered for basic registration.
Confirm your business name is available. Search Business Names
Confirm your professional licensure is current.* Professional Licensing
*Only applicable to Professional LLCs and Professional Corporations. All other business structures, skip to step 3.
Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).* IRS website
*If you’re a foreign registered company and already have an FEIN, skip to step 4.
*Sole Proprietors do not have to register their business structure.
*Only required if operating under a name that is not the Legal Name of the business or sole proprietor.
Register for state tax and employer accounts.* PA-100
* Employers must comply with Act 32 on Local Earned Income Tax, and report employee information to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Visit our Employer page to learn more.
Check for special registrations, if applicable. Visit our Special Registrations page to learn more.
Check with the local municipality concerning taxes, zoning requirements, local licenses and permits, and any other regulations. Visit our Local Permitting page to learn more.
Local registrations, permits, zoning requirements and related questions should be directed to the township, borough, or city where you will be operating. To determine your local municipal contact for local registrations, permits, and zoning, visit the Pennsylvania Municipal Statistics Contact Search.
Depending on the type of business you are starting, you might need to seek additional registrations and licenses with Pennsylvania state government. For instance, if your business will provide a professional service, you will need to verify with the licensing body that your professional license is current before registering your business. Your business structure (Sole Proprietorship, LLC, Corporation, etc.) will also determine the number of registrations you will need to complete. To get help with identifying whether you will need special registrations, Contact Us.
Home Improvement Contractors can file their Home Improvement Contractor (HIC) Registration with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office via the HIC Registration page. If you have questions about registration requirements, visit their Contractor FAQ page or call the contractor helpline at 717.772.2425.
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