By incorporating a business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, you are creating an entity that is separate from its owners, giving the owners limited liability. That means if the business gets sued, the owners will not be personally liable for any debt the business owes. To incorporate the business, you must go through Pennsylvania's Department of State.
The Department of State Website
You start the incorporation process at the Department of State website at http://www.dos.pa.gov/. On the home page, you will see the heading “Top Services.” Underneath that heading you will find a link to business registration forms. Click on that link. This brings you to a chart of divisions and form names. Scroll down until you see “Domestic Business Corporations,” then find the link to the form for “Articles of Incorporation” and click on it.
Articles of Incorporation Form
Next, you will need to fill out the form. Enter your name and contact information, then fill out the information that will be included in your Articles of Incorporation. Start with the name of the corporation and then enter the address of the corporation’s registered office. A simple P.O. Box address will not be enough because the state will use this address to serve the corporation in the event someone files a lawsuit against it. Next, enter the name of the commercial registered office provider. The state will serve this person if the corporation is sued.
Finishing the Form
State whether the corporation is organized on a non-stock basis or a stock share basis. If the corporation is organized on a stock share basis, enter the number of authorized shares of stock. After that, enter the names and addresses of each incorporator and the effective date of the incorporation, if applicable. If you would like to include additional provisions to the articles of incorporation, attach them to the form. If you are forming a cooperative corporation or a benefit corporation, fill out those areas of the form. Finally, sign and date the form.
Other Forms and Documents
You will also need to complete a Docketing Statement form. This form requests that you fill in the name of the corporation, the name and mailing address of the person responsible for the initial tax reports, a description of the type of business activity the corporation will be conducting, and the fiscal year end. If you have a specified effective date for the incorporation and an employee identification number assigned to your corporation, enter those. Finally, you will also need to complete a Consent of Appropriation of Name form. Submit these two forms with your Articles of Incorporation form, along with any necessary governmental approvals.
Submit all of the required documents to: Department of State, Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations, P.O. Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722. You must also submit your filing fee in the form of a check made payable to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As of 2015, the fee is of $125.
- Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations: Articles of Incorporation-For Profit
- Missouri Secretary of State: Missouri Small Business Startup Guide
- Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations: Pennsylvania Limited Liability Company
- Photo Credit kanonsky/iStock/Getty Images
How to Incorporate a Business
Whether you have a small mom-and-pop establishment or a multinational company, the steps to incorporating are similar. Other People Are Reading What...
How to Start a Craft Business in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is one state that strives to simplify the process involved in starting a craft or any other type of small business....
Incorporating a business is not difficult to do. The benefits of incorporating are huge, particularly in industries in which the business is...
How to Incorporate a Non Profit
How to Incorporate a Non Profit. ... Nonprofit corporations in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and throughout the United States are created for...
What Is a Notice of Incorporation?
Pennsylvania Incorporation Information. Incorporation in Pennsylvania may occur with or without the help of an attorney. An Incorporated business in Pennsylvania acts...
How to Register a Business Name in Pennsylvania
How to Register a Business Name in Pennsylvania. ... incorporate your business by filing Articles of Incorporation with Pennsylvania Department of State.
How to Start a Small Business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Starting a new business can be fun, exciting, and rewarding. The city of Philadelphia offers a lot to people who wish to...