State Processing Fees and Times
Wondering what the processing time and fees are for starting a Pennsylvania corporation? Pennsylvania can give you an accurate estimate of the standard and expedited wait times and fees for each state.
Pennsylvania charges a a corporation filing fee. State fees for Pennsylvania are listed in our incorporation center under "compare pricing."
Deciding Between a Pennsylvania C-Corp or S-Corp Tax Designation
- Ownership Rules: A C Corp can have unlimited shareholders and unlimited stock classes, but an S Corp is limited to a maximum number of shareholders, usually 100, and only one stock class.
- Taxes: A C Corp is taxed separately. It files taxes at the corporate level, then shareholders may also be taxed on the individual dividends they receive. S Corps are "pass-through" tax entities. No taxes are paid at the corporate level. Instead, owners pay taxes individually.
Documents: An S Corp must file IRS Form 2553 to elect S Corp status. A federal subchapter S corporation is automatically a Pennsylvania subchapter S corporation as well. If you don't want your business to be a Pennsylvania subchapter S corporation, it must file Form REV-976 with the state, an "Election Not to be Taxed as a Pennsylvania S Corporation."
Your corporate personnel must meet the following requirements in Pennsylvania:
- There are no residency requirements.
- One or more persons or corporations may act as an incorporator.
- Incorporators are not required to be officers, employees, shareholders or directors of the corporation.
- Directors must be at least 18 years of age.
Other Requirements for Your Articles of Incorporation
Your corporation's registered office address must include both a street name and number. Your application must be signed by all incorporators, along with their addresses. Post office boxes aren't allowed. You must include the period of time that your corporation will be in existence, if it's not perpetual. You must include the number of shares your corporation may issue, and state if the corporation is organized on a non-stock basis. Your Articles should also state whether your business is incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law of 1988.
Other Required Paperwork
Pennsylvania has publishing requirements. You must publish either your intention to form your corporation, or notice of the actual forming, in two newspapers of general circulation. It's best if you include a legal journal. Pennsylvania also requires the filing of a docketing statement when you file your Articles of Incorporation.
Guidelines for Your Name
Your corporation's name is how it will be known to the world. Pennsylvania has a few requirements:
- Your name must include "Incorporated," "Company," "Limited," "Corporation," "Fund," "Association" or "Syndicate." You can also use an abbreviation of one of these terms.
- Your name must be unique and distinguishable from all other entity names on file with Pennsylvania's Corporations Bureau.
Pennsylvania Corporate Taxes and Reports
Pennsylvania requires that corporations file annual reports.
Although it's not the most enjoyable part of owning a business, you must pay taxes for your new corporation. Before you start doing business, apply to the IRS for an employer identification number, or EIN. An EIN acts as your company's Social Security number. The tax structures of S corporations and C corporations are different, so do some research to decide which is right for your business.
Corporate Record Keeping and Filing Requirements
Pennsylvania requires that corporations create corporate records and documents, such as bylaws and meeting minutes, to maintain your corporate status. Your business should keep these documents regardless of whether they're required by your state. They help protect the legality of your corporate status. Requirements for bylaws and meeting minutes differ between states.
Starting a Pennsylvania corporation is both exciting and challenging. We wish you success and prosperity in your new venture, and we're here to help when you need us.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.