Starting a business can be overwhelming.  Should you be a corporation or LLC?  Do you need government permits?  What insurance do you need?  Don’t get overwhelmed.  Read our brief guide about how to  start your business in Pennsylvania.

How do I start a business?

Forming a business is not as difficult as it seems.  In fact, you can form a new business entity in one day if you have all the necessary information.

Here are the essential steps to registering a business entity in Pennsylvania.

  • Choose a unique business name that does not infringe upon another business’s name.
  • Select your type of entity (ex. corporation, limited liability company, etc.).
  • File organizing documents with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • Obtain a tax identification number (EIN).
  • Obtain necessary government permits.
  • Create documents that control how the business will operate (ex. partnership agreement or bylaws)
  • Complete the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration (PA-100) if you will have employees or need a sales tax license or other tax accounts.

These steps are merely the legal formalities to form a business entity.  There are many other considerations to get your business open for customers.  Here at Concerto Law, I guide you through the business, marketing, and tax considerations before your open your door to the public.

Practical tips when starting a business.

After you have completed the first steps, you have important decisions to make about the daily operations of your business.

While each business is unique, most businesses face these same basic issues as they start and grow.

  • Where will you be located? In a building, in your home, online?
  • What inventory, equipment, products, utilities, and services will you need and where will be get them?
  • Do you need to negotiate leases, employments agreements, or independent contractor agreements?
  • What insurance do you need?
  • Did you review zoning, parking, signage, and building code ordinances?
  • Where will you find the money for your business?
  • Did you open a bank account for your business (separate from your personal account)?
  • What accounting software will you use to track your income, expenses, accounts receivables and accounts payable?
  • Are your required to post labor law and safety posters? (Hint:  If you have one or more employees, the answer is “yes”.)
  • Do you need an employee handbook and a policy & procedure manual?  (Hint:  if you have employees, you probably do.)
  • Did you create job descriptions? (Hint:  even if it’s just you, write job descriptions for everything you do so you have them ready when you can afford to hire help.)