Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization – How to Register


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If you are forming an LLC in PA, then this page’s content would be vital. As you learn how to start an LLC, you will realize that the bulk of your initial work and LLC cost comprises filing a Pennsylvania certificate of organization, which we will elaborate on this page.   

What is a Certificate of Organization?

A Certificate of Organization, also known as an LLC certificate or Articles of Organization in some states, is a document filed with the department of state to form an LLC.

Each state has a different requirement to fill out a form. A Certificate of Organization usually includes the following:

  • The name of the LLC,
  • the effective date of the LLC,
  • the company’s principal office,
  • the business purpose,
  • the duration of the business, 
  • a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate, and
  • the name and address of the registered agent, organizers, and
  • at least one member of the company.

You can file a Certificate of Organization online, by mail, or in person.

Note that the certification of formation is a legal requirement, not to mention, the core of your LLC formation. It even makes up the bulk of your Pennsylvania LLC cost. Without it, you have no LLC. So, take the time to complete and file this certificate.

How to File an Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization

These are the simple steps to follow in filing a Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania.

Step 1: Find Forms Online

Go to the Pennsylvania Department of State to download the certificate of organization form for your LLC or to log into the online service.

Step 2: Fill Out Form

When filling out the form,  you must have reserved an LLC name. Do a name search. Go to Pennsylvania LLC Name Search to check whether your chosen business name is available to use in this state.

You must attach a copy of your Name Reservation to your filled-out Certificate of Organization form when filing. You also need to nominate a registered agent. Here are 3 of the best LLC services on our list.

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Step 3: File Formation Certificates

File your formation certificate either online or by mail by filling out a form and sending it to the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations P.O. Box 8722 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

Steps to Register Certificate of Organization Online

Time needed: 5 minutes.

To set up your business LLC in the State of Pennsylvania, you must file for the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania office. When you apply through online mode, your application also gets the advantage of immediate processing. The cost of registration is $125. The formation guide below will assist you in filing the Certificate of Organization.

  1. Access the Secretary of State of Pennsylvania website

    Visit the Official website of the Pennsylvania Secretary of State. The website hosts a Business One-Stop Shop portal that provides an easier and convenient mode of online business filings. On this page, the login box appears. If you already have an account on the portal, you can proceed by entering your username and password. If you do not have an account, read the next step to know about it.pennsylvania-certificate-of-formation

  2. Create your account

    On the One-Stop shop homepage, beside the login box, the account registration option is also present. Click on the ‘Register’ tab on the screen.

  3. Account registration information

    On the next page, enter all the required information to create your account on the portal. Create your username and password. Next, provide the user information including the first and last name, date of birth, email, and contact details. Further, answer at least three security questions. Click on the ‘Submit’ tab

  4. Start to file your application

    Login to your account on the portal. On the user homepage, select the option of “PENN File” from the dashboard. Scroll down to the option of “Start or manage business filings”. Next, select the option of “Domestic Limited Liability Company” from the list. Next, select the “Certificate of Organization” option. Now, proceed to file your application by entering all the required information about your Pennsylvania business LLC.

  5. Review your application

    Before you proceed to the next step, make sure to review all the details provided by you are correct and accurate.

  6. Make the payment

    After completing your application, you can proceed to the next step to make the payment of $125 as the filing fee of your application. After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive a notification from the Secretary of State office, acknowledging the receipt of your application.

Pennsylvania Certificate of Organization Filing By Mail

If you wish to file your registration application through an offline method, you can do that easily by mail. Follow the instructions below to file the Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania

 Follow the instructions below to file the Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania,

  • Access the Application form PDF on your device. Download the document.
  • Carefully read all the instructions and guidelines mentioned in the form.
  • Proceed to fill in the application form accordingly.
  • You must attach the name reservation certificate of your business LLC along with the application.
  • After filling in all the details, review the application. All the information provided by you should be correct and accurate.
  • The office mandated the following documents to be attached with the application: the Docketing Statement, and any necessary governmental approvals.
  • Issue a check or money order for $125 as the filing fee of your registration application, payable to the ‘Department of State’.
  • Arrange all the documents together and mail to the following address, Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations P.O. Box 8722 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

Where Can You Find Your Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization

Certificate of Organization for Pennsylvania LLC can be accessed through the PA one stop-hub website by creating your account. You can also download the PDF from the Pennsylvania Department of State’s website.

How do you get a copy of your Stamped and Approved Certificate of Organization in Pennsylvania? If you’ve already filed for your LLC and received the welcome letter, you can access this document online. However, there are some important things to remember. If you’ve lost your approved Certificate of Organization, you can always purchase a new one from the state for $40. If you’re not sure where to get it, check your email for the link.

During the filing process, be sure to include the exact date when the business is supposed to begin operations. In Pennsylvania, if the business is to have a fiscal year and calendar year, the ending date is January 1. For businesses that use a different fiscal year, enter the date of their fiscal year. Finally, remember that the forms do not require signatures, so be sure to send them to the Pennsylvania Department of State before the deadline.

The operating agreement isn’t required for an LLC in Pennsylvania, but it’s recommended that it’s created. This document outlines the company’s structure, roles, and responsibilities. You shouldn’t need to file it with the state, but it’s a good idea to have one in case you need it for any reason. If you want to file taxes as a corporation in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to have a Federal or State EIN. Fortunately, single-member LLCs do not need to file an EIN, but you will have to show it to professionals, so it’s always best to keep it with your other essential business records. And you might need to show it to financial institutions before they open a business bank account.

In addition to the Certificate of Organization, a business name must be chosen carefully. Your Pennsylvania LLC name cannot conflict with the name of another business. To avoid this problem, choose a name that’s unique or different from your current business name. Additionally, you must choose a registered agent for your business. A registered agent is responsible for accepting legal papers on your behalf. You can find one by contacting Registered Agent Service.

A Pennsylvania LLC must have a physical address for its registered office. This address must be a real address – not a PO box – so be sure to choose a physical address instead. A commercial registered office provider can handle this for you. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can also get a registered office from a third-party service. It’s easier than you might think!

If you have a foreign LLC and want to register in Pennsylvania, you can do so. But be aware that if you decide to do business in a foreign state, you’ll still need to register as a foreign entity. In Pennsylvania, you’ll need to pay a foreign entity tax, maintain a registered agent, and meet annual reporting requirements. Additionally, non-resident LLCs cannot enforce contracts in another state.

F.A.Qs

What is a Certificate of Organization?

A Certificate of Organization is a legal document that will officially make your LLC into existence. This document is needed specifically for Pennsylvania in forming an LLC business structure.

What information does a Certificate of Organization application need?

The application form for the Certificate of Organization needs to include the LLC name, date of establishment, the company’s registered office, business purpose, how long the business will exist, and a copy of the LLC’s name registration certificate.

What is the recommended method of filing a Certificate of Organization, online or by mail?

Filing by mail or in person is neither highly recommended nor required; waiting an extra week for your LLC to be approved isn’t that bad. The LLC approval you send in will be returned by mail. Online filing, meanwhile, is more convenient as you won’t have to stay in a queue.

In Conclusion

Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation is the most important document for your Pennsylvania LLC. Before you submit/file the document make sure to provide proper and correct information about your company. If you have any questions, share that below in the comment section.

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