Pennsylvania Foreign LLC – Qualification and Registration

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If you already have an LLC in another state and want an LLC in PA, then starting an LLC would be somewhat different. You must register as a foreign LLC. We have here a guide on how you can qualify and register for a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania

Forming a Pennsylvania Foreign LLC

A foreign LLC does not need to be a company from another country but a business formed under the laws of another state. To start a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania, you need to register it with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Step 1: Choose Pennsylvania Foreign LLC Name

Obtain a name reservation certificate and submit it with your foreign qualification requirements at the Pennsylvania Department of State. Your LLC’s legal name outside of Pennsylvania will be listed on the application, along with the name it will use in Pennsylvania. Take note of the requirements for naming your LLC

Check name availability at Pennsylvania’s business entity names and reserve your LLC name.

Step 2: Select Pennsylvania Foreign LLC Registered Agent

You’ll need a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania and take note that a Pennsylvania registered agent must have a local address. Here are three of the best LLC services on our list that will provide you with registered agents to ease your worries: 

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Step 3: File Registration of Pennsylvania Foreign LLC 

Fill out and submit a Foreign LLC Application for Registration form via email to or by mail to Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations P.O. Box 8722 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

Include the following:

  • LLC’s full legal name. 
  • A fictitious name or a DBA (only if your LLC’s legal name is not available); Attach a statement of adoption of the fictitious name signed by all LLC members.
  • LLC’s principal office and mailing addresses.
  • LLC formation state and date.
  • Registered agent’s name and address in Pennsylvania.
  • Date when your LLC will start operations in Pennsylvania.
  • Credit card information on the last page of the form for the $150 application fee. 

The LLC cost in Pennsylvania, even for foreign LLCs will differ between online filing and by mail.

Step 4: Determine How Your Pennsylvania Foreign LLC is taxed

Foreign LLCs are also subjected to the Pennsylvania Business Privilege Tax, and they must file LLC annual reports each year.

Note that forming a foreign LLC would be good for your business as you can legally operate in a different state thus reaching a larger market and opening more opportunities for higher profit.

Steps to Filing Pennsylvania Foreign LLC

To start your foreign business LLC in the State of Pennsylvania, you are required to submit the Foreign Registration Statement to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State office. The filing fee for registration is $250. After approval of your application, you will receive a certified copy of your registration from the Secretary of State’s office. We have explained the aspects you need to cover when applying for Pennsylvania Foreign LLC.

Steps to Register for Foreign LLC in Pennsylvania

  1. Download the Application Form PDF on your computer system.
  2. Read the instructions and guidelines attached to the form carefully prior to completing the form.
  3. Start to fill in the application form. Do not leave any mandatory field blank.
  4. The State mandates to attach the following documents along with the application form: One completed form DSCB: 15-134A (Docketing Statement) for Foreign Corporations; any necessary copy of form DSCB: 19-17.2 (Consent to Appropriation of Name) and any necessary governmental approvals.
  5. Issue a check of $250 as the filing fee is payable to the Department of State. The Check must contain a commercially pre-printed name and address.
  6. Arrange all the documents together and mail it to the following address, Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations P.O. Box 8722 Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

The State does not offer online filing options for foreign business LLCs in the State of Pennsylvania.

After Forming Pennsylvania Foreign LLC

Here are added things you need to accomplish after forming your Pennsylvania Foreign LLC

  1. Obtain Business Licenses. Find the business licenses you’ll need using the Business License Search.
  2. File LLC annual reports and Business Privilege Tax.
  3. Pay State Taxes like sales tax; you’ll need an EIN for your LLC

It is convenient plus easy to file for the foreign LLC if you are doing it online. The steps are very easy and that’s why it’s possible to go along with the steps and form the foreign LLC in Pennsylvania. 

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Foreign LLC in Pennsylvania

To register as a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania, you can file through mail by paying a filing fee of $250 to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

A foreign LLC in Pennsylvania needs to file an Expedited Service Request (ESR), a Certificate of Authority (EIN), and a filing fee. There may be additional requirements such as obtaining an EIN from another state. An EIN can be obtained by using a company such as Incfile. The Pennsylvania Foreign Qualification, which means permission to conduct business in the state, is needed to expand the LLC. The cost of filing this document varies based on the type of business you have.

If you have any kind of business in Pennsylvania, you must file the decennial report every ten years. While most states require this report to be filed every year, Pennsylvania only requires it once every ten years. Filing a decennial report in Pennsylvania costs $70. Additionally, foreign LLCs must file the tax returns for every year. If you sell products or services, you may also need to register for sales and use taxes.

Before filing for a Certificate of Organization, you must first appoint a registered agent. This person will act as a third party between your business and any legal correspondence. Its primary purpose is to receive and respond to legal communications. Many states require a registered agent on the Certificate of Organization, but Pennsylvania law is different. A registered agent is required for every LLC. A registered agent can also be an additional fee if you are planning to file for an annual tax return.

In addition to filing the Certificate of Organization, you must also file a Foreign Registration Statement in Pennsylvania. This form must include a resolution adopting an alternate name for the business. You can file your FRS on paper or electronically. The fee to file a foreign registration statement is $250. The fees can vary depending on the state’s requirements. It is highly recommended that you obtain a legal professional to prepare the FRS.

A comprehensive Operating Agreement is required. By signing it, all LLC members are on the same page about how the business will operate. Operating agreements can prevent any future disputes regarding the company’s operations. A Pennsylvania DBA is required for businesses with fictitious names. If you choose to use a name other than a legal one, you must register for an EIN with the IRS. You can get a free EIN from the IRS website.

The cost to register a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania will depend on how you choose to operate it. Some fees are mandatory and some can be avoided. A foreign LLC, on the other hand, does not have a physical presence in Pennsylvania. If you are planning to register a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania, you should be prepared to pay an extra $50 to $200 to register a foreign LLC. And while forming a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania may be complicated, it is not impossible. A skilled attorney can help you with any of these issues.

It is essential to have the proper paperwork for a foreign LLC. Failure to file the proper paperwork can lead to fines and administrative dissolution. You cannot renew a business license or take out a loan unless the necessary paperwork has been filed. Regardless of the reason for forming a foreign LLC, it is recommended that you have a registered agent to form it in Pennsylvania. If you want to save time, use a registered agent.


What is a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania?

If your LLC is formed under the laws of another state, it is referred to as a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania.

Do I need a foreign LLC?

Businesses incorporated outside of the state where they operate must have “foreign qualifications” issued in the other states.

What is the main difference between domestic and foreign LLC?

A domestic LLC is a company registered in Pennsylvania as an LLC. The entity type that has a physical presence in another state is a foreign LLC.

In Conclusion

Starting a foreign LLC in Pennsylvania does not require a lot of documentation or tasks. However, it is always good to seek help from a professional when it comes to running your business. Get a professional registered agent and form your foreign LLC anywhere without a hassle.

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