Pennsylvania Secretary of State: The Roles and Responsibilities for Businesses



  • Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s Office (PSSO) does not require any special filing fees for forming an LLC. However, if you want to file Articles of Organization at PSSO, you must pay $25 per document. If you have filed articles before, then you don’t need to pay again. You just need to provide proof of previous filings.
  • An LLC can only have 1 member. So if you want to add members later, then you need to dissolve your existing company first.
  • A corporation cannot own real property. But an LLC can.

What is the Pennsylvania secretary of state, and what are its roles and responsibilities?

  1. What is the Pennsylvania Secretary of State?

The Pennsylvania Secretary of State is a constitutional officer who serves at the pleasure of the people of Pennsylvania. The office was established by Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution of 1857. The current Secretary of State is Dennis Richardson. He was elected on November 8th, 2016.

  1. Roles and Responsibilities

The Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for administering elections, maintaining voter registration records, overseeing campaign finance laws, and certifying election results. In addition, they oversee the state‚Äôs motor vehicle department, administer driver licenses, issue marriage licenses, and maintain the official seal of the state.

  1. Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by just one person. A sole proprietor does not have employees and cannot hire anyone else to work for them. Instead, they do everything themselves. Sole proprietorships are simple businesses that don’t require much paperwork.

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What services does the secretary of state offers for Pennsylvania businesses

  1. Business registration

The Secretary of State’s Office provides business registration services including filing fees, registering trademarks, and issuing licenses. You may use our online service at to register your business name, file documents electronically, pay taxes, and renew licenses.

  1. Taxation

Pennsylvania uses a progressive tax system where income, sales, property, and corporate taxes are based on different percentages. If you have questions about how much you owe, visit www.Pennsylvania. gov/taxes.

  1. Licensing

Licenses are issued by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to allow certain activities to take place. These licenses include alcohol permits, food handlers’ licenses, professional licenses, and others. Visit www.Pennsylvania.go v/licensing to find out what license you need and how to get it.

  1. Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center helps small businesses throughout Pennsylvania start, operate, expand, and succeed. We offer free workshops, seminars, webinars, and training programs designed to help you build a successful business. Learn more at

  1. Online payment options

You can make payments online using your credit card, debit card, or electronic check. Payments can be made via eCheck, ACH transfer, or direct deposit. To learn more about making payments online, visit

  1. Payroll processing

If you’re self-employed, you’ll want to know how to set up payroll. Our website includes information about setting up payroll accounts, preparing W-9 forms, and paying employees. Find out more at

  1. Electronic filing

Electronic filing makes it easier than ever to submit documents to DCBS. You can upload documents directly to our secure servers or email them to us. Visit to learn more.


Create your LLC Corporation with just 3 easy steps


The documents you will need to complete the process of filing an LLC in the Pennsylvania Secretary of State.

  1. Articles of Organization (AO)

This document serves as proof of the formation of the company. You will have to file this document at the local county clerk’s office where the business is located. If the company is formed in Pennsylvania, then you will only have to file this once. However, if the company is formed outside of Pennsylvania, then you will have to file this AO every time you change the state of residence.

  1. Operating Agreement
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An operating agreement defines how the members of the LLC will share profits and losses. An operating agreement should be filed along with the articles of organization. In addition, each member of the LLC must sign off on the operating agreement before it becomes official.

  1. Certificate of Good Standing

In order to maintain good standing, the company must pay its annual fees to the secretary of state. These fees cover the cost of maintaining records for the company. If the company does not pay these fees, then it risks losing its status as a legal entity.

  1. Tax Information

If the company decides to take advantage of any tax breaks offered by the government, then they will need to provide certain information about their company. This includes things like the name and address of the company, the type of business being conducted, and the amount of income earned per year.

  1. Business License

You may want to consider getting a business license if the company plans to sell products or services. Otherwise, you do not need a separate business license.

  1. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS that identifies a corporation. The EIN helps companies track taxes and keep accurate financial records. Companies cannot operate without having an EIN.

  1. Federal Tax ID Number

Companies that conduct business with the federal government must obtain a federal tax identification number. You can get a 1099-K form from the IRS that lets you know what kind of businesses you owe money to.

How to avoid common mistakes some people make when filing for an LLC in Pennsylvania Secretary of State.

  • Filing Fees

The first thing you need to know about filing fees is that they vary depending on what type of business entity you choose. You have two options here: Sole proprietorship and Limited Liability Company (LLC). If you decide to file as a sole proprietor, then you only pay $50.00 per year. If you want to go the route of an LLC, then you will have to pay $100.00 per year. Keep in mind that if you do not use any services offered by the state of Pennsylvania, then you will not be charged anything extra.

  • Incorporation Process
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If you decide to incorporate, then you will have the option of choosing between three different types of corporations: C Corporation, S Corporation, and Subchapter S Corporation. Each corporation offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. A C Corporation is the easiest to start out with since it does not require much paperwork. However, it requires at least 2 shareholders and cannot offer dividends to shareholders. An S Corporation is similar to a C Corporation except that it does not require at least 2 shareholders and can offer dividends to shareholders. Lastly, a Subchapter S Corporation is similar to an S Corporation except that it does require at least 2 shareholders. In addition, it is taxed differently than an S Corporation.



Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take for an LLC to be approved in Pennsylvania?

The answer to this question is dependent upon many factors. In order to start an LLC in PA, you need to file Articles of Organization (AO) with the Secretary of State’s office. Once filed, the AO becomes public record.

Is there an annual fee for LLCs in Pennsylvania

Yes, there is. There is no annual fee for filing an application for formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Pennsylvania. However, if you want to do business under the name of a company, then you need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s Office. You may have heard about doing business under the name of an LLC, but did not know whether you had to pay any fees to register the company. If you are looking to start a small business, we recommend that you consider forming an S Corporation instead of an LLC. An S Corporation does not require registration with the state, but it does require federal tax filings.

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