How to File Pennsylvania Articles of Incorporation

Your Guide to Incorporating in Pennsylvania

A hand stamping documents

Pennsylvania articles of incorporation are filed to create a corporation. This guide provides instructions and tips when preparing and filing this legal document.

Incorporate Now


Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your business or nonprofit corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the corporation. Only after this approval can the corporation apply for tax IDs, obtain business licenses, sign contracts, and otherwise conduct business.

Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your business’s or organization’s name
  • Provides governance and adds credibility to the business or organization
This article was last fact checked July 15, 2013.

This page will help you prepare and file your Pennsylvania articles of incorporation to form a business or nonprofit corporation. Approval of this legal document from the Pennsylvania Department of State secures your corporate name and creates your corporation.

What does it cost?
$125 Pennsylvania state fee + ~$200 PA publishing = ~$325 total
Do I need an attorney?
No, any legal incorporator may file.
How long does the process take?
The state processing time is ~2 weeks.
What is the best method to file?
Pennsylvania articles of incorporation are best filed by mail. Pennsylvania’s Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI) requires substantially more paperwork than filing by mail. It takes an experienced individual anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours to complete the OBRI.

pennsylvania articles of incorporation

How to File

File your articles of incorporation package to the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations. Your submission package should contain:

Articles of incorporation
PA Docketing statement
You must file a PA docketing statement with your articles of incorporation.
Necessary government approvals
It may be necessary for you to obtain approvals from other government agencies, such as licensing board if you wish to use a word or words that are regulated (e.g., engineering).
Consent to appropriation of name
Your corporation may need to obtain consent to use the business name from another business entity.
PA State Filing Fees
Include payment of $125 state filing fee.

It will take the state approximately two weeks to send back your filed articles. Pennsylvania requires publication of your incorporation in one legal journal and one newspaper of general circulation.

After You File