Pennsylvania Articles of Incorporation
(Just About) Everything You Need to Know
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.
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
- Apply for a Federal Tax ID (EIN), a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to identify your business.
- Many businesses must register for Pennsylvania sales tax, employer tax, or other business tax accounts.
- Nonprofits can apply for state sales tax exemptions by filing PA Rev-72 – Application for Sales Tax Exemption.