Starting a business in Pennsylvania can be an exciting journey but requires careful planning, preparation, and execution to ensure its success. There are several steps you should take when starting a business.
Step 1: Choose a Name and Legal Structure
The first step to starting a business in Pennsylvania is to choose a unique business name and a legal structure. Your business’s legal structure determines the protection of your assets and personal liability. You can choose from a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, or other legal entity. Research the different legal entities, and consider the legal and tax implications before deciding on the most suitable structure.
Step 2: Create a Business Plan
The next step is to create a detailed business outline that covers everything from your business goals, target audience, marketing strategy, timelines, and financial projections. Your business plan should be realistic and comprehensive and address your business’s key areas, including the competition, product offering, marketing plans, and funding.
Step 3: Register Your Business
Once the legal structure is chosen, you must register your business with the Pennsylvania Department of State by submitting the articles of incorporation, registering a name, or filing a trademark. The fees for registering your business vary according to your chosen legal structure.
Step 4: Register for Tax and Employer Accounts
As a business owner, you must obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the (IRS) and register tax and employer accounts with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and PA Unemployment Compensation. Make sure to obtain all necessary paperwork and license requirements.
Step 5: Register for Local Taxes, Zoning Requirements, Licenses, or Permits
Register for any local taxes, zoning requirements, licenses, permits, or certifications required for your business to operate legally. Check your local municipality, county, or township for specific requirements.
Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account
Opening a business bank account is a valuable tool to keep your personal and business finances separate. It makes it easy to track expenses and revenue and monitor your business’s overall financial health.
Step 7: Acquire Business Insurance
Business insurance can protect your assets, employees, and clients from unforeseen circumstances. General liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation insurance are essential protection types for most businesses.
Step 8: Fund Your Business
Obtaining funding is a vital step in starting your business. You can fund your business through loans, grants, crowdfunding, angel investors, or personal savings. Consider all available financing options, choose the one that suits your business needs, and make a funding plan that covers your business expenses for at least the first year.
Step 9: File and Pay Taxes
As a business owner, you must file federal, state, and local tax returns and pay taxes on time. Having a financial record-keeping system and consulting an accountant is essential to ensure compliance and avoid costly penalties.
Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Can Provide Legal Assistance if You Are Starting a New Business
Starting a business is exciting, but there is a lot of legal work to do. Get the help you need today by speaking with our Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. Call us at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.