Registrations, Licenses, Taxes...
Fictitious Name Registration
If your business does not begin with your last name, you must register the trade name with the state. To inquire whether your proposed business name is available, or to request registration forms, contact:
Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
Small fee plus costs for advertising the business name in selected newspapers.
Philadelphia Business Income
and Receipts Tax Number
The Philadelphia Department of Revenue will issue a Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax Number, and can provide information about City business taxes. To obtain an application, call 215-686-6600.
Commercial Activity License
Note: The Business Privilege License is now called the Commercial Activity License.
Anyone conducting business in Philadelphia must obtain a Commercial Activity License. (Hint: A City Income and Receipts Tax Number is required with the application). Contact:
Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I)
License Issuance Unit
1401 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
For more information, click here or call 311 or 215-686-8686.
One time Fee = $300
Also consult L & I to determine if your business type or location requires any additional Licenses, Permits, or Zoning.
Federal Employer Identification
Any corporation or partnership, or a sole proprietor who plans on hiring employees, must obtain a Federal ID Number by filing IRS Form SS-4. For information, or to obtain the form, call or visit:
Internal Revenue Service
600 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
PA Business Tax Number & Registration
One State form, the “PA Enterprise
Registration Form” registers a business to
collect Sales Tax, PA Employee Tax
Withholding, and Unemployment Tax.
Call 215-560-2056 to request the form. Or, to save time, complete the form in person at:
PA Department of Revenue
1400 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
For questions pertaining only to PA State Unemployment Tax, call 215-560-1828.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation insurance is required,
and may be purchased from your insurance
agent or from the state. Contact:
PA Dept. of Labor and Industry
State Worker’s Insurance Fund
444 N. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Local County Resources
There are many types of federal, state, and local licenses, a well as professional licenses required for businesses. Depending on the type of business you are in and where you plan to operate, your business will be required to have various state and /or municipal licenses. Check with the license office in the city or town where you plan to do business. The following county resources offer business information:
Bucks County Resources
Bucks County Economic Development Corporation:
Phone 215-348-9031, www.bcedc.com
This site provides county resource links and county demographics. The Small Business Resource Guide is available that includes a comprehensive listing and contact information for local, county, and state resources
Chester County Resources
Chester County Department of Community Development:
Phone 610-344-6900, www.chesco.org/ccdcd
This site provides county demographic information, procurement, real estate information, links to business resources and organizations, local municipalities, and county government offices.
Delaware County Resources
Delaware County Commerce Center:
Phone 610-566-2225, www.delcopa.org
This site is a one-stop resource for economic development agencies, authorities and resources in Delaware County.
Montgomery County Resources
Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation:
Phone 610-272-5000, www.montcoedc.com
This is the resource site for Montgomery County economic assistance and development for business. This site contains information and links to demographics, state and local taxes, and business resources.
Philadelphia County Resources
This resource site provides information regarding Business Services and Economic Inclusion within the City of Philadelphia.
This site provides detailed information, forms and resources related to planning, starting and running a business.
Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation
This resource site provides information about economic development initiatives including financing programs and real estate services in the Philadelphia region.
Community Legal Services
For over 40 years, Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia has provided the highest quality legal assistance to low-income Philadelphians who cannot afford legal counsel when they most need it. CLS houses nine different legal units: Community Economic Development; Consumer Law; Aging and Disabilities Law; Employment; Energy; Family Advocacy; Housing; Language Access; and Public Benefits, including the Advocating on Behalf of Children project (ABC).
1424 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Philadelphia LawWorks, a project of Philadelphia VIP, contributes to Philadelphia's economic development by ensuring that homeowners, nonprofits and small business owners' legal needs are met and by educating clients and the community to prevent legal problems.
University of Pennsylvania Law School
The Penn Law Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic (ELC) provides pro bono transactional legal services to entrepreneurs and businesses in the start-up or growth phase.
Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians
The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians' services for immigrants include employment assistance, small business start up assistance, ESL training. Their services for employers include help finding, hiring, and retaining qualified immigrants.
1617 JFK Blvd., 13th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Founded in 1966, Clarifi (formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community service organization providing a wide variety of counseling services and educational programs designed to empower individuals-of all economic levels-financially, and to help them before, during or after a period of financial difficulty.
PA Biz Online
PA Biz Online is the result of the commonwealth's effort to make Pennsylvania the easiest place in the world to start, build and expand a business.
This website gives entrepreneurs one-stop access to business information.
Entrepreneurs can find out how to start a business, learn how PA can help them grow, find the right forms and electronically register a business with the Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Revenue, and Department of State.
The U. S. Small Business Administration provides business development information, on-line training, on-line counseling, resources including small business development centers, how to gain access to government contracts, and services for entrepreneurs over the age of 50.
Introduced in 2010, the National Export Initiative (NEI) aims to create long-term, sustainable economic growth for the United States by doubling exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million American jobs.
The U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration (ITA) are critical to the implementation of NEI.
US Department of Commerce - International Trade Administration
Created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank and IBM, the SME Toolkit is designed for new and growing small businesses. The SME Toolkit has an International Business category with resources for taking your business global and provides a country-specific atlas with comprehensive data on economic indicators, market access, travel information and other useful links.
Take Your Business Global
A video series developed through a partnership with AT&T, SBA & Inc. Magazine to promote exporting. The series guides small businesses through the process of exporting: Getting Started in Exporting; Planning for Export success; Connecting with Foreign Buyers; Financing; and five Case Studies of successful small business exporters.
The videos can be viewed here: www.inc.com/exporting/
U.S. Export Assistance Centers
Located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. Your local U.S. Export Assistance Center is your one-stop shop, designed to provide export assistance for your small- or medium-sized business.