Copy of pa business license

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Updated July 8, 2020:

Business License in PA

A business license in PA is required to legally do business in the state of Pennsylvania. The state requires businesses to be fully licensed and registered depending on the type of services and products they provide. Pennsylvania's licensing for some professions as well as administrative licenses are handled by separate businesses and health-associated professional boards. Any type of business or profession that falls under the category of being licensed/accredited should first acquire the appropriate license before they can start operating or rendering services.

Are There Any Other Requirements My Business Must Meet?

The Pennsylvania Department of State requires a business to be registered if it falls under the category of either a corporation, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or a limited liability company. Sole proprietors and general partnerships are not required to file for a registration. Instead, they must submit a fictitious name/title if it will be operated by another individual apart from the owner. A lot of counties and local municipalities require proper registration and licensing together with some state prerequisites.

What Are The Local Licensing Requirements?

There is no absolute ruling with regards to local licensing. Depending on the municipality where your business operates, the need for supplementary licenses, permits, or registrations may vary. It is advisable to check with the local city government to know what the exact requirements are to license your business.

What Type Of Information Will I Need To Provide On My Local License Application?

You will need to provide the following on your local business license application:

  • Full Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Contact Information
  • Owner's or Officers/Partners (For Corporations and Partnerships) Name and Contact Information
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • State Tax Number
  • Category of Business

For special occupational permits, you must prepare documents stating the nature of your business and detailed business activities. State licensing and registration together with some state prerequisites are required to be presented to signify that a business/service has fully met all prerequisites to operate and start rendering services.

Pennsylvania Small Business Information

The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers extensive information and assistance for new and existing businesses. You can check on the SBDC website for general information about starting, growing, and continuing your business. The website includes information on the following:

  • Planning
  • Loans
  • Taxes
  • Industry specifics
  • Other related concerns

Another viable source of information is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Obtain One Or Multiple Pennsylvania Business Licenses

In Pennsylvania, a license is not a requirement for every business. Some licenses and permits include the following:

  • Regulatory Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Environment Tax
  • Health and Safety

Different forms of regulatory licenses and permits can be given by various state agencies. In order to apply for the required licenses, permits, and accreditations, the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration or Form PA-100 needs to be filed either through the internet or in person. Some cities or towns will require locally issued licenses and varied prerequisites for you to start operating as a business. You may find this detailed information on the city's website within which you will be doing business. Businesses could be excluded from local licensing prerequisites because of federal or state law.

File Records For Your Form Of Business

Certain files need to be recorded with the state as they pertain to corporations and LLCs. The Pennsylvania Department of State requires corporations and LLCs and other specific types of businesses to submit organizational documents.

You Must Obtain The Correct Professional Licensing

Some occupations and professions are required by the State of Pennsylvania to have proper licensing before they can start rendering services. Web pages containing the state's regulatory board contact information and other general inquiries about the state's professional regulatory boards can be found through the Department of State's website within the Professional Licensing Section.

Registering a Fictitious or Assumed Business Name (Trade Name)

An Alternative Business Name can be technically called a/an:

  • Assumed Name
  • Fictitious Name
  • Trade Name
  • DBA/"Doing Business As"

This sometimes is needed depending on what kind of business you have, what services it offers, and where it is physically located. Pennsylvania requires any business that seeks to operate under an assumed or fictitious name within its jurisdiction to join its registry within the Department of State. The Department of State will request publication prerequisites related to the registration before assigning a fictitious business name.

Registering a Service Mark or Trademark

Trade names, service marks, and trademarks all have separate legal definitions. Trademarks, service marks, and trade names help in defining the unique profiling of services, products, or business that would make it distinct from prospective competitors. You can register service marks and trademarks with the state.

Do I Need A Sales Tax License?

Sales tax licenses are mandatory depending on the type of business you plan to start. Businesses that deal with retail and services are subject to pay sales tax, which requires the business having a sales tax license. This is acquired through completing the Pennsylvania Enterprise Registration Form or Form PA-100, which can be done through the internet. Sales tax licenses do not require a fee.

What Is The Average Cost For A Business License In Pennsylvania?

Depending on what category of enterprise (corporation, limited liability company, partnership, sole proprietorship) you selected, the cost may affect the initial funding needed and whether or not you will have to register for an alternative or fictitious name, since local governments in Pennsylvania have their own prerequisites for doing business.

Types Of Licenses & Permits You May Need In Pennsylvania

Operating a business in Pennsylvania may require some of the following types of licenses or permits:

  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Signage permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Alcohol and tobacco permit
  • Liquor license
  • Sales tax permit
  • Use tax permit
  • Seller/reseller permit
  • City business license (depending on the nature of your business)

Get Your Business License Locally In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania issues business licensing at a local level and may vary depending on the type of business/service you provide. Contact the Pennsylvania State Agency that administers the licenses for your business to determine if you will be required to acquire a license or permit before you may start operating and rendering services. It is highly suggested to communicate with the city and the county where you do business in order to get the licenses, permits, and other requirements that are managed at a local level. Professional LLCs (PLLCs) require acknowledgment from the State Commission or Board.

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For City Use Only

Account Number



The following information is necessary for our records and will be held in strict confidence.

All applicable questions (1-26) must be fully answered and clearly printed.

1. Business Name:__________________________________2. EIN/FIN:____________________

  1. Business Location:_______________________________

  2. ( _____Own Building)

    (_____Rent Building) – Landlord’s Name:_________________________________________

    Landlord’s Address:________________________________________________

  3. Business Mailing Address Where All Forms Are To Be Sent:_________________________

  4. Business Phone: ___________________________________7. Fax:_______________________

8. Business Web-site:_____________________________ 9. E-Mail:_______________________

  1. DATE OPENED IN THE CITY OF READING:_______________________________________

  2. DESCRIBE BUSINESS ACTIVITY:_______________________________________________

  3. Will you be working in the City of Reading 15 or more days?:_______________________

13. Organization & Type of Business



























Itinerant Vendor












  1. Are there Pool Tables, Juke Boxes, or other Amusement Devices on the Premises? (__Yes) (__No)

  2. Accounting Basis: (___Cash)(___Accrual)16. Accounting Year: (___Calendar) (___Fiscal)

17. No. Of Employees (W-2 Recipients)_____________ 18. Monthly Payroll $______________


19. Please List Employees Who Are Paid As Independent Contractors, Subcontractors, or other individuals who will be issued 1099 forms. Please use additional sheets if necessary.






20. Owner(s) Name (s):______________________________21. Owner’s SSN:_________________

22. Owner’s Home Address:__________________________________________________________

Owner’s Date of Birth:_______________________



Partners’, Members’ Title Date of Social SecurityHome

Or Officers’ Birth NumberAddress

  1. Name of Previous Owner (If Any):________________________

  2. Previous Business Address (If Any):______________________

Before the issuance of a Business Privilege License, you are required to register with the Zoning and

+Health Offices.



Zoning Office Approval:


Health Office Approval:

+Required For: Food Service - Eating & Drinking – Vending – Refuse & Solid Waste Haulers – Exterminators – Itinerant Food Service

26. Rental Properties – List Each Rental Property Located Within the City of Reading :

Please attach additional sheets if necessary.





26. I Hereby Certify That All Information and Statements Herein Are True and Correct and I/we have read the accompanying instructions.

If this form is not signed in the Citizens’ Service Center it must be NOTARIZED.



Proprietor/Partner/Member(s)/Officer(s) Signature Date



Partner/Member(s)/Officer(s) Signature (If Applicable) Date

NOTE: The facts set forth herein are made subject to the penalties of 18 PA C.S._Sec. 4904 relative to unsworn falsifications to authorities.

*If Business Is A Partnership, All Partners Must Verify Questionnaire Either By Personal Appearance At This Office For The Purpose Of Signing This Questionnaire Or By Separate Notarized Statement.

**Wholesale shall mean sales to dealers/distributors/vendors who resell the items purchased “AS-IS”. When a product is sold and then used in the construction of a new product, it is NOT considered wholesale.

***Manufacturing: If claiming a manufacturing exemption, a written request detailing the nature of the operation must be made within thirty

(30) days to the Municipal Operations Manager. An inspection of the operation is required prior to a decision being rendered. Acceptance or rejection of the request will be issued by the Municipal Operations Manager in writing. All gross receipts will be considered taxable until said decision regarding exemption is issued. No Manufacturing Exemptions shall be granted retroactively.

**** Amusement Device Licenses Must be Obtained the Day Devices are Brought on the Premises.

The license fee and business privilege tax are an annual license/tax. Notices will be mailed to you in January, on an annual basis, after your first year of business. If you do not receive these notices, it is your responsibility to notify us for a duplicate form.

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Apply For A Business License Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What information should I have about opening a business in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania?

Everyone who desires to own and operate a business of any kind in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania must have a valid business license before opening business. Whether your business will be temporary, whether you are purchasing an already existing business, or even if you are going door-to-door, you are required to have a business license. The business license is also known as the Business Privilege License. The City of Philadelphia wants you to understand that while it is a privilege to possess a business license and there are requirements that must be satisfied before it is issued, they are here to help you with the process, every step of the way!

What are the ways to apply for a Philadelphia Business Privilege License?

For the simplicity of the City’s future business owners, there are a variety of ways in which you may apply. The easiest method to apply for your Business Privilege License is to do so online at If you would like to print the application ahead of time and then submit it at the Municipal Building in person, you can do so. If your preference is to apply in person, you may do so at:

Municipal Services Building
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1617

What is the cost associated with getting a Business Privilege License?

The cost is more than other cities in Pennsylvania. The required fee for a Philadelphia Privilege Business License is $300.00. The fee is due at the time of your Business Privilege License submittal and is due each year by March 31st thereafter. While $300.00 is the general renewal fee, the fee may vary depending on business type and the gross annual receipts. If you require any assistance with the preparation of your business tax return, please call (215) 686-6413. For your ease, the fee may be paid online at

What if I have other questions or concerns?

The City of Philadelphia wants to ensure that any and all questions that you may have are resolved. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. except Tuesdays. The phone lines open at 10:00 a.m. Call (215) 686-6600. 

If you prefer to research your own answers rather than speaking to someone, another resource has been made available to you. Instructional videos have been created to help you understand Philadelphia’s business taxes, how to complete your Business Tax Privilege License, and how to successfully register your business. This help can be found online at

There are three addresses the City of Philadelphia has to serve its citizens:

Municipal Services Building

1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard, Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19102

North Philadelphia Municipal Services Center

Hope Plaza
2761 North 22nd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Northeast Municipal Services Center

9239 (rear of the building) Roosevelt Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19114

Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

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Find out how to improve your knowledge and increase your earning potential by getting an online business degree. Click here to find the program that’s right for you.

Search by State

To find more information about a business license in your state choose the state below.


This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.

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Dog License

All dogs three months of age and older living in Pennsylvania must be licensed by January 1 of each year. Violators will be cited up to $300 per violation, plus court costs. There are two types of licenses: an annual license and a lifetime license.

Chester County Treasurer's Office, Attn: Dog License, 313 West Market St. Suite 3202, PO Box 2748, West Chester, PA 19380

Annual Fees Annual Fees - Persons with Disability/Senior Citizen*

Male/Female $8.50  Male/Female $6.50   
Neutered Male/Spayed Female $6.50 Neutered Male/Spayed Female $4.50 
*To qualify for a disability license, please provide a copy of your handicap placard or equivalent proof of disability.
  To qualify for a senior license, you must be 65 years or older and provide proof of age.

 Lifetime Dog License

  • A lifetime license is a one time purchase for any dog with a microchip.
  • Print Lifetime dog license application and Permanent ID Verification form. Mail in with payment.
  • Either the veterinarian or SPCA can scan or insert a microchip. They will complete the lower portion of the Verification form.
  • Be sure the veterinarian includes their BV license number. The SPCA has a kennel license number.
  • The microchip number is then written on top of the verification form.
  • Both forms must be returned to the Treasurer’s office within 30 days of the earliest date on either application.

Lifetime License FeesLifetime Fees - Persons with Disability/Senior Citizen*

Male/Female $51.50 Male/Female $31.50  
Neutered Male/Spayed Female $31.50 Neutered Male/Spayed Female $21.50
*To qualify for a disability license, please provide a copy of your handicap placard or equivalent proof of disability.
  To qualify for a senior license, you must be 65 years or older and provide proof of age.

For purchases of any license by check when the County is the payee, make checks payable to "Chester County Treasurer".


A duplicate tag can be obtained by written request, accompanied by a fee of $1.50 made payable to Chester County Treasurer. Please include a copy of the license, or as much information from the original application. Tags can be obtained immediately at our office. 
If you need a copy of the license, please call our office or email.


To transfer a lifetime or annual dog license, send the license number and your personal information to the county that the license was issued. List the new county and address in which the dog will be licensed. The information will then be forwarded to the new treasurer for issuance. The cost of this transaction is $1 payable to the treasurer of each county. Please make a check out to each county treasurer. A transfer can only be made to counties that use the PA Dog License System. Please check the drop-down box for participating counties.

We cannot complete a change of ownership or a transfer of a license unless we have written permission with a signature from the owner of the current license.

Other Information


License business copy pa of

Pennsylvania Certified Copies

What are certified copies?

Pennsylvania certified copies are a true and correct copy of business filings, which can obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations. Articles of incorporation are the most commonly certified document. Articles of amendment or annual reports may also be certified.

The Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations issues certified copies with an endorsement, stamp, or certificate. Certified copies are sometimes required to secure a bank loan, apply for a certificate of authority, and obtain business licenses.

What documents can be certified?

You can typically have most corporate filings certified, including:

  • Articles of formation
  • Articles of amendment
  • Certificate of authority
  • Mergers
  • Annual filings, such as annual reports
  • Fictitious name or DBA registration
  • Dissolution and withdrawals

Where can I obtain Pennsylvania certified copies?

Only the Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations can issue Pennsylvania certified copies. It is possible to obtain certified copies yourself using the contact information below.

Pennsylvania Department of State - Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations

Physical Address:
401 North Street, Room 206
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105

Phone: 888-659-9962 or 717-787-1057

Name Search:
Online Filing:
Email: [email protected]
What Business Licenses are Needed in Pennsylvania - Starting a Business in Pennsylvania


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