I need a license to practice business in Pennsylvania?
There is no one license that all businesses need
to operate in Pennsylvania. However, many businesses
do need to be licensed based on the type of goods
and services they offer. In addition to regulatory
licenses, Pennsylvania also has several business and
health related professional licensing boards that
oversee the licensing of certain occupations. If your
business or your profession requires one of these
licenses, then the license must be obtained before
opening your business.
|CLICK THE LINKS TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE
Are there any other requirements my business
Yes, if your business is a corporation, limited partnership,
limited liability partnership, or a limited liability
company, you will need to register it with the Pennsylvanian
Department of State. While sole proprietors and general
partnerships do not need to file a registration, if
they operate under a different name than the owner's
they must file a fictitious name registration.
In addition to state requirements, many counties
and local municipalities will have registration and
licensing requirements that your business must also
What are the local licensing requirements?
There are no uniform rules regarding local licensing.
Whether your business will need additional local licenses,
permits, or registrations will depend on the municipality
where your business operates. For example, Philadelphia
and Harrisburg require that all individuals conducting
business in the city, even if they do not keep an
office in the city, obtain an annual business privilege
license while Pittsburgh and State College do not.
Besides general business privilege licenses, many
businesses need additional permits based on the nature
and purpose of the business. For example, food preparation
or vending permits may be required. Some businesses may need to obtain several
local licenses before they can open. You should always
check with your local city government to find out
what licensing requirements your business needs to
What type of information will I need to provide on
my local license application?
The information needed will depend on the license
you are applying for, but generally you will need
to have ready:
- Full business name
- Business address and contact information
- Owner's name and contact information, or in the
case of corporations and partnerships, the names of
the officer or partners
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), available
from the IRS
- State tax number
- Type of business
If you are applying for a special occupational permit,
you may also need to provide information about the
nature of your business and details about your business
activities. You will usually also need to provide
documentation showing that you have already met all
state licensing and registration requirements, if
Disclaimer: 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.