In Pennsylvania, transitioning from a Sole Proprietor to a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a fairly easy process. However, before you apply for your LLC, you have to make sure the intended name for the business you want to register as an LLC is available not only in the state business registry but also as a domain name. This requires you to go to a domain registration website such as GoDaddy to find the name and see if it is available as well.
First, go to the PA Department of State website
and check to see if the intended business name is available.
Registering an LLC
If the name is available on both the PA registration site and the domain name is not taken, you will go to the “Forms”
tab on the PA registration site and open the “Forms”
tab that will take you to the list of registration forms. Go to the “Domestic Limited Liability Company”
link and it will take you to the list of forms. In this list go down and open the “Certificate of Organization (DSCB:15-882)”
under the “Domestic Limited Liability Company”
heading. First, you will complete page 1, following the instructions on pages 3 & 4. Page 2 of the form is for restricted professional service companies and for companies that serve the general public good such as social enterprises and non-profits that, as a for-profit business may not apply.
An important note is that, if you are working through an agent who will be representing you in this business you will need to register that agent’s office in part two on page 1 of the application. Your registered agent will be your business’s main point of contact for communicating with the state and other legal authorities. You can also designate your attorney to take on this role.
Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Once you completed the LLC registration, your next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS site at this
link. With this EIN, you can open a bank account under your business LLC name.
Make sure you contact your business insurer and permit & license providers to let them know of the change in your business structure.
Our consultants here at the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center can assist you with transferring from a Sole Proprietor to an LLC. We offer no-cost business consulting in Southwestern PA. You can request consulting here