Once you decide to establish a business, your first consideration will be the type of business organization to use. Legal and tax considerations will help to determine your final choice, as well as personal needs and the needs of the particular business. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of the legal forms of business you may choose. As an entrepreneur you must examine all of the characteristics and consult a knowledgeable legal professional when considering the formation of your business.

Many types of business proceedings must be carried out by filing documents with the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. These documents must contain specific information in accordance with statutory requirements.

The Bureau's technology requires the following guidelines be met in order to properly and efficiently process your documents:

  • Documents must be submitted on our forms or on 8.5" x 11" white paper.
  • Documents should be typed or printed in blue or black ink and be legible for microfilming.
  • Legible fax copies or copies of documents are acceptable.
  • Our forms do not require notarization.
  • All entities filed with the bureau with the exception of fictitious names and trademarks, require a Pennsylvania address. A Post Office Box alone is not acceptable. A list of commercial registered office providers is available.

Please be advised that the prior written approval of certain professional and occupational boards or commissions of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) must be obtained when a filer is seeking to reserve or register a corporate name (this includes the name of a domestic or foreign corporation, a limited partnership, a limited liability company or a limited liability partnerships) or register a fictitious name which contains words implying that an entity is engaging in the practice of that profession or occupation. Therefore, please consult with the administrator of that board or commission by contacting BPOA at RA-BPOA@pa.gov prior to submitting your filing. In addition, please note that there are certain words, which would imply that an entity is an educational institution, a bank or other financial institution, an insurer or reinsurer, or a public utility corporation that are restricted unless the filer obtains the prior written approval of the State Board of Education, the Department of Banking, the Insurance Department or the Public Utility Commission/Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.