Business Fee Exemption for Veteran-Owned and Reservist-Owned Small Business

Under Act 135 of 2016, veterans and reservists starting a small business in the Commonwealth are exempt from the payment of a business fee.

Under Act 135 of 2016, veterans and reservists starting a small business in the Commonwealth are exempt from the payment of a business fee effective January 2, 2017.

A business fee is any fee required to be paid to the Commonwealth or a political subdivision for starting or opening a business within Pennsylvania. The term does not include a fee for maintaining licensure (i.e. licensure renewal) or other requirement for continuing to operate a business. A small business must be independently owned, not dominant in its field of operation and employ 100 or fewer employees. A veteran- or reservist-owned small business must be owned and controlled by a veteran or veterans/reservist or reservists. For businesses with multiple owners, at least 51% of the ownership interest must be held by veterans/reservists to claim the exemption.

A veteran is an individual who served in the United States Armed Forces, including a reserve component or the National Guard, and who was discharged or released from service under conditions other than dishonorable. A reservist is a member of a United States Armed Forces reserve component or National Guard.

For the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA), effective January 2, 2017, initial application fees may be waived for the following license types, which represent businesses regulated by the various BPOA boards and commissions, when submitted with proof of the veteran's or reservist's status and signed by the veteran or reservist:

  • Architecture Firms
  • Barber Shops and Schools
  • Cosmetology Salons and Schools
  • Esthetician Salons
  • Nail Technology Salons
  • Natural Hair Braiding Salons
  • Funeral Entities
  • Auction Companies
  • Vehicle Auctions, Dealers, Distributors and Manufacturers
  • Pharmacies
  • Accountancy Firms
  • Real Estate Brokers and Cemetery Brokers 
  • Cemetery Companies
  • Real Estate Education Providers
  • Rental Listing Referral Agents
  • Appraisal Management Companies
  • Trading Assistant Companies 

A veteran or reservist must provide the applicable Board with proof of the veteran's or reservist's status at the time the initial application is submitted. Such proof includes a legible photocopy of:

  • A Federal DD-214 form
  • A Federal NGB-22 form
  • A valid Federal Veterans' Administration card or
  • A valid Department of Defense-issued military identification card

Note: At this time, applications and proof of status documents submitted by a veteran or reservist seeking the fee exemption must be submitted by mail or personal delivery, as online applications cannot be processed without payment of the applicable fee.