Regulatory & Compliance Issues in Pennsylvania

Where can I find a list of what needs to be filed with the federal, state and local government authorities?
How do I register a fictitious name in Pennsylvania?
How do I file for a Federal Employer Tax Identification Number?
Do I need to register on PA Form 100?
Where can I find a list of what needs to be filed with the federal, state and local government authorities?
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's [pdf] Entrepreneur's Guide  (view as html) issued by the Center for Entreprenural Assistance contains a checklist as well as more detailed information on business-related Pennsylvania agencies. including brief definitions of state government departments, and lists several licenses or permits within the authority of each. According to the type of business, one or more of these permits or licenses could be necessary for legal operation. Top
How do I register a fictitious name in Pennsylvania?
To register a fictitious business name, you must file an Application of Fictitious Name (Form DSCB:54-311) with the Pennsylvania Department of State, Corporate Bureau, Business License Permits, 717/787-1057, or website/e-mail, http://www.paopen4business.state.pa.us.

A fictitious name is any assumed name, style or designation other than the proper name of the entity using such name. These types of entities include any association, general partnership, syndicate, joint venture or similar combination of groups of persons. Entities operating under their owner's name need not make a fictitious name filing.

This is true because the registration of your fictitious name, unlike a patent or copyright, does not create any exclusive or other right in the fictitious name.

The fictitious name may be refused if it is the same as or confusingly similar to an existing corporate name or limited partnership name. It is not necessary to employ an attorney for registration. Simply apply, to the address below, for an application for the registration of a fictitious name. A registration certificate will be mailed to you after you return the application with a $70.00 fee.

Finally, on receipt of the certificate, the law requires publication of the fictitious name in one local newspaper of general circulation (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, or a newspaper where the business is located) and one publication of specific limited publication (Pittsburgh Legal Journal or Business Times). The publication fees will approximate $150.

Department of State
Corporation Bureau
P. O. Box 8722
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722
Telephone 717-787-1057

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How do I file for a Federal Employer Tax Identification Number?
First, you must complete an application for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • The Application for Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4) can be filled in on the Internal Revenue Service web site by going to www.irs.gov. Once on their site, go to the search box marked Forms and Publications and enter SS4. Choose the third option "Fill-in Form." Complete it, print it and sign it.

  • The form is also available at most Social Security Administration and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Offices or you can telephone the IRS toll-free at 1-866-816-2065 and they will fill in the form over the phone and send it to you for signature.

Second, there are several ways to submit the application for the Federal Employer Identification Number:

  • Mail a completed federal form SS-4 to an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Center. The address of the closest IRS Center is listed on the instruction portion of the Form SS-4, or

  • Submit the form SS-4 via FAX. Call 1-800-829-1040 to get information on how to FAX your application, or

  • Submit the EIN application (SS-4) with Enterprise Registration Form to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, Registration Division. The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will conditionally assign an EIN to your account and the IRS will verify your EIN assignment. If you have already applied for an EIN through the IRS, you should NOT submit another SS-4 with the PA-100.

Third, be patient. If you mail your request to the IRS you can expect to receive your EIN within 30 days.

Additional information about the Employer Identification Number can be found in IRS Publication 1635, a 36-page booklet.

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Do I need to register on PA Form 100?
The Pennsylvania Departments of Labor and Industry and Revenue use the Pennsylvania Enterprise Form (PA-100) to register an enterprise for a variety of services and taxes. An enterprise is defined as a sole proprietor or individual, a partnership, a corporation, an association, or any other business structure.

The answer to this question is lengthy because the PA-100 is used to register for a wide variety of taxes and services. Answering “yes” to one of the following questions indicates you should file the PA-100:

Are you hiring employees?

  • You will need to register with both the Pennsylvania Labor and Industry, for unemployment compensation tax, and Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, for employer withholding tax. You can review the General Guide for Withholding Personal Income Tax at http://www.revenue.state.pa.us/forms/publications/rev-415.pdf.

  • Certain employment relationships are excluded from unemployment tax coverage, the most common are listed here.

  • Corporate officers are considered employees of the corporation and a PA-100 must be filed if the corporate officers are the only employees.

  • For both unemployment compensation and employer withholding purposes, a limited liability company must file a PA-100.

Are you conducting taxable retail sales?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Sales Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License. You can review the Retailers Guide to determine whether you are selling items that are subject to collection of this tax. If you are conducting taxable retail sales in a county that has enacted a local sales tax, this License will also register you to collect the local tax. Currently Allegheny and Philadelphia are the only counties that have enacted a local sales tax.

  • If you are selling taxable items in Pennsylvania but do not maintain a permanent physical business in Pennsylvania, you will also need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a transient Vendor Certificate.

  • If you are purchasing items outside of Pennsylvania that will be used in Pennsylvania and are subject to sales tax, you will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for Use Tax.

Are you selling cigarettes at retail?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Cigarette Dealers License and a Sales Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License.

Are you a cigarette stamping agent or wholesaler?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Cigarette Stamping Agent and Wholesaler License.

Are you selling or delivering liquid fuels?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Liquid Fuels and Fuels Tax Permit.

Are you operating a motor carrier on Pennsylvania highways?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for an IFTA/non-IFTA License and/or Decals.

Are you promoting a show(s) selling taxable items?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Promoter License.

Are you imposing a fee on the sale of new tires in Pennsylvania?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Public Transportation Tax (PTA)License and a Sales Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License.

Are you operating a hotel or motel?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Sales Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License.

Are you initiating a motor vehicle rental contract for less than 29 days?

  • You will need to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for a Sales Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License and a PTA License.

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