How To Get A Business License In Pennsylvania (2022) – Forbes Advisor


Pennsylvania requires businesses to obtain the proper licenses and permits prior to rendering services or engaging in business activities. Many businesses will need to complete a PA Business Entity Registration with the Department of Revenue, which creates an account that allows the business to establish other accounts and licenses.

The most common license needed is a sales tax license. This license is required for a business that sells taxable goods and services, including online digital products. The sales tax license allows a business to collect and pay the required 6% sales tax.

Other licenses, such as professional licenses managed by the Pennsylvania Department of State, may be required. These licenses are required for certain service professionals, including:

  • Barbers
  • Cosmetologists
  • Engineers
  • Medical providers
  • Pharmacists
  • Real estate agents
  • Social workers

You may also need licensing if your company works in regulated industries such as selling food or alcoholic beverages.

When Do You Need a Business License in Pennsylvania?

A business license is needed prior to the start of business operations if required for your industry, profession or location. This means that you cannot even market your products or services if you don’t have a valid license in place.

The PA Business Entity Registration is completed by filing a form PA-100 through the Department of Revenue. This form is the central registration for multiple state tax accounts that include:

  • Employer withholding tax
  • Public transportation assistance tax and fees
  • Sales, use and hotel occupancy tax
  • Tobacco products license
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Vehicle rental tax
  • Wholesaler certificate

All businesses that sell taxable items or perform taxable services must obtain a sales tax license. Services that are subject to the sales tax include:

  • Secretarial services
  • Lawn care services
  • Pest control
  • Building maintenance services
  • Self-storage services
  • Catering
  • Premium cable

It can take up to ten business days to receive the licensing approval.



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