Choose the right type of business for your Pennsylvania Startup

There are so many types of businesses you can form with your Pennsylvania startup that beginning the process can be overwhelming. How do you know what business type is right for you? Luckily, we’ve collected information on several different business types so that you can make an informed decision. Read on to learn about the various business types can offer.

C Corporation in Pennsylvania

A C Corporation—the default tax classification—is subject to corporate income tax. C Corporations can issue multiple classes of shares to an unlimited amount of shareholders. (Compare this to the restrictions of an S Corporation.) The C Corporation can be owned by US citizens, non-citizens, or other business entities.

Learn how can help you form your Pennsylvania C Corporation.

S Corporation in Pennsylvania

If you’d like to form an S Corporation, you’ll incorporate just as you would with the C Corporation. Then, you’d simply file a form with the IRS alerting them that you wish to adopt the S Corporation tax classification.

The shareholders of an S Corporation must be US citizens (no non-US citizens, non-resident aliens, or outside business entities), and the corporation cannot issue more than 100 shares. S corporations are pass-through entities, avoiding the double-taxation of a C Corporation by allowing gains and losses to be reported on the owners’ individual tax returns. provides further information on what it means to be a Pennsylvania S Corporation.

LLC in Pennsylvania

A Limited Liability Company can be thought of as a limited partnership—without a general partner. It’s treated like a partnership for tax purposes, but it offers the liability protection of a corporation.

For further information, please take a look at our section on forming a Pennsylvania LLC.

Nonprofit Corporation in Pennsylvania

Most nonprofit corporations obtain 501c3 status from the IRS. To become a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, you’ll first register as a basic nonprofit corporation at the state level by submitting Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation. Then, you’ll apply for the 501c3 status at the federal level. can register your nonprofit corporation—we can even assist you with your 501c3 application! Take a look at more information on forming a Pennsylvania Nonprofit Corporation.

Fictitious Names in Pennsylvania

A DBA—called a Fictitious Name in Pennsylvania—is filed at the state level. These DBAs can be formed by individuals (or sole proprietors), partners, LLCs, corporations—any business, whether incorporated or not, that wishes to do business as a name other than its legal name.

Not only can register your Fictitious Name in Pennsylvania—we can even take care of the legal notice, which must be published in both a local newspaper and a legal publication. See how can help you form your Pennsylvania DBA.

Pennsylvania Startup Quicklinks

For information on other types of businesses in Pennsylvania, please explore the links below.