Pennsylvania Corporations Laws

There are several business structures available to entrepreneurs who want to start a business, each with advantages and disadvantages. Generally speaking, the most important factors to consider when selecting a business structure are taxation and liability.

A big advantage of the corporation, for example, is that it provides the owner(s) with protection from personal liability. This protection is one of the main reasons why people still choose to start a corporation over other business structures, even though corporations are subject to double taxation and have strict formation requirements.

Every state has its own laws governing corporations, and these regulations can differ widely from state to state. The Pennsylvania Department of State website has a business section with helpful links and information for those interested in starting a business in Pennsylvania. Read on to learn more about Pennsylvania's corporations laws and how to form a corporation in the Keystone State.

Pennsylvania Corporate Laws

The following table outlines the basics of Pennsylvania's corporate laws.

Code Sections Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes: Title 15, Part II - Corporations
Requirements for Articles of Incorporation

The articles of incorporation must include the following information:

  1. The corporation's name.
  2. The full address of the initial registered office in Pennsylvania, or the name of the commercial registered office provider.
  3. A statement that the corporation is incorporated under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law of 1988.
  4. A statement relating to the stocks the company is authorized to issue.
  5. The name and full address of each incorporator.
  6. The term for which the corporation will exist (if not perpetual).
  7. The effective date, if the corporation is to be effective on a specific date.
Who must sign? Each incorporator must sign the initial articles of incorporation.
When are the articles effective? If a specific date isn't included in the articles, they are effective (and the corporation begins to exist) when the articles are filed with the secretary of state.

Note: State laws change from time to time. We do our best to keep up with these changes, but be sure to speak with a business law attorney if you have any questions about Pennsylvania's corporate laws.

Pennsylvania Corporate Laws: Related Resources

You can visit FindLaw's section on Corporations for more information and articles on this topic. If you would like legal assistance with forming a corporation or have other corporate law questions, you may want to consult with a business organizations attorney in your area.

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