Form a C-Corp in Pennsylvania for Free with Inc Authority

Inc Authority is a trusted brand, offering free C-Corp formation services for over 32 years. It’s trusted by over 250K businesses for its exceptional service. To add a cherry to the cake, you also get several other free services as well.

Start Your C-Corp Today

1-Year Registered Agent Service Free

Free Pennsylvania Corporation formation, including the filing of Articles of Incorporation

Complimentary one-year registered agent service for users on all plans, both free and paid.

Free S-Corp election, including reviewing and filing Form 2553 of the Internal Revenue Service.

Things to Know Before Starting a C-Corp in Pennsylvania

Before you start a C-Corp in Pennsylvania, you must understand the formation costs and ongoing compliance requirements for the state.

Let’s discuss some of the important ones briefly.

  • You can create various types of corporations, such as a Cooperative or Professional Corporation.
  • To file your Articles of Incorporation, you need to pay a flat one-time filing fee of $125.
  • Any domestic business corporation in Pennsylvania is required to file an annual report.
  • You need to pay a nominal filing fee of $7 for filing the annual report of your C-Corporation.

Apart from these, you will also need to pay taxes and meet other compliance requirements to stay in good standing with the state.

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Select an Appropriate Corporate Name

Choose a business name that is unique, memorable, and easy to spell. Your corporate name should also be relevant to your business or industry and represent your business well. Do your research and make a list of relevant names.

Next, conduct a search on the state database to ensure that no other Pennsylvania business has taken your chosen name. This step will filter out most of the names you’ve shortlisted and you can choose the best name from the remaining options.

Reserve Your Business Name

Reserve Your Business Name

Once you have finalized your business name, it’s important to reserve it with the state authorities to ensure no one else can use it. This is especially important if you anticipate a delay in starting your Pennsylvania incorporation process.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that allow businesses to reserve a name for a generous 120-day period. You need to pay a filing fee of $70 and submit the application to the Department of State through your preferred channel.

Appoint a Registered Agent or CROP

Unlike many other states, Pennsylvania does not require you to hire a registered agent and provide their details during the registration process. As such, it does require a physical street address for your business in Pennsylvania.

If you don’t have one, you can either hire a registered agent or a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP). The designated agent will receive all legal documents and other business correspondence on behalf of your business.

Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation

Prepare and File Articles of Incorporation

To officially register your C-Corp in Pennsylvania, you need to prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. You will need to pay a non-refundable filing fee of $120 to submit your application and register your business.

You will also need to submit a docketing statement, apart from the Pennsylvania Articles of Incorporation. For both, you’ll have to provide essential business information, such as name and location of the business, and shareholder information.

Create Your Corporate Bylaws

Every business requires certain rules of governance and Corporate Bylaws provide that for C-Corporations in Pennsylvania. It’s a document that lays down the internal rules for how your business will be governed and how decisions will be made.

Bylaws also define shareholders’ rights and responsibilities, and ownership details. Though you’re not legally required to create Corporate Bylaws, it’s a good practice to have these. This document will be useful in case of any future conflict.

Create Your Corporate Bylaws
Appoint a Board of Directors

Appoint a Board of Directors

C-Corps in Pennsylvania are required to appoint a board of directors who will be in charge of overseeing the business. Before you hold your first board meeting, you need to appoint initial directors who will oversee things till the meeting.

During the meeting, the shareholders will vote and elect the final board of directors, for the next term. These directors may not necessarily be shareholders of the company or Pennsylvania resident, but should be adults over 18 years of age.

Hold Your First Board Meeting

The first board of any Corporation is extremely important as this is where the directors will make a lot of strategic decisions. They’ll appoint corporate officers who will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operation of the business.

At the first meeting, you’ll also need to adopt bylaws, issue shares, authorize stock certificates, set a fiscal year for your business, and make other important business decisions. Make sure you record the minutes of the meeting.

Hold Your First Board Meeting
Issue Stock

Issue Stock

A C-Corp in Pennsylvania must issue stock to its shareholders, directly proportional to their contribution to the business. This need not necessarily be a financial contribution, but could also be in the form of real estate or services.

In the state of Pennsylvania, you do not need to mention the stock’s par value at the time of incorporation. This is the minimum rate at which the stock can be sold. Pennsylvania gives you the liberty to decide your stock’s par value later.

Get an EIN for Your C-Corporation

To run your C-Corp in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to do several things, such as open a business bank account and pay payroll taxes. You will need a federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) to perform many of these functions.

Just like a social security number identifies an individual, an EIN or Tax ID identifies a business. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses it to track the tax activities and compliance status of the various businesses in the country.

Get an EIN for Your C-Corporation
Obtain Required Licences and Permits

Obtain Required Licences and Permits

Even after you’ve officially registered your C-Corp in Pennsylvania, you can’t start operations right away. You need to acquire various types of licenses and permits to start operating your business in the state according to the rules.

The permits you may need vary depending on your industry, type of business, and business location. You may need something as generic as business licenses and environmental permits to something specific like a liquor license.

Secure a Domain and Build a Website

Every business must have an official website in this digital age, as not having one can put you at a disadvantage. After all, your website is the face of your business and the primary source of information about your business, products, & services.

You need to find a domain name that matches your official business name and secure it even before you start the incorporation process. Then, you should start the website building process as it can take several months to complete.

Secure a Domain and Build a Website
Remain Compliant and Stay in Good Standing

Remain Compliant and Stay in Good Standing

Lastly, you can start operations and run your business in Pennsylvania. Make sure you stay compliant with all ongoing compliance requirements for the state. To keep running your business, you need to remain in good standing with the state.

Some of the major requirements will be related to annual report filings and paying Pennsylvania corporate taxes. Stay up to date with the deadlines for various tasks and fulfil your obligations on time to avoid any penalties.

Why You Should Outsource C-Corp Formation Instead of Doing it Yourself

While the process of forming a C-Corp in Pennsylvania may seem simple enough, it can be overwhelming if you’re doing it the first time. Outsourcing can make things more convenient for you.



When you work with a professional, you simply need to provide the necessary information and documents and they’ll take care of the entire process for you, making it a hassle-free experience.

Error free


You, as a new entrepreneur, may make mistakes while filling out forms, but experts who do this day-in and day-out won’t. Outsourcing ensures your application will be approved in the first go.



Starting a C-Corp in Pennsylvania involves a lot of tedious paperwork, which may take you a long time to complete. Professionals can do it as soon as the same day, that too without any mistakes.

Form Your Pennsylvania C-Corp Today

Liability Protection

One of the biggest benefits of a C-Corp is that it offers liability protection for owners and shareholders. A C-Corporation is a legal entity in itself and is considered separate from its owners for all business and legal intents and purposes.

This means that if a business is unable to pay its debts, only business assets can be seized to recover the debt. Owners are not personally liable to pay off business debts and their personal assets are protected in such cases.

Liability Protection
Separate Legal Identity

Separate Legal Identity

As mentioned above, a C-Corp is a separate legal entity and has its own identity, separate from its owners. This means that it has various legal rights, such as entering into agreements and getting funding in the name of the business.

Due to the formal business structure, investors and other stakeholders trust a C-Corp more than any other entity. This makes it easier to secure beneficial supplier contracts, get bank loans, and secure other sources of business funding.

Ease of Ownership Transfer

A Pennsylvania C-Corporation can issue shares and the shareholders have joint ownership of the business in proportion to their shares. This makes the ownership structure quite straightforward and easy to navigate.

By selling shares to someone else, one can transfer their ownership interest in the business to someone else. This is especially useful for transferring management rights to someone else, if one executive wants to leave the company.

Ease of Ownership Transfer
Enhanced Investor Appeal

Perpetual Existence

As explained above, it’s easy to transfer ownership interests in a C-Corp via shares. The key advantage is that if an owner dies, their shares can be passed down to their successor or heir, without affecting the business operations.

In that sense, a C-Corp can have perpetual existence, through proper succession planning and transfer of shares. This adds credibility to the business as it’s not tied to some individuals, but acts as a legal entity of its own.

Tax Deductions

While C-Corps generally have to pay more taxes than any other business entity, they still offer certain tax advantages for large enterprises. A lot of business expenses can be written off and deducted from the taxable income for the business.

Salaries, retirement fund contributions (401k), employee benefits, and disability benefits are some examples of items that can be written off. By carefully managing their tax deductions Pennsylvania Corporations can get some tax relief.

Tax Deductions
Growth Potential

Growth Potential

C-Corps have the highest growth and expansion potential of all business entities. The simple reason is their ability to issue shares to the public and raise massive amounts of business funding through an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Any business that has big business expansion plans prefers C-Corps for this very reason. Apart from this, securing funding from private investors is also easier for a C-Corp as it’s considered the most credible and formal business structure.


Here’s what you’ll get with the free plan:

  • Business name check: An easy way to check whether your chosen company name is available for use or is already in use by some other business.
  • 1-year registered agent services: A complimentary one-year registered agent service, which you can upgrade to a paid one after the term is complete.
  • C-Corp formation: A streamlined process for filling out and filing your Articles of Incorporation with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • Pennsylvania S-Corporation election: Free review, preparation, and filing of Form 2553 of the IRS to get your business the S-Corp status for tax purposes.
  • Tax advisory: A quick tax consultation to help you assess your C-Corp’s tax requirements and ways in which you can save some business taxes.
  • Digital document storage: The option to store all business documents online to easily organize, share, and access them anytime, anywhere.
  • Business funding analysis: A quick consultation with an expert on your short-term funding needs, where they’ll also provide sources of funding.

Price: Free


Here are the additional services you’ll get with this plan:

  • Corporate bylaws: Inc Authority not only provides you with templates for corporate bylaws but its team of experts will also help you draft a comprehensive one for your business.
  • Corporate Stock certificates: C-Corps in Pennsylvania often issue stock certificates for shareholders denoting their ownership interest in a business. Inc Authority can help you with this.
  • Employer Identification Number: With this plan, Inc Authority will help you get a Tax ID number for your C-Corp in Pennsylvania. This includes preparing, reviewing, and filing your application.
  • Corporate forms and documents package: With this package, you get a comprehensive set of templates for drafting various kinds of business and legal documents that you may need.
  • Annual compliance notifications: A Pennsylvania C-Corp has many annual compliance requirements and Inc Authority can help you by reminding you of these obligations and upcoming deadlines.
  • Detailed tax consultation: While you get a brief consultation even with the free plan, with this plan you’ll get detailed guidance on how to plan your taxes and how to maximize your business tax savings. 
  • Web domain + 5 business email addresses: Inc Authority will help you secure a web domain matching your business name. You can also get 5 business email addresses for your company.

Price: Custom


Here’s what you’ll get, over and above the services in the Starter plan:

  • Customer success advisor: Inc Authority will assign you a dedicated advisor who will not only guide you through the business formation process but even after that. They’ll help you scale and grow your business and make it a success.
  • Private banking specialist: Inc Authority will assign you a private banking specialist who will assist you in finding the best business banking solutions. They’ll help you find the right bank and types of accounts for your business.
  • Personalized business advisory: Inc Authority doesn’t just help form businesses but also helps them scale and grow. A personal business advisor will help guide you on how to grow your business even after the formation process is over.
  • Expedited preparation & filing: One of the most important benefits of going with this plan is that your application will move to the top of the list. Their team will prepare, review, and file your application within the same day.

If you’re looking for high-touch, premium services, then this is the best plan for you. If not, then the free plan covers all the essentials for business formation.

Why Choose Inc Authority to Start a C-Corp in Pennsylvania

Inc Authority is a trusted business formation services provider that has helped start 250K businesses and can help you too. Here’s what it offers.

100_ Free Service

100% Free Service

With Inc Authority, all you need to pay for is the state filing fee. It doesn’t charge any fee for its filing services and there are absolutely no hidden charges.

Unmatched Expertise

Unmatched Expertise

Inc Authority is an industry leader with decades of experience in the field. This means you’ll get top-notch services and unmatched expertise.

Stress-Free Experience

Stress-Free Experience

Starting a new business can be stressful, but Inc Authority eliminates it by taking care of all the tedious and boring tasks on your behalf.

Start the Incorporation Process


Here is the step-by-step process for starting a C-Corporation in Pennsylvania:

  1. Select an appropriate corporate name
  2. Reserve your business name
  3. Appoint a registered agent or CROP
  4. Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation
  5. Create your Corporate Bylaws
  6. Appoint your corporation’s board of directors
  7. Hold your first board meeting
  8. Issue stock
  9. Get an EIN for your C-Corporation
  10. Obtain required licenses and permits
  11. Secure a domain and build a website
  12. Remain compliant and stay in good standing

Apart from the federal income tax on the corporation’s profits, Pennsylvania C-Corps need to pay a corporate net income tax at the state level. The tax rate is 8.49% for ​the period of January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024. However, the tax rate will reduce for each subsequent year according to a fixed rate reduction schedule.

Here are the key benefits offered by C-Corps:

  • Liability protection
  • Separate legal status
  • Easy transfer of ownership
  • Tax deductions and writeoffs
  • Perpetual existence
  • High growth potential

C-Corps are a great option for businesses that have ambitious expansion plans. By issuing shares, you can raise a lot of capital for business growth.

To file your Pennsylvania Articles of Incorporation you need to pay a one-time filing fee of $125. Other than that, you’d need to pay the fees for acquiring an EIN and business licenses and permits, the fee for each will vary.