Pennsylvania has a reputation for producing visionary leaders and entrepreneurs with can-do spirit, from Benjamin Franklin and Rachel Carson to Andrew Carnegie and Cecil B. Moore. Right from the beginning, our residents were willing to work hard, develop revolutionary new ideas, and take a risk in sharing them with the world. Today’s Pennsylvania is no different — did you know that 99.6% of Pennsylvania’s businesses are small businesses? That’s nearly half of the state’s workforce. Our entrepreneurs’ success significantly impacts our statewide economy, and we want to ensure that they have the tools and resources they need to flourish while working smart and living happy.
That’s why we created the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop (One-Stop) — a team of business experts offering the resources, tools, and experience to help Pennsylvania entrepreneurs and businesses dream big, plan for the future, and achieve their goals. Throughout my administration, we have been working hard to create jobs and support Pennsylvania’s workforce by creating new manufacturing programs, increasing participation in apprenticeship programs, improving the state’s economic climate, investing in Pennsylvania communities, and more.
To support our entrepreneurs and businesses at all stages of development, business.pa.gov was officially launched on Feb. 7, 2018. The PA Business One-Stop website takes the intimidating checklist of starting and operating a business and distills it down into the essentials, guiding businesses through all stages of development — from planning and startup to operation and expansion. We want to make navigating business-related processes in state government simple and accessible so you can get back to doing what you do best — creating, innovating, and succeeding in Pennsylvania.
So, where should you start? The One-Stop encompasses many relevant business topics and processes, but here are just four of the many essential things you can achieve through the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop website:
- Turn Your Concept into an Actionable Plan
Everyone starts at the beginning, and it’s important that your first step as an entrepreneur is as informed and as hassle-free as possible. Our Plan section will help you flesh out your concept into a actionable plan: it includes a template for writing a business plan and information about business structure and naming, as well as where you can find free business advice and mentorship in your area as you continue to develop and hone your idea.
- Register Your Business
Registration can appear tricky if you’re new to the process. Luckily, we have a breakdown of everything involved in the business registration process in Pennsylvania, including how your structure affects your registration requirements; information on local registrations, permits, and special registrations; and a checklist with all the necessary steps so you can be confident that all your bases are covered.
- Explore Small Diverse Business Resources
In Pennsylvania, small diverse businesses are defined as those that are disabled-, women-, minority-, LGBT-, or veteran-owned businesses. We believe in making business ownership accessible to all, and are dedicated to creating more opportunities to grow and succeed for our small diverse businesses. In our Grow section, you can see how to get certified as a diverse small business both in Pennsylvania and on a national level, as well as view resources and unique opportunities available only to small diverse businesses.
- View Employer Responsibilities for Operating Businesses
Maybe you started your business alone, but now your enterprise has grown, and you need to hire additional employees. If you’ve never managed employees before, you might not be sure about your responsibilities as a Pennsylvania employer. Our Operate section covers many common employee-related requirements for Pennsylvania employers, including Workers’ Compensation, Local Earned Income Tax, Employer Withholding, common business taxes, and more.
No other state can rival Pennsylvania and its unique mix of culture and tradition, innovation and entrepreneurship, and technology and talent. Our state is leading the way for successful businesses and communities with innovation, imagination, and a legendary can-do spirit, and we hope this resource and the information it provides will inspire you to join our vibrant and supportive business community and turn your vision into a reality.
The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is the go-to resource for planning, registering, operating, and growing a business while working smart and living happy in Pennsylvania. You can learn more by visiting the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop website. Be sure to sign up for the Department of Community and Economic Development’s monthly newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of our Pennsylvania news and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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