Do-it-yourself Pennsylvania S Corporation Kit

Okay. So here's something you may find surprising. You don't need to spend big bucks with some big city lawyer or clever accountant just to set up an S corporation. No, really, you don't.

Yes, working with a smart attorney or CPA will get you some useful information. And good professionals can provide you with all sorts of fancy strategies and tactics for reducing your risks and, often, your taxes.

But if you're on a budget and short for time and you want to form an S corporation to operate your Pennsylvania business, do think about the option of doing the work yourself. And if you want a bit of help, heck, just download one of my affordable, do-it-yourself kits for Pennsylvania. (See below for more information, but I provide a couple of "flavors" of kits for Pennnsylvania small businesses.)

Before I provide the buttons you click to grab one of the free kits, let me point out that you take just three simple steps to form an S corporation in Pennsylvania.

Step One: Set Up the Entity

If you want an S corporation, your first, your very first, step is forming either an LLC or a traditional corporation. But this is very straightforward. You can form a limited liability company by submitting a Pennsylvania LLC "Certificate of Organization" form to the Department of State. Or you can form a corporation by submitting a Pennsylvania Corporation "Articles of Incorporation" form to the Department of State.

Note that either form, once completed, gets mailed to: Corporation Bureau, P.O. Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722.

Tip: You can also courier or personally deliver these forms to: Department of State, Corporation Bureau, Commonwealth avenue and North street, 206 North Office Building, Harrisburg PA 17105-8721.

And here's something else you should know: Pennsylvania's Department of State actually supplies free forms you can download and then fill out. Unfortunately, I can't provide here the precise web addresses because the URLs change frequently. That said, you should be able to Google or Bing on the exact form names (see previous paragraph) and quickly get to the free pdfs that the Department of State provides.

Step Two: Obtain an EIN

Step two is just as straight-forward-even if the form is a little bit complicated. You need to apply for an employer identification number using the SS-4 "Application for Employer Identification Number" form. If you're an Ohio-S-corporation-to-be, you'll either mail this form to: EIN Operation, Internal Revenue Service, Cincinnati, OH 45999 or you can fax the complete application to 859-669-5760. (Click here for SS-4 form.)

Step Three: Make Your S Election

The final, third step in setting up an S corporation in Pennsylvania is to make the Subchapter S election that lets your LLC or S corporation use the Subchapter S accounting rules. Again, you complete this step by filing a form, available for free from the IRS website and also at this website: the 2553 form. Once you complete the 2553 form, you sent it to: Department of Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Cincinnati, OH 45999 or fax it to 859-669-5748.

Tip: If you've stumbled on this page but are setting up an S corporation for some other state, don't use this address or fax number. Different states use different addresses and fax numbers.

Note: Pennsylvania used to require a separate Subchapter S election, but doesn't anymore. The state now recognizes the federal 2553 election.

Do-it-yourself S Corporations?

The forms discussed in the preceding paragraphs come with instructions that many people can figure out on their own. However, if you want a bit of extra help and coaching through the process, this website provides two inexpensive kits for Pennsylvania businesses that want to form an S corporation.

Pennsylvania Kit Option 1: LLC Do-it-yourself kit

The LLC Version of my do-it-yourself Pennsylvania kit is a downloadable e-book with information about the benefits and drawbacks of forming a limited liability company in Pennsylvania, as well as detailed steps to walk you through forming your own LLC, obtaining an Employer Identification Number, and electing to have your LLC treated as an S corporation. Additionally, I include two sample operating agreements; one operating agreement is for single member LLCs and the other is for multiple-member LLCs.

Purchase and Download

Pennsylvania Kit Option 2: Regular Corporation Do-it-yourself kit

I also publish and sell a do-it-yourself Pennsylvania S corporation kit that explains how to form an S corporation using a traditional corporation. Like the LLC version of the S corporation kit, this kit explains the pros and cons of incorporating and then it walks you through the process of incorporating, obtaining an Employer Identification Number, and making the Subchapter S election. I also include a set of sample corporate bylaws which you can use for your by-laws or as a starting point for drafting up customized by-laws.

Purchase and Download


Additional Information You May Find Useful

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