Pennsylvania Certificate of Authority

The Pennsylvania Certificate of Authority is a vital document required for foreign corporations seeking to conduct business activities in the state of Pennsylvania. This certification serves as recognition by the state government that a corporation is authorized to operate within its borders, allowing it to establish legal presence and carry out various business transactions.

Obtaining a Pennsylvania Certificate of Authority involves submitting a formal application to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State and meeting specific requirements set forth by the state. This process ensures that foreign corporations comply with Pennsylvania laws and regulations, protecting the interests of the state and providing transparency to the public regarding the operations of these entities within Pennsylvania.

What is a Pennsylvania certificate of authority?

In order to conduct business in Pennsylvania, companies must register with the Pennsylvania Department of State. If a business is incorporated in another state, it typically needs to obtain a Pennsylvania certificate of authority. This process registers the business as a foreign entity, eliminating the need to establish a new entity.

Operating without a certificate of authority can lead to penalties or fines. Apart from meeting state requirements, various entities such as licensing agencies, banks, and vendors may also request a certificate of authority.

When is a certificate of authority required?

Common scenarios that necessitate applying for a certificate of authority include:

  • Establishing an office or physical presence in another state
  • Hiring an employee residing in the state
  • Initiating a contract or job in a new state
  • Fulfilling vendor or bank requirements
  • Meeting licensing authority prerequisites

How to obtain a Pennsylvania certificate of authority?

To acquire your Pennsylvania Certificate of Authority, you must submit an Application for Certificate of Authority along with necessary certificates or certified copies from your home state. Additionally, appointing a registered agent is crucial for the approval of your filing. It is essential to meticulously follow the state’s guidelines to avoid rejection due to minor errors.

For Foreign Entities:

  • Agency: Pennsylvania Department of State – Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
  • Form: Foreign Registration Statement
  • Filing Method: Mail or online
  • Agency Fee: $250
  • Law: 15 PA Con Stat § 411
  • Certified Copy Requirement: Not mandatory
  • Certificate of Good Standing Requirement: Not necessary

What documents are needed from the home state?

Pennsylvania does not mandate a certificate of good standing or certified copies for this filing.

Who is a registered agent?

A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and official notifications on behalf of your business. When completing your Pennsylvania Certificate of Authority application, you must designate a registered agent with a physical address within the state (P.O. Boxes are not accepted).

If your business lacks an individual or physical address in the new state, using a local registered agent address on your certificate of authority application fulfills the state’s requirements. Additionally, our registered agent service, priced at a flat rate of $99 annually, offers same-day document scanning from our local office across all states and DC. You can easily add this service to any certificate of authority order.

How to contact the state?

Pennsylvania Department of State – Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations
Physical Address: 401 North Street, Room 206, Harrisburg, PA 17120
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105
Phone: 888-659-9962 or 717-787-1057
Name Search: File Search
Forms: Registration Forms
Online Filing: File Online

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