There are many ways someone might go about forming a business in Pennsylvania. Some of these are very simple, such as recording independent earnings and using those records to file as self-employed on annual tax returns to establish a sole proprietorship. Other methods could require applicants to compose complex documents and complete several stages of official approval.
While establishing a business with a sole proprietor might be adequate in some cases, it is neither the most secure nor the most durable form of registration. Other business types offer more corporate benefits, but they typically require aspiring corporations to draft compliant articles of incorporation in order to access those advantages.
According to FindLaw, articles of incorporation are sets of declarations that identify the basic attributes of a company in a state. This information could include:
- Details of ownership structure
- A generic, legal statement of purpose
- Location and name of the business
- Declaration of agency
These basic items form the core of incorporation documents across the country. Pennsylvania also requires potential corporations to submit a docketing statement form with these articles. Furthermore, there are several options for further organizational declarations in the articles of incorporation.
For example, the Pennsylvania Department of State mentions several ownership structures in its Guide to Business Registration aside from the assumed stock format, including cooperative, insurance and nonstock corporations. Each of these is governed by different chapters of the state's law governing the formation and operation of business corporations.
The Department of State guide is a well-developed introduction to the basics of business formation in Pennsylvania. Most entrepreneurs could find relevant information therefrom, or at least form a foundation of knowledge to perform further research.