Registrations, Licenses, Taxes.. Local County Resources Legal Resources State Resources Federal Resources Export Assistance

Registrations, Licenses, Taxes

Check out our Resource Library for helpful downloadable information sheets, including a Business Launch Checklist!


Commercial Activity License

Formerly known as the Business Privilege License.
Anyone doing business in Philadelphia needs Commercial Activity License. A City  Business Income and Receipts Tax (BIRT) Number is required with the application.

Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I)

Call 311 or 215-686-8686 •

License Issuance Unit
1401 JFK Blvd. Concourse Level, Philadelphia, PA 19102
For more information, click here

The Commercial Activity License is FREE.
Also consult L & I to determine if your business type or location requires any additional Licenses, Permits, or Zoning.

Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax Number

The Philadelphia Department of Revenue will issue a Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax Number, and can provide information about City business taxes.

To obtain an application,

215-686-6600 •


Fictitious & Legal Business Name Registration

If your business name is different from your name, you must either register the legal name with the state, or file for a fictitious (trade) name. There is a small fee. To inquire whether your proposed business name is available, or to request registration forms, contact:

Bureau of Corporations & Charitable Organizations

1-717-787-1057 •

206 North Office Building
401 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120


Federal Employer Identification

Any corporation or partnership, or a sole proprietor who plans on hiring employees, must obtain a Federal ID Number by filing IRS Form SS-4.

For information, or to obtain the form, call or visit:

Internal Revenue Service 

1-800- 829-1040 •

600 Arch Street Room 1232 Philadelphia, PA 19106


PA Business Tax Number & Registration

The PA Enterprise Registration Form (PA-100) registers a business to collect Sales Tax, PA Employee Tax, Withholding, and Unemployment Tax.

To complete the form:


In person: PA Department of Revenue  1400 Spring Garden Street Room 201 Philadelphia, PA 19130

By phone: 215-560-2056

For questions pertaining only to PA State Unemployment Tax, call 215-560-1828.


Worker’s Compensation Insurance

Workers’ Compensation insurance is required, and may be purchased from your insurance agent or from the state.

PA Dept. of Labor and Industry
State Worker’s Insurance Fund


444 N. 3rd Street 6th floor Philadelphia, PA 19123


Local County Resources

There are many types of federal, state, and local licenses, a well as professional licenses required for businesses.  Depending on the type of business you are in and where you plan to operate, your business will be required to have various state and /or municipal licenses.  Check with the license office in the city or town where you plan to do business.  The following county resources offer business information:


Bucks County Resources

Bucks County Industrial Development Authority

Phone 267-880-6071 •

This site provides county resource links and county demographics. They administer the economic development initiatives of the County Commissioners, including administering several loan funds, and work in partnership with many for- and not-for-profit organizations to support local businesses, enterprises, and entrepreneurs.


Chester County Resources

Chester County Department of Community Development:

Phone 610-344-6900 •

This site provides county demographic information, procurement, real estate information, links to business resources and organizations, local municipalities, and county government offices.


Delaware County Resources

Delaware County Commerce Center:

Phone 610-566-2225,

This site is a one-stop resource for economic development agencies, authorities and resources in Delaware County.


Montgomery County Resources

Montgomery County Development Corporation:
Phone 610-272-5000,

This is the resource site for Montgomery County economic assistance and development for business. This site contains information and links to demographics, state and local taxes, and business resources.


Philadelphia County Resources

This resource site provides information regarding Business Services and Economic Inclusion within the City of Philadelphia. This site provides detailed information, forms and resources related to planning, starting and running a business.

Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation 

This resource site provides information about economic development initiatives including financing programs and real estate services in the Philadelphia region.

State Resources

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians

215-557-2626 •

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians’ services for immigrants include employment assistance, small business start up assistance, ESL training. Their services for employers include help finding, hiring, and retaining qualified immigrants.

1617 JFK Blvd., 13th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103


PA Biz Online

PA Business One-Stop Shop is the result of the commonwealth’s effort to make Pennsylvania the easiest place in the world to start, build and expand a business. This website gives entrepreneurs one-stop access to business information.

Entrepreneurs can find out how to start a business, learn how PA can help them grow, find the right forms and electronically register a business with the Department of Labor and Industry, Department of Revenue, and Department of State.



800-989-2227 •

Founded in 1966, Clarifi (formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Delaware Valley) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit community service organization providing a wide variety of counseling services and educational programs designed to empower individuals-of all economic levels-financially, and to help them before, during or after a period of financial difficulty.

1608 Walnut Street, 10th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103

Federal Resources

The U. S. Small Business Administration provides business development informationon-line trainingon-line counseling, resources including small business development centers, how to gain access to government contracts, and services for entrepreneurs over the age of 50, and cyber security for small businesses. Don’t miss the SBA learning center for a variety of educational resources for business owners.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. Data can be used for business marketing plans. Data collected includes: Population and Housing CensusEconomic CensusCensus of GovernmentsAmerican Community Survey, as well as a variety of other surveys.

For help understanding how to find, understand, and use this data, contact:

Noemi Mendez Eliasen
Information Services Specialist
Philadelphia Regional Office- US Census Bureau

215-717-1800 •

Export Assistance 

Introduced in 2010, the National Export Initiative (NEI) aims to create long-term, sustainable economic growth for the United States by doubling exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million American jobs.


Export Resources

The U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Administration (ITA) are critical to the implementation of NEI.
US Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration


SME Toolkit

Created by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank and IBM, the SME Toolkit is designed for new and growing small businesses. The SME Toolkit has an International Business category with resources for taking your business global and provides a country-specific atlas with comprehensive data on economic indicators, market access, travel information and other useful links.


Take Your Business Global

The videos can be viewed here:

A video series developed through a partnership with AT&T, SBA & Inc. Magazine to promote exporting. The series guides small businesses through the process of exporting: Getting Started in Exporting; Planning for Export success; Connecting with Foreign Buyers; Financing; and five Case Studies of successful small business exporters.


U.S. Export Assistance Centers

Located in major metropolitan areas throughout the United States, each U.S. Export Assistance Center is staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. Your local U.S. Export Assistance Center is your one-stop shop, designed to provide export assistance for your small- or medium-sized business.