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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.

The Commercial Activity License is FREE. For more information, click here


Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I)

(215) 686-2400  •

Consult L & I to determine if your business type or location requires any additional Licenses, Permits, or Zoning.

Municipal Services Building – 11th Floor
1401 JFK Blvd. Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19102


Philadelphia Business Income and Receipts Tax Number

To obtain an application:

215-686-6600  •

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


Fictitious & Legal Business Name Registration

If your business name is different from your legal name, you must either register the legal name with the state (through filing formation documents for an LLC, corporation, or partnership), or file for a fictitious (trade) name (if you plan to operate as sole proprietor. There is a small fee.

Bureau of Corporations & Charitable Organizations

To inquire whether your proposed business name is available, or to request registration forms, contact:

1-717-787-1720  • PA Department of State

207 North Office Building
401 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120


Federal Employer Identification

Internal Revenue Service 

(267) 941-6800  •

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.

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 –


By phone: (717) 787-1064   •  *1-800-447-3020 
*Services for taxpayers with special hearing and speaking needs

PA Department of Revenue
110 N 8th Street Room, STE 204A
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 560-2056

For questions pertaining only to PA State Unemployment Tax, call 215-560-2845.


Worker’s Compensation Insurance

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

State Worker’s Insurance Fund

(717) 787-3201  •

PA Dept. of Labor and Industry
1521 North Sixth Street
Harrisburg PA, 17102


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.

For a listing of resource providers and SBA lenders in Eastern Pennsylvania, consult the SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Office Resource Guide (PDF).

The following county resources offer business information:


Bucks County Resources

Bucks County Industrial Development Authority

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

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

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

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

City of Philadelphia Business Services

311  •

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

215-496-8020  • 

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


215-393-3144  • 

Beacon is a community of accomplished and diverse leaders and entrepreneurs. Beacon helps members to develop relationships to grow their skills, careers, and businesses.


215-452-0100 • 

VestedIn (formerly West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution) has been referred to as the “economic engine” of the community. Their mission is to facilitate empowerment and wealth building through investment in communities. VestedIn takes the moving parts of our community and converts that power into tangible actions that propels motion that lasts for generations.

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.


PA Business One-Stop Shop

1-833-722-6778  •

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.


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 (including as a WOSB or HUBZone certified business), 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.


US Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration

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

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.

Website & Marketing Tools

Creating a Domain Name

How to Get a Free Email Domain (5 Quick and Easy Methods)

A domain name is the online URL of your business, and helps to legitimize your presence online. A domain allows you to create a website and email address rather than using a site like gmail or hotmail. This resource clearly explains what a domain name is and easy ways to obtain (and maintain) one.