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There are advantages, disadvantages, legal and tax considerations, as well as personal needs to consider when determining the business structure of an enterprise. Gathering information from a variety of sources is a good way to get a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is a valuable resource and contains listings and descriptions for the various business structures. The descriptions on their site are provided for informational purposes only, and are not intended as legal advice. If you are unsure which business structure is correct for you, seek legal advice.
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The Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is the go-to resource for planning, registering, operating, and growing a business in Pennsylvania. Use the Business Registration Checklist to ensure you've got all your bases covered for basic registration in Pennsylvania.
General business start-up activities include but are not limited to: 1. Determine the business you want to start and assess: a) Your qualifications for that business b) The feasibility of making that business profitable 2. Assess your customer base, market base and know your competitors 3. Develop a business plan that outlines the key aspects of your business venture 4. Seek technical assistance to develop the business plan 5. Determine the costs associated with starting your business and project these costs for a period of at least three years 6. Determine the licensing and/or registration requirements at both the local and state level based on the type of business you are considering
Westmoreland County does not issue Basic Business Licenses. However, your business may be required to obtain a Basic Business License at the state or local level or comply with other licensing laws, based on your business activity and location. For more information regarding business licenses, contact the Pennsylvania Licensing System and the local municipality in which your business will be located.
Registering a fictitious name is only required if operating under a name that is not the Legal Name of the business or sole proprietor.
To register a fictitious business name that has been determined to be available, you must file an Application for Registration of Fictitious Name (form DSCB: 54-311) with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
Most forms necessary for conducting business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can be found on the Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop website.
A business plan describes the products and/or services to be sold, the customers to whom they will be sold, the production, management and marketing activities, and the projected profit or loss of the business.
In Westmoreland County, service providers such as the Saint Vincent College Small Business Development Center (university-based program) and Westmoreland SCORE Chapter (Service Corps of Retired Executives), specialize in providing no-cost consulting to help develop a business plan. They also sponsor specialized training sessions for small businesses and potential entrepreneurs. Your local Chamber of Commerce can also be a valuable resource as well as the Small Business Administration and Pennsylvania Entrepreneur's Guide. In addition, there are for-profit firms that will help develop a business plan. A listing of business consultants can be found in the yellow pages of your local telephone directory.