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A federal tax-exempt status granted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to non-profit enterprises.
A corporation that is related to another corporation by shareholdings or other means of control; a subsidiary, parent, or sibling corporation.
Application for PA UC Experience Record and Reserve Account Balance
Enables the registering enterprise to benefit from a predecessor's reporting history. An experience record and reserve account balance can be transferred if the registering enterprise is continuing essentially the same business activity as the predecessor.
Application for Registration of Fictitious Name
The application an enterprise files with the Department of State in order to conduct business in Pennsylvania under a name different than its legal name.
Application for Registration- Foreign Limited Partnership
The application a limited partnership that is registered to conduct business in another state files with the Department of State in order to conduct business in Pennsylvania.
Application for Registration- Foreign Limited Liability Company
The application a limited liability company that is registered to conduct business in another state files with the Department of State in order to conduct business in Pennsylvania.
Application for Registration- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
The application a limited liability partnership that is registered to conduct business in another state files with the Department of State in order to conduct business in Pennsylvania.
Articles of Incorporation
The name of the application a corporation files with the Department of State to incorporate in Pennsylvania. Publication of either the intent to file, or the actual filing of the Articles of Incorporation (AIC) must be made in two newspapers of general circulation, and one legal publication, if possible. The information required to be included in the advertisement is set forth in 15 Pa. C.S. § 1307. The advertisement must contain the name of the proposed corporation and a statement that the corporation is to be, or has been, organized under the provisions of the Business Corporation Law (BCL) of 1988, 15 Pa. C.S. § 1101 et seq. Proof of the advertisement does not need to be sent to the Department of State, but should be filed with the minutes of the corporation.
A business structure that is an organization of persons having a common interest. May be treated as a corporation if a charter exists, or if there are shareholders.
The signature of the owner, general partner, officer, agent, or other individual empowered by the enterprise to act on its behalf.
Bureau Code (Workers' Compensation Insurance)
A unique identifier assigned by the Bureau of Workers' Compensation to an employer who has been approved to self-insure its workers' compensation liability. If the bureau code is unknown, click here to view the Workers' Compensation Bureau code list.
The type of organization under which an enterprise is formed. The most common types of business structures are: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation. Legal and tax considerations will help determine the choice of business structure. The term "form of organization" is sometimes used interchangeably with business structure.
A trust that to make a profit, investors give management authority to a trustee, and investors receive trust certificates representing their investments. Since they own only the certificates and do no participate in management, the investors are not personally liable for any debts of the trust, therefore they can only lose their investment. A business trust is strictly a business entity and bears no relationship to a personal trust, like living and testamentary trusts set up to manage and protect the assets of individuals and provide for eventual distribution.
Certificate of Authority
The name of the application a corporation that is incorporated in another state or country files with the Department of State to conduct business activity in Pennsylvania.
Certificate of Limited Partnership
The name of the application a limited partnership must file with the Pennsylvania Department of State. The partnership must contain at least one general partner and one limited partner in order to file the Certificate of Limited Partnership. The name of the partnership must be available for use in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Certificate of Membership Interest
Certificate issued by a limited liability company representing ownership interest in that company.
Certificate of Organization- Domestic Limited Liability Company
The name of the application a limited liability company files with the Department of State to organize in Pennsylvania.
Change in Business Structure
Occurs when the business structure changes. For example, when a sole proprietorship incorporates or forms a partnership.
Cigarette Retail Over the Counter License
A renewable yearly license authorizing a retailer to sell cigarettes over the counter at a retail store located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Cigarette Stamping Agent
An enterprise licensed by the Department of Revenue for the purpose of affixing cigarette tax stamps to packages of cigarettes and transmitting the proper tax to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
An excise tax imposed on the sale or possession of cigarettes.
Cigarette Vending Machine License
A renewable yearly license authorizing a retailer to sell cigarettes from a vending machine located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A person who purchases cigarettes from a cigarette stamping agent or other wholesaler and receives, stores, sells, and distributes within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Commercial Registered Office Provider
Under Pennsylvania law, entities required to provide a registered office address in any document filed in the Department of State may enter into a contract for the services of a Commercial Registered Office Provider (CROP), and may list the name of the CROP in lieu of providing a registered office address. This option is also available for any corporation or association that does not have a physical location or mailing address in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Listing a CROP without having entered into a contract to acquire the services of that CROP could subject a filer to civil and criminal penalties. Click here to view the list of commercial registered office providers.
Any motor carrier that holds itself out to the general public to use motor vehicles to transport passengers or property for compensation.
Commonwealth Resident Designee
Distributors and/or Manufacturers of Small Games of Chance must identify an agent and a physical location within Pennsylvania as a designee for purpose of service of process.
Under the contributory method for financing Unemployment Compensation costs, the amount of employer contributions due is based on a specified percentage of taxable wages. The maximum amount of taxable wages subject to the employer contributions may change from year to year. For-profit enterprises must pay under the contributory method.
Occurs when a new corporation is formed by combining two or more corporations, which then cease to exist.
Any motor carrier transporting persons or property for compensation or hire under contract to a particular person, firm, or corporation
A business structure with all rights, privileges and responsibilities of a person; possessing the attributes of limited liability, centralized management, continuity of life and fee transferability of interest. It acts as a single person. The corporation owns the business and in turn, may issue shares of stock to individuals investing in the corporation. Business activities are restricted to those designated in the Articles of Incorporation. In addition, the name of the corporation must be available for use in Pennsylvania. Click here to check the availability of a corporate name.
Taxes imposed on the domestic and foreign corporations, certain business trusts, and limited liability companies which are registered and/or transacting business within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Subjectivity to specific corporation taxes is determined by the type of corporate organization and the activity conducted.
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Date of Acquisition
The date a business operation was acquired by the registering enterprise.
A word or abbreviated word that follows an enterprise's legal name and indicates the business structure. The following chart displays all available designators for each business structure.
| Full Name Designator||Abbreviation
| Company|| Co.
| Corporation|| Corp.
| Incorporated|| Inc.
| Limited|| Ltd.
| Limited Liability Company|| LLC.
| Limited Liability Partnership|| LLP.
| Limited Partnership|| LP.
| Professional Compay|| P.C.
An enterprise created by or organized under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Electronic Signature (e-Signature)
As defined by the Electronic Transactions Act of 1999, an electronic signature is an electronic sound, symbol or process attached to or logically associated with a record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record.
Employer Withholding Tax
An employer's withholding of Pennsylvania personal income tax from compensation paid to Pennsylvania resident employees for work performed in or outside of Pennsylvania, and non-resident employees for work performed in Pennsylvania.
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Employment Incentive Payment (EIP) Program
EIP is a Pennsylvania State tax credit in effect through December 31, 2004. By hiring workers who are qualified cash welfare recipient or vocational rehabilitation referrals, an employer can earn tax credits that can be applied to state business taxes.
Any individual or organization, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, government organization, business trust, association, etc., which is subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and performs at least one of the following:
- pays wages to employees
- offers products and/or services for sale to others
- collects donations
- collects taxes
- is allocated use of tax dollars
- has a name which is intended for use and, by that name, is to be recognized as an organization engaged in economic activity.
An individual who performs services for an employer and receives remuneration for those services. The only exceptions are (a) if the individual is free from direction and control, and (b) with respect to those services, the individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.
An economic unit, generally at a single physical location where:
- business is conducted in Pennsylvania
- business is conducted outside Pennsylvania with reporting requirements to Pennsylvania, or
- Pennsylvania residents are employed, in or outside of Pennsylvania
The enterprise and the establishment may have the same physical location.
The name by which an enterprise is known to the public. For example, the name on the front of the store.
The total property of a deceased person considered as a legal entity.
Excluded Workers (For Workers' Compensation Insurance Only)
In Pennsylvania, an employer may be excluded from the requirement to insure its workers' compensation liability only if ALL workers fall into one or more of the categories for exclusion of coverage.
An employer's lifetime record of wages paid to employees, contributions paid to the Unemployment Compensation Fund and charges for unemployment compensation benefit payments.
A bank that is chartered by the federal government and regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
A nine-digit identification number assigned to the enterprise by the Internal Revenue Service. Click here to obtain more information about the FEIN.
Federal Mutual Thrift
A savings bank without capital stock; building and loan association; savings & loan association and savings institution having capital stock.
An assumed name, other than the legal name, that an enterprise uses to conduct business in Pennsylvania. In a sole proprietorship, the surname of the sole proprietor standing alone, or coupled with words that describe the business, is not a fictitious business name. In a general partnership, the surname of all general partners standing alone, or coupled with words that describe the business is not a fictitious business name. Click here to check the availability of a fictitious name.
First Taxable Sale
The actual or anticipated date that an enterprise began or will begin selling taxable products or services. Denotes the actual date that an enterprise becomes liable to file a sales tax return with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.
An enterprise created by or organized under the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Foreign Limited Partnership
A partnership formed in any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, by two or more persons having at least one general partner and at least one limited partner.
Any motor carrier which uses the Public Utility Commission rights of another carrier to transport passengers or property by motor vehicle.
A business structure in which two or more individuals or entities share the assets and control of an enterprise as co-owners. Each partner is liable for all partnership debts and obligations in full, regardless of the amount of the individual partner's capital contribution.
A political unit which exercises authority and performs functions, and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it.
Gross Premiums Tax
A tax levied on domestic and foreign insurance companies. The yearly gross premiums received form the tax base. Gross premiums are premiums, premium deposits or assessments and, annuity considerations for business transacted in Pennsylvania.
Gross Receipts Tax
A tax levied on:
- pipeline, conduit, water navigation and trasportation companies
- telephone and telegraph companies
- electric light, water power and hydroelectric companies
- gas companies
- motor vehicle carriers
- sales of electricity and gas in Pennsylvania
The tax is based on gross receipts from passengers, baggage and freight transported within Pennsylvania; telegraph and telephone messages transmitted within Pennsylvania; sales of electricity and gas in Pennsylvania.
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Hotel Occupancy Tax
An excise tax imposed on every hotel or motel room occupied for less than thirty (30) consecutive days.
A person 18 years of age or older, or a corporation who signs the original Articles of Incorporation and whose name and address are included in the Articles.
Initial Registered Office
An address in Pennsylvania where an enterprise can receive the delivery of legal notices.
The bank and trust company share tax is imposed on every bank and trust company having capital stock and conducting business in Pennsylvania. Domestic (PA) title insurance companies are subject to the title insurance company share tax. The mutual thrift institutions tax is imposed on savings institutions, savings banks, saving and loan associations and building and loan associations conducting business in Pennsylvania. Credit Unions are not subject to the tax.
International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)/ IFTA Decals
An agreement among taxing jurisdictions that simplifies the reporting of fuel used by interstate motor carriers by consolidating all states' operations into one reporting form. Upon application the carrier's base jurisdiction will issue credentials that will allow the IFTA licensee to travel in all IFTA member jurisdictions.
IRC Section 338 Election
Occurs when a stock purchase is treated as an asset purchase under the Internal Revenue Code Section 338.
Joint Stock Company
An incorporated business enterprise with ownership interest represented by shares of stock.
A business structure that is an association of two or more individuals or entities that have agreed to engage in a single undertaking or project for their mutual profit.
A legal area or subdivision over which the authority of a court or government (federal, state, municipality, etc.) is exercised.
Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ)
The KOZs are designated by the local communities and approved by the State as virtually tax free zones. KOZs entitle businesses and residents to certain tax benefits when they locate in a KOZ. Keystone Opportunity Zones consist of 12 defined areas in 61 counties across Pennsylvania, covering more than 37,000 acres in over 190 sub-zones. Sizes of the KOZ range from under 10 acres to over 500. Along with the remarkable tax advantages, these areas provide close proximity to major interstates, ports, rail lines and international airports.
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Sole Proprietorship – The full name of the person who owns the business.
General Partnership - If there is a written partnership agreement that gives a name to the partnership, that name is the legal name of the business. If there is not a written agreement, the legal name of the general partnership consists of the last names of all of the partners.
Corporation, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Partnership – The name registered with the state filing office.
Limited Liability Company
A business structure that is a hybrid of a partnership and a corporation, providing the liability protection of a corporation, with the tax advantages of a partnership.
Limited Liability Partnership
A partnership that provides liability protection for all limited partners. A limited liability partnership must have at least one general partner and at least one limited partner. Click here for more information about limited liability partnerships.
A partnership formed by two or more persons. The partnership must have at least one general partner and at least one limited partner. The general partner assumes the personal liability for the debts and obligations of the partnership; the limited partners do not have any personal liability beyond the capital contributions they make to the partnership. The limited partners have limited exposure to liability and are not involved in the day to day operations of the limited partnership.
Liquid Fuels and Fuels Tax
An excise tax imposed on all liquid fuels and fuels used or sold and delivered by distributors within Pennsylvania, except those delivered to exempt purchasers. Liquid fuels include gasoline, gasohol, jet fuel and aviation gasoline. Fuels include clear diesel fuel and kerosene. Additionally, the Liquid Fuels and Fuels Tax Act taxes alternative fuels (i.e. highway fuels other than liquid fuels or fuels) at a retail/use tax level.
Local Sales Tax
May be imposed, in addition to the state sales and use tax, on the retail sale or use of tangible personal property and services and on hotel/motel occupancies in counties that have enacted such ordinances.
A person who has been admitted to membership in a limited liability company and who has not disassociated from the company.
Occurs when one corporation is absorbed by another. One corporation preserves its original charter or identity and continues to exist and the other corporate existence terminates.
Any person or enterprise operating a qualified motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for the transportation of person or property where:
- the power unit has two axles and gross or registered gross weight greater thatn 26,000 pounds
- the power unit has three axles or more regardless of weight, or
- vehicles are used in combination and the declared combination weight exceeds 26,000 pounds or the gross wieght of the vehicles exceeds 26, 000 pounds
Motor Carrier's Road Tax
A tax imposed on motor carriers engaged in operations on Pennsylvania highways.
A political unit having a corporate status and usually powers of self-government. Typically, a sub-division of a county, such as a township or borough.
North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS)
An industry classification system that groups economic units with similar production processes. It is a comprehensive system covering the entire field of economic activities in 20 sectors and 1170 industries. Developed jointly by the United States, Canada and Mexico, NAICS provides first-ever comparability in North American industry classifications and economic statistics. It is used primarily within the context of Pennsylvania government to develop economic statistics and analysis. Click here to obtain more information about NAICS, or to find a NAICS code.
Non-International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Decals
Pennsylvania qualified motor vehicles that travel exclusively in Pennsylvania, are required to obtain non-IFTA decals through their base jurisdiction.
A corporation where ownership is not determined by shares of stock.
One or more persons who organize a limited liability company (LLC) under the Limited Liability Law of 1994, 15 Pa. C.S. Section 8912. The person or persons need not be members of the company at the time of organization, or at any time thereafter.
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A corporation that owns all or the majority of stock of another corporation.
A transfer of a portion of an employer's Unemployment Compensation (UC) experience record and reserve account balance to a successor account. The UC Law and regulations contain formulas to calculate the percentage of an employer's experience record and reserve account balance that is transferred.
One who shares or takes part with another, especially in a venture of two or more persons who jointly own and carry on a business for profit with shared benefits and shared risks.
The document representing the terms and conditions of a partnership.
An enterprise that transfers all or part of its organization, trade or business to another enterprise.
Previously Registered to Conduct Business
An enterprise that is already registered with one or more of the following Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Departments: Labor and Industry, Revenue, State.
A person, firm, or corporation that utilizes its own trucks to transport its own freight.
Any enterprise engaged in renting or granting permission to any person to use space at a show for the display or for the sale of tangible personal property or services.
Public Transportation Assistance (PTA) Tax
A tax or fee imposed on each sale in Pennsylvania of new tires for highway use, on the lease of motor vehicles, and on the rental of motor vehicles. The tax is also levied on the state taxable value of utility realty of enterprises subject to the public utility realty tax and on petroleum revenue of oil companies.
Public Utility Realty Tax
A tax levied against certain entities furnishing utility services. Pennsylvania imposes this tax on public utility realty in lieu of local real estate taxes and distributes the local realty tax equivalent to local taxing authorities.
Qualified Motor Vehicles
A motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained, except recreational vehicles, for the transportation of person or property having:
- 2 axles and a gross or registered gross weight greater than 26,000 lbs
- all 3 axle vehicles (regardless of registered weight), and
- all combinations with a declared or combination weight greater than 26,000 lbs
The enterprise for which the Online Business Registration Interview (OBRI) is being completed.
Non-profit enterprises exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and political subdivisions of Pennsylvania who elect the reimbursable method for financing Unemployment Compensation (UC) costs are required to reimburse the UC Fund for all regular benefits paid which are attributable to service with the enterprise. Non-profit enterprises must pay for one-half of any extended benefits, while political subdivisions must pay the full amount of any extended benefits.
Reporting and Payment Methods
Offers the taxpayer the ability to file certain taxes through electronic data interchange (EDI) and to make payment through electronic funds transfer (EFT). Many business taxes can be reported and paid through E-Tides.
Unemployment Compensation (UC) wages may be reported via a magnetic medium. In certain instances, an enterprise may elect to finance UC costs under a reimbursement method rather than a contributory method.
A record of contributions paid by an employer on the taxable wages of employees and benefits paid to any former employees. The reserve account balance is the difference, positive or negative, between contributions paid by the employer and UC benefits paid to the employer's workers. Used in the computation of the Unemployment Compensation contribution rate.
Responsible Party (Sales Tax, Employer Withholding, Motor Fuels Taxes, Unemployment Taxes, Workers' Compensation Coverage)
The person(s) responsible for remitting taxes and/or maintaining workers' compensation coverage. Under Pennsylvania law, a proprietor, general partner, or a corporation's chief operating officers and chief financial officer are responsible for ensuring that collected taxes are remitted on a timely basis and workers' compensation coverage is maintained when required. Other individuals may also be responsible if their duties, position, or authority over financial matters and decision-making put them in a position to influence the payment of these taxes or maintain business operations. Failure to remit these taxes in a timely manner or to maintain ongoing workers' compensation coverage when required may result in personal assessment of a responsible party, together with the possibility of criminal sanctions where warranted.
Restricted Professional Company
A limited liability company that renders one or more restricted professional service. Professional services include: chiropractic, dentistry, law, medicine and surgery, optometry, osteopathic medicine and surgery, podiatric medicine, public accounting, psychology, or veterinary medicine.
An excise tax imposed on the retail sale or lease of taxable, tangible personal property and on specified services.
Sales Tax Exempt Status for Charitable and Religious Organizations
Qualified institutions of purely public charity that are exempt from Sales and Use Tax on the purchase of tangible personal property or services for use in charitable activity.
Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax
An excise tax imposed on the retail sale of tangible personal property (unless exempt), hotel occupancy, and certain services.
An S-Corporation is a corporation that elects to be treated as a pass-through entity. A pass-through entity is not subject to federal income tax, instead, the entity passes the federal income tax responsibilities to its shareholders. A Pennsylvania corporation cannot be a Pennsylvania S-Corporation unless it has also applied for federal "S" status. Effective for tax periods beginning on or after January 1, 2006, all federal S corporations are automatically Pennsylvania S Corporations. A federal S corporation that does not want to be a Pennsylvania S Corporation must file an Election Not to be Taxed as a Pennsylvania S Corporation, REV-976.
An enterprise that offers goods for sale.
Service of Process
The formal delivery of a writ, summons, or legal notice for actions, proceedings, or appeals against or affecting associations or other persons.
One who owns or holds a share or shares in a company, especially a corporation.
Small Games of Chance License/Certificate
The regulation of limited games of chance that qualified charitable and non-profit organizations can operate in Pennsylvania.
A business structure in which one person owns all of the assets of the enterprise. This is the simplest form of organization and allows the single owner to have sole control and responsibility. The business may use a fictitious name, but the business does not have a separate legal existence apart from its owner.
Specified Effective Date
A future date that a Pennsylvania corporation, limited liability company, or limited partnership specifies on its initial registration as the starting date to transact business in Pennsylvania.
A bank that is chartered by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking.
State Mutual Thrift
A savings bank without capital stock; building and loan association; savings and loan association having capital stock
Statement of Registration- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
The registration form filed with the Department of State by a limited liability partnership located in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
A corporation in which ownership is determined by shares of stock.
A corporation in which a parent corporation has a controlling share.
An enterprise that acquires by transfer all or part of the organization, trade or business of another enterprise.
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Products sold to an end user for which Pennsylvania Sales Tax is to be collected and remitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Refer to the Retailers' Information Guide for a listing of taxable products.
Products and/or services sold to an end user for which Pennsylvania sales tax is to be collected and remitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Refer to Retailers' Information Guide for a listing of taxable sales and services.
Services provided to an end user for which Pennsylvania sales tax is to be collected and remitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Refer to Retailers' Information Guide for a listing of taxable sales and services.
The name by which an enterprise is commonly known (doing business as, trading as, also known as), if it is a name other than the legal name of the enterprise.
Any sole proprietorship or partnership, not having a permanent physical business location in Pennsylvania, which sells taxable, tangible personal property or performs taxable services in Pennsylvania. Any entity that possesses an active Transient Vendor Certificate may not concurrently possess an active Sales, Use and Hotel Occupancy Tax License.
A business structure that is a legal arrangement where one person (the grantor) gives control of his/her property to a trust which is administered by a trustee for the beneficiary's benefit. The grantor, trustee, and beneficiary may be the same person. The grantor names a successor trustee in the event of incapacitation or death, as well as successor beneficiaries.
Unemployment Compensation (UC)
Compensation paid to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. Contributions are required to be made by all employers who pay wages to individuals working in Pennsylvania and whose services are covered under the UC law .
An excise tax imposed on property used in Pennsylvania on which Pennsylvania sales tax has not been paid.
Vehicle Rental Tax (VRT)
A tax imposed on rental contracts by enterprises having available for rental: (1) 5 or motor vehicles designed to carry 15 or less passengers or (2) trucks, trailers, or semi-trailers used in the transportation of property. A rental contract is for a period of 29 days or less.
Protected or established, as by law or right.
Welfare to Work (WTW) Tax Credit
WTW is a tax credit for employers who hire long-term welfare recipients. To qualify employers for this tax credit, new hires must begin work before January 1, 2004, and must be employed at least 180 days or 400 hours.
A certificate used in conjunction with REV-1220, Pennsylvania Exemption Certificate, which authorizes and permits an enterprise to engage in the selling of tangible personal property and/or services for resale rental.
Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC)
WOTC provides employers tax savings as an incentive to hire job seekers with barriers to employment. The WOTC applies to new employees hired before January 1, 2004.
Provides for medical expenses and, in the event the employee is unable to work, wage replacement to a worker injured on the job or who suffers from a work-related illness. Benefits are paid by private insurance companies, the State Workers' Insurance Fund (a state-run workers' compensation insurance carrier), or by employers themselves if they are self-insured. Click here to obtain more information from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's web site.
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