Helpful Business Resources in Pennsylvania
By TOI Team July 2, 2022 Update on : July 2, 2022
Pennsylvania is one of the top East Coast states for business, thanks to its location and strong business incentives. While business-friendly, it can be tricky to know how to succeed here. Thankfully, the state offers a variety of resources you can refer to when trying to understand the best business practices, laws, and tax requirements.
If you’re interested in learning more about these resources, you’ll want to check out the information below. You’ll discover a few of these helpful tools and their purpose.
6 Useful Pennsylvania Business Resources
1. Small Business Development Centers
Many states offer Small Business Development Centers, which are government agencies designed to aid business owners. For example, you can stop by one of Pennsylvania’s many offerings, which are run by experts who can tell you more about certain laws for your industry and share tips for how to succeed in the state.
They can also connect you with a mentor via SCORE Business Mentoring. This free service is made up of professional volunteers who can talk with you one-on-one or host webinars and courses for you and others to attend. It’s a useful way to learn about your industry and build a network.
Besides this, your local center can aid you in applying for loans and coming up with catchy marketing ideas.
2. Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop
Despite being somewhat new, this resource has been very useful for entrepreneurs. This state-run organization offers services to guide you on how to grow your current business and any questions you might have about moving your business to the state.
Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop is designed for both small and large businesses. Some aspects it can assist with include:
- Writing up a solid business plan
- How to name your business
- The right company structure
Apart from this, the agency can help register your business. This can be very helpful as the process can be somewhat overwhelming. With this, you can be prepared for whatever fees, permits, and licenses will be needed.
While it offers face-to-face services, you can also use a few of its online resources. One is a customized business checklist. After spending a few minutes adding your company’s information, you’ll receive a personalized checklist that you can follow.
3. Access Financing
If you need financial assistance, Pennsylvania offers a few options. Besides traditional loans, you could also apply for business or regional marketing funding, depending on your industry. These won’t only give you financial aid but can provide you with tax credits and grants. It could also boost your company’s presence in the state. This can be a great option for businesses that might not have the right qualifications for a bank loan.
4. Department of General Services
This state agency buys products and services for Pennsylvania’s government. It sometimes allows businesses to bid on projects, especially those in construction. If you’d like to find projects for potential work, you can search through its eMarketplace listings.
5. Your Local Insurance Agency
Another resource that can surprisingly be very beneficial is an insurance agency. Chatting with an agent can help you better understand local laws and how to protect your business from serious allegations and financial issues.
The agent will likely ask more about your business, such as the industry it’s in if you have employees, and how long you’ve been running it. After collecting the necessary data, they’ll then create a customized plan which could include:
- General liability
- Professional liability
- Tools & equipment
- Commercial auto
Remember, all Pennsylvania businesses must have workers’ compensation if they have employees. This will give them financial aid should they get injured on the job and will help you pay their lost wages and medical bills. It can also protect you from legal issues should your employee sue the company.
If you’re not sure where to start for your state’s insurance needs, consider checking out Pennsylvania’s Insurance Department. Here you’ll find online resources ranging from how to obtain an insurance license to legal insurance regulations for state businesses.
6. A Business Lawyer
A business lawyer can be a pricey resource, but it’s often worth the investment. Business lawyers are abundant here, so you’ll easily find one near you. Many specialize in certain aspects, like commercial, labor, or tax laws, so they can give you detailed information.
Some might even offer a free consultation. This way, you can get a better idea of whether the lawyer fits your needs. However, keep in mind that these might be limited to a specific amount of time.
Virtual appointments are occasionally available if you don’t have time to stop by or if you’d like to chat with a firm that’s not close.
Running a business in Pennsylvania can be very profitable if you have the right resources. By using the ones mentioned above, you can easily become successful.