Ecwid for Small Business

How to Start a Small Business in Pennsylvania (PA)

Pennsylvania has Lebanon bologna, US Civil War history, and ranks fourth nationally for startup early survival rate. It also has the sixth-largest economy and the tenth-lowest cost of living. With this knowledge, there’s a good chance that if you start a small business, it will not only survive but flourish in this historic state.

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Best Business Ideas for Pennsylvania

If all you know about your business is that you want to own a business, don’t worry! Here are some of the best business ideas for Pennsylvania:

  • Drive-in movie theater
  • Towing company
  • Daycare
  • Lawn care business
  • Safety equipment store

Regardless of what you choose, you’re going to need a solid business plan.

Planning Processes

Drafting a business plan can be daunting, we know. That’s why we have a step-by-step instruction guide to drafting your business plan.

1. Playing the name game

Choose a name for your business that is straightforward and doesn’t leave your customers wondering what you do. While there are some rules and regulations for naming your business, don’t let that discourage you. For example, No Harm and Hammer is an excellent name for your safety equipment store.

2.  Conducting market research

It’s crucial that you know your market. Do search engine optimization research. Hold focus groups. Conduct surveys. You may learn some surprising things! No Harm and Hammer found out it may not have the market it originally thought it would.

3.  Structuring your business

LLC, corporation, nonprofit, partnership, sole proprietorship: which is best? It depends on what your goal is. Registering as an LLC has favorable tax treatment, while a nonprofit is funded by donations, as opposed to investors. No Harm and Hammer would likely work best as a corporation, LLC, partnership, or sole proprietorship.

Registering in Pennsylvania

Get all the info you need about your business, including the business’ name, employer identification number (EIN), and the name of your registered agent. Then, file those formation documents. Depending on the structure you choose, you may need different documents.

Congrats, No Harm and Hammer, LLC is now an officially recognized business in the state of Pennsylvania!

Best Location for Your Business in Pennsylvania

Before you settle on where you’re going to locate your business, you should consider several factors. Do you plan on growing or expanding your business? Will your business heavily rely on foot traffic? If the answer is yes, you may want to consider renting an office space in a heavily trafficked area such as Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. No Harm and Hammer decided they’d do best as an online retailer, so it can operate from an apartment.

Banking and Accounting

You should separate your assets from your business’ assets. This will not only protect your personal assets should you get sued, but it also helps you stay on top of your business expenditures. We highly suggest opening a line of credit in your business’ name, as it makes your business look better established and more attractive to lenders. We also suggest hiring a business accountant. They can help save your business thousands of dollars!

Ensure Your Business Is Insured

Business insurance is crucial to growing your small business in Pennsylvania. It’s a way to ensure your business avoids any unknown risks, like an employee stubbing their toe on the property or a white-tailed deer deciding it deserves to have access to safety equipment just like everyone else. In Pennsylvania, any company with one or more employees is required to have worker’s comp insurance. Yes, this includes LLCs and corporate offices.

Permits and Licensing

For your business to be a legally functioning, well-oiled machine, you’re going to need to get the proper permits and licensing. The best way to figure out what you need is to perform a search at a federal and state level, then calling your local clerk’s office to determine what you need as per your local area’s requirements. We highly recommend using a professional service for this step.

Hiring Employees

Hiring can be an exciting time for a small business. Many entrepreneurs see this as the first sign that their dream is becoming reality. However, you have to make sure your company is operating legally with your hiring practices. This includes making sure you’re registered with the IRS for employee taxes and reporting your new hires to the state of Pennsylvania. You’ll also need to register for Pennsylvania State Employee Taxes for your withholding taxes and unemployment taxes.


Branding is fun for some, miserable for others. First, let’s start with the logo. Make sure your logo is representative of the brand, what you offer, and is visually pleasing to your customer. No Harm and Hammer thinks rustic colors and a rugged font work best to express what they do. You may decide muted, calming colors work best for your brand. There is plenty of software online that can help you if you’re stumped, too.

Branding also requires you to think about what your values are as a company. Do you believe having access to safety equipment is an unalienable right in the USA? Do you believe that safety equipment is something that simply doesn’t need an entire store? This might seem like an odd example, but it’s necessary to make it clear to yourself as much as to your customer the values your company holds itself to and what it can offer to your customers.

Do some personal reflection and truly embrace what your company believes in. Making sure these points strike home will ensure that your customers are in it for the long run.

Online Presence

In the day and age of social media, having an online presence for your brand is very important. While this can look like having a website and online store (if applicable), this also means you need Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. One of the best things you can do for your business is following trends on social media. It makes you look hip and in touch, and it will help your business flourish. Get creative!


Having an online presence is great, but what about marketing on those platforms? All legitimate businesses have a website. And if we’re being honest, the less legitimate ones do, too. Unfortunately, social media profiles are not a replacement for a website. Having a professional website makes your brand seem trustworthy and reliable, and it offers all-around better branding.

If this seems to be way too much, don’t worry! Companies like Ecwid help your store grow and succeed. They can help you create a beautiful, easy-to-navigate website while allowing you to market your products on other online platforms mentioned above. Ecwid even allows you to track your digital sales on a dashboard, where you can see your inventory. They’ll help make sure your business is the sharpest it can be.

Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Try now

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Go online

Start Selling Products & Services Online

You don’t have to worry about the office or warehouse if you choose to sell online. Save your time and money.

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Learn the basics

Starting an Online Store Business is Easy.
We’ll Show You.

So you’re ready to start selling online. Now the million-dollar question… where do you start?

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Read real stories

Get Yourself Ready
For Surprises

Check out our blog series all about starting an online store without prior experience. It‘s sort of like our own ecommerce reality show—starring Nicole.

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Find a product

Looking For Things
To Sell Online?

Discover best-selling products and how you can start selling them online and make money.

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Select sales channels

Catch Your Customers Where They Are

We’ll help you navigate through the market and find the most profitable channels.

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Start Your Business Online

Starting a business online is faster and cheaper.
Transform it into an offline business later.

Start Selling Online

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