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Best 25 Small Business Ideas in Pennsylvania

With a sprawling diverse economy, Pennsylvania has a very segmented business environment comprising different businesses across sectors. If it were an independent country, Pennsylvania would rank as the 19th-largest economy in the world. With a world-class business climate and friendly economic laws, there’s huge scope for new and growing businesses.

The business-friendly policies and laws have helped small businesses survive strongly in the market. Steel, agriculture, and financial services remain major contributors to the state’s economy. The internet has helped people to start businesses easily. If you wish to start a business from home in Pennsylvania in the United States, here’s a list of profitable small business ideas in Pennsylvania with a complete guide on how you can start a business in the state.

25 Business Ideas in Pennsylvania

1. Start a Specialty Food Business

Pennsylvania has a strong rich agricultural heritage. Hence it makes an ideal place to start a business crafting specialty foods like jams, sauces, or artisanal cheeses.

2. Mushroom Farming

Pennsylvania is the largest producer of mushrooms in the United States. There’s a huge demand for the state’s mushrooms outside Pennsylvania and other countries. You can opt to produce and export the mushrooms outside the state.

3. E-commerce Business

You start your online business by re-selling some products on Amazon or eBay. You can make money by selling what you want. It’s better to find some products at a cheaper rate in the wholesale market and sell them online.

Read: Best Online Jobs from Home

4. Property Manager

There are several owners around Pennsylvania who often need property management services. You can start to offer such services as a property manager making a decent amount of money by charging your clients on a per month basis.

5. Virtual Assistant

Companies often look for virtual assistants who can carry out tasks from home. All you need is a good internet connection, a laptop, and sometimes a phone to make calls. You will have fixed working hours while you don’t even have to leave your bedroom.

6. Travel Consultant

Are you someone who loves to travel, or has already traveled a lot? Well, there are people who need assistance on their trips. You can help people online via sites like Lonely Planet or even start your own website covering travel guides.

7. Online Coaching

If you have any skill, you can teach other people to do it and get paid. If you know how to edit photos, play the guitar, or do Vedic maths, you can start to offer online coaching. You can either charge your students on a per-class basis or for membership.

8. Babysitting

Pennsylvania has a huge demand for babysitting services. All you need is a license to start with and with short work experience, you can charge parents on a per-hour basis. You can also make pretty good side money with babysitting.

9. Interior Design Consultant

If you have some interior designing skills, put them to use. Even if you don’t, complete a small course online to get certified. You can start as a freelancer to help people remodel their places. You can charge for your advice, or even offer services as a package.

10. Landing Page Specialist

There are different business sites that need specialized SEO services. They need keyword-friendly and beautifully designed sites that come with SEO-optimized landing pages. If you don’t know about SEO, complete a small course online to get certified by Coursera or Udemy.

11. Social Media Manager

Companies now use different social media mediums to promote their service offerings. Twitter Ads, Facebook Ad campaigns, or hosting online sales bring in more business for organizations.

12. Presentation Consultant

Companies and even individuals often need PowerPoint presentations for different meetings. If you are good with visual layouts, you start to offer presentations for work meetings, investor pitches, and lectures.

13. Outdoor Adventure Services

Pennsylvania is known for its exquisite landscapes. You can cater to the state’s environment aficionados by offering outdoor adventure services such as hiking tours, kayaking outings, or camping excursions.

14. Local Craft Brewery

In Pennsylvania, the craft beer movement is thriving. Consider opening a microbrewery to capitalize on the state’s penchant for unusual and tasty brews.

15. Tour Guide

Pennsylvania has a rich history. Start a firm that provides guided historical tours of famous locations and landmarks.

16. Farm-to-Table Restaurant

You can explore creating a restaurant that focuses on locally produced ingredients. It will not only make good money but also meet the demand for sustainable and fresh dining experiences.

17. Antique and Vintage Shop

There is a good demand for unique items here in the state. You open a store that sells antique furniture, vintage apparel, and collectibles.

18. Personal Fitness Training

Health and fitness continue to be a priority for most people in Pennsylvania. You can tap this growing market by offering personal training services that can help individuals achieve their wellness goals.

19. Home Renovation Services

The real estate market showing signs of growth after the temporary setback due to the pandemic. Hence home renovation and improvement services can be a lucrative venture at present.

20. Mobile Food Truck

Most cities in Pennsylvania are known for their diverse culinary offerings. The state also hosts numerous festivals, fairs, and events, providing ample opportunities for your food truck to attract crowds.  Hence it makes an ideal location to launch a food truck business.

21.Local Art Gallery

Pennsylvania has a thriving artistic community. Many local artists looking for venues to exhibit their work. Opening a local art gallery in Pennsylvania can be a profitable venture as well as rewarding as it will provide a platform for artists to showcase their work while enriching the community’s cultural scene.

22. Freelance Writing Services

Writing can be a great way to make good money. With a little experience, you can work on paid assignments and contracts. First-time freelancers can build up their writing portfolio with Fiverr or Upwork. Your tasks will range from blog posts, PRs, social media posts, and more.

23. Event Planning

Pennsylvania hosts a range of events, from historical celebrations to modern conferences. Hence there is a big requirement for competent event planners in the state.

24. Tech Repair Services

Pennsylvania has a tech-savvy population that relies heavily on electronic devices. There are many people who prefer repairing devices instead of purchasing new ones due to cost-effectiveness and sustainability.

25. Pet Care Services

Pennsylvania embraces a pet-friendly culture. Many people here in the state own dogs, cats, and other pets and look for reliable services to care for their pets when they’re not at home. If you enjoy spending time with pets, consider starting a pet business here.

If you want to legally start a business in Pennsylvania, follow the given steps:

10 Steps to Start a Business in Pennsylvania

Step 1. Choose a Business

Choose any of the small business ideas  in Pennsylvania & opportunities mentioned above:

Step 2. Business Plan

A good business plan will help your business to perform under different conditions. Once you decide on an idea, start working on it and prepare a business plan. It will help you to strategize your business properly by setting up the benchmarks, targets, and goals you wish to achieve.

Step 3. Financing Your Business In Pennsylvania

Businesses from home need very minimal investment. If you plan to start it on a large scale, start by pitching it to venture capital firms and investors. You can even choose to fund your own business. Go through some of these top business loans available at attractive payback rates.

Step 4. Naming Your Business

You need a name to register your business. Try something unique, but should be easy to pronounce. You can use a business name generator for some suggestions. Now register your business name with the US Trademark Department to get an online domain. Check this article to learn more about naming a business.

Step 5. Registering A Business In Pennsylvania

Next up, you need to choose a business structure. You have to register your business to be legally operational in Pennsylvania. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, and LLC. If you choose to register as an LLC, you can enjoy added legal benefits and tax reductions.

Step 5. Business Licences Needed In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has different city-specific and business-oriented licenses mandatory for businesses. Check with your local authorities to ensure the legal formalities. Small businesses need to apply for a license as sole proprietors with the Pennsylvania Secretary of State’s office.

Step 6. EIN Number & Tax Filing

You now have to apply for a Federal EIN at the IRS. It acts as a social security number for your business helping you to file for taxes separately. The Federal EIN also allows you to hire an employee legally in the United States.

Step 7. Register With the Pennsylvania Department Of Taxation

To make your business eligible for taxation, you need to register yours with the Pennsylvania Department of Taxation. The licenses may vary, but generally, to sell tangible items, you may require a sales tax permit. While selling services, you may need a consumer’s tax permit.

Step 8. Setting Up Business Bank Account & Accounting System

With the EIN, you can apply for a business bank account. A separate account will help you to simplify all your business transactions to be in one place. Now you need to set up your accounting system. Go for a reliable set of accounting software to keep all your financials in one place making it easy to be annually taxed.

Step 9. Business Insurance You Need In Pennsylvania

It varies from state to state, but you should have worker’s compensation insurance in case you have employees. Pennsylvania has no such mandatory insurance requirements, but if you opt to sell service, buy professional liability insurance.

Step 10. Promoting Your Business

To start with, promote your new business via different social media channels. It will help you to reach out to a potential crowd for free. If your business has local competitors, it’s better to promote it in a planned way. Hire an agency to take care of your promotions so you can focus on your business.

Best Places to Start a Business in Pennsylvania

Choosing the right location is going to determine how your business runs. Here are some of the best places in Pennsylvania to start your business:

  • Philadelphia
  • Pittsburg
  • Allentown
  • Scranton
  • Bethlehem
  • Erie
  • Williamsport

It’s easy to start a successful business in Pennsylvania with these simple steps. The investment is minimal and with a good business plan, you can easily start making money within a short span of time. Explore the business ideas in Pennsylvania listed here in this article and start your venture.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there government incentives for new businesses in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania offers various incentives, grants, and tax credits to encourage business growth for entrepreneurs. There are incentive support programs like Keystone Innovation Zones (KIZ) and Pennsylvania First that encourage new startups.

What industries are thriving in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has a strong presence in a wide range of industry sectors. It includes healthcare, technology, manufacturing, education, and tourism. In addition, the most promising emerging sectors in the state include renewable energy, biotechnology, and sustainable products.

What regions in Pennsylvania are most conducive to new businesses?

Pennsylvania’s major cities like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg offer robust business ecosystems. Furthermore, college towns like State College and smaller cities like Lancaster also provide opportunities for new ventures.