Anyone in PA with a business License?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Moose's Mowing, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    Well I just got set up with a PA HIC number for my new company. Then, I was reading that if I am a sole proprietor "doing business as" (my company name), I need to file for a fictitious name something or other....I am set up as a sole prop. but I gave my company a name called MJ Services. So it's technically my name dba MJ Services. What's this fictitious name stuff about? Do I need to do this to stay legal. I'm trying to go legit, but with the govt involvement, it sure would have been easier to work under the table for cash only.

    Also, Does anyone know if lawn maintenance is a taxable service in PA? I can't seem to find any good information on that end of it.

    Thanks in advance
  2. living Green Property

    living Green Property LawnSite Member
    from PA Erie
    Messages: 68

    hey yeah im from south east pa. i went to an accountant and they took care of everything. But as long as you have your tax id you should be set. im not sure how to do it all again i had an accountant set up all my income tax. i pay thru the internet but i think you can still call it in. its easy paying tax you just set it up with your bank account and it does it automatic. Just have to be careful if you bill out on March 30 for the month of March. and then the sales tax due for march is April 30 and if you have not got paid you may have to pay the tax without getting paid. Starting this year in PA you have to pay your sales tax every month. so Aprils tax is due may 30, mays sales tax is due June 30 you get the hint. and even if you don’t collect any tax you still have to fill just as not having collected any tax. trust me if you don’t they will fine you. pa does not mess around with late sales tax. as far as sales tax everything is taxed except snow removal. i sent snow removal bills to an accounting firm and i had tax on it and they told me i don’t have to charge sales tax. i know its a lot to take in exp if your new but u will have the hang of it soon. If you have any other questions let me know hope I helped
  3. living Green Property

    living Green Property LawnSite Member
    from PA Erie
    Messages: 68

    oh sorry you are good with the fictitious name that’s all i had for years. as long as you have your hic. you will have to worry about being getting incorporated later on. but to start that all u need. and its to help you in case you get sued. and you have to register to make sure you aren’t using someone else’s name.
    is this your first season?
  4. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    thanks for the info. I have the HIC # taken care of and I'm working on the fictitious name process today.

    As far as sales tax goes, who do you send the money to and how do you pay it? Does the company need to be registered with the state somehow for tax purposes or is that what the HIC # and Fictitious name registry is for? I'm guessing it's seperate, knowing how easy this state makes things......:hammerhead:

    Thanks again
  5. highlander316

    highlander316 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    you have to register for sales tax through the PA-100 site. You'll then get your license in the mail. Tax is then paid online through e-tides.
  6. Dunlaps LawnCare

    Dunlaps LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    long as you have your hic and your sales tax
  7. living Green Property

    living Green Property LawnSite Member
    from PA Erie
    Messages: 68

    You can pay thru etide once your account is set up its easy. They have a phone number but im not sure what it is off hand
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Go here:,_use___hotel_occupancy_tax/14487

    This will give you the information you need. Included is a link to those services and goods that are taxable. Read this carefully!!!! There are some twists, such as landscape installs are NOT taxable, but maintenance of same landscape IS taxable service.

    You will make application for a license that enables you to collect Sales Tax from your customers. You will get a license number, and document. Keep that handy to show anybody questioning your itemized Sales Tax entry. Remember, some unlicensed folks may do the collection, keep the money for themselves, hence upping their income by 6% (or 7% depending on where you live). The customer has no way to know if your are authorized to collect that money, so the license is important to prove your legitimacy.

    If you are on a boundary of the 6-7% rate, your domicile dictates the rate you collect. All this is spelled out in the documents.

    When I started, my payments to PA Dept of Revenue were due only quarterly. As my business grew (read: more taxes collected), they required monthly payments. Somebody made a comment above about monthly, so maybe everybody now is on a monthly schedule, regardless of the amount of tax collected.

    As pointed out above, e-tides is the only way to pay. It is done electronically. The money is due on the 20th of the next month. You have to make a decision regarding cash or accrual methods of record keeping. I use cash. The filing can be done at any time, but the transaction is executed on the 20th (or 21, or 22 if a weekend). I always know my obligation at the end of every month. I make my filing on the 2nd or 3rd day of the next month, and record the ACL transfer on the appropriate date (the filing document will tell you which day the transfer will happen).

    When you get started on e-tides, you will set up an account name, with a password. At that time, you will provide the bank information for the ACL, information that remains in tact so it is available the next month. When you log in to e-tides, choose the "FILE .." option, and it will get you to the right place, and eventually the form to fill out.

    If you pay on time, a 1% discount is made. This is done when you fill out the form -- amount of sales, gross sales, use tax, credits, etc. The CALCULATE function will do the 1% for you, and will give you the net payment on the bottom of the form. I always print out the form for my records. The whole process take a minute or less. I get my tax obligation from a QuickBooks report.

    I think it is a requirement that Sales Tax be an itemized entry on your Invoices. In other words, you cannot just say "$40, taxes included." You must say "$40, plus $2.40 Sales Tax." QuickBooks makes this distinction easily. When setting up the service, you will provide the Sales Tax rate for that service (or product).

    For all the things that don't work very well in government, this is one that works very well. Once I got established, I've never had a problem. Remember, you must file on your period (monthly or quarterly), even if you have no Sales Tax collected (such as in off season). All your entries are zero, but you will get dinged with penalty for failure to file (filing and payment are independent).

    If it seems difficult to navigate, PM and I will be happy to help.
  9. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 452

    cool, thanks. I just got done setting up my account in that PA-100 site. Now I need to figure out what to do next. Sounds simple enough I suppose. Thanks again for all the help.

    Just to clarify:
    1. I NEED the HIC number correct? I have this already, Just want to be sure I didn't waste $50
    2. I NEED the fictitious name to be filed correct? I did this already, just wanted to be sure I NEEDED to do this. I'm a sole prop dba MJ Services Co. I had to add the Co at the end as there was already an MJ Services
    3. Now I registered with the tax people. I'm waiting on the email to approve everything.
    4. I have liability insurance, and all the contracts, invoices, cards, flyers, etc ready to go.
    5. Am I now officially in business? Or do I have to register some other places like labor and industry, etc?

    Thanks again

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