Small Business Start-Up Guide

Strategic Business Planning

Prepare a Business Plan

Preparing a business plan is always the first step in business development. A typical business plan will include:

  • Description of Products And Services
  • Marketing Plan
  • Management Plan
  • Financial Plan and Projections

A business plan will help you identify resources, prioritize them and determine how best to become profitable. Several agencies are available to help you with your business planning:

  • Small Business Development Center, Widener University, (610) 619-8491
  • Small Business Development Center, Temple University, (215) 204-7282
  • Small Business Development Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, (215) 898-4861
  • SCORE, Service Corps of Retired Executives, (610) 266-3000
  • Entrepreneur Works – Delaware County, Chester, PA 19013 (610) 499-7528

Identify and Secure Financing

Funding your business adequately is critical to developing a successful enterprise. Two government agencies serve as a starting point to assist you in identifying loans and other financial products to start your business:

U.S. Small Business Administration,
PA Department of Community and Economic Development,

Operating Your Business

Decide on a Business Structure

Several options for business structures are available. Whether you choose to operate your business as a sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation, partnership or other structure, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania you must file Articles of Incorporation (form DSCB: 15-1306) and a Docketing Statement (form DSCB: 15-134A) with the Pennsylvania Department of State. Additional information may be obtained by calling (717) 787-1057 or by visiting

Register Your Business Name

Generally, any sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other form of association that conducts business under an assumed or fictitious business name must register this name with the Pennsylvania Department of State. To register you must file form DSCB: 54-311 with the Corporation Bureau of this Commonwealth agency.

After registering your business name the Commonwealth requires an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in Delaware County. Additional information and resources are available at the Pennsylvania Department of State, (717) 787-1057,

Secure a Federal Employer Identification Number

Every employer subject to employment taxes must obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Even if you do not have reportable employees you may be required to obtain an EIN for use on tax returns, statements and other documents. Upon filing for an EIN you will be in line to receive all other federal tax forms related to operating a business. The required form (SS-4) can be downloaded from the IRS website at or by calling (800) 829-1040.

Register for PA Employer Tax Accounts & Obtain Workers’ Compensation Coverage

In Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation insurance is required if a person, company or corporation has any full or part-time employees. This includes employees, family members, one-person corporations and corporate officers. For more information, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Harrisburg at (717) 772-3702.

Lansdowne Resources and Approval Process

Select Your Site

Choosing a location for your business is extremely important. Lansdowne is a transit-oriented community with a SEPTA regional train station (R-3). Whether your intent is to establish a neighborhood-serving retail or services business, undertake the adaptive re-use of a building or storefront, or serve a global audience, the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation is available to assist you at (610) 745-4063.

Lansdowne Zoning Consultation and Approvals

Once you have established a business plan, it important that owners consult with the Borough of Lansdowne’s Zoning Department before signing a lease or purchasing property.

Lansdowne’s Zoning Department regulates land and building development, inspections, and building-related codes, to help maintain a vibrant quality of life and commerce for our residents and business owners. The Department supports the Borough’s economic development by helping commercial entities and business owners complete their projects as efficiently and effectively as possible.

You will want to be confident that the potential location allows for the type of business you wish to create (or expand), and you’ll need to know which permits or approvals are required. Generally you can expect a Zoning team member, in partnership with other Borough departments, to assist business owners through our zoning and permitting process.

Zoning will specifically assist with:

  • Zoning permits
  • Building permits and inspections
  • Health license applications
  • Historic zoning compliance (downtown historic district only)
  • Installation of signage
  • Waste removal and recycling

To schedule a consultation and initiate the process, please contact:

Michael Jozwiak, Director of Zoning and Code Enforcement
(610) 623-7300 ext. 232

Lansdowne Contact Information

Lansdowne Borough Hall
12 E. Baltimore Avenue
(610) 623-7300

Lansdowne Code Enforcement & Permits
Michael Jozwiak
(610) 623-7300 ext. 232

Lansdowne Building Inspections
John Gould
(610) 623-7300 ext. 212

Aqua (Water Company) (610) 527-8000

PECO Energy (800) 494-4000

Trash/Sanitation Department (610) 622-6318