Region: Mid-Atlantic

Capital City: Harrisburg

State Governor: Josh Shapiro

Principal Cities: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Allentown

Welcome to the State of Pennsylvania - where your Business will thrive

Today’s competitive, global marketplace offers tremendous opportunities – and challenges – to businesses. These opportunities can be significantly enhanced by factors as simple as the right location and a business-friendly partner.

Great companies are built in Pennsylvania – including international ones. Domestic and foreign companies alike have reaped the benefits of Pennsylvania’s integration into the global economy. A leader in cross-border projects, with the largest network of overseas offices of any US state, Pennsylvania is committed to breaking down the barriers to entry for businesses looking to locate in the state. Not only is Pennsylvania home to almost 6,000-foreign owned businesses employing nearly 250,000 people, we are also one of the nation’s fastest growing exporters. Major international companies including Shire Pharmaceuticals, B Braun, Wren, Sanofi-Aventis, Almac, Carel, Pharmaxis and others have all found a place in Pennsylvania’s vibrant business community.

Our advanced infrastructure, educated and reliable workforce, wide-ranging initiatives, and critical mass of academic and research institutions make starting an LLC in Pennsylvania so promising as we are not only a desirable business location, but also the State of Innovation.

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Why you should locate your Business in Pennsylvania

World Class Economy and Prime Location

Pennsylvania’s ideal location gives global companies access to many North American markets – especially the U.S. East Coast and the Midwest. Four of the top 10 logistics metros in the U.S. Northeast are located in Pennsylvania.

Six out of 10 major U.S. market areas lie within a 500-mile radius of Pennsylvania’s capital. Within this radius lies access to vital markets that encompass:

  • 40% of the U.S. population and purchasing power
  • More than 60% of Canada’s population
  • 45% of U.S. manufacturers
  • 41% of the nation’s domestic trade and service industries

Transportation and Infrastructure

Pennsylvania offers every means to move your products, making it easy and convenient to reach your customers and markets. Pennsylvania’s comprehensive transportation network includes:

  • Access to the Atlantic via the Port of Philadelphia and the Great Lakes via the Port of Erie
  • Port of Pittsburgh is the 2nd largest inland port in the U.S., with access to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic, as well as the Pacific through the Panama Canal


  • Pennsylvania leads the U.S. with 69 operating railroads and ranks 5th in the nation in total track mileage at 5,145 miles
  • Pennsylvania rail freight employment ranks 7th in the nation with 6,856 jobs and ranks 8th in the wage rates paid for these jobs
  • 3 Class 1 railroads serve the Port of Philadelphia
  • 6 international airports and 16 scheduled service airports, boarding over 24 million passengers annually and moving nearly 800,000 metric tons of cargo
  • Pennsylvania has over 120,000 miles of highways and invests nearly $3.5 billion annually on road and bridge construction and maintenance


We have a high-quality, educated workforce of over 6 million, and a total population of over 12 million. Pennsylvania knows a quality workforce is a critical component of business competitiveness. Those companies with a presence in Pennsylvania acknowledge our workforce as one of the best.

  • 86% of Pennsylvania adults have earned at least a high school degree and more than 26% have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.
  • Extensive, customized job training programs and grants are available to businesses


Pennsylvania also recognizes the key to a quality workforce is a quality education. Each year, our world-class colleges and universities attract over 100,000 students from across the United States and around the world. Pennsylvania is home to:

  • 4 of the nation’s top 50 universities – University of Pennsylvania, Carnegie Mellon University, Lehigh University, and Pennsylvania State University
  • 8 of the top 50 liberal arts colleges; 3 of the top business schools and two of the top 50 law schools
  • The Wharton School is one of the nation’s top undergraduate and graduate business schools
  • One of the nation’s top graduate computer engineering schools – Carnegie Mellon University
  • The world’s best Materials Science Program, which is located at Pennsylvania State University

Special Economic Zones

  • Pennsylvania provides 6 approved general-purpose foreign trade zones. Individual manufacturers also hold sub zones, which are special-purpose zones, usually located at manufacturing facilities. Product and materials stored, manufactured, repackaged, or exhibited in a U.S. Customs Bonded Warehouse qualify for a lower duty or, upon re-export, the duty can be eliminated.
  • Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZs) represent one of the boldest, most forward-thinking economic development programs in the United States. Through credits, waivers, and comprehensive deductions, state and local taxes on economic activities in KOZs are reduced to almost zero. These tax abatements remain in effect through 2013, and in some zones, until 2018.

State Demographics - Pennsylvania’s Economy

13.01 % million
Population (2021)
$ 832 billion
GDP (2021)
6 %
Latest Unemployment Rate (2021)
5.6 % million
Workforce (2021)

Key Industries for starting an LLC in Pennsylvania

The manufacturing industry has always formed the foundation of Pennsylvania’s economy. Due to its longstanding nature, manufacturing in Pennsylvania has always been dynamic and constantly shifting to meet modern needs. Today, advanced manufacturing refers specifically to methods involving the use of innovative or cutting-edge technology to improve products and processes.

Pennsylvania’s advanced manufacturing and materials industry is experiencing a renaissance in its development. The commonwealth ranked 5th in overall manufacturing value added with $98.2 billion in 2010 – five percent of the national value, and the 6th largest manufacturing Gross State Product in the United States. Manufacturers in Pennsylvania now account for more than 12 percent of the total output in the state. Employment has risen substantially in the last two years – 12,100 jobs were created in 2011 alone. Governor Tom Corbett’s initiatives focus on a two-pronged approach to investing in Pennsylvania workers and partnering with job creators, to continue this growing employment trend. Manufacturers in Pennsylvania currently employ 574,000 people, 10 percent of its six million-strong workforce.

Manufacturing in Pennsylvania is highly diverse with no one sector dominating. Pennsylvania’s core manufacturing sub-industries include:

  • Chemicals
  • Fabricated metals
  • Machinery
  • Primary metal
  • Paper products
  • Plastics
  • Rubber
Plastics and Rubber

With Pennsylvania’s growing supply of natural gas due to the development of shale gas deposits (the Marcellus and Utica shale beds), the commonwealth’s already prominent plastics and rubber products industry is poised for even faster growth. Plastics and rubber manufacturing employed 46,500 people in 2010, ranking the state 6th in the country by employment. Pennsylvania also ranks 5th in the U.S. in both plastics shipment ($8.8 billion) and in value added to the plastics industry ($4.4 billion). Plastics industry shipments in Pennsylvania totaled more than $15.2 billion in 2010 and comprised 4.5% of national shipments ($341.4 billion). Plastic and rubber products are directly linked to the natural gas industry, as in the general manufacturing processes for plastics and synthetic rubbers (SRs), the raw materials – natural gas, petroleum, and coal tar – are refined, distilled and/or fractionated to produce gasses, light oils, middle fractions, and heavy oils used to make a variety of medical, automotive, recreation, and construction products.

Tubular Steel

The Pennsylvania steel industry employs close to 80,000 people and generated $9.35 billion of wealth and economic activity for the state, both directly through the manufacturing and processing of steel and through the ripple effects in the broader economy.
The Marcellus Shale formation – the world’s second-largest energy field – and the Utica Shale have presented a specific need that the Pennsylvania steel industry has stepped up to fill. In addition to conventional uses for steel, the natural gas industry requires steel for its pipelines and wells. Making tubular steel is a sophisticated process that involves engineering expertise to create stronger steel needed to sustain the deep drilling and hydraulic fracturing process. In response to the demand, several steel mills have upgraded or opened facilities to produce the smaller diameter pipeline needed for the advanced drilling techniques used to extract natural gas from the shale.

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Pennsylvania is a leader in food processing and is known for the variety and quality of both is produce and manufactured food products. From meat and poultry to chocolate and baked goods, the food processing industry in Pennsylvania accounts for $22 billion in annual sales and ranks it fourth in production in the nation. Currently, there are 66,600 employed by the food manufacturing industry.

The commonwealth’s agribusiness industry includes businesses directly engaged in or directly benefiting from agricultural activities. Businesses in this industry may produce agricultural commodities, purchase agricultural produce, or supply goods and services to farms and the agriculture industry. Agribusiness focuses on the food-supply chain up to, but not including, the point of retail sale.

Pennsylvania ships $30.4 billion worth of food products every year, ranking it among the highest producers in the country. In 2010, Pennsylvania’s crop and animal production industries contributed $2.6 billion to the state Gross Domestic Product, and the food, beverage, and tobacco industries contributed $8.1 billion.

The state’s 2,300 food processing companies rank 1st nationally in the sale of chocolate and cocoa products, 2nd in break and baked foods and animal food manufacturing, and 4th in the sale of potato chips and similar snacks. Pennsylvania’s meat, poultry, and fish products generate more than $4.3 billion in sales annually. The commonwealth also leads the United States in mushroom production, and an annual production of more than 425 million pounds, valuing $330.7 million per year.

Utz, Herr’s, and Martin’s are just a few of the popular snack food companies with their headquarters located in Pennsylvania. Their prominence (and that of other brands) has earned Pennsylvania the moniker, “Snack Food Capital of the World.” Other food processing establishments located in the state include large, internationally-known companies such as American Home Foods, Beech-Nut, Campbell’s Soup, Hershey Foods, Heinz, Kellogg’s, Kraft, M&M Mars, Quaker Oats, Stroehmann Bakeries, and Tyson Foods.

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Pennsylvania has long been home to a robust life sciences ecosystem – from our world-renowned research institutions, to the early state companies that get their start here, to mature and global pharmaceutical companies. Pennsylvania’s life sciences community has been developing the drugs, vaccines, devices, and diagnostics that are saving lives and improving the quality of life around the world. The commonwealth is focused on creating an economic climate where great ideas and outside-the-box thinking are not only encouraged, but embraced.

In 2010, Pennsylvania’s pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry added $7.5 billion in value to the economy, which is 7 percent of the state’s total manufacturing industry and 5.7 percent of the U.S. pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing added value. Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing is a prominent state industry subsector. It currently comprises 2.2 percent of total Pennsylvania manufacturing and 3.5 percent of the national medical devices industry.

Pennsylvania added $2.2 billion in value to the medical devices and diagnostics industry in 2010 and employed more than 19,500 individuals at 614 establishments within the industry in 2011. With Pennsylvania’s placement south of the venture capital pool of New York City, east of biotech clusters in Cleveland and Toronto, and north of the regulatory center of Washington D.C., the state serves as a convenient crossroads of industry. Pennsylvania contains the best of both worlds – in its western region, engineering principles are being incorporated into medical device creation, while pharmaceuticals are the emphasis in the southeast.

The number of life sciences firms has increased substantially in recent years, jumping 13 percent from 2,024 in 2008 to more than 2,270 in 2011. This increase was driven by the addition of 300 firms in the research, testing, and medical laboratory category. It is a change that represents an opportunity for future industry growth as these companies develop and employ additional people. Innovated thinking and extensive clinical trials also drive the state’s bioscience cluster.

Research & Development

Pennsylvania is an incubator of biological innovation, housing more than 1,800 biotechnology companies, institutes, and research facilities. It currently ranks 4th in the nation for R&D expenditures. Eight Pennsylvania universities are categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as having “Very High” or “High” research activity, and three were ranked in the top 25 in the country by the Center for Measuring University Performance.

Between 2004 and 2009, more than 5,040 bioscience-related patents were issued to individuals and entities in Pennsylvania, with drugs and pharmaceuticals representing the largest category. More than 840 clinical trials were initiated at Pennsylvania institutes in 2009. Fueling the state’s commitment to partner universities with businesses to commercialize key technologies, 45 Pennsylvania businesses received National Institutes of Health grants during FY 2011 for the research and development of technologies with potential commercial applications. The NIH awarded a total of $1,152,645,832 in funding to Pennsylvania research projects in 2011, ranking it 4th in the country.


Pennsylvania offers access to capital at every step, from startup to research to commercialization. A powerful blend of life science and business incubators, grant opportunities, low-interest loans, and tax credits, all work together to lower risk and promote growth and technology development. In 2010 and 2011, the Pennsylvania Life Science Greenhouses leveraged $116 million in total early-stage seed funding. Pennsylvania received $47.7 million in NIH funding in FY 2011 to train the next generation of pioneering scientists.

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Pennsylvania has been instrumental in the oil and gas industry from the start, beginning in 1859 when Col. Edwin Drake successfully drilled the first 70-foot deep oil well in Pennsylvania. Now shale gas deposits in the Marcellus and Utica formations present a multitude of opportunities for both gas-producing and non-gas-producing states. Shale gas is now driving Pennsylvania’s modern-day industrial revolution.

Underneath roughly 75 percent of the state lies the key to the future of the energy industry in Pennsylvania, one that has already created thousands of jobs and saved energy consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in energy bills.
In 2012, the natural gas industry reported over 5,800 wells drilled, with 2,875 producing. The state ranked 4th in shale industry economic contribution of 2010, and according to the U.S. Department of Energy estimates, the Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale projected production of 17.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day could represent nearly a quarter of the United States’ annual natural gas production and consumption in 2020, while producing nearly 160,000 jobs. For every $1 invested by Marcellus Shale producers, nearly $2 of total economic output is generated as a result.

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Pennsylvania believes in innovation. It recognizes the importance of groundbreaking technology and the potential that new ideas hold for industries across the state. The commonwealth is focuses on supporting the growing robotics, cyber-security, and digital technology companies in Pennsylvania. Funding from the state and federal government, as well as foundations and other organizations support various programs to develop and commercialize technology, subsidize education and training, recruit world-class talent, incubate and mentor early-stage companies, and facilitate networking.

Pennsylvania recently surpassed Illinois to become the 7th largest state by technology employment in the Tech America Foundation’s 2011 Cyberstates report, and CNBC ranked Pennsylvania 5th in the country for technology and innovation in its 2012 America’s Top States for Business report.

The commonwealth currently ranks 4th in the nation for R&D expenditures and was ranked 5th in medical research grants by CNBC in 2012. More than $4.5 million was invested in research projects and 110 patent applications were filled through the University Research Commercialization Grant Program in 2010-11. Eight Pennsylvania universities are categorized by the Carnegie Foundation as having “Very High” or “High” research activity, and three were ranked in the top 25 nationwide by the Center for Measuring University Performance.

More than 205,000 individuals are employed in technology industries in Pennsylvania. There are 260 degree-granting institutions in Pennsylvania, ranking it third in the nation. Four of the nation’s top fifty schools – including two ranked in the top 50 universities in the world, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania – lie within Pennsylvania’s borders. The state’s educational institutions are consistently among the top-ranked schools in business, biomedical research, material science, engineering, and computer science. With 26.4 percent of Pennsylvanians over 25 holding bachelor’s degrees, Pennsylvania’s quality workforce offers companies an ideal combination of knowledge and experience.

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Contact Information for your Business in Pennsylvania

Richard Kilner, Managing Director UK, Ireland

State of Pennsylvania, European Investment Office
Galtres House, The Green
Sutton, York YO61 1DR
United Kingdom

David Moock, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland

AHP International Group
Stralauer Platz 33-34
10243 Berlin, Germany

Nicolas Bernard-Masson,
Authorized Representative for Foreign Direct Investment France, Belgium, Switzerland

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
23, rue de Crépet, 69007 Lyon

Patrizia Marani,
Director Investment Office Italy

Via del Piombo 4 40125 Bologna

Jordi Reverte, Director
Spain, Portugal 

Carrer Diputacio 224 – Principal
Barcelona 08011

Ms. Karolina Kaptur,
Director Poland

c/o AHP International / MCX
ul. Gotarda 9
02-348 Warsaw

News about Pennsylvania