PRINTER'S NO. 978
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
778
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY HUGHES, FONTANA, COLLETT, COSTA, STREET, KEARNEY
AND SCHWANK, JULY 6, 2021
REFERRED TO STATE GOVERNMENT, JULY 6, 2021
AN ACT
Providing for small business fee exemption.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Short title.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the Small
Business Fee Exemption Act.
Section 2. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Business fee." A fee required to be paid to the
Commonwealth or a political subdivision for starting or opening
a business within this Commonwealth. The term does not include a
fee for maintaining licensure or other requirement for
continuing to operate a business.
"Department." The Department of State of the Commonwealth.
"Disadvantaged business." As defined in 62 Pa.C.S. § 2102
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(relating to definitions).
"Microbusiness." A business that is a sole proprietorship,
partnership or corporation which has five or less employees.
"Minority-owned business." As defined in 62 Pa.C.S. § 2201
(relating to definitions).
"Service-disabled veteran-owned small business." As defined
in 51 Pa.C.S. § 9601 (relating to definitions).
"Small business." A business which is independently owned
and:
(1) Employs 100 or fewer employees.
(2) Had annual revenues of less than $10 million in each
of the last three tax years.
(3) Is not dominant in its field.
"Woman-owned business." As defined in 62 Pa.C.S. § 2201.
Section 3. Exemption.
(a) Full payment exemption.--In addition to the exemption
provided to a veteran-owned or reservist-owned small business
under 51 Pa.C.S. Ch. 96 Subch. C (relating to business fee
exemption), the following shall be exempt from the payment of a
business fee:
(1) A woman-owned small business.
(2) A service-disabled veteran-owned small business.
(3) A minority-owned small business.
(4) A disadvantaged small business.
(5) A microbusiness.
(b) Partial payment exemption.--A small business other than
a small business eligible for a full exemption under subsection
(a) shall be exempt from the payment of 50% of a business fee.
(c) Proof.--A person applying for the exemption under
subsection (a) or (b) shall, at the time of filing a business
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application, provide the department or licensing authority of a
political subdivision with documentation of the person's
eligibility for the exemption in a form and manner prescribed by
the department.
(d) Status.--The department or licensing authority of a
political subdivision, in consultation with other Commonwealth
agencies, may determine an applicant's status as a small
business eligible for an exemption under this section.
Section 4. Offenses.
The following shall apply:
(1) A person who fraudulently obtains a business fee
exemption under section 3 commits a misdemeanor of the third
degree.
(2) A person assigning, transferring or attempting to
assign or transfer a business fee exemption or using or
attempting to use a business fee exemption contrary to this
act commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Section 5. Reporting.
The department shall annually determine the total number of
business fee exemptions applied for and issued and the total
dollar amount of the exemptions under this act and submit a
report to the chair and minority chair of the Community,
Economic and Recreational Development Committee of the Senate
and the chair and minority chair of the Commerce Committee of
the House of Representatives. The report may be submitted
electronically.
Section 6. Applicability.
This act shall apply to business applications for new
businesses filed on or after July 1, 2021.
Section 7. Effective date.
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This act shall take effect in 30 days.
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