Jump Start Philly is designed to attract new businesses and entrepreneurs that create jobs to Philadelphia by exempting them from paying the Net Profits Tax and the Business Income and Receipts Tax, formerly the Business Privilege Tax, during the first two years of operations. Additionally, fees will be waived for eligible new businesses for a variety of licenses and registrations, including the Commercial Activity License, formerly the Business Privilege License.
All businesses are still required to apply for applicable licenses, but eligible new businesses pay no fee. To qualify for this exemption, your business must meet certain requirements.
For qualifying new businesses, exempt license fees include:
- Amusement license
- Food establishment license
- Sidewalk café license
- Curb market license
- Street vendor license
- Sidewalk sales license
- Center City vending license
- Neighborhood vending license
- Newsstand license
- Handbill distribution license
- Weights and measures registration
- Waste collection and recycling licenses
- Towing license
- Auto repair shop license or permit
- Hazardous chemical license or permit
To qualify as a “New Business” for these exemptions:
- The business must be a “New Business.” A New Business is a business that was not subject to Philadelphia business taxes at any time during the five Tax Years prior to starting business activity within Philadelphia.
- The New Business must file with the Department of Revenue a New Business Waiver Application. This application is wrapped into the online process of registering for the Business Income and Receipts Tax, and within the paper application for the Commercial Activity License.
To maintain “New Business” status:
- The New Business must have at least three full-time employees, who are not family members and who work in Philadelphia at least 60% of the time, by the first 12 months of the business and continuously through the 18-month anniversary of becoming a new business, and
- Have at least six full-time employees, who are not family members and who work in the City at least 60% of the time from the 18 month anniversary of the business continuously through to the 24-month anniversary of operations.
- A family member is defined as: a parent, spouse, life partner, child, sibling or relative-in-law
Note: If the Department of Revenue finds that a taxpayer claiming the status of a New Business was not entitled to that status after the fact, the taxpayer shall be liable for any unpaid taxes, interest, fees and charges that would otherwise have been due.
Exclusions, the term “New Business” does not include:
- A business affiliated with or sharing substantial ownership or control with a business that has filed a business privilege tax return
- A business created through an ownership change of a business that has filed a business privilege tax return, including, but not limited to:
- A merger, acquisition or reorganization
- The transfer of an existing business to a person who maintains the same or substantially similar business
- And the closing of an existing business and its subsequent reopening as the same or similar business
- A business formed for the purpose of evading or avoiding payment of taxes or fees
- A business primarily engaged in holding, selling, leasing, transferring, managing or developing real estate
For Business Income and Receipts Tax information –
Department of Revenue:
For Commercial Activity License Information –
Department of Licenses and Inspections
License Issuance Unit – PSC
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 3:30pm
(*closes at 12:00pm/noon last Wednesday of every month)
Contact the License Issuance Unit HERE