A horizontal photo of Washington Road, with cars parked on the side, looking toward Howard Hannah.


New Businesses

Starting a new business? Congratulations! We would love to help. You’ll find lots of great resources on this page.

Business Plan

Develop a Good Business Plan and Put It on Paper
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that you consider four core questions before you begin writing your business plan:

  • What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?
  • Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?
  • How will you reach your potential customers?
  • Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?


Excellent, low- or no-cost resources are available to help you with this indispensable, critical first step.

U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration which funds two Small Business Development Centers in our area:

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania also offers assistance to small business owners:

  • PA Open for Business is the result of the Commonwealth’s goal to make Pennsylvania the easiest place in the world to start, sustain and expand a business. This web site gives entrepreneurs “one door” to access business information, explore financial options and download or complete many of the important forms necessary to start and grow a business.
  • The SCORE Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide.
    • SCORE’s 10,500 retired and working volunteers provide free business counseling and advice as a public service. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Next Steps

The resources listed here are invaluable aids to get your new venture off on the right foot. When you’ve developed a first draft of your business plan, discuss it with your accountant, your banker, and others whose opinions you trust. Question your own assumptions and research thoroughly. Make necessary adjustments, but once you’ve got your plan, stick with it.

Choose a location

Contact Commercial Districts Manager Eric Milliron to ask about available spaces (412) 343-3412.

Check with Inspections to see what zoning and building code regulations apply to your site

Before you can occupy your business site, you will need a Certificate of Use, Occupancy and Compliance, a Building Permit (if you’re planning any interior renovations or other construction) and other permits as required. Applications for these and other permits can be obtained from the Inspection Department.

If you have questions, you can email or call Rodney Sarver, Chief Inspector at (412) 343-3468 or visit the inspection office on the second floor of the Municipal Building.


First, see your banker and discuss your plans. Remember that initially you will need money for any renovations you plan to undertake, machinery and equipment, inventory and an appropriate reserve of working capital.

Economic Development Fund

If your bank cannot lend the full amount, you may want to consider the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority’s Economic Development Fund. This $50 million low-interest revolving loan fund was established in 1995 to create and retain jobs in the region. Since its inception, the EDF has created or retained an estimated 6,360 new jobs with a $43.8 million investment in local companies.

Information on the EDF is available by calling (412) 350-1089.

New Construction

If your project involves new construction or the purchase of land, we recommend that you schedule a meeting with the Land Use Group, which meets every Wednesday morning at 9 am.

This group, comprised of the Municipal Manager, Planner, Engineer, Chief Inspector and Commercial Districts Manager, will help you to plan your project so that it complies with all the applicable ordinances. The Land Use Group can also advise you on how to secure all your permits and approvals in a timely manner.

To schedule an appointment, contact Municipal Planner Ian McMeans at (412) 343-3620.

Other State Permits & Requirements

The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry enforces key legislation pertaining to environmental health and safety of the labor force.

This oversight includes:

  • Elevator regulations
  • Flammable and combustible liquid regulations
  • Minimum wage laws
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Worker safety
  • Workers’ compensation

For a full listing of licenses, permits, and certifications, see Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Federal Requirements

IRS Assistance
Contact the IRS at (800) 829-3676 to apply for a Federal ID# (Form SS-4) and request a tax kit.

Let Them Know You’re There

Mt. Lebanon has wonderful advertising opportunities, from Mt. Lebanon Magazine to Recreation Facilities Displays. For information, go to our page dedicated to advertising.