Start your Biz in Kennett Square

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania exemplifies the best of small town America. It is situated in the beautiful Brandywine Valley in southern Chester County, about three miles west of Longwood Gardens. It is a premier location to live and do business. Your guide to Doing Business in Kennett Square is part of the Borough-wide initiative to provide quality customer service and make it easier to expand or start a business.

This guide is meant to be your one stop resource for obtaining contact information for permits, licenses, and other information necessary for conducting business.

The town of Kennett Square welcomes you and your business. We are confident that you will find our town not only beautiful and friendly but supportive of your business needs. As the smallest town in America with its own symphony (which is supported by the Kennett Square community), we understand that it takes a community to make a business successful, and we want to make your business another success story in Kennett Square.

We want you to know that the local Kennett Square government, including the Borough Council, Borough Manager and Mayor, are all committed to making Kennett Square business-friendly. Please fee free to contact the Borough of Kennett Square (610-444-6020) and Historic Kennett Square (610-444-8188) with any questions or concerns about your business venture.

Sincerely,

Danilo Maffei
President, Borough Council
Nicole Grebloskie
President, Historic Kennett Square

 

ABOUT KENNETT SQUARE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT

The Borough of Kennett Square is governed by the Council Manager form of government. There are seven Council Members and a Mayor who are elected by the voters. The Chief Administrative Officer is the Borough Manager who is appointed by Council and is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Borough. Our Administrative offices are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m to 5 p.m.

The regular meetings of the Borough Council are held on the first and third Mondays of each month, beginning at 7 p.m. All meetings are held at the Red Clay Room of the Kennett Fire Co. on Dalmation Street, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Historic Kennett Square is a non-profit organization established in the mid 1980’s to provide economic development services to the downtown business community of the Borough. Its three general goals are to increase customer traffic; retain, expand and recruit viable businesses; and advocate the interests of downtown to government agencies. Direction for Historic Kennett Square is generated by a 15 member Board of Directors made up of local business and property owners. The Board meets the fourth Friday of each month at 8:30 a.m. in the Genesis HealthCare Building at 101 E. State Street, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

Kennett Square residents and businesses are cordially invited to attend and address the Council or Historic Kennett Square on matters of concern, in accordance with Council rules and Historic Kennett Square by-laws.

Joe Scalise 
Borough Manager,
Phone: 610-444-6020
Mary Skrzat Hutchins
Executive Director,
Phone: 610-444-8188

 

2014 ELECTED OFFICIALS

Matt Fetick
Mayor
Danilo Maffei
President
Geoffrey Bosley
Vice President
Doug Doerfler
Councilmember
Jamie Mallon
Councilmember
LaToya Myers
Councilmember
Wayne Braffman
Councilmember
Ethan Cramer
Councilmember

The items in this booklet are intended as a guide only and have been carefully researched and deemed correct. However, the Borough of Kennett Square and Historic Kennett Square cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. Please contact Historic Kennett Square with any suggestions or corrections.

 

BUSINESS START-UP CHECKLIST

  1. For demographic information, space availability and business information assistance, contact:Mary Skrzat Hutchins, Executive Director
    Historic Kennett Square
    Phone: 610-444-8188
    E-mail: mary@historickennettsquare.com
    Website: www.historickennettsquare.com
  2. Regarding zoning regulations, change of use, accessibility requirements and building and sign permits, contact:Office of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement in the Borough of Kennett Square
    Phone: 610-444-6020
    Fax: 610-444-3216
    E-mail: rdrumheller@kennettsq.org
  3. For assistance to prepare a written business plan complete with pro-forma statements that will serve as an operating guide as well as a financial prospectus, you may receive free and confidential advice through the following agencies:Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
    Kutztown University……………………………… ………. 610-458-5700
    Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE)…….……….. 610-344-6910
    Chester County Economic Development Council……………. 610-458-5700
    Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce….……… 610-444-0774
  4. Decide upon your business structure—sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or subchapter “s”or”c” corporation, Limited Liability Partnership, etc. To form a corporation in the state of Pennsylvania, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Department of State (form DSCB:1306). Phone: 717-787-1057
  5. Register your fictitious name with the Department of State. A fictitious name is any assumed or fictitious name, style or designation other than the proper name of the entity using such a name. The term includes the name of any association, general partnership, business trust, syndicate, joint venture or similar combination of groups of persons. To register, you must file form DSCB:54-311n (it can be downloaded from www.dos.state.pa.us) with the Corporation Bureau of the Department of State. Before or after registering a fictitious name, you will be required to place an advertisement in newspapers of general circulation in Chester County (such as the Daily Local News, 610-696-1775), as well as a legal paper in Chester County (such as the Law Reporter, 6100692-1889) Phone: 717-787-1057
  6. Every employer subject to employment taxes is required to obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. Contact the IRS for Form SS-4. Some businesses are re2uired to have an identification number for use on returns, statements and other documents even though they do not have any employees. Filing this form will result in you receiving all other federal tax forms and instructions required of a new business. Your EIN will also be used as your Pennsylvania employer identification number. Internal Revenue Service, Philadelphia, PA 19255. Phone: 1-800-829-1040
  7. If you employ one or more persons, you may be liable for the state unemployment compensation tax and must register with the Bureau of Employer Tax Operations. Contact Your Field Accounting Service for Chester County. Phone: 610-647-3799
  8. If you employ one or more persons, you may be liable for the state unemployment compensation tax and must register with the Bureau of Employer Tax Operations. Contact Your Field Accounting Service for Chester County. Phone: 610-647-3799
  9. Register your employees for the Borough of Kennett Square and Kennett Consolidated School District Earned Income Tax – a tax of 1% on gross wages and/or net profits from a business or profession. Forms can be obtained by calling Keystone Collections Group. Phone: 724-978-0300
  10. Various state taxes are imposed upon individuals, employers, businesses and certain products. The tax for which any business is liable depends on the type and structure of the business. Direct your questions on tax topics or ask general tax information to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. Phone: 717-787-8201
  11. Obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage for your employees. 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. Contact the Department of Labor and Industry’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in Harrisburg.
    Phone: 717-772-4447 Hot Line Phone: 1-800-482-2383
  12. For information on parking regulations as well as assistance with your parking needs, contact the Parking Division in the Kennett Square Police Department. Phone: 610-444-0501 or contact Historic Kennett Square.

 

ABOUT HISTORIC KENNETT SQUARE

Your first stop when exploring opening a small business in Kennett Square should be at Historic Kennett Square. It can provide you with a variety of information to help you make an informed decision about opening a business in the Borough.

    1. DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
      Comprehensive demographic information about Kennett Square is available from Historic Kennett Square.
    2. SPACE AVAILABILITY
      Historic Kennett Square operates a website (www.historickennettsquare.com) with a listing of available commercial space for lease or for sale. This allows for the potential entrepreneur to examine what is available in the Borough and to do some easy comparison shopping. Phone numbers of the owners or leasing agents of the properties are included.
    3. EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS
      Seminars and workshops are scheduled throughout the year to provide local entrepreneurs with the latest business information.
    4. COOPERATIVE ADVERTISING
      For businesses interested in cooperative advertising, Historic Kennett Square plans advertising events for the area. Especially during the holiday season cooperative programs are arranged. Historic Kennett Square also produces brochures that highlight local shopping, dining and parking. Brochures are distributed at Longwood Gardens and the various Visitor’s Center and provided to area businesses free of charge. Phone: 610-444-8188.
    5. FINANCIAL INCENTIVES
      The Chester County Economic Development Council (411Eagleview Blvd., Exton, PA Phone: 610-458-5700) offers a variety of financing and business assistance to companies both expanding in and relocation to Chester County.
      Sections of the Borough, including most of the downtown area, are located in the Historic District, which allows the owner of an income-producing property to apply for a federal tax credit under the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program administered by the US Department of the Interior. Guidelines for historic façade restoration are available at Historic Kennett Square or may be viewed at the Borough website (www.kennett-square.pa.us).Historic Kennett Square provides Design Challenge Grants, through a Façade Improvement Program, to property and/or business owners to encourage the appropriate renovations and restoration of building facades within the downtown C-1 boundaries. Design Challenge Grants covers six basic projects and activities. The categories and maximum amounts to be reimbursed upon completion of an approved project (up to 50 percent of the total cost) are:

      • Exterior Woodwork and Architectural Metals – $5,000
      • Masonry – $5,000
      • Cornices, Parapets and Roofs – $5,000
      • Signs, Awnings and Canopies – $3,000
      • Lighting Fixtures – $3,000

      These funds are limited to availability and disbursed on a first-come, first-served basis. The Design Committee reviews applications and recommends approval to the Board of Directors as warranted. Call Historic Kennett Square at 610-444-8188.

 

THE OFFICE OF BUILDING, HOUSING & CODE ENFORCEMENT

Borough of Kennett Square
120 Marshall Street
Phone: 610-444-6020
E-mail: rdrumheller@kennettsq.org

 

PERMITTING AND REGULATIONS

      1. PERMITTING
        Most people begin the development process by talking with the staff of the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement located in the Municipal Building (120 Marshall Street, 610-444-6020). This is where applications for building, electrical, mechanical and plumbing permits originate and where zoning interpretations are made. The friendly staff will work with you to help you understand the review process and help determine what code requirements you will need to move through the approval process. It is important for you to be as specific as possible with all questions in order for the department to give you the correct information.
        No construction may begin until a building and zoning permit have been issued
        Building Permit Fees: The Borough will discuss the most current fee schedule with you.
      2. ZONING DISTRICTSOne of the first considerations you may have prior to moving forward on a project is whether your chosen business location is properly zoned under the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance.Every property in the Borough is located within a zoning district. The seven classes of zoning districts are as follows: low density residential, medium residential, medium density residential or professional office, residential (7500 sq. ft. lots), secondary commercial, office industrial, and Kennett Center primary retail. Within those districts there are additional overlay zones, including the Historic District, Floodplain Conservation District, and Tall Building. It is important to verify which zoning regulations apply to your proposed location. The zoning officer will help you determine this. The Borough’s Zoning Ordinance contains provisions for permitted uses, setbacks, density, parking, height and other pertinent information.
      3. ZONING APPEALS, ORDINANCE AMENDMENTS, INTERPRETATIONS, AND VARIANCESApplicants who cannot fully comply with the Zoning Ordinance may file an appeal to the zoning officers determination or request a variance from any provision of the Zoning Ordinance. The rules and procedures for filing an appeal or requesting a variance are available in the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement. The application is reviewed by the Zoning Hearing Board for compliance with the Municipality’s Planning Code and the Comprehensive Plan for the Borough of Kennett Square. The Board makes its decision within 45 days of the hearing. The process takes approximately two months from the date of the application. Residents and property owners within 500 feet of the proposed development are given a notice either via the mail or hand delivery and a legal notice is placed in the local newspaper at the applicant’s expense.Ordinance interpretations are made by the Zoning Officer. If an applicant disagrees with the interpretation for the given application, an interpretation appeal may be filed to the Zoning Board through the Department of Building, Housing and Code enforcement.
      4. SITE/ BUILDING PLAN REVIEW
        1. Minor Site/Building Plan Review
          Minor site development is reviewed and approved administratively by the staff of the Department of Building and Housing.
          Guidelines to qualify for minor site review:

          • Additions
          • Any new parking area for less than 3 cars.
          • Construction of a temporary parking area or paving of an existing parking area.
          • Change in use of an existing building

          Applications must be submitted to the Zoning Officer with two (2) sets of a complete site plan. Under normal conditions, administrative review takes approximately two (2) weeks. Once you receive approval and all conditions are met, you may file and pay for you building permit.

        2. Major Site ReviewMajor site plans are reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission as a Land Development and then forwarded to Borough Council for their approval. The Planning Commission is appointed by the Borough Council to make recommendations on major site plans, subdivisions, conditional uses, zoning and text changes. Planning Commission meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Submissions are required a minimum of two weeks in advance to the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement.Guidelines for Major Site Plan Review and Subdivisions include any of the following activities:
          1. The improvement of one (1) lot or two (2) or more contiguous lots, tracts or parcels of land for any purpose involving a group of two (2) or more residential or non-residential buildings, whether proposed initially or cumulatively or single nonresidential building on a lot or lots regardless of the number of occupants by means of or for the purpose of streets, common areas, leaseholds, condominiums, building groups or other features.
          2. A subdivision of land.
          3. Development in accordance with Section 503 (1.1) of the Pennsylvania Municipalities planning Code, as amended through December 14, 1992.

        Applications must be submitted to the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement with fifteen (15) complete sets of site plans. The Building and Housing Department reviews and processes the applications for submission. The applicant will present their application to the Planning Commission at their next regular meeting.

        Note: Property owners adjacent to the proposed developments are notified by the applicant when the plan will be presented to the Planning Commission. Application fee’s per the borough’s fee schedule.

      5. SIGN PERMITSAny outdoor signage for your business must be issued a sign permit. To apply for a permit, stop by the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement or download the application from the borough’s website.You will need the following:
        1. Letter of permission from the owner;
        2. Indication on plan of all existing and proposed signs;
        3. Computation of the following:
        (a) sign area of each existing and proposed sign;
        (b) sign area, height, and setback of each existing and proposed free-standing sign; and,
        4. Sketch of the proposed signs indicating dimensions, materials, source of illumination, and construction method. If the sign is located in the ARB (Architectual Review Board) Overlay District, a certificated of appropriateness is required before a permit may be issued.
      6. HISTORIC DISTRICT REGULATIONSNo permanent sign or other structure within the Kennett Square Historic District may be constructed, altered or otherwise changed, in whole or in part, nor may the exterior architectural character of the structure be altered until after an application for such work has been fully reviewed by the Architectural Review Board (ARB) or the Historic Commission. Design Guidelines for the Kennett Square Historic district have been published and represents a comprehensive overview of allowed restoration activities that a property owner may conduct on Historic properties. Copies of the Design Guidelines are available at the Borough Hall and from Historic Kennett Square. After a certificate of appropriateness is recommended by the ARB, it is brought to Borough Council for their approval at their next regularly scheduled meeting. For additional information on the Historic District and ARB regulations, contact the Department of Building, Housing and Code Enforcement or Historic Kennett Square.The Architectural Review Board meets on the third Wednesday of each month to review “Certificate of Appropriateness Applications.” These applications are available at Borough Hall or at the Historic Kennett Square office or at www.historickennettsquare.com or www.kennett-square.pa.us. The Certificate of Appropriateness Application must be delivered to the Code Enforcement Office Ten (10) working days prior to the review date. “A Certificate of Appropriateness” does not exempt the applicant from obtaining building, zoning, use and occupancy, sign, fire, etc. permits required by the borough.Certificate fees:
        Commercial/Industrial: $100.00
        Commercial Signs: $50.00
        Public/Institutional: $300.00

 

BUSINESS RELATED PENNSYLVANIA STATE LICENSES

Bureau of Food Safety & Laboratory Service
717-787-4315
Bakery Licenses, Frozen Desserts, Non-alcoholic drinks, permit to sell milk, eggs and dairy products.

Liquor Control Board
717-783-82560
Liquor License, Malt Beverage to sell, Wholesale License to manufacture and sell.

Department of Public Welfare
Adoption, foster family, residential, maternity homes, day treatment services, private and county children and youth agencies: 215-560-2249

Day training for adults, community residential, vocational rehabilitation, intermediate care facilities, family living agencies: 215-560-2242

Child day care, group day care homes, family day care homes (registered):
215-560-2541

Personal Care Homes: 215-560-2916 Toll Free: 800-833-5094

Department of Revenue
Cigarette dealer’s license: 717-787-5393 (T. Nikoloff)
Lottery Agent: 717-986-4699
Small Games of Chance: 717-787-8275 (A. Kresge)

Bureau of Transportation
717-787-2838
Courier service, limousine, taxi service, travel agent, transportation license, trucking company.

 

PROFESSIONAL & OCCUPATIONAL AFFAIRS BUREAU

Accountant………………………………………………………………………………..717-783-1404

Architects License Board……………………………………………………………717-783-3397

Auctioneer Examiners…………………………………………………………………….717-783-3397

Barber Examiners………………………………………………………………………………..717-783-7155

Chiropractic……………………………………………………………………….717-783-7155

Cosmetology………………………………………………………………………….717-783-7130

Dentistry…………………………………………………………………………….717-783-7162

Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists…………………………..717-783-7049

Funeral Directors……………………………………………………………………717-783-3397

Landscape Architects…………………………………………………………….717-783-3397

Medicine………………………………………………………………………..717-783-1400

Navigation Commission for the Delaware River……………………………………..717-787-6458

Nursing………………………………………………………………………………717-783-7142

Nursing Home Administrators…………………………………………………….717-783-7155

Occupational Therapy Education and License…………………………………………717-783-1389

Optometry……………………………………………………………………………717-783-7155

Osteopathic Medicine………………………………………………………….717-783-4858

Pharmacy…………………………………………………………………………….717-783-7157

Physical Therapy…………………………………………………………………………………717-783-7134

Podiatry……………………………………………………………………………717-783-4858

Psychology…………………………………………………………………………..717-783-7155

Real Estate Appraisers, Certified…………………………………………………………..717-783-4866

Real Estate Commission………………………………………………………….717-783-3658

Social Work Examiners…………………………………………………………..717-783-1389

Speech-Language and Hearing…………………………………………………717-783-1389

Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons…………………………………..717-783-1697

Veterinary Medicine……………………………………………………………….717-783-7134

Complaints Against Licensed Professionals……………………………………………800-822-2113

MISCELLANEOUS

Attorneys (PA Board of Law Examiners)……………………………………717-795-7270

Food Stamps, License to Sell
(U.S. Department of Agriculture)……………………………………………215-597-4303

Private Investigator……………………………………………..Contact your County Clerk of Courts
County Food Handlers License………………………………………………………Call 610-344-5938

To obtain information on health regulations for food establishments and employees. A fifteen-hour course on food handling is required.

 

TAXES

      1. EARNED INCOME TAX
        A tax of 1% on earned income, including salaries, wages, commissions, bonuses, incentive payments, fees, tips and other compensation received by residents and non-residents for services performed or rendered in the Borough of Kennett Square and on net profits receive from businesses, professions or other activities conducted by residents of the Borough or non-residents doing business in the Borough is payable to Keystone Collections Group, appointed earned income tax officer for the Borough. For a registration form or if you have any question, contact Keystone at: 724-978-0300.
      2. EMERGENCY AND MUNICIPAL SERVICES TAX
        Anyone working with in the Borough of Kennett Square and earns $600 or more are subject to an Emergency and Municipal Services Tax of fifty two dollars ($52.00) per annum. Keystone Collections Group, a statewide tax collection firm, collects the Borough Real Estate Taxes. Any questions regarding the above taxes should be directed to Keystone Collections Group at 724-978-0300.

 

PARKING

On-street parking in Kennett Square is intended for a high turnover of spaces, while the parking lots and the parking garage are designed to serve long-term parking needs.

      1. PARKING METERS
        The on-street parking meters are for turnover (short-term) parking; therefore, continuously feeding the meters is prohibited. Parking meters are enforced, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Sunday and legal holidays.
      2. PARKING GARAGES
        Clean and secure parking garage is located at North Union and Linden Streets for your convenient parking needs. Monthly parking passes are available by calling the Kennett Square Police at 610-444-0501.
      3. ANNUAL LOT PERMITS
        The Borough of Kennett Square has a limited number of annual parking permits, which are sold for selected parking lots. For information on location and availability, contact the Parking and Services Division.

 

USEFUL WEBSITES

Borough of Kennett Square
www.kennett-spuare.pa.us

Historic Kennett Square

www.historickennettsquare.com

Chester County

www.chesco.org

Chamber of Commerce of Southern Chester County

www.scccc.com

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

www.kutztown.edu/acad/sbdc

Chester County Economic Development Council

www.ccdcseed.org

Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry

www.ccdcseed.org

Official Informational Portal to Government Education & Non-Profit Websites

www.chestercountyconnect.net

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

www.inventpa.com

www.paopen4business.state.pa.us

www.state.pa.us

www.pacareerlink.state.pa.us

 

This booklet is published by Historic Kennett Square in cooperation with the Borough of Kennett Square. For additional copies contact: Historic Kennett Square, P O Box 333, Kennett Square, PA 19348 – Phone: 610-444-8188 – www.historickennettsquare.com