Delaware business owners, this one's for you. As a small business owner, you’re well aware of all the little headaches that paperwork and administration can cause on a regular basis. Even if you’ve been doing this for a while, it seems like a new to-do shows up on your list each year.
This year, that extra piece of paper you need just might be a Certificate of Good Standing for the State of Delaware. But, what is a Certificate of Good Standing and how do you get one?
What Is a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing?
If you own a business that’s incorporated in Delaware, it’s likely that at some point during your business operations, you’ll be asked for a Certificate of Good Standing. This is a document from the Delaware Secretary of State’s Division of Corporations that shows your LLC is active and compliant with Delaware state laws.
While this can sound a little intimidating, it’s actually quite simple. This document is proof that you’ve paid your taxes, have up-to-date state permits and have submitted your annual reports.
You might need a Certificate of Good Standing to:
Open a business bank account
Secure business financing
Expand your business to other states
Form partnerships with other members or businesses
Get hired by certain clients
Renew state licenses and permits
A Certificate of Good Standing isn’t a permanent document. Since it states that you’re up to date on your business taxes, a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing is only good for 30 to 180 days, depending on what it’s being used for. After that period of time, you’ll need to request a new certificate.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Good Standing Certificate from Delaware?
You can get a Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware anywhere between a few hours to a few weeks. The time frame depends on how much you’re willing to pay to get your certificate. Faster turnaround times incur higher fees.
The table below lists the different costs for expedited processing of a Certificate of Good Standing in Delaware.
Good standing (short form)
Good standing (long form)
How to Order a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing
If you need a Certificate of Good Standing from Delaware, here’s the simple three-step process you can follow to get your certificate.
1. Check the Status of Your Good Standing
Before you order your certificate, you’ll want to check the database to ensure that your business actually is in good standing with the state. If you are not in good standing, you won’t receive a certificate, so it’s best to check ahead of time.
To check your standing with the state of Delaware, you go to their online status portal and follow these steps:
Click the entity name that you want to see information for.
After paying the $20 fee, your results will return this information about your business entity:
Last 5 filings
Franchise tax assessment
Total authorized shares (if applicable)
Having this information will give you a good idea of whether or not your business is in good standing with the state of Delaware. To be in good standing with the state of Delaware, you must be up to date on paying your taxes, filing your annual reports and having the correct licenses and permits.
Licenses and Permits
To operate a business in Delaware, you must have the proper local, state and federal licenses required by your type of business. Some businesses don’t need licenses or permits to operate, while others due.
Common types of licenses and permits include health licenses and building permits. To update or renew your licenses or permits, you can go to Delaware’s One Stop website.
The state of Delaware doesn’t charge state sales tax but instead levies a receipts tax on a business’s gross revenue. Your business might also need to withhold taxes from employees’ paychecks and pay for unemployment. In addition to these taxes, Delaware LLCs must pay a $300 annual tax and all other corporations must pay a franchise tax.
Other than LLCs, all Delaware corporations must file an annual report. This report must be filed by March 1 each year. If your business is a corporation and the report has not been filed, you will not be in good standing.
2. Submit an Online Request for Your Certificate of Good Standing
Once you feel certain that your business is in good standing with the state of Delaware, then it’s time to request your Certificate of Good Standing.
Here are a few suggestions to make your process faster:
Under “Document Priority,” choose how quickly you need this request processed. Note: the faster you need your document, the higher the fee you will pay.
Under “Document Request Type,” you’ll choose “Certificate Request.” When requesting a Certificate of Good Standing, no supporting documentation is required, so you don’t need to upload any documents here.
Once you’ve filled out all of the required information, hit continue and pay the required fee.
3. Receive Your Certificate of Good Standing
On your application to receive a Certificate of Good Standing, you get to choose how you will receive your certificate. These are the options:
Messenger pick up
You will receive your paper copy of your Certificate of Good Standing in the method you chose at the time of your request.
If you’re looking to save your business a little time or hassle, you don’t have to order a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing on your own. At Incfile, we can help you to manage your company with our Certificate of Good Standing service where we handle this process for you.
Page is a freelance content marketing writer with experience writing about small business, the future of the workplace and health. She also operates a weekly email newsletter where she shares advice on living an authentic, intentional life. When not writing, you can find Page traveling, fostering older cats and working as a sexual assault advocate.