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What Is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is an official document issued by your state’s Secretary of State office to verify that your business is compliant within the state of incorporation and therefore is in “good standing.” Just like having a driver’s license or other forms of personal ID, a Certificate of Good Standing proves that your LLC or corporation is officially registered and authorized to operate in your home state.

A Certificate of Good Standing can also be known as:

  • Certificate of Existence
  • Certificate of Authorization
  • Certificate of Status

The Good Standing Certificate is a one-page document provided by the Secretary of State and gives conclusive evidence of the status of your business entity. In many cases it can be valid up to three months.

 

Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing?

In certain situations, you may be required to prove that your business exists and is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations. A Certificate of Good Standing from your state serves as this proof.

Different authorities may require a Certificate of Good Standing, including:

  • Other state governments

    as part of the process of applying for Foreign Qualification for your business to register to do business in states other than your home state

  • Lenders or banks

    that want to get proof of your business’s existence and business history as part of evaluating your creditworthiness for a loan or when carrying out certain types of transactions

  • Investors or business partners

    who want to make sure your business is legitimate and in compliance with laws and regulations

  • More capital

    C Corps are typically much more attractive to potential investors, like venture capitalists and shareholders, because this type of business structure allows for wider ownership of the corporation.

Simply put, the Certificate of Good Standing helps you prove that you are a law-abiding business owner who complies with the rules. It helps enhance your trustworthiness and credibility with potential partners, investors and lenders.

Obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing is a simple but sometimes necessary step in maintaining your business’s good reputation and branching out your business operations into new areas.

 

How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing?

After you form your LLC or corporation, it’s important to stay up-to-date on filing your annual report, biennial report or other required forms and compliance paperwork. To stay in good standing, your business needs to meet a few key requirements, depending on your company’s home state. These typically include:

  • Being up-to-date on annual or biennial fees to the Secretary of State to register or renew your business

  • Filing annual or biennial reports

  • Paying any other necessary business fees or franchise taxes to state regulators

To get a Certificate of Good Standing, you’ll need to file the appropriate form with your state, or Incfile can do it for you.

 

Help to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

Save on stress and let Incfile take care of the paperwork for you (for a lower cost than other providers!)

To obtain a Good Standing Certificate, the business entity must be registered as a legal entity with the Secretary of State and cannot be in default of corporate regulations, suspended or revoked by the state.

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Get Your Certificate of Good Standing with Incfile

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Common Questions About Obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing

How Much Does a Certificate of Good Standing Cost?

Whether you need a Certificate of Good Standing for your LLC, Corporation or Nonprofit, the cost is $49 + the fees required by your state. State fees vary from $0 to $60.

Are There Any Hidden Costs?

No! We pride ourselves on transparency. There are absolutely no hidden costs associated with you obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing.

How Long Does a Certificate of Good Standing Take?

How long it takes to get a Certificate of Good Standing depends on a number of variables, but you should expect it to take anywhere from several days to several weeks.

The filing time depends on the governing state agency and varies by state.

Are There Any Guides or Resources for Getting Started?

You can find resources related to Certificate of Good Standing here.

Why Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is typically needed in the normal course of business by another organization (business partner, bank, lender, investor or regulatory authority) to prove that your business entity is legally registered with the state and is in good standing. The Certificate of Good Standing proves that you have paid any necessary fees and filed required paperwork to keep your business chartered, registered and in compliance with your state authorities.

Is My Corporation in Good Standing?

In most states, you can check if your business is in good standing by conducting a search on your Secretary of State website.

Incfile can help you determine your standing no matter where you live.

What Does It Mean When a Company Is Not in Good Standing?

A company is considered to not be in Good Standing if it has not met some key filing requirements such as:

  • Keeping up to date with annual or biennial fees to the secretary of state when registering or renewing your business.
  • Filing annual or biennial reports.
  • Paying any other necessary business fees etc to state regulators.
What Will Happen if My Entity Is Not in Good Standing?

If you apply for a Certificate of Good Standing with us, but the entity that the certificate is being requested for is not in good standing, we will contact you. We’ll provide details as to the status of the corporation or LLC and issue a full refund or provide assistance in bringing the entity back to good standing. This process is usually referred to as reinstatement.

Where Can I Get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can obtain your certificate of good standing from your state’s business filing agency. Often, this is your secretary of state office (or one of its subdivisions).

But in some cases, you may have to find the equivalent agency that’s responsible for filing entities and maintaining state records.

Should I Pay for a Certificate of Good Standing?

Yes, you should pay for a Certificate of Good Standing to ensure that your company is compliant across the board. Even if you choose not to go with a service like Incfile, most states have their own fees (the average being around $10 to $25) so you will have to pay to get this certification regardless.

Who Can Get a Certificate of Good Standing?

LLC’s, C Corporations, S Corporations Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships are all types of business entities that are registered with the state and can therefore obtain a certificate of good standing.

Do You Need a Certificate of Good Standing for LLC?

Whatever your business type, you normally only need a certificate of good standing if someone you’re conducting business with needs you to provide one.

A Certificate of Good Standing proves that your business (whether it be an LLC, C Corp or S Corp) was legally formed, is active and has been and continues to be properly maintained.

How Long Is My Certificate of Good Standing Valid?

The validity of a certificate in terms of age is determined by the organization that has requested it. Under most circumstances a requesting organization will require that the document is not expired, or older than 30 days.

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