A Certificate of Good Standing is a document issued by the state agency that handles business entity registration (commonly the Secretary of State or Department of State). This document is used to show the official existence of a registered entity (Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and Not-for-Profit Corporation) and that it’s legally registered and authorized to operate in the business’s home state. Most states use the term Certificate of Good Standing, but other states may Letter of Good Standing, Certificate of Authorization, Certificate of Status, Certificate of Existence, or Certificate of Compliance, but all are referring to the same thing.
This certificate is occasionally needed for the verification of a company. The most common reasons include:
- Registering or renewing business licenses or permits
- Purchasing business insurance
- Registering as a foreign entity in order to operate in other states
- Opening a business bank account or merchant account
- Applying for a business loan
- Signing up with vendors and suppliers to purchase inventory
Certificates of Good Standing are only available to business entities that are registered with the Secretary of State’s office. A Sole Proprietorship or Partnership is not able to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing. To prove their existence, a Doing Business As registration (DBA) is typically requested. In addition to being a registered business entity, the Annual Report filing must be up-to-date and all state fees and franchise taxes paid.
Cost of a Certificate of Good Standing
The cost of a Certificate of Good Standing varies by state and sometimes by the requesting entity. While a few states don’t charge for a certificate, the fee is usually between $10 and $50. Depending on the requestor, a screenshot or printout from the Secretary of State’s website may be sufficient.
How long is a Certificate of Good Standing valid?
In most states, there isn’t usually an expiration date on a Good Standing Certificate. The length of time a certificate is valid varies by the requestor but is generally accepted within 30-90 days of purchase.
How can a company lose its status of Good Standing?
A company’s good standing status is typically lost by not filing its annual report on time, timely paying of taxes, or maintaining a registered agent.
How long does it take to get a Certificate of Good Standing?
In most states, a copy of the certificate can be made off of the Secretary of State’s website; however, in some instances, a paid certified copy will be required.
The certified copy is available in some states to download immediately, while it may take up to two weeks to be sent by mail in other states.
How to request a Certificate of Good Standing
Click on your state below for information on how to get a Certificate of Good Standing