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A Certificate of Good Standing is a document issued by the state agency that handles business entity registration (commonly the Secretary of State).  This document is used to show the official existence and authority of a registered entity (Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) and Not-for-Profit Corporation) to do business in that state. 

Most states use the term Certificate of Good Standing but other states may Letter of Good Standing, Certificate of Existence, Certificate of Authority, or Certificate of Compliance, but all are referring to the same thing.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing used for?

This certificate is occasionally needed for the verification of a company. The most common reasons include:

  • Registering as a foreign entity in order to operate in other states
  • Opening a bank account or merchant account
  • Applying for a business loan
  • Signing up with vendors and suppliers to purchase inventory
  • Registering or renewing a business license


The Certificate of Good Standing is only available to an entity that is registered with the Secretary of State’s office.  A Sole Proprietorship or Partnership are not able to get a Certificate of Good Standing.  To prove their existence, a Doing Business As registration (DBA) is typically requested.

In addition to being a registered entity, the Annual Report filing must be up-to-date and all state fees and taxes paid. 

Cost of a Certificate of Good Standing

The cost of a Certificate of Good Standing varies by state and sometimes by entity.  While a few of 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?

The length of time a certificate is valid for varies by the requestor, but is generally accepted within 30-90 days of purchase. 

How can a company lose their status of Good Standing?

A company’s status of good standing is typically lost by not filing their 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 some states you are able to download and print the document immediately while others can take up to two weeks to be sent by mail. 

How to get a Certificate of Good Standing

Click on your state below for information on how to get a Certificate of Good Standing