Certificate of Good Standing

How To Obtain Certificate Of Good Standing

For businesses in any state, having a certificate of good standing is essential. It confirms that the enterprise has filed all the required documents, paid their federal and state taxes and complied with all state business formation regulations. To qualify for the certificate, a business must also meet all permitting requirements, comply with local zoning laws and be legally cleared to enter into contracts and do business with even federal, state and local governments. Businesses that consistently qualify for this certificate have access to excellent opportunities others do not.

How The Certificate Helps

Business that have fulfilled all the requirements to merit a ‘Good Standing’ certificate from the state government earn trust and respect from investors, financial institutions and government entities. The certificate makes it much easier to get needed business loans from banks and find investors willing to put money into your business because your company has shown it has all its documents in order. This signals that you are managing your business properly and are more likely to be successful going forward. Being able to garner an influx of cash when needed is important for any business.

Proof Of Legitimacy

Another benefit of having a good standing certificate is that it signals to anyone considering doing business with you that your company is legitimate and authorized to transact business with anyone anywhere in the state. Having the certificate also enables your company to bid on state and federal government contracts. The certificate proves you have fulfilled all the requirements necessary to legally continue to operate your business. The good standing certificate proves you have been cleared by the state to continue to operate your business and your methods are considered to be beyond reproach.

Who Can Apply For The Certificate

There are a number of types of state registered business entities that can apply for and obtain a good standing certificate and have it confer great benefits as they work towards their short and long-term goals. Businesses that can apply include:

Type Of Company Unable Receive The Certificate

Not all types of companies qualify to apply for a good standing certificate. The key qualifier is whether or not the company is required by law for registering with the state. If a company is not registered with the state, the state government cannot even consider issuing them a certificate that says they are in good standing. Types of businesses that don’t qualify for the certificate in most states include:

  • Sole Partnerships
  • General Partnerships

This is true whether or not those companies have DBAs. States have different laws related to which types of companies are required to register and may be called upon to show a good standing certificate. It’s essential to consult the business filing agency for your state to make sure you don’t have to register your company and attempt to get a good standing certificate. People with sole proprietorships and general partnership who are asked to show a good standing certificate can provide their bank account information or their tax returns in lieu of the certificate.

Let Us Help You!

Let Us Help You!

Type Of Company Unable Receive The Certificate

Not all types of companies qualify to apply for a good standing certificate. The key qualifier is whether or not the company is required by law for registering with the state. If a company is not registered with the state, the state government cannot even consider issuing them a certificate that says they are in good standing. Types of businesses that don’t qualify for the certificate in most states include:

  • Sole Partnerships
  • General Partnerships

This is true whether or not those companies have DBAs. States have different laws related to which types of companies are required to register and may be called upon to show a good standing certificate. It’s essential to consult the business filing agency for your state to make sure you don’t have to register your company and attempt to get a good standing certificate. People with sole proprietorships and general partnership who are asked to show a good standing certificate can provide their bank account information or their tax returns in lieu of the certificate.

When Showing A Good Standing Certificate Is Required

There are a number of instances when a company may be asked to present their good standing certificate. Some of the most common occasions include when:

  • Raising Funds From Investors
  • Creating A Business Bank Account
  • Trying To Get A Business Loan
  • Seeking Small Business Insurance
  • Recruiting Business Partners
  • Bidding For Government Contracts Or Loans Backed By The Government
  • Signing Contracts With New Suppliers Or Companies
  • Registering In Another State To Do Business

In these and other instances it’s not unusual to be required to present proof of good standing. Ideally, you should get the certificate before hand. This will prevent you from having to do last minute scrambling at the state agency to update the status of your company while negotiating with investors or the source of a loan.

How Long The Certificate Is Valid

In some states the good standing certificate expires after a set period of time. Certificates that are valid in one state might not be valid in another. Plus, some financial institutions, investors and other organizations or agencies may require a good standing certificate issued in the last 90 days or some other specific time frame. Sometimes the reason that your company needs the certificate or the state in which you are attempting to do business determines how recent the good standing certificate date of issue has to be.

The Importance Of Maintaining Good Standing

Not every transaction requires you to show a good standing certificate. However, if you are looking to expand your business or service area, having the certificate can help. The good standing certificate is sometimes a necessity when attempting to fulfill the legal business requirements in another state. Some states won’t let businesses that do not have a good standing certificate from the state in which they were formed transact business in the new region. In some states, the certificate is required to be less than 60 to 120 days old, or some other short time period, for the company to do business there.

Penalties For Not Having The Certificate

In a number of states a company that has not maintained their good standing are subject to a fine. The business also must comply with all state regulations and have their good standing certificate or they will lose the limited liability protection their business status filing provides. In some states, businesses that aren’t in good standing are considered to be conducting business without being in compliance. In addition to losing the liability protection the co-owners enjoy, the business runs the risk of being subject to administrative dissolution and being prevented from doing business in the state.

Problems Associated With Losing Good Standing

Companies that have lost their good standing may find themselves mired in a wide array of problems. The company could end up being more susceptible to business identity theft. The business could also lose their access to the state courts should they lose their good standing. Some identity thieves mine business entity search engines looking for companies that are no longer in good standing. They then hack their websites and use the information they gather to perpetrate all types of fraud using the company’s name. This can severely damage a company’s reputation and make it near impossible for them to do business moving forward.

How To File For A Good Standing Certificate

The laws governing business entities vary from one state to another. The document verifying that the company is in good standing is also known by a variety of names. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Certificate Of Good Standing
  • Certificate Of Existence
  • Certificate Of Status

Other states refer to the certification by a several other names. However, no matter what the certificate is called, it’s essential to ensure you remain updated on exactly what your state requires for a company to maintain good standing. The certificate, which is signed by the secretary of state, certifies the business that receives it is in compliance with all required legal and tax necessities. In most states businesses are told they must request the official good standing certificate by regular postal mail. It must be accompanied by a filing fee that is usually between $10 and $25 depending on the state. It’s not necessary for companies to be founded in a state to request a good standing certificate there. Foreign companies registered as a business entity in that state can request a good standing certificate there.

Online Services

Business entities can go online and get information on whether or not they are in good standing by visiting the website of the issuing agency in most states. All they have to do is enter the name of their company exactly as it was when they registered it with the state. It’s also possible to have an online legal service handle the entire process of filing for a good standing certificate for you. For a small fee they can even identify what issues your company has that’s preventing it from being in good standing with the state and help you to reclaim your good standing through the reinstatement process.

State By State Good Standing Application Process

  • ALABAMA
    This state offers a “certificates of compliance” through the website of the Secretary of State of Alabama. All you have to do is connect to the “certificate of compliance” link. There are step-by-step directions there for updating your status. If your company isn’t in compliance, it provides a number to call for more information.
  • ALASKA
    Companies can apply online for a good standing certificate as well as check their current status through Alaska’s online database. Businesses there must file biennial reports and note if the company’s officials have changed.
  • ARIZONA
    Using the website of the Arizona Corporate Commission Corporations, in person or by mail, corporations as well as limited liability companies are able to submit a records request form to find out if they are in good standing.
  • ARKANSAS
    This state has a website through which businesses that qualify can purchase and print good standing certificates.
  • CALIFORNIA
    Businesses can find out the status of their standing online in California. However, applications requesting good standing certificates and status reports must be done by mail or in person through the Sacramento office of the Secretary of State of California.
  • COLORADO
    The website of the Secretary of State of Colorado can provide businesses with information on their status and standing. There’s also a link where it’s possible to securely file for or request certified copies of the good standing documents.
  • CONNECTICUT
    Called the “certificate of legal existence”, the good standing certificate is available online. Businesses in Connecticut must submit an annual report in the month of their anniversary annually.
  • DELAWARE
    Information on a business’ good standing is available online. To get an official good standing certificate, businesses must submit requests in writing along with a Certificate request cover letter.
  • FLORIDA
    Companies in good standing in Florida are issued a good status certificate. The state’s official website, Sunbiz.org, provides information on a company’s status and the ordering instructions for getting a certificate verifying their status by mail or online.
  • GEORGIA
    In Georgia, businesses can check their “certificates of existence” online through a portal that’s easy to follow.
  • HAWAII
    Hawaii requires companies wishing to maintain good standing do a business filing annually. They can learn their status or print good standing certificates online.
  • IDAHO
    It’s possible to get certificates of existence on the state’ website or by mail in Idaho. Businesses can use the state’s Business Entity Search engine to check their status.
  • ILLINOIS
    In Illinois businesses must define their companies as a corporation or LLC to get information on good standing status. An Illinois Authentication Number is required to get a certificate verifying their status.
  • INDIANA
    Businesses in Indiana can use third party websites like MyUSACorporation.com to get a certificate verifying their good standing.
  • IOWA
    Iowa issues “Certificates of Standing” through the state’s website. If the business is eligible, they can print the certificate from the business entity database.
  • KANSAS
    In Kansas, businesses can request a good standing certificate from the office of the Secretary of State by mail, telephone or online.
  • KENTUCKY
    Businesses in Kentucky can check their status using the Kentucky Business portal. To remain in good standing, businesses in Kentucky must send the state an annual report
  • LOUISIANA
    In Louisiana, it’s possible for business to check their Good Standing status online. They can also purchase an official certificate through a link that is provided on the state’s website.
  • MAINE
    In Maine businesses can verify their status online. They are required to file annual reports by June 1. The filing can be done online.
  • MARYLAND
    The Maryland Business Express website is where businesses get information on their status and request official certificates.
  • MASSACHUSETTS
    In Massachusetts businesses can see if they are in good standing by visiting MassTaxConnect. An entity tax status certificate must be filed with the Commonwealth annually.
  • MICHIGAN
    To get an official compliance certificate, businesses in Michigan must mail a request to the state’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs department. Companies can find out their status online.
  • MINNESOTA
    To check their status and request a good standing certificate, businesses in Minnesota must visit the Business Filings Online portal.
  • MISSISSIPPI
    Businesses in Mississippi that want information on their status or a good standing certificate must visit the registered filer login for Mississippi Corporations and register.
  • MISSOURI
    To check their status, Missouri businesses must visit the state’s business listing search. They must then visit the Corporations Online Portal and register to order a certificate.
  • MONTANA
    In Montana, businesses must file annual reports every April. To check their standing they must visit the state’s business search database. To get a certificate, they can click on the “Request Entity Information” link.
  • NEBRASKA
    Nebraska businesses can use the state’s online Business Services website, click on Corporation and Business Search and follow a link to get a certificate.
  • NEVADA
    The SilverFlume is Nevada’s Business Portal. Once the business is registered with the site, they can check their status and request any needed documents.
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE
    Businesses can register online with the state’s Corporate Division to get information on their status and obtain documents. To maintain compliance, annual reporting is required.
  • NEW JERSEY
    New Jersey’s business records database can provide most businesses with their entity status and issues certificates. The state requires annual filing and a status report costs $6.25.
  • NEW MEXICO
    In New Mexico, businesses can check a full report of their good standing status online. Businesses must submit annual reports and can get an official certificate by mail or online.
  • NEW YORK
    Businesses in New York that are in good standing receive a certificate denoting their status. To get information on its status, businesses must contact the secretary of state’s office located in Albany, New York by telephone at (518) 473-1654. The search is conducted by business name or a DOS ID number. Good Standing certificates must be requested by mail or fax.
  • NORTH CAROLINA
    Businesses must visit the website of the Secretary of State to check their good standing status in North Carolina. If the company is listed as ‘Current-Active’ you are in good standing. The site also has a link for filing annual reports.
  • NORTH DAKOTA
    Visiting North Dakota’s Business Records Search reveals companies entity standing status. Unless the database lists your company as “active & good standing”, you must file an annual report through the link provided. To request a good standing certificate, you must contact the Secretary of State Business Division by mail, telephone or online and make a $5 payment using a credit card, money order or check. They can be reached at: 800-352-0867 extension 328-4284 or 701-328-4284.
  • OHIO
    In Ohio, a business’ good standing status can be checked through the state’s Business Filing Portal using your charter/registration number. That number can be used to obtain a good standing certificate through Ohio’s online automated service.
  • OKLAHOMA
    The website of the Secretary of State in Oklahoma provides information on the good standing status of businesses. Obtaining an official certificate requires a $20 fee.
  • OREGON
    Annual report filing dates and business status information is available through the Find a Business portal in Oregon. Completing and faxing or mailing the provided form is necessary to get a certificate.
  • PENNSYLVANIA
    Businesses in Pennsylvania listed as “active” in the state’s business database are in good standing. Getting official certificate requires contacting the office of the Department of State at 717-787-1057.
  • RHODE ISLAND
    Business status information is available through Rhode Island’s Corporate Database. Businesses listed as “active” are in good standing. To get a certificate, use the “Request of a Certificate” link.
  • SOUTH CAROLINA
    Using the Business Entities Online direct portal in South Carolina lets businesses check their status on the “Search Existing Entities” link. Certificates are available online.
  • SOUTH DAKOTA
    Annual reports are required for businesses to maintain good standing in South Dakota. The reports can be filed online. You can check your status and request certificates online on the state’s Business Services portal.
  • TENNESSEE
    Tennessee’s Business Services Online system lets businesses file their annual reports, find out their good standing status and get a “certificate of existence”.
  • TEXAS
    In Texas, business status information and “certificates of account status” are available by visiting the Comptroller’s online portal. To get a certificate, a completed Form 05-359 is required.
  • UTAH
    Businesses in Utah can check their good standing status by visiting Utah’s Business Name Search online. It shows Active, Good Standing and Delinquent status. To get a ‘Good Standing’ or “certificate of existence”, you must click on the link or mail or fax the request with the company name, the requesting party’s name, type of certificate needed, a daytime phone number and the address to which to send the information.
  • VERMONT
    The Vermont Corporations Division provides information on your business’ status. You can also contact the office of the secretary of state at 802-828-2386. To request an official certificate, register on the secretary of state’s website. You can also file annual or biannual reports there.
  • VIRGINIA
    Businesses in Virginia can use the state’s SCC eFile system to learn their status and receive a ‘Certificate of Fact’ or ‘Good Standing’ certificate. This can be done using a business name or an SCC ID. Businesses can also file their annual reports and pay annual fees there.
  • WASHINGTON
    Using their nine-digit Unified Business Identifier, businesses can use the Washington State Corporations database to check on their status or obtain a certificate.
  • WASHINGTON, D.C.
    Once they create a profile on CorpOnline, businesses in Washington, D.C can check their status and request a good standing certificate.
  • WEST VIRGINIA
    In West Virginia companies can use the Business Entity Search to check for active status as well as filing history. Annual reports must be filed. You can also buy certificates of existence there.
  • WISCONSIN
    Wisconsin businesses can find out their good standing status through Searching Corporate Records. They can also order certificates of status through the system.
  • WYOMING
    Businesses are required to file annual reports in Wyoming to maintain good standing. They can file their reports and find out their status online using the state-issued filing ID. Businesses can also get their good standing certificate online with their filing ID.

Let Us Help You!

Let Us Help You!

Business Compliance And The Certificate of Good Standing

When you are attempting to expand your business, it is essential to get a good standing certificate. Always keep this document handy when opening bank accounts, applying for business loans and bidding for government contracts. Having the good standing certificate is also useful for businesses planning to register outside their home state and expand nationwide. The certificate can be very helpful and even required in those instances. It is easy and inexpensive to get the good sanding certificate. The office of the secretary of state or your state’s business filing agency can help you to get started.

A Valuable Tool

The certificate is a valuable tool for businesses of all types.