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A Certificate of Good Standing, also called a "Certificate of Existence" or "Certificate of Authorization," is a state-issued document that shows that your corporation or limited liability company (LLC) has met its statutory requirements and is authorized to do business in that state. Think of it as a kind of 'snapshot' of your business's compliance status.

Among other things, a Certificate of Good Standing confirms that your business:

  • Is up-to-date on its state fee payments
  • Has filed an annual report
  • Has paid its franchise taxes

There's a good chance you'll need to secure a Certificate of Good Standing from time to time during the life of your business. Many companies request a Certificate of Good Standing occasionally for their own records. A Certificate of Good Standing may also be required by:

  • State governments, if you're applying for foreign qualification there
  • Lenders, when you're trying to obtain financing
  • Banks, for certain transactions
  • Potential business partners or investors

You may need to present your Certificate of Good Standing in order to renew specific licenses or permits, and a Certificate of Good Standing is also important evidence when it comes time to sell your business. In addition, if you are looking to register to do business in additional states, those states may ask for a copy of your Certificate of Good Standing.

incorporate.com can help.

incorporate.com can order Certificates of Good Standing from the Secretary of State in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. By obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing, you can be sure that your business has satisfied its annual report, franchise tax, and other obligations. Provide us with some basic information about your company, and we'll order your Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State on your behalf.

Learn More

Get more details about the value of your Certificate of Good Standing by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions section.

Call us at 855-236-4043 to get started.

Good Standing FAQs

What is Good Standing?

A business entity is said to be in Good Standing if it has filed all appropriate paperwork with the Secretary of State (or equivalent agency) and it has paid all applicable annual fees that are due to renew its charter.

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Why is Good Standing important?

Maintaining good standing for your company is very important. Without it, a company may not be able to open a bank account, obtain financing, or apply for or renew business licenses and permits. In order to maintain good standing, a company must fully act in accordance with state law. A company can fall out of good standing if it fails to file its annual report or files it late or fails to pay any applicable annual fees to a state. Most importantly, preserving good corporate standing also protects the company's owner from personal liability for actions of the corporation or LLC.

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How do I maintain Good Standing?

You maintain Good Standing by ensuring compliance with your state's laws, including fulfilling any annual report or filing requirements for the state where the company was formed and registered to do business.

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Is there a way to prove my company's Good Standing?

Yes. A company can order a Certificate of Good Standing from the state. A Certificate of Good Standing can also be called a Certificate of Status or Certificate of Existence, depending on the state. The document would specify that the business maintains good corporate standing, has filed an annual report (if the state requires this) and has paid all state taxes and fees.

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When would I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

Financial institutions such as banks often request a Certificate of Good Standing. Also, if your company is looking to to expand into other states, your company will need to provide a a Certificate of Good Standing to those states in order to register to do business in those states.

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