What is a Certificate of Good Standing?
Have you ever been asked for a “Certificate of Good Standing” for your business? It might sound fancy, but it’s basically a report card from the state saying you’re doing things right. Think of it as a clean bill of health – proof you’ve filed your annual report, paid your taxes, and generally haven’t gotten into any trouble with the state your business is registered in.
The name of this document varies by state but is typically referred to as one of the following:
- Certificate of Good Standing
- Certificate of Status
- Good Standing Certificate
- Certificate of Existence
- Certificate of Subsistence
What is a Certificate of Good Standing used for?
Business owners don’t often need one until someone requests one from them. Here are some of the most common reasons that a business may need a certificate of good standing:
- Loans or financing
- Potential investors
- Other state governments
- Entering into business contracts
How long does it take to get a Certificate of Good Standing?
Processing time varies by state, with some states offering expedited processing or instant issuance of a Good Standing for delivery via email. Some states, however, have longer processing times or may mail a physical copy of the Good Standing.
If you are interested in learning the delivery timeframe for a specific state, head over to our Good Standing order page and select your state of choice from the drop down menu. Once you select your state, scroll down and you will see the turnaround time details above the “add to cart” button.
How Long is a Certificate of Good Standing valid for?
Need to prove your business is in good standing? Certificates of Good Standing verify this, but validation processes vary across states. While some states offer online verification, others involve direct contact with the Secretary of State.
Remember, the Certificate of Good Standing only reflects good standing as of its issuance date. The requesting party might require a recent Good Standing (within 30, 60, or 90 days) based on their needs. So, check your state’s verification process and understand the desired “freshness” of the Good Standing to ensure it meets the requirements.
What Happens if You are Not in Good Standing
If you attempt to retrieve a good standing and your business is not in good standing, no service provider will be able to get one for you.
The most common reasons why an entity may not be in good standing include:
- Your business did not pay taxes or annual fees to the state and therefore lost their good standing status with the state of registration.
- Your business did not maintain a registered agent (a requirement of most states). This could happen if you failed to pay your registered agent fees and your registered agent resigned.
How to Get Back in Good Standing
If we attempt to pull a Certificate of Good Standing for you and find that your business is not in good standing, we will notify you of this, along with the steps that you must take to bring your entity back in to good standing.
Often times this includes paying owed taxes or filing your annual report with the state.
In some cases, some states may “void” your entity if it has been out of good standing for long enough. This varies by state but it could mean that your entity no longer technically exists. If we find that your entity is void, we may be able to assist you by filing a revival (again, this depends on the state and specific situation).
How to Order a Certificate of Good Standing
URA can assist you in retrieving a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf, often in just hours. You can order a Certificate of Good Standing online here.
Some states allow you to order a good standing from them directly, while some require that you go through a registered agent or corporate service provider.
If you have any questions about ordering a Good Standing, feel free to give us a call at (855) 236-9172.