This guide tells you all about the What Certificate of Good Standing is, Why you need one, and How you can get your Certificate of Good Standing.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is issued by the state of incorporation from the Department of State. 

It is also known as a Certificate of Status or Certificate of Existence. It verifies that a company is incorporated correctly, up to date on all required state filings, and legally permitted to run a business within the state’s borders.

Texas Certificate of Good Standing
Source: Texas Certificate of Good Standing: Harbor Compilance

Why Do You Need a Certificate of Good Standing?

You don’t absolutely need to have a Certificate of Good Standing in your state to do business there. However, it may come in handy if you find yourself in one of the following circumstances.

  1. To Opening a Business Bank Account
  2. To Partnering with Other firms
  3. To Raising Capital for the Business
  4. To Renewing Various Business licenses
  5. To Sell your Business
  6. To Doing Business in the Other States

Is a Certificate of Good Standing Necessary for your Business?

A certificate of good standing isn’t required, but not maintaining good standing in your state can have serious repercussions.

You may be fined when you are operating a legal business entity (LLC or corporation) without a good standing certificate, and you want to keep your liability protection as a legal business entity.

Also Read: What is a Certificate of Formation? (Comprehensive Guide)

Is a Certificate of Good Standing Required for a Sole Proprietorship?

Not every business structure needs to be registered with the state that’s why not all businesses can get Good Standing Certificate.

You do not need to register with the state if you are running your business as a sole proprietorship, and if you are not incorporated with the state, you cannot get a Certificate of Good Standing.

In short, for getting a Good Standing Certificate, you must have a legal business entity like Limited Liability Company or Corporation.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Certificate of Good Standing

The cost to get a Good Standing Certificate in each state is different. Here is the list of all the fees for a Good Standing Certificate from every state.

Arizona $45
California $5
Iowa $5
Kansas $15
Maine $30
Mississippi $27
Missouri $10
Montana $5
Nebraska $10
Nevada $50
New Hampshire $5
New Jersey $25
New Mexico $25
New York $25
North Carolina$12
North Dakota $20
Oregon $10
Pennsylvania $40
Rhode Island $22
South Carolina $10
South Dakota $20
Tennessee $20
Texas $15
Utah $12
Vermont $25
Virginia $6
Washington $20
Washington, D.C. $16.50
West Virginia$10

How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing

The process of dealing with the government can be frustrating. But getting a certificate of good standing is pretty straightforward.

You can obtain a certificate of good standing in some states. The state business filing agency is often the secretary of state office, but your local city clerk can also issue such certificates in some cases.

In some cases, you’ll need to contact both the state agency responsible for filing entities and the agency responsible for maintaining state records.