How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing
When You Want More
Your business may need to get a certificate of good standing before registering to do business as a foreign entity in another state (called “foreign qualification”). Check out the guide below to learn more about the steps required to obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state.
Certificate of Good Standing for Foreign Qualification
What Is A Certificate Of Good Standing?
Getting a certificate of good standing from your business’s home state is often part of the foreign qualification process. The point of a certificate of good standing is to let other states know that your business (such as an LLC, corporation, nonprofit, LLP, LP, or other types of registered entities) is in good standing in its home state. This means the business is current on all of its state fees and has filed all necessary state reports. Some states will also use a certificate of good standing to verify the date when your business was formed.
For example, if your business was formed in Ohio and wants to do business in Illinois, you would need to register in Illinois as a foreign business entity (where “foreign” just means out of state). Part of the process of registering to do business in another state involves providing a certificate of good standing from your home state. Keep in mind that the new state might not ask specifically for a “certificate of good standing” because some states refer to them differently.
A certificate of good standing might also be called a certificate of existence, a letter of good standing, or a certificate of status.
Learn how to register a business in a new state at Northwest’s guide to foreign qualification.
Which States Require a Certificate of Good Standing?
Not every state requires a certificate of good standing. If you register as a foreign business in Alaska, Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, or Texas, you needn’t worry about obtaining a certificate of good standing (the same thing goes for foreign LLCs registering to do business in Alabama).
However, timing is very important for states that do require a certificate of good standing to register as a foreign business entity, and some states will only register out-of-state businesses that can present a certificate of good standing obtained within a specific time frame prior to registering (usually 90, 60, or 30 days).
States that require a certificate of good standing less than 90 days old: Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Washington.
60 days: Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois (for LLCs), Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska (for corporations), New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.
30 days: Arkansas, D.C., Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wyoming.
6 months: California, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska (for LLCs), and North Carolina.
1 year: New York and West Virginia.
Where Can I Get a Certificate of Good Standing?
You can get a certificate of good standing from the secretary of state, or the equivalent state agency, in your business’s home state. Most states provide several ways to obtain a certificate of good standing—in person, over the phone, online, by email, by fax, or by mail—though the available methods and fees vary from state to state. Wyoming and Colorado will issue certificates of good standing for free.
After you’ve ordered your certificate of good standing, some states will send you a physical piece of paper (an original) to attach to your application for foreign qualification, while other states (such as Wyoming) simply ask you to print the certificate yourself from an online account. Additionally, a copy of the certificate will satisfy most states, but some states expect originals. In such cases, the state will keep a list of states that only provide certificates of good standing online, and a digital copy will work just fine.
How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing in Any State
Below, you’ll find the prices and response times for getting a certificate of good standing in each state. You can also click a specific state name to learn more about that state’s processes and requirements for obtaining a certificate of good standing. We have compiled information on the fastest, least expensive, and most efficient ways to obtain these documents, and it’s free for anyone to use.
You can also hire Northwest to get your business’s certificate of good standing for you. In most states, our office is already close to the office of the secretary of state (sometimes even within walking distance!), so we can get your certificate quickly and easily.
Need a certificate of authority, as well? You can hire Northwest to register your business in any state. Additionally, if you’re registering to do business in a new state, you’ll likely need a registered agent in that state. We offer registered agent service in every state, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
|State||Cost||State Processing Time|
|Delaware||$50.00||2-3 business weeks|
|DC||$16.50||10 business days|
|5-10 business days|
|Minnesota||$15.00||4 business days|
|Nebraska||$10.00||3 business days|
|New Hampshire||$5.00||5-7 business days|
|New Jersey||$25.00 Corp, nonprofit, and LP
$50.00 short form, $100.00 long form LLC and LLP
|New Mexico||$50.00 profit Corp
$10.00 non-profit Corp
|5-10 business days|
|New York||$25.00||2-3 business days|
|North Carolina||$12.00||immediate online|
|North Dakota||$10.00 + $5.00 search of records: Sole Proprietors and GP
$15.00 + $5.00 search of records: LP, LLP, LLLP, PLLP, LLC, PLLC, Corp
|1-2 business days
in person counter service: while you wait
|Oklahoma||$20.00 online processing + 4% credit card processing fee||within 1 hour online|
|Oregon||$10.00||3-7 business days
in person counter service: while you wait
|Rhode Island||$22.00 online
$20.00 regular processing
|2 business days online
5-7 business days normal processing
|South Carolina||$10.00||2-3 business days
Counter Service: while you wait (in person only)
|South Dakota||$20.00 + $5.00 if emailed or faxed back||1-2 business days|
|Tennessee||$20.00 by mail
|1-2 business days – Counter Service: while you wait (in person only)
Order online and print from website
|Texas||$15.00||1-2 business hours online|
|Vermont||$25.00||3-5 business days|
|Virginia||$6.00||2-3 business days|
|West Virginia||$10.00||24-48 business hours online
Counter Service: while you wait
|Wyoming||free online||immediate online|
|Canadian provinces||varies depending on province||varies depending on province|
|Puerto Rico||$15 for corporations; $25 for LLCs||immediate online|