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How Do I Check My Business Status?

 

Stacked papers with green check mark on them

Q: What do I need to do for my LLC to be in good standing, and how do I check on this?

Thank you to a client from New York for that great question! For a business to be in good standing with the state, it must be up to date with state reports, fees, and business taxes. You can easily find out if your business is in good standing by going to the website of the government office where you filed your formation paperwork and searching for your business. We’ll tell you how.

How to find out if your business is in good standing

Every US state and jurisdiction has an online business database where a business owner can easily look up their business. (Guam is an exception to this. To find out if your business is in good standing in Guam, you’ll need to call the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.) Here’s how to find out your business status:

1. Visit your Secretary of State (or equivalent) website

Go to the website of the government office where you registered your business. (In most states, this is the Secretary of State’s office.) For example, if you formed your business in New York, you’ll go to the New York Department of State website and search the Corporation and Business Entity Database.

2. Find your state’s business entity search

Typically, the business entity search will be found on the website under “Business Services” or a similar page. You can also google “STATE business search,” and the official business entity search for your state should be one of the first results. Depending on your state, the business entity search might have a different name, such as “Corporations Database.”

3. Search for your business

You can then search for your business using your business name or entity ID number.

4. Check your business status

Once you find your business, click on it, and you’ll find information about your business, including your business status. If the status is listed as “Active” or “In Good Standing,” this confirms that your business is in good standing. If the status is “Inactive,” “Non-compliant,” “Delinquent,” or something similar, you’ll know your business is not in good standing. The entity search will usually also tell you the reason why your business isn’t in good standing—such as because you were late in filing your annual report.

How to get your business back in good standing

If you find out your business isn’t in good standing, don’t panic. You can probably fix this just by filing an overdue form and paying a fee. If you were able to find out from the business entity search why your business is in bad standing, you know what you need to do. For example, if you were late in filing your annual report, you need to file this report and pay the fee (along with any late fees) to get back in good standing. If you aren’t sure why your business is in bad standing, you might need to call the government office and ask.

What if my business was dissolved by the state?

If your business was dissolved by the state because of non-compliance, you can often apply for reinstatement and return your business to active status. Each state has its own process for reinstatement.

Learn how to reinstate an LLC or corporation in your state.

How to prove your business is in good standing

So far, we’ve talked about how to find out if your business is in good standing. But what if you have to prove to a bank, investor, or another state that your business is in good standing? For this, you’ll need a Certificate of Good Standing (also called a Certificate of Status or Certificate of Existence). This is a document issued by the government office that formed your business (again, this is usually the Secretary of State) that proves that your business is currently in good standing with the state. In most states, you can apply for a Certificate of Good Standing online and receive it the same day.

Learn How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing.

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