Fact checked for accuracy by Billie Anne Grigg, a bookkeeper and Mastery Level Certified Profit First Professional.

Looking to create, own, and operate your own business? A certificate of good standing is a legal document that authorizes a business is legally operating within the state they are in. Although not necessary to run a business entity, successful business owners who look to expand their business and conduct professional transactions should obtain a certificate of good standing.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A certificate of good standing verifies that a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained. It states that the business has filed all reports and fees with the Secretary of State’s office. It’s concrete proof that the entity exists and is authorized to conduct business within the state.

Certificates of good standing are also known as “certificate of existence,” “status certificate,” “certificate of authorization,” and “certificate of status.” However, most states go by the standard “certificate of good standing.”

Costs for a certificate vary among states. However, most certificates cost under $100 to obtain. Certificates of good standing are not the same as “certificates of tax status” or “certificates of tax compliance.” These forms show that the business is current with its tax filings and monetary payments.

Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing?

No, certificates of standing are not necessary. However, they do provide tangible proof that the entity is allowed to operate legally within its state.

Certificates of good standing also come in handy within various scenarios, such as the following:

  • Creation/operation of a business-related bank account.
  • Application of business loans.
  • Solicitation of investment loans.
  • Registration to do business in a different state.
  • Contracting with another company.
  • Transferring/selling a business.
  • Setting up a debit or credit card payment system.

Steps to Get a Certificate of Good Standing and Costs

As mentioned before, each state and Washington, DC, has its own fees and rules for obtaining a certificate of good standing. Often, businesses will hire an independent company to go through the trouble of getting a certificate. However, there is a feasible way to get one yourself without hiring anyone.

A breakdown of the cost and subsequent instructions in each state for procuring one is listed below:

Alabama

Certificate of Existence

Online: $28 Mail: $25.

Alaska

Certificate of Compliance

Online: $10.

Instructions for a certificate of compliance can be found here. The document can be printed immediately upon paying the $10 fee.

Arizona

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $10. Expedited: $35.

The form can be mailed or sent electronically.

Arkansas

Certificate of Good Standing.

Cost: $25.

Directions for obtaining a certificate can be found here. The document is available to be downloaded immediately.

California

Certificate of Status

Cost: $5.

A records order form must be mailed to the Secretary of State, and the fee must be paid. In-person requests are usually processed within a day, whereas mail-order requests may take up to a week.

Colorado

Certificate of Good Standing

No fee.

Instructions for obtaining one can be found here. The certificate is available immediately to download or print.

Connecticut

Certificate of Legal Existence

Cost: $50 or $100 to expedite.

Applicants must create a CT.gov account and apply online.

Delaware

Certificate of Status | Certificate of Good Standing

Certificate of status (short-form): $75. Certificate of good standing (long-form): $175.

Two certificates may be requested either electronically or by mail: a short-form certificate of status or a long-form certificate of good standing. They are always sent via mail.

Florida

Certificate of Status

Corporations: $8.75. LLCs: $5.

Applicants can go online or via mail. Their website also has a database online.

Georgia

Certificate of Existence

Normal processing: $10. Two-day processing: $60.

Applicants can go online.

Hawaii

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $7.50.

Applicants can go made online or via mail.

Idaho

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $10.

Applicants can go online, and processing takes seven to ten days.

Illinois

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $25.

Applicants can go and make a request online through a searchable database.

Indiana

Online: $26. Mail: $30.

Applicants must create a login on Indiana’s INBiz portal, then may request online or via mail. The document is available immediately if requested online.

Iowa

Certificate of Standing

Cost: $5.

Applicants can go online, and the document can be printed immediately with its own unique ID.

Kansas

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $10. Mail/phone: $15.

Applicants can search for their business online, and applicants can then obtain a certificate.

Kentucky

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $10 (additional $5 for a return fax).

Applicants can apply online or via fax.

Louisiana

Certificate of Good Standing/Certificate of Existence

Cost: $20.

Applicants can obtain one online through a business database or via mail.

Maine

Legal Existence

Cost: $30.

Applicants can obtain one online for both long and short-form certificates.

Maryland

Certificate of Status

Cost: $20 (plus credit card/eCheck processing fees).

Applicants can go to the Maryland Business Express site to obtain a certificate.

Massachusetts

Certificate of Good Standing

Corporations: $12. LLCs: $25.

Applicants can go online to obtain a certificate.

Michigan

Certificate of Good Standing

In-person: $12.50. Other: $10.

Applicants can request online, via mail, in person, or over the phone.

Minnesota

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $15. Mail/in-person: $5.

Applicants can go to Minnesota’s online page or via mail.

Mississippi

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $25.

Applicants must create an account on the Secretary of State’s website then request the certificate.

Missouri

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $10.

Applicants can request online, in person, over the phone, or via mail.

Montana

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $5.

Applicants can request online, and online orders are processed immediately.

Nebraska

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $6.50. Mail: $10.

Applicants can go online to search for their business and request a certificate.

Nevada

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $50.

Applicants must create a login through Nevada’s SilverFlume portal for an electronic copy. Requests then can be made via mail, email, and fax.

New Hampshire

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $7. Mail/in-person: $5.

Applicants can search New Hamshire’s database to obtain their certificate.

New Jersey

Certificate of Standing

Corporate/limited partnership: $25. LLCs/LLPs: $50 (short-form) | $100 (long-form).

Applicants can request certificates through the Department of Treasury.

New Mexico

Certificate of Good Standing | Certificate of Status (LLCs)

Profit Corporations: $50. Non-profit Corporations: $10. LLCs: $25.

Applicants can request via the Secretary of State website.

New York

Certificate of Status

Cost: $25. Expedited: $75 (one-day) | $150 (two hours).

Applicants must request through mail, fax, or in person. There is no online option.

North Carolina

Certificate of Existence

Online: $10. Phone: $15.

Applicants can request online or via phone.

North Dakota

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $20.

Applicants can request via email, mail, phone, or fax.

Ohio

Certificate of Good Standing

Standard: $5. Long-form: $25.

Applicants can go online through Ohio’s business portal. They can then download and print the form.

Oklahoma

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $20.

Applicants can request online, which are processed in one day. Mail or fax may take up to four business days to be processed.

Oregon

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $10.

Applicants complete a request form, then mail or fax it with the fee. They are usually processed within three business days.

Pennsylvania

Certificate of Subsistence

Cost: $40.

Applicants can request online or by mail. Online processing takes approximately two hours, whereas mail forms may take up to seven to ten business days.

Rhode Island

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $20. Other: $20.

Applicants can request on an online database, by phone, mail, or in person.

South Carolina

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $10.

Applicants can request via an online portal, and they are processed immediately.

South Dakota

Certificate of Good Standing

Online: $20. Mail: $35. Expedited: extra $50.

Applicants can request online or in person.

Tennessee

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $20.

Applicants can request online or by mail.

Texas

Certificate of Fact – Status

Cost: $15.

Applicants can order requests online, by mail, or by phone. Online requests are processed within a few hours, while all other methods may take a few business days.

Utah

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $12.

Applicants can request online, by fax, or in person. Paper requests may take three to five business days to process.

Vermont

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $25.

Applicants can request online, and it usually processes within a few hours.

Virginia

Certificate of Good Standing (Corporations) | Certificate of Fact of Existence (LLCs)

Cost: $6.

Applicants can access them immediately through their Clerk’s Information System.

Washington

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $20. Expedited: extra $50.

Applicants can go online to Washington’s online filing system.

West Virginia

Certificate of Existence

Cost: $10.

Applicants can request online, fax, mail, phone, or in person. Online requests are available to print immediately.

Wisconsin

Certificate of Status

Cost: $10.

Applicants can request online or by mail.

Wyoming

Certificate of Good Standing

No fee.

Applicants can download a certificate immediately.

Washington, DC

Certificate of Good Standing

Cost: $50.

Applicants must create a profile with DC’s CorpOnline. In-person requests are also available.

How Long is a Certificate Valid?

As with costs, validity varies by state. Some states have no expiration date, while the validity can be as low as 90 days in others. When obtaining one, the best thing to do is check with your state’s website or office to see whether or not your certificate has an expiration date or not.

The Last Word

While not required, certificates of good standing are easy to obtain if you want one for your business. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Filed under: Advice Columns

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