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An Entity or LLC can be incorporated in any state, however, the company is only authorized to do business in the state in which it is formed. To authorize your company to do business in a state other than where the company was formed, you need to file a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority in each state you intend to do business.
SunDoc Filings makes it easy to file a Corporate Qualification or Foreign Registration
- Prepare your document and obtain the required documents. Make sure your name is available in the new state and obtain all required documents. We can help with both. See our name reservation and good standing order pages.
- Complete and sign the proper qualification form.
- Upload your documents and we will quickly submit to the state.
Name availability check: If you have not already done so, provide your first choice plus 2 backup name choices for no extra charge.
Registered Agent: Annual fee of $169 due at time of filing.
Obtain Certificate of Good Standing or Copies of Articles from the home state. Please use our Document Retrieval order form to obtain the cerified copies first. We cannot file your qualification without the required certificate.
RUSH Options: If you need to qualify an entity on a rush basis, most states have rush options available.
Routine: See state specific details, filing times range from about 1 week to several months.
Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing at the time of filing: "Doing business" can have different meanings in each state, but typically includes:
- Opening an office or getting getting a business license.
- Hiring employees or conducting meetings.
- Having any kind of physical presence in that state.
The process of obtaining authorization to do business in another state is called "Foreign Qualification" or a "Certificate of Authority" that is issued by the state once the process is completed.
For example, if you are incorporated as a California LLC and are physically located and doing business in New York, then you will need to "Foreign Qualify" your California LLC in New York, which authorizes your LLC to do business in that state.
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Detailed Instructions to Qualify a Foreign Entity in Any State
Step 1: Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from home the state or country:
If you have already obtained a Certificate of Good Standing from the company's home state that is less than 2 months old (some states require less than 30 days), or are in the process of obtaining one, please skip this step. If you need assistance in obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing from your home state, we can assist you for an additional fee. If the entity is a non-profit, the Certificate of Existence/Certificate of Good Standing must state the entity's non-profit status or the Secretary of State will file it as a profit entity and require additional filing fees.
Note: If the foreign entity is from outside the United States and the Certificate of Good Standing is in a different language, you will be required to have it translated before you can register the foreign entity. Please contact the Secretary of State to make sure they will accept your translated Certificate of Good Standing before sending your document for filing.
Step 2: Check name availability:
A foreign entity name must be available or the entity will have to conduct business under a DBA, sometimes known as a fictitious business name. Sometimes, adding the home state in front of the name will make it available. If you are not yet ready to file, but want to reserve the name or check name availability, go to our name availability page.
Step 3: Prepare and sign the form:
If you need help in locating the proper form, we can email you the proper form for your state and entity for your review and signature. Some states refer to the form as a Foreign Qualification/Application or Statement and Designation by Foreign Entity.
Please note that we provide registered agent services in all 50 states for $169 a year. Please let us know if we will be providing registered agent service.
Step 4: How fast do you need your document filed?
Most states offer a rush service for an additional fee. We handle all of your filings via walk-in (counter) service, providing you with the fastest, most consistent option available.
Option 1: 24 – 48 hour rush - Document must be received by noon PST on the day the filing. Not all states offer an expedited service.
Option 2: Routine - several days to several months - see specific state details.
Document is filed: Once the document is submitted to the Secretary of State, the State will process your document. You will have to wait much longer if you mail in the document.
Document is complete: We will immediately fax or e-mail a copy of the filed document to you. FedEx is available for an additional fee of $25.
Note: Professional Corporations typically have name restrictions depending upon the licensing agency (medical board, dental board, etc.). Many medical and dental corporations have specific name restrictions/requirements that must be met. Please contact the responsible agency for further information. In addition, some states allow certain professional entity endings that others do not. Unfortunately, SunDoc Filings cannot answer legal questions regarding professional names.