If you're registered to do business in the State of California, sometimes for various business or legal reasons you'll have a need to prove this formally. When you need to show that you're in compliance with all applicable state requirements, the Certificate of Good Standing is the document issued by the state to certify this.
To obtain a California Certificate of Good Standing, you submit a records order to the Secretary of State’s office. Assuming your company is in good standing, the office would issue a certificate bearing an imprint of the Seal of California and the Secretary of State's authorized signature.
Instead of good standing, you might want to show that your company was suspended or dissolved, and this same status request will certify this. It may also be a business other than your own that you want certified information on. You can also order a certified collection of all the filings on record for an entity, including for example the original articles of formation, the original registration if from out of state, conversions, amendments, and such.
WHEN DO YOU NEED A CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING?
You may need a Certificate of Good Standing if you're involved in a merger or acquisition, or if you're buying a company outright, or selling yours. The Good Standing certification will form part of the legal documentation of the entity.
Typically, applying for a business loan or line of credit will require good standing certification. Tax matters also can require it - note that you can owe taxes and still be in good standing with California, you just can't be out of compliance with any of the tax process. Certain licensing requirements may also ask for good standing certification.
Another frequent need for a Certificate of Good Standing is to register to do business in another state (see how SunDoc Filings can help you with foreign qualification). You will have to determine your full documentation requirements, including expirations. Some states for example require certified status to be less than 30 days old, while some allow 60 days. The California Certificate of Good Standing expires after 90 days.
CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING OR CERTIFICATE OF STATUS?
The Certificate of Good Standing in other jurisdictions may also be referred to as a Certificate of Status or of Existence. In California, it shows that an entity is registered to do business in the state, is in compliance with applicable corporate rules and licensing requirements, and has not been suspended by the state taxing authority, the Franchise Tax Board.
HOW TO GET YOUR GOOD STANDING CERTIFICATE
Currently California doesn’t offer a way to order a Certificate of Good Standing electronically. You can only order by mail or personally through the Sacramento office. The order fee for a Certificate of Good Standing is $5 (with an extra $10 charge if you present it in person).
Requests presented in person can generally be processed by the second business day, while mailed-in requests take 5-15 business days. California does offer a Rush service for Good Standing requests.
SunDoc Filings can handle your Good Standing request, as with all of your company filings. We are located in downtown Sacramento and make several visits daily to the Secretary of State office, to hand-deliver or receive documents. All of our routine filings on your behalf are expedited in this way, saving valuable time over other companies that typically mail in forms.
You can get started through our California Certificate of Good Standing page, and you can call us toll free at 1-888-595-2747 at any point to speak to a live voice and get assistance. Also use our online services to form a corporation in California and other states, and to form an LLC in California or any state.