How to Request a Letter of Good Standing

by Lisa Bigelow; Updated September 26, 2017

A letter or certificate of good standing is used by a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) to prove that it is authorized to operate in its home state. It also proves that the business is up-to-date on its taxes, and letters are usually secured so the company may conduct business in another state. Letters are good for a temporary period, often 60 to 90 days. Although private companies can secure these letters, it's easy to do yourself.

Items you will need

  • Name, address, and telephone of business requesting the letter
  • Tax identification number(s)
  • Tax returns from last 2 years
  • Credit card, check, or cash
  • IRS Nonprofit letter of exemption (if applicable)
  • Power of attorney (if applicable)
Step 1

Visit your state government's website to apply. Use the format "www.state.[state abbreviation].gov." For example, "www.state.ny.gov" for New York or "www.state.ct.gov" for Connecticut.

Step 2

At the search prompt, enter "certificate of good standing." Applications for certificates are located in the "commerce" or "corporations" section.

Step 3

Enter the requested information, including tax documentation. If necessary, print and mail to the address on the application.

Step 4

Pay for your certificate via credit card, and print your receipt.

Step 5

Wait 24 hours to check your application's status; when your certificate is ready, print as many copies as you need.

Tips

  • If your business has more than one tax identification number, you may not be eligible to apply for a certificate online. You also may visit your state government's commerce office to apply in person.

Warnings

  • If your business is not in good standing -- for example, if you haven't filed your tax return -- then you will not receive your certificate.

About the Author

Lisa Bigelow is an independent writer with prior professional experience in the finance and fitness industries. She also writes a well-regarded political commentary column published in Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties in the New York City metro area.