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)
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.
At the search prompt, enter "certificate of good standing." Applications for certificates are located in the "commerce" or "corporations" section.
Enter the requested information, including tax documentation. If necessary, print and mail to the address on the application.
Pay for your certificate via credit card, and print your receipt.
Wait 24 hours to check your application's status; when your certificate is ready, print as many copies as you need.
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.
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.