How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in California?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of status in California, by requesting it from the California Secretary of State.
There are two main steps for getting your certificate of good standing:
What is a certificate of good standing? A certificate of good standing is a state document that verifies your business was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
Step 1. Make Sure Your California Business is Compliant
To qualify for a California certificate of status, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in California, you must follow federal, state, and local licensing guidelines. This can include regulations like health permits and building permits.
You can find out more about state licensing requirements with the California CalGold website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of California state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
California businesses must also pay an annual franchise tax. The minimum amount is $800.
All California LLCs and corporations must file a statement of information. This report summarizes your business’s finances over the past two years.
This report is filed every two years with the Secretary of State, and you can file online, by mail, or in person. The filing fee is $20.
Step 2. Order Your California Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a California certificate of status from the Secretary of State. This can be done by mail or in person.
ORDER A CALIFORNIA CERTIFICATE OF STATUS
Order by Mail or In Person With the Secretary of State
Filing Cost: $5 by mail, $15 in person
Secretary of State
BE Certification and Records
P.O. Box 944260
Sacramento, CA 94244-2600
Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, 3rd floor, Room 380
Sacramento, CA 95814
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in California?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of status to run your business in California, there are several instances where you may need to get one. These include:
- Purchasing business insurance
- Applying for business loans
- Opening a business checking account
- Registering to do business in other states
California Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is an California certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In California, a certificate of good standing is known as a certificate of status.
Certificates of good standing are also known as certificates of existence or certificates of compliance.
How do I get a certificate of good standing?
You can get a California certificate of status by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate by mail or in person.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In California, ordering a certificate of status costs $5 if filing by mail and $15 if filing in person.
How soon do you need a certificate of good standing?
Because many banks and insurance companies will want a business’s certificate of good standing in order to do business, we recommend getting one as soon as possible.
How long is the certificate of good standing valid for?
A California certificate of status does not have a set expiration date. However, requesters — such as banks, creditors, and foreign business states — often have their own guidelines for a certificate's validity.
What does a certificate of good standing mean?
Obtaining a California certificate of status means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
California businesses often need a certificate of status in order to do business outside of California, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
California businesses are not legally required to obtain a certificate of status. However, your business may choose to get one if you decide to do business outside of California or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your California certificate of status, the Secretary of State will mail a hard copy of your certificate.