How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in Kentucky?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in Kentucky, by requesting it from the 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 Kentucky Business is Compliant
To qualify for a Kentucky certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in Kentucky, 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 Kentucky OneStop Business Portal website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of Kentucky state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
All Kentucky LLCs and corporations must file an annual report. This report verifies the business’s basic information including its principal office address and registered agent information.
Annual reports are filed with the Secretary of State each year by June 30. This can be done one of three ways:
- File online.
- Print the online form to mail or deliver in person.
- Return the postcard that the Secretary of State sends earlier in the year.
The filing fee is $15.
Step 2. Order Your Kentucky Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a Kentucky certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online, by mail, or by fax.
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in Kentucky?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in Kentucky, 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
Kentucky Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is a Kentucky certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In Kentucky, a certificate of good standing is known as a certificate of existence.
Certificates of good standing are also known as certificates of status or certificates of compliance.
How do I get a certificate of good standing?
You can get a Kentucky certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online, by mail, or by fax.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In Kentucky, ordering a certificate of existence costs $10.
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 Kentucky certificate of existence 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 Kentucky certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
Kentucky businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of Kentucky, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
Kentucky businesses are not legally required to obtain a certificate of existence. However, your business may choose to get one if you decide to do business outside of Kentucky or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your Kentucky certificate of existence online, it will be available to be printed. If you order it by mail or by fax, the Secretary of State can return them by mail, fax, or email.