How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in North Carolina?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina Business is Compliant
To qualify for a North Carolina certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina Secretary of State website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of North Carolina state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
All North Carolina 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.
The annual report is filed with the Secretary of State each year. LLCs must file by April 15, and corporations must file by the 15th day of the fourth month after their fiscal year end. This can be done online or by printing and mailing a pre-filled form.
The filing fee for LLCs is $202 online and $200 by mail. The filing fee for corporations is $27 online and $25 by mail.
Step 2. Order Your North Carolina Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a North Carolina certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online or by phone.
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in North Carolina?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in North Carolina, 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
North Carolina Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is an North Carolina certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In North Carolina, 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 North Carolina certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online or by phone.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In North Carolina, ordering a certificate of existence costs $12 online and $15 by phone.
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 North Carolina 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 North Carolina certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
North Carolina businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of North Carolina, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
North Carolina 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 North Carolina or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your North Carolina certificate of existence, it will be available online if ordered online, or it will be mailed to you if you order by phone.