How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in Tennessee?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee Business is Compliant
To qualify for a Tennessee certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in Tennessee, 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 Tennessee State Government website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of Tennessee state tax. This can include sales tax or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax. Tennessee does not have a state withholding tax.
Tennessee businesses do have to pay Franchise & Excise Taxes, which are based on a business’s net worth and taxable income, respectively.
All Tennessee 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 report can be filed online or by mail with the Secretary of State. It is due by the first day of the fourth month following the close of the business’s fiscal year. The filing fee for LLCs starts at $300, and the filing fee for corporations is $20.
Step 2. Order Your Tennessee Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a Tennessee certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online or by mail.
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in Tennessee?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in Tennessee, 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
Tennessee Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is an Tennessee certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In Tennessee, 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 Tennessee certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online or by mail.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In Tennessee, ordering a certificate of existence costs $20.
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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
Tennessee businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of Tennessee, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
Tennessee 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 Tennessee or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
After ordering your Tennessee certificate of existence, it will be available to view online.