How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in West Virginia?
You can obtain your certificate of good standing, known as a certificate of existence in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia Business is Compliant
To qualify for a West Virginia certificate of existence, your business must stay up-to-date with state compliance requirements:
Licenses & Permits
To operate your business in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia One Stop Business Portal website.
Depending on your business activity, you will have to register for different forms of West Virginia state tax. This can include sales tax, withholding tax, or Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax.
All West Virginia 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 must be filed each year by July 1 with the Secretary of State. It can be filed online or by mail. The filing fee is $25.
Step 2. Order Your West Virginia Certificate of Good Standing
Once your business remains compliant with the state, you can request a West Virginia certificate of existence from the Secretary of State. This can be done online, by mail, by email, by fax, by phone, or in person.
OPTION 1: Order Online With the Secretary of State
- OR -
OPTION 2: Order by Mail, by Fax, by Email, by Phone, or In Person
Filing Cost: $10
West Virginia Secretary of State
One Stop Business Center
Attn: Business Division
1615 Washington St. East
Charleston, WV 25311
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381
Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in West Virginia?
While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of existence to run your business in West Virginia, 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
West Virginia Certificate of Good Standing FAQ
What is a West Virginia certificate of good standing?
A certificate of good standing is a legal document that confirms that your business is compliant with state regulations.
In West Virginia, 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 West Virginia certificate of existence by remaining compliant with state regulations and ordering a certificate online, by mail, by fax, by email, by phone, or in person.
How much does a certificate of good standing cost?
In West Virginia, 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 existence in order to do business, we recommend getting one as soon as possible.
How long is the certificate of good standing valid for?
A West Virginia certificate of existence does not have an 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 West Virginia certificate of existence means that the state recognizes your business as both active and compliant.
When do you need a certificate of good standing?
West Virginia businesses often need a certificate of existence in order to do business outside of West Virginia, obtain business loans, open business bank accounts, or purchase business insurance.
Who is required to get a certificate of good standing?
West Virginia 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 West Virginia or get a business bank account.
Where do I find a certificate of good standing?
If you order your West Virginia certificate of existence online, it will be immediately available to view and print. Otherwise, the Secretary of State will mail you your certificate.