How to get a Certificate of Good Standing in California

The California Certificate of Good Standing, sometimes called the Certificate of Status, shows whether a business is in good standing with the Secretary of State.  This document is used to verify the existence for a registered partnership, corporation or Limited Liability Company (LLC) in California to authorized to transact business in the state.

Some of the uses of the certificate include:

  • Verifying the existence of the business in order to apply for some licenses and permits.
  • Opening a business checking account.
  • Verifying the entity is registered to do business to do business with some vendors and suppliers.

In addition to showing the status of good standing, these documents will also show a status of suspended, dissolved, or cancelled.

 

The certified copy will contain the date it was certified, signature of the California Secretary of State, and the California State Seal. While the certificate itself doesn’t expire, most banks, vendors, suppliers, etc. won’t recognize a certificate that is older than 90 days.

How to order a Certificate of Status

To obtain a Certificate, the business must be

  • Registered as a legal business entity in California
  • Current on all of its filings with both the Secretary of State and Franchise Tax Board

Unlike most states, online ordering of the Certificate of Status isn’t available in California.  The only way to order one is through mail or in-person.

By Mail – First, download and fill out the Business Records Order Form.  This form is mailed to the California Secretary of State’s office in Sacramento along with the filing fee of $5. Typical processing time is 1-2 weeks.

In Person – To file in person, visit the Secretary of State, in the Sacramento office on the 3rd floor.  The filing fee is $15 and is available within 24 hours.

Before filing, be sure to get the business’s Entity File Number, which can be found at the Secretary of State’s website at https://businesssearch.sos.ca.gov/