Updated November 11, 2020:

Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing PA is a document that is used by the State of Pennsylvania to indicate that a business has paid all required fees and filed the paperwork necessary to operate in the state. In simpler terms, this certificate means that a business or LLC is in existence and has good standing with the state. A Certificate of Good Standing can sometimes be called a Certificate of Existence or a Certificate of Subsistence, and is usually employed by a company that wants to do business outside of its normal jurisdiction.

Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Good Standing

In Pennsylvania, a Certificate of Good Standing will contain:

  • The date of issuance
  • The name of the LLC
  • A statement that reads the LLC or company is “duly organized with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”

While LLCs in Pennsylvania are not required to have a Certificate of Good Standing, this document can still be very useful. For instance, the LLC may need a certificate to complete a real estate purchase or open a bank account. 

In addition, before doing business outside of Pennsylvania, an LLC will need to register as a “foreign entity” or “foreign LLC.” Before being granted approval to do business as a foreign entity, a Certificate of Good Standing will need to be examined by the State. After receiving approval, a business may be issued a “Certificate of Authority.”

LLCs must pay $40 to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Pennsylvania. A personal check or money order can be used to pay this fee, which is similar to requesting a Certificate of Organization. All payments should be made payable to the “Department of State.”

When requesting a Certificate of Good Standing and filing a Certificate of Organization, it is important to use two separate envelopes to prevent confusion, even if they are being mailed to the exact same address. In the past, a company has sent both documents in the same envelope and then been unable to locate their Certificate of Good Standing. Even after calling the state, the request for the certificate could not be found. As a result, the company had to pay an additional $40 and submit another request. 

Request letters and the $40 payment can be sent to the following address: Department of State, Corporation Bureau, PO Box 8722, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8722

At one time, it was common practice to include the request for a Certificate of Good Standing with the Certificate of Organization, but companies should now wait to request a Certificate of Good Standing until their LLC has been approved.

Request to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

After downloading the request letter, you will notice that the document is simple and should be easy to fill out and submit.

You should write the current date in the upper right-hand corner of the document. You can add the name of your LLC, as well as the name and address where your documents should be delivered, after deleting the blue ink in the document.

You should be certain that your document includes the following information:

  • Your attorney's full name
  • Your attorney's identification number
  • Your attorney's signature
  • A check or money order for $25 made payable to the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
  • One self-addressed envelope

At the bottom of the document, you should write your name and phone number. Once the document has been printed, add your signature where it says, “below here." After submitting your document and required payment, you can expect to receive your Certificate of Good Standing within 7 to 10 business days. The Pennsylvania Department of State will process all corporate certificates. If your attorney has an inactive status, they will need to get in touch with the Supreme Court Disciplinary Board.

How to Obtain an Apostille or Certification

In addition to being signed, the documents sent by a company must contain the seal of a notary public or a custodian of the record. Before receiving a certification or an apostille; transcripts, criminal record checks, and diplomas must be notarized. You are not required to, nor should you, have a birth certificate notarized.

When submitting your company's documents to the Department of State, you should include a cover letter that provides your company's full mailing address and name.

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