What Is a Certificate of Good Standing?

An LLC Certificate of Good Standing is issued by the secretary of state to indicate that your limited liability company (LLC) is currently in good standing with the state, and thus, it is allowed to conduct business and affairs. You may be required to show your Certificate of Good Standing to prove your LLC is up-to-date on annual report filings, compliance paperwork, and other state forms and requirements.

To qualify for a Certificate of Good Standing, your LLC must:

  • Be a registered legal business entity in the state in question.
  • Adhere to all corporate rules.
  • Be current on state obligations. They may include annual or biennial registration fees, annual report filings, business fees, or franchise taxes.

Some states call the Certificate of Good Standing by another name, such as a Certificate of Existence, a Certificate of Status, a Certificate of Facts, or a Letter of Good Standing. In most cases, your certificate is valid for three months from the date of receipt. The amount of time it takes to obtain the certificate once you have requested it varies by state. 

What Is the Certificate of Good Standing Used for?

This document serves as proof that your LLC is currently authorized to do business in the state as a legal entity. It may be required when you:

  • Seek financing for your LLC, whether through a bank loan or private investor.
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Register to conduct business in a different state as a foreign entity.
  • Sell your business.
  • Need proof that you are again in compliance after suspension.
  • Are renewing existing permits and licenses with regulatory agencies.

If you have compliance issues that are ongoing, you will not be eligible to receive a Certificate of Good Standing. In simple terms, this document proves that your business exists and is law-abiding. This in turn improves your credibility with clients, lenders, investors, and partners, supporting your good business reputation.

For How Long is the Certificate of Good Standing Valid?

The agency or organization requesting the certificate determines the validity. In most cases, they will require a Certificate of Good Standing that has been issued within the past 30 days.

What Should I Do if My LLC Is Not in Good Standing?

In most states, you will need to undergo a process known as reinstatement. This involves providing any overdue filings and fees and resolving other issues that have led to the suspension of your LLC's approval to do business in the state.

Obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing in Illinois

If your LLC is registered in Illinois, you must search for your company on the state website and access its File Detail report. This page allows you to purchase and print a Certificate of Good Standing for a cost of $45. You can pay with:

  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover

Credit card payments are subject to a 2.35 percent fee.

If you need help with obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing for your LLC, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.