Virginia certificate of good standing is a document issued by the Secretary of State certifying that the registered business entity mentioned therein complies with the state requirements. A business needs a certificate of good standing for things like renewing licenses and securing loans.

Certificate of Good Standing: Meaning

In Virginia, a certificate of good standing is also called a certificate of status or a certificate of existence. In other states, it may be known as a certificate of fact, authority, or authorization or as a letter of good standing. A certificate of good standing is meant for a Virginia corporation, while a similar certificate for an LLC is called a certificate of fact.

The Secretary of State can issue a certificate of good standing to any business entity registered with it. Even foreign and nonprofit business entities can apply for this certificate provided they are created within the state. You need to complete the necessary paperwork in order to obtain this certificate.

The certificate is usually a single-page document. It bears the seal of the issuing authority, which is usually the Secretary of State. However, it can be some other state agency.

Why Do You Need a Virginia Certificate of Good Standing

A certificate of good standing is often required for renewal of business licenses. You may also need one for the following reasons:

  • It may be required for loans and taxation.
  • The document certifies that your business is in existence legally.
  • It certifies that your business complies with the legal requirements of the state and is authorized to conduct business in your state.
  • It brings your business in good standing with the state government.
  • In most of the states, a foreign business entity is required to obtain a certificate of good standing before being able to conduct business in that state.
  • You may need to obtain a certificate of good standing for your company if you are looking to expand your operations abroad. In such cases, you may also have to get the document certified by the embassy for foreign use.

Eligibility for Obtaining a Good Standing Certificate

Your business must be registered with the state. It doesn't matter whether it's a domestic entity or a foreign entity. You must have filed your annual reports with the state. Finally, you must have paid all the fees and taxes of the state.

How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

You can apply for a certificate of good standing in person, by mail, or even online. Applying online is the quickest and easiest way to obtain this document. The application fee in either mode is $6, which can be paid by check for mail requests or by credit card for online requests.

The following is the Clerk's Office contact info and the postal address for sending your request by mail:

  • Clerk's Office, State Corporation Commission, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218
  • Phone: (804) 371-9733
  • Email: [email protected]

Obtaining the Certificate by Mail

You must list your business name, address, and phone number in the application. Send the application along with the check to the clerk's office. The processing time taken for mail requests is usually a week. There is no provision for expedited processing. However, you can obtain the certificate immediately if you apply online.

Obtaining the Certificate Online

Follow these steps to obtain a certificate online:

  1. Visit the Virginia SCC eFile portal.
  2. Create your online account (username and password).
  3. Place an order for the certificate and enter your credit card information.

You can download and print your Certificate of Good Standing almost instantly.

How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing from the Supreme Court's Clerk

To request a certificate of good standing from the office of the Supreme Court's Clerk, you must be an attorney licensed to practice in the Supreme Court. Additionally, you must be a member of Virginia State Bar.

Include your name and State Bar number in the request. The request must be accompanied by a check for $15 and a self-addressed envelope. Allow three to five working days to process the request. For expedited processing, send your request accompanied by an express mail return envelope. It will be processed within one working day.

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