What is a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing?

By IncNow | Published March 14, 2022

good standing DE flagYou may be asked for a certificate of good standing at some point in your company’s existence. It’s a good idea to know in advance what exactly this is. A Delaware Certificate of Good Standing is a one-page document. The Secretary of State issues it to prove a company’s ability to do business. The Secretary of State will issue one when there is no overdue Delaware franchise tax (or annual reports, in the case of a corporation). Some other states will refer to this document as an “Authority to Conduct Business”. The state sends it via email, usually the same day one would place the order.

What is a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing?

It is a certified document the Delaware Secretary of State’s office produces. It shows that your corporation or LLC meets statutory requirements (filed all reports and paid all fees) and the state has authorized it to do business.

What Does a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing Look Like?

A Delaware Certificate of Good Standing is a simple, one-page document. It contains a paragraph that is a brief, standardized statement by the Secretary of State. It certifies that the entity is duly formed under Delaware law and is in good standing as of a certain date. The bottom of the document will show a digital seal and the Secretary’s signature.

What does a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing say?

If the entity is in fact in good standing with the state, the certificate will say that the entity is “duly formed under the laws of the state of Delaware” and  it is “in good standing and has a legal existence so far as the records of this office show, as of” the date the Secretary of State issued the certificate.

Do I need to print out my Certificate of Good Standing?

You don’t need to, but you may want to print the certificate. That way, it is accessible and the bank or the institution requesting it may want to keep a copy. Keep in mind that Delaware issues certificates of good standing digitally in PDF format. This means that any print-out you make of that certificate is a duplicate original.

How many copies will I need of my Delaware Certificate of Good Standing?

Since the Secretary of State delivers a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing electronically in PDF format, you only need this one original. They allow to print as many as you need.

Why do I need a certificate of good standing?

You use a good standing to prove that your company is a valid company that was formed in Delaware. It also proves that it is current with all Delaware Franchise taxes. A common use is when a bank may ask for one when you are opening a business. You do not automatically need one when you form your company, especially since a bank or lender would only accept it for so long. However, it is a good idea to be familiar for when you may need one.

How long does it take to receive a Certificate of Good Standing?

If we receive your order prior to 4 PM Eastern time, we will be able to send it to you the same business day. This is because the Delaware Secretary of State issues these Certificates as PDFs.

How long is my certificate of good standing good for?

It varies depending on the institution requesting it. Typically a bank or lender will want to see a Certificate of Good standing that the Secretary of State issued within the last month or two. Three to six months is rare, but may be the maximum they allow. Check with the bank or entity requesting the Certificate if you have already obtained one within the last 6 months.

Is a Certificate of Good Standing called something else, too?

The name of this “status certificate” is a Certificate of Good Standing only in Delaware. Other states will refer to this type of document as a “Certificate of Authorization” or “Certificate of Existence”. Banks based in other states will often refer to it by those other names. You may have to explain Delaware’s terminology to the bank and that they are all the same type of Certificate.

What is a Certificate of Existence?

A Certificate of Existence is essentially the same thing as a Certificate of Good Standing. It is just another name some states use for the document that certifies the good standing of the entity.

How do I obtain one?

You can place an order for one with IncNow by calling 800-759-2248 or order on our website.

When deciding where to form your company, consider that Delaware has advantages over your home state that may benefit you. Go