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What Does “Good Standing” In Delaware Mean?

By Matthew Dochnal | Published April 3, 2024

good standing compliance

After forming a Delaware LLC or corporation, many business owners wonder, “What’s next?” One crucial part of running a business is maintaining your company’s good standing status.

In this article, we delve into what good standing means and guide you on how to maintain your company’s good standing status in Delaware. We also discuss how you can obtain a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing and why you may need one.



What Does “Good Standing” Mean?

Being in “good standing” means your company meets all its legal requirements in the state where it was set up. Generally, a company is in good standing if it has paid its state taxes and doesn’t owe any bills. Some states require corporations to also file an Annual Report to keep their good standing.

Keeping your company in good standing is essential for running a business. In states like Delaware, the Secretary of State can administratively dissolve a company if it loses its good standing for an extended period of time. This puts business owners at risk of losing their limited liability protection. This protection is crucial as it safeguards personal assets from business debts.

How To Maintain Good Standing In Delaware.

In Delaware, LLCs and corporations need to meet three major requirements to keep their good standing status:

  1. Pay the Delaware Annual Franchise Tax on time,
  2. Have a Delaware Registered Agent appointed at all times, and
  3. File Annual Reports each year. This requirement only applies to Delaware corporations however. 

Delaware companies need to pay their Annual Franchise Tax on time to keep their good standing status. The deadline for corporations to pay the Delaware franchise tax is March 1st each year, and for LLCs, it’s June 1st. 

Delaware corporations are also required to file an Annual Report that includes a list of their directors. The Delaware Annual Report gets submitted along with the company’s franchise tax payment.

Delaware state laws also require every company registered in the state to have a Delaware Registered Agent appointed at all times. Business owners can be their own Registered Agent if they have a physical address in Delaware. However, you can also hire a Delaware Registered Agent service to help take this responsibility off your plate. 

What Is A Delaware Certificate of Good Standing?

llc membership certificateA Delaware Certificate of Good Standing is a document the Delaware Secretary of State issues. It certifies that a business entity has met its legal obligations in Delaware and maintains a “good standing” status in the state.

Delaware Certificates of Good Standing are crucial for several key business activities. For instance, a Delaware LLC or corporation may need this certificate to:

  • Open a business bank account, 
  • Register to do business in other states, 
  • Obtain business loans or secure financing, and
  • Purchase real estate. 

This type of certificate has different names in different states. Some states also call it  a “Certificate of Existence” or a “Certificate of Authorization”.

How To Get A Delaware Certificate Of Good Standing.

You can purchase a Delaware Certificate of Good Standing for an LLC or corporation from a Delaware Commercial Registered Agent, like IncNow. As a Registered Agent, IncNow has access to the Delaware Division of Corporations’ online filing system and can quickly generate a Certificate of Good Standing for any Delaware company.

How Does A Company Lose Good Standing?

A business entity might lose its good standing status if the company:

A.)  Fails to file Annual Reports on time,

B.) Does not have a Registered Agent appointed, or

C.) Misses state franchise tax payments.

Oftentimes, a company can regain its good standing fairly quickly by correcting one of these issues.

What Happens When A Business Loses Good Standing?

Losing good standing status can cause serious problems for a business and its owners. States may impose fines and penalties on non-compliant companies. For example, in Delaware,  companies that don’t pay their annual state franchise tax to the Delaware Division of Corporations on time immediately lose their good standing. 

Additionally, the state charges late fees, which accrue interest, making it increasingly challenging to settle the tax debt. The company needs to pay its full tax balance to restore its good standing.

Furthermore, a company can be administratively dissolved or declared “void” for losing its good standing. For example, if a Delaware company fails to maintain a Registered Agent on the state’s website for more than 30 days, the Delaware Secretary of State will dissolve it.

How To Regain Good Standing In Delaware:

Delaware LLCs and corporations often lose their good standing status by missing the deadline for their Delaware Annual Franchise Tax payment. Delaware corporations need to pay their franchise tax by March 1st each year, and LLCs need to pay by June 1st.

You will need to pay the company’s overdue franchise tax balance in full to return its good standing status. This includes any late fees and interest penalties applied by the state. You can make payments for the Delaware state franchise tax directly on the Delaware Division of Corporations website at

After you submit your franchise tax payment, the Delaware Division of Corporations will automatically update your company’s status to good standing.

How To Revive a Delaware Company.

If your Delaware company has been administratively canceled by the Secretary of State, there’s a process to revive it and restore its good standing status.

Step 1: Pay The Overdue Delaware State Franchise Tax

First, pay all of the Delaware state franchise tax that the company owes. This needs to be done before the company can be revived. You can make these payments through the Delaware Division of Corporations website.

Step 2: Appoint A Delaware Registered Agent 

If your company lacks a Registered Agent in Delaware, appoint one. Consider hiring a Delaware Registered Agent service, like IncNow, to fulfill this role.

Step 3: File All Annual Reports (For Corporations Only) 

If your company is a Delaware corporation, you’ll need to submit any missing Annual Reports.

Step 4: File A Certificate of Renewal and Revival 

The last step is to submit a Certificate of Renewal and Revival to the Delaware Division of Corporations. This request asks them to reinstate your company and return its good standing status.

After the Renewal and Revival is processed and accepted, your company is reinstated and can conduct business legally again.

A Delaware Registered Agent service, like IncNow, can help you with the revival process and file the Certificate of Renewal and Revival in Delaware for you.

What Is The Delaware Annual Franchise Tax?

Delaware LLCs and corporations are required to pay an annual tax to the state to keep their good standing status. This Delaware Annual Franchise Tax is owed each year after the company is officially registered in Delaware.

To maintain good standing, Delaware companies must pay their franchise tax by the due date: June 1st for LLCs and March 1st for corporations each year.

For LLCs in Delaware, the Annual Franchise Tax is a set fee of $300. For corporations, the franchise tax amount varies and is calculated based on the number of shares the company is authorized to issue.

What Is “Void” Status For a Delaware Company?

The Delaware Secretary of State assigns a “void” status to an LLC or corporation if it fails to pay its state franchise tax for more than 3 years. Once a company goes void, the state will administratively cancel the entity. 

If your company is placed into void status, you can revive it by filing a Certificate of Renewal and Revival.

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