LLC Foundational Learning

Get California Certificate of Good Standing (Compliance or Status)

A California certificate of good standing (CA) is a legal document that verifies that your limited liability company (LLC) or corporation was correctly formed and is in good standing with the state.

This Certificate of Good Standing California guide will explain how to get a certificate of good standing in California and the requirements to get a good standing certificate.

What is a Certificate of Good Standing? 

The certificate- of good standing, aka “certificate of existence,” confirms that a company is up-to-date with its filings and has no legal issues preventing it from conducting business. 

This state document verifies that you have legally formed your LLC or corporation and that your company is properly maintained.

Requirements for Getting a California Certificate of Good Standing

In California, the certificate of good standing is known as a certificate of compliance issued by the California Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. To qualify for a California certificate of compliance, make sure your corporation or LLC is up-to-date with the following state compliance requirements.

First Requirement

Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

Follow federal, state, and local licensing guidelines to operate your business in California in a state-compliant manner. Some examples include health permits, building permits, medical and other professional licenses, etc.

To find more about state licensing requirements, visit the California CalGold website.

Second Requirement

Pay State Taxes

Different businesses are subjected to different taxes such as California Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax, sales tax, withholding tax, etc. Depending on your business activity, you must register for various forms of California state tax. 

Note: California businesses must also pay a minimum annual franchise tax of $800.

First Requirement

Timely Submit Annual Reports

All California corporations and LLCs must file an annual report that summarizes their business's finances over the past year. 

The California Secretary of State requires your business to submit an annual report. The California LLC annual report filing fee is $20 and is due every two years. 

How Do I Get a Certificate of Good Standing in California?

Once your business is up-to-date with all filings and compliance requirements, you can order your certificate of Good Standing from the state authority.

The California certificate of compliance is requested from the California Department of Revenue. To order your certificate of compliance from the California Secretary of State, via mail or in-person by downloading the California certificate of compliance using the following link:

Mailing Address:

Secretary of State
BE Certification and Records
P.O. Box 944260
Sacramento, CA 94244-2600

Office Address:

Secretary of State
1500 11th Street, 3rd floor, Room 380
Sacramento, CA 95814

The filing Cost for the California Certificate of Compliance is $5 by mail and $15 in person.

Why Do I Need a Certificate of Good Standing in California?

While you don’t necessarily need a certificate of compliance to run your LLC or corporation in California, there are several instances where you may need to get one. These include:

  • Opening a business bank account
  • Applying for a business loan or line of credit from a bank
  • Purchasing business insurance
  • Trying to lease commercial space
  • Soliciting funds from potential investors
  • You want to register your LLC or other business in another state as a foreign or out-of-state LLC
  • You want to Transfer or domesticate your business to another state
  • You’re selling your business, and the buyer wants proof that the company is in good legal standing
  • You are contracting with another company
  • You need to show compliance with government regulations in any other situation

FAQs on California Certificate of Good Standing

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