What's The Certificate Mean?
A certificate of good standing is a form from the Secretary of State office verifying the existence of your business and its active status in the state of Wyoming. The certificate serves as a way of confirming that your company is up-to-date on fees and filings and is permitted to conduct business in the state. The certificate is sometimes referred to as a “Certificate of Existence” or “Certificate of Authorization” depending on the state that issues it.
While the term may seem to encompass a whole host of matters relating to your business, it serves solely as an indicator of filing and fee-paying status. There are no ethical, moral, financial, legal or other matters incorporated with the certificate or the classification assigned to your business.
It is also important to note that the certificate is not strictly necessary to do business. That is, if your company has been accepted by the Secretary and you are in good standing, then you do not need to also print or mail in for the certificate to do business. If your company has been open for several months or years, then a bank may request one to open an account for you. This is just so they know your company is still in existence and able to transact business. As your registered agent, we are happy to help guide you through obtaining the certificate should you ultimately require one. We can also assist with helping you obtain a Wyoming DBA and navigating whether you need a business license (most companies don't require one).
Certificate of Good Standing Purpose
Apart from complying with state registration rules, there are likely only a few instances in which you will have to provide your certificate of good standing:
This is the more popular form because of its relatively simplicity and the avoidance of any fees. Administratively dissolving the company, however, does bring the following downsides:
- A person or an organization with which you have a business relationship may need it when processing payments, setting up a bank account, or applying for credit.
- When registering to conduct business in another state, that state will request a certificate of good standing from the state in which you formed your business.
Generally, the certificate serves as a means of verification and is necessary if you wish to operate your business in other states. For example, if you have a business in Wyoming and want to conduct business in neighboring Colorado, you would first register with their Secretary of State. Colorado’s Secretary of State would then request your business’ certificate of good standing, proving the existence of your business and its permission to conduct business.
Wyoming's SoS does not require a certificate for a continuance. However, for a domestication they will require a certified copy be produced. This is not generally available for free and must often be specially requested. A PDF version is ok if that is all that is provided, but if you are mailed a certificate, then you cannot use a scan - you must provide the physical certified copy of good standing.
How to Receive a Certificate of Good Standing
To receive a certificate of good standing, contact the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office. Wyoming offers options to complete the process online or by mail. The process is free if done online at the Secretary of State website. By mail, the processing fee is $10. Additionally, online processing provides immediate processing, while a mail-in application will take approximately two days to complete. You will receive your certificate of good standing by mail at your business address.
Only businesses required to register with the state can receive certificates of good standing. If conducting business in a state with different requirements than your own, it is possible to get certification from that state. You may also obtain an apostilled copy by writing into the Secretary of State.