A certificate of good standing from the state of Illinois certifies that a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation was founded legally and has been properly maintained.
You’ll probably need an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) when you need to show that your Illinois business is in accordance with state law. It may be required to apply for government assistance, open a bank account, or form a corporation or limited liability business (LLC) in a state other than Illinois. However, if the prospect of obtaining a CGS, like many bureaucratic processes, seems frightening, we’re here to assist! We’ll walk you through the steps to earn a Certificate of Good Standing in this guide.
What is a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) in Illinois?
CGSs are issued by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State in Illinois.
This legal document certifies that your company exists, that it is permitted to operate in Illinois, and, most importantly, that it complies with state requirements.
Being in compliance is a must for obtaining your CGS.
What are the benefits of having an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing?
A CGS may be required for a variety of reasons. Although it is not required, providing a CGS is often requested for the following reasons.
To do business outside of Illinois:
To verify compliance, an entity wanting to grow outside of Illinois must provide an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing to the state in which they wish to do business. It’s a requirement in almost every state in the country.
To obtain funding (public or private):
Before providing funds, a funding agency may need to verify that your business entity is in compliance.
To open a business bank account:
Although not every bank will require one, you should be prepared in case it does.
To get business insurance:
If you don’t run a legal business, it’s difficult to get insurance.
To sign a deal with another company or the government:
Wouldn’t it be nice to know if your potential business partner follows the rules or not?
To renew various permissions and licenses:
This is usually state and business-specific, so check with the appropriate authorities to discover whether rules apply to you.
What Is the Purpose of a Certificate of Good Standing?
The issuance of a CGS certifies that your LLC or corporation possesses the following:
- I paid the Secretary of State’s Office the required fees.
- It has turned in its yearly report.
- Franchise taxes were paid.
None of the foregoing is stated in the document. This is because these three main features are the foundational conditions for receiving a CGS.
Instead, the content of Illinois’ CGS will state the following:
- The date on which your company was first permitted to conduct business in the state.
- That your LLC or corporation is in accordance with state law on the date the Illinois CGS is issued.
- That your firm is currently permitted to operate in Illinois.
The whole text of the document is as follows:
“I (SECRETARY OF STATE NAME), Secretary of State of the State of Illinois, hereby certify that (COMPANY NAME) is an Illinois corporation registered to transact business in Illinois on (FORMATION DATE). I also attest that all fees and papers necessary by the Secretary of State’s office have been received and that this office is in good standing.”
The following elements are included in an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing for a domestic entity:
- The date on which the articles of incorporation/organization were filed.
- A statement that no cancellation has been filed and that the limited liability company is entitled to exercise all of its powers and privileges, and that it is in good legal standing.
- For a corporation: there is no evidence that the corporation has been dissolved or that its existence has been terminated by merger, and that the corporation is entitled to exercise all of its rights and privileges and is in good legal standing in Illinois, according to Secretary of State records.
The following elements are included in an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing for a foreign entity:
- Domestic state/organizational state
- Name of the entity
- Date of registration
- A statement indicating the LLC’s registration has not been revoked, as well as a statement that the LLC is authorized to conduct business in Illinois, subject to any licensing requirements.
- For a corporation, that the corporation is permitted to do business in Illinois and that it is in good legal standing there.
What Types of Illinois Businesses Are Eligible for a CGS?
A CGS can only be requested by entities that are registered with the state of Illinois.
The Secretary of State’s Office requires LLCs and companies to register. Prominent examples include professional LLCs, profit corporations, professional corporations (PCs), and nonprofit organizations.
Limited partnerships must also register and can legitimately request an Illinois CGS.
However sole proprietorships are not required to register and are not eligible to receive a CGS. But then they must register if they are doing business under a false name (doing business as, or DBA).
How much does it cost to get an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing?
The price of an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing varies based on the entity.
- Limited Partnership – $47
- Limited Liability Company and Corporation – $25
- Partnership with Limited Liability – $27
- Non Profit Organization – $5
Meanwhile, a 2.35 percent payment processing fee will be imposed on top of the state filing cost.
How long is a Certificate of Good Standing Valid in illinois?
The validity of a certificate varies according to the requestor, although it is usually recognized within 60 days of purchase. A screenshot or printout from the Secretary of State’s website, depending on the requestor, may suffice, obviating the need to obtain a certificate.
What Is the Procedure for Obtaining an Illinois Certificate of Good Standing?
A CGS can be obtained in two ways:
#1. Checking to see if you’re in compliance before going to the Secretary of State’s website and requesting it
All state laws must be followed in order to receive a CGS. To put it another way, you must have all of your affairs in order. It entails licensing, taxes, and annual reports, to name a few.
The following explains the requirement for checking to see if you’re in compliance before requesting on the website.
Building permits and commercial authorizations are examples of licenses to operate. On the federal, state, and municipal levels, they can differ. Make sure you have all of the necessary documents and that none of them have expired.
State Fees and Taxes
Have you submitted your company’s taxes yet this year? If that’s the case, you’re good to go. Just make sure you’ve paid all taxes that pertain to your Illinois business on time, whether it’s unemployment insurance or other taxes.
Reports for the Year
Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) in Illinois are required to file an annual report. This report/statement explains the operations of your corporation or LLC and requires you to validate details including the entity’s address, registered agent, managers, directors, and officers.
#2. Requesting your Illinois Certificate of Good Standing
Don’t forget to double-check if you actually need a CGS and if it will be valid for your planned purpose once you’re sure you’re in compliance.
If you’re convinced it is, you can obtain a CGS using your preferred method. This can be done in Illinois via the internet, email, or phone.
Begin by logging into the portal of the Illinois Secretary of State. Click “Purchase” after scrolling down to the “Certificate of Good Standing” line. You’ll be taken to a page where you may submit a request for the CGS. To continue, you’ll need your company ID or name. After you’ve completed the form, you’ll receive the document right away. Print it immediately away using the link on the receipt page or the email that was sent to you.
However, as earlier stated, corporations and LLCs must pay $25 for a CGS, while NGOs must pay $5. All major credit cards are accepted by the state. Here’s a clear overview of the online process step by step.
- Go to the Secretary of State’s website in Illinois.
- Lookup the registered business name.
- Select the correct corporation or LLC name by clicking on it.
- At the bottom of the page, click the “Purchase Certificate of Good Standing” button.
You can fill out the form on the website if you’d rather do it via email. You’ll receive an email with a link to download the certificate.
The cost is the same as if you ordered it online: $25 for businesses and LLCs, and $5 for nonprofits. You can ask for the procedure to be sped up. In that case, businesses and limited liability companies will pay $45 and NGOs will pay $15.
You can also make a request over the phone. Call (217) 782-6961 for businesses. Call 217-524-8008 to inquire about LLC availability .
The prices are the same as they are when ordering by phone or email: $25 for businesses and LLCs, and $5 for nonprofits. You can ask for the procedure to be sped up. In that instance, it will be $45 for businesses and LLCs, and $15 for nonprofits. You can make a payment while talking on the phone.
Alternatively, send in your order for a corporate certificate by mail.
The filing fee is $25.
LLC Postal Address:
Limited Liability Division,
Secretary of State Department of Business Services
501 S. Second St., Rm. 351 Springfield, IL 62756
Address of the Corporation:
501 S. Second St.,
Rm. 330 Springfield, IL 62756
Secretary of State Department of Business Services Corporations Division
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