Do I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

By Alisha Bennett

Life Settlements in a Retirement Account? Think Again.

First off, what is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A Certificate of Good Standing is a form you can order from the Secretary of State’s office; the form’s purpose is to indicate that your LLC is current and “in good standing” with the State’s office. This means that all required annual forms and/or fees have been filed and paid; and the LLC is active (not revoked).

Generally speaking, the Certificate of Good Standing form has an expiration date or is only good for a certain amount of time. Therefore, we always recommend only ordering if/when you are required to have one.  It’s pretty rare that a client needs one; however occasionally, if the LLC were purchasing property for an investment, the title company might require a Certificate of Good Standing to make sure the LLC was currently in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office.

After the set-up of their Check Book IRA, many clients receive an offer via mail for a Certificate of Good Standing. The mail is usually from a company, like Certificate Services, that appears to be linked to the Secretary of State’s office.

However, this kind of company IS NOT affiliated with the Secretary of State’s office. A Certificate of Good Standing IS NOT mandatory and can be purchased directly from the Secretary of State’s office at a fee that is usually significantly less than the Certificate Services company offers.

If you receive mail soliciting the purchase of a Certificate of Good Standing, we highly suggest you only order one if needed and directly from the Secretary of State’s office. We’ve even seen clients receive mail asking for a fee of over $100 when in reality, the form was available for FREE from their Secretary of State office.

Many Secretary of State websites also offer current information about mail business scams or misleading mail requests for your area; we highly suggest you check back with your State’s website regularly to be aware.

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