If an investor is doing due diligence on your company, they may ask for a Certificate of Good Standing. But what is this document? Do you really need it and, if so, how can you get one? Here are all the key things that you need to know.
What is a Certificate of Good Standing?
A Certificate of Good Standing might also be known as a Certificate of Existence, or Certificate of Authorisation. It is used to show two important things:
- That your company has existed since its time of incorporation
- That there is no action being taken to remove it from the companies register.
Here in the UK, a Certificate of Good Standing is issued by Companies House. They will send this to your registered company address. Alternatively, you may be able to obtain an electronic copy. However, bear in mind that this will not bear an official signature and may not be good enough for all purposes.
What information does it show?
Your Certificate of Good Standing should include the following:
- Your company name and number
- Date of incorporation
- A declaration to validate your uninterrupted existence from your time of incorporation
- An acknowledgement that no action has been taken by Companies House to strike the company off or describe it as invalid
- A declaration that the company is not insolvent or subject to an administration order as far as the registrar is aware
Why Do I Need One?
By providing a recent Certificate of Good Standing, you demonstrate that your company is operating as it should in terms of company compliance. There are a few cases in which you’ll need a Certificate of Good Standing:
- If you wanted to open a business bank account for your UK registered limited company but have non UK resident directors.
- If you’re a UK registered limited company and need to open an overseas business bank account.
- If you are a UK registered limited company and are trading overseas and/or are setting up an overseas branch of your company.
- Some lenders, clients and suppliers will want to see a Certificate of Good Standing before doing business with you.
How to get a Certificate of Good Standing from Companies House
Once a company is registered with Companies House and is shown on their database, one can be requested. This can be done through the Companies House website.
All you have to do is search for your company, then click the ‘More’ tab then ‘Order a certified certificate’. Click here to search for your company name.
How much does a Certificate of Good Standing cost?
Companies House will charge you around £15 for standard delivery, or £50 for same-day service.
The Certificate of Good Standing offers validation that the company is in good working order and reliable to work with. It may not be strictly necessary, but it is something you might want to think about getting. To learn about the other documents you will definitely need for your limited company, check out our articles about the Certificate of Incorporation and writing business plans.
If you have any further questions about this, or any other aspect of setting up a limited company, head to our help centre.