An Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) proves that your business exists, is registered with the state, and operates in compliance with the state’s legal requirements. The certificate bears the seal of Arkansas’s Secretary of State (SOS). If you plan on setting up a business in Arkansas or already own a business in the state, you may need an Arkansas CGS at some point for a variety of reasons.
In this guide, we explain what you need to know about this document and its benefits.
What is an Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing?
An Arkansas CGS is an official document certifying that your business has been authorized to operate in the state and is currently in compliance with all state requirements. It not only enhances the credibility of your business, but it also helps it expand beyond state boundaries.
Which Arkansas office issues Certificates of Good Standing?
The Secretary of State’s office issues the Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing. Before you request one, you may want to ensure that your business has complied with all relevant requirements in the state.
You may have to submit copies of state licenses vital to operating in Arkansas. The SOS’s office may also ask you to submit tax receipts, annual reports, and proof that the business has paid any required annual franchise taxes.
If you need help with this, read about our worry free compliance services to see how we can minimize your stress and help keep you in good standing.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
An Arkansas CGS validates that the business is in existence and in good standing with Arkansas’s SOS as of a certain date. It also certifies that your business has complied with all relevant laws, paid all fees and taxes, and filed all documents, annual reports, and tax forms. A CGS is essential if you want to expand operations into other states. It shows that your company’s operations haven’t been suspended in the state where it was first organized.
The certificate contains the following details:
- Name of the business
- Type of business
- Name of the state issuing the certificate
- Address of the business
- Name, address, and other details of the business’s registered agent
- A declaration that the business has filed its annual reports and paid all taxes as required by the state
- An effective date
- A declaration that the business satisfies the requirements to be in good standing
Why might a business need an Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing?
Any formally registered business entity in Arkansas may need a Certificate of Good Standing at some point. While it may not be mandatory for businesses to obtain an Arkansas CGS, it may be a good idea to keep it on file. Your business may need the certificate for the following purposes:
Registering to do business in another state
You may need an Arkansas CGS to register your business in another state. The business will be registered as a foreign (out-of-state) business in any state other than Arkansas.
While it may not always be mandatory to produce an Arkansas CGS to banks or other institutions to apply for a loan, a CGS adds to your business’s credibility. Banks may be reluctant to issue loans to a business that doesn’t possess a certificate issued within a certain timeframe.
Opening a business bank account
The CGS proves that your business has complied with state requirements and hasn’t defaulted on any state-imposed payments. A bank may require this proof before allowing your business to open a bank account.
Buying business insurance
Insurance companies might not insist on verifying a CGS when you apply for business insurance, but submitting it with your application may help speed up the process.
A Certificate of Good Standing may be required if a business wants to contract with the state, city, or local government entities or other business organizations.
Selling/transferring part or all of the business
An Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing may be required by the buyer if you plan to sell or otherwise liquidate your business or any part of your ownership interest in the business.
Renewing certain permits and licenses
Licensing/certification authorities may ask to see an Arkansas CGS when renewing your business licenses and certifications. The certificate is proof that the business hasn’t been suspended and operates within legal guidelines and regulations.
What Arkansas entities can obtain a CGS?
You may want to note that your business’s size doesn’t matter when applying for a CGS. Even small businesses may require a certificate if the business is registered as a corporation, LLP, LC, or LLC.
Corporations and LLCs
Corporations and LLCs are created by filing formation documents with the Arkansas Secretary of State. These types of businesses also file their annual tax returns with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. They are allowed to obtain an Arkansas CGS to prove compliance with state operating, reporting, and taxation requirements.
Other types of businesses that require registration in the state include limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. State law dictates which entities are officially formed in Arkansas.
How to get an Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing
You may apply for a CGS in person at the Secretary of State’s office or online from the state’s website. If you apply for the certificate online, you can print the certificate or have the office mail it to you immediately upon payment of the fees. You may pay the fees with a credit card or debit card. You can also request a CGS over the phone or through email or fax.
Check to make sure your business is in compliance
An Arkansas business isn’t considered in good standing when any relevant compliance issue has not been met. One of the most common issues preventing a business from getting a CGS is not filing its annual franchise tax report with the Arkansas SOS.
Every corporation and LLC registered in Arkansas is required to file the required reports and pay fees to remain in good standing with the state. You may also want to ensure that no filings, licenses, payments, or approvals are pending.
Go to the Arkansas Secretary of State business website to request a Certificate of Good Standing. You’ll be asked to fill out a form with your business’s name, type, and other details.
If you need to apply for an Arkansas Certificate of Tax Standing, go to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s official website. You may also request information by calling the Office of Excise Tax Administration at 501-682-7924.
The certificate is typically issued within two to three hours if you apply for it in person directly through the Arkansas SOS’s Office. If you apply for the certificate online, it will usually be available for download within 48 hours; however, there is no specified waiting period and the period may vary based on the circumstances.
Make sure your Certificate of Good Standing is valid for its intended use
An Arkansas CGS is a statement of a business’s status as of the date it was generated. So, generally, its usefulness is determined by the recipient. For example, a bank may require that a CGS be generated within 60 days of a loan application, or a contract may require a business to produce a CGS that’s no more than six months old. As a result, you may be required to apply for a CGS at various points in time for your business to meet different intended uses.
Send it to the requesting party
After you obtain the certificate, you can send it to the organization, authority, institution, individual, or body that requested it.
Compliance may not be simple to keep up with, especially when considering all the other aspects that make a business go round. At ZenBusiness, we understand that your business needs don’t stop after the business has been registered. ZenBusiness can keep you in good standing with our worry-free compliance service. With this service, we not only help keep your business in compliance, but we can also secure an Arkansas CGS for you if you need one; you just pay the state fees. And, if you don’t have worry free compliance but still need a CGS, our Certificate of Good Standing service can help.
Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
- How much does an Arkansas CGS cost?
The certificate costs $25. If you apply for it online, you must also pay a $3 processing fee. You can pay using a credit or debit card.
- How long will it take to get my Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing?
The certificate will be available in two to three hours if you apply for it in person at the Secretary of State’s office. If you apply for the certificate online, it will usually be available for download within 48 hours; however, there is no specified waiting period and the period may vary based on the circumstances.
- Can I expedite an Arkansas CGS request?
No. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office doesn’t accept requests to expedite the production of a CGS. However, you may purchase a Certificate of Good Standing online and print it using the state’s website as soon as it’s available.
- Is a CGS required to stay compliant in Arkansas?
No. A Certificate of Good Standing is an official document stating that a business is in compliance with state laws and requirements.
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