A Michigan Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) is the best and easiest way to prove that your business is in compliance with state law. Whether you’re looking to expand your business outside the state, applying for government funding, or entering into an agreement with another company, a CGS might be essential.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to get a Certificate of Good Standing.
What is a Michigan Certificate of Good Standing?
A CGS is a legal document that proves that your business entity exists. It also confirms that your company is allowed to conduct business in Michigan and that you’re in compliance with state laws.
In Michigan, a CGS is issued by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs if your company is in compliance with state regulatory requirements. Being in compliance is a priority in order to get your CGS.
At ZenBusiness, we know how to keep you in good standing. Consider hiring us, and you’ll enjoy our worry free compliance service.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
If you’re asking for a CGS, it’s important to know what you’ll find in it. The release of a Michigan CGS confirms that a business has:
- Paid the necessary fees to the Michigan Secretary of State Office.
- Submitted its annual report.
- Paid franchise taxes.
The content of Michigan’s CGS will indicate the following:
- The date on which your business was allowed to transact business in the state.
- That your Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation is in compliance with state law and therefore has good standing.
- That your business is currently allowed to transact business in the state.
Why do you need a Michigan Certificate of Good Standing?
There are many reasons why you might want to request a CGS. Though it’s not mandatory to have a CGS to be in compliance, you might be asked to provide one if you want to do the following:
- Conduct business outside of Michigan: Expanding outside the state includes sending a Michigan CGS to the state you want to operate in. This is usually a requirement across the U.S.
- Secure funding: A funding agency might need to be sure that your business entity is in compliance before allocating funds and support.
- Open a business bank account: Not every bank requests one, but be prepared for the possibility.
- Purchase insurance for your business: An insurance company might want to be sure they’re dealing with a lawful business.
- Sign a contract with another business or state: Another company might require assurances of your compliance.
- Renew certain permits and licenses: This is usually location- and business-specific, so check with the relevant authorities to see which applies to you.
What Michigan business entities can request a CGS?
Entities registered with the state of Michigan can request a CGS. This includes LLCs and corporations such as profit corporations, professional corporations, and nonprofit corporations. Registration needs to be done with the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Limited partnerships need to file for registration and therefore can ask for a Michigan CGS. Sole proprietorships don’t require registration and won’t be asked to submit a CGS.
How do you get a Michigan Certificate of Good Standing?
First, you need to be sure that you’re in compliance, and then you can order your CGS. There are a few ways to do this.
Being in Compliance
To obtain a CGS, you need to be in compliance with all state laws. In other words, have all your affairs in order and stay up to date with Michigan’s legal requirements for businesses. In particular, it involves licenses, taxes, and annual reports.
Every business has to acquire the relevant licenses to operate, such as building permits or commercial authorizations, on federal, state, and local levels. To request a Michigan CGS, your company needs to operate with the correct licenses and permits.
Taxes and State Fees
Make sure you’re in compliance with Michigan taxes. This includes sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, income tax, and any other fee that Michigan requires you to pay to transact business in the state. You’ll want to make sure they’ve all been paid on time.
Michigan LLCs must file an annual statement, while Michigan corporations (of any type) have to file an annual report. Filing needs to happen at the end of your business year, so make sure you know when it is and file on time. This report/statement confirms information such as the entity’s address, registered agent, managers, directors, and/or officers over the previous year.
Managing all the above can be overwhelming for the most organized person. Being in compliance can be complicated and time-consuming. ZenBusiness offers a worry free compliance service that you can sign up for to help your business stay in the state’s good graces.
Requesting your Michigan Certificate of Good Standing
You can request the CGS online, by mail, by phone, or in person. Before you do, double-check that the CGS you’re about to request is valid for your intended use.
Start by signing in on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs portal. You’ll need your business ID or business name to do this. Once you’ve filled out the form, the page asks for your billing address as well as how you’d like to receive your CGS.
The fee is $10, to be paid after you’ve submitted the request. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover are accepted.
To request your Michigan CGS by post, download and complete the Certification and Copies Request form on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. Address your request to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Bureau of Commercial Services
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
The fee is $10. Make your check or money order payable to the State of Michigan.
To request your CGS by phone, you can call the Corporations Division at (517) 241-6470.
Once the order is processed, you’ll be sent an invoice. The fee is $10. Payment can be made by check or money order made payable to: State of Michigan. Include the invoice number on the check or money order.
If you’d rather go in person, you can visit the Corporations Division at:
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI 48864
Your request can be made at the counter.
Walk-in requests carry a fee of $12.50. You can pay with exact cash, check, money order, or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and Discover are accepted). Make the check or money payable to the State of Michigan.
If you file your request in person, you can choose to pay an expedited fee. Expedited orders are completed by the end of the next business day.
Once you’ve received your Michigan CGS, don’t hesitate to send it to your bank, the government, the state you intend to transact business with, or whatever party requesting 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 help 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 a Michigan CGS for you if you need one; you just pay the state fees. And, if you don’t have the worry-free compliance but still need a CGS, our Certificate of Good Standing service can help.
Michigan Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
How much does a Michigan CGS cost?
A Michigan CGS costs $10 if requested online, by mail, or by phone. If you prefer to do it in person, it’ll cost $12.50.
How long will it take to get my Michigan Certificate of Good Standing?
It depends on how you order your certificate. Normal processing can take 4 to 5 business days. If you file your request in person, you can choose to pay an expedited fee. Expedited orders are completed by the end of the next business day.
Can I expedite a Michigan CGS request?
Yes. If you request your Michigan CGS in person, it’ll cost an additional $3.25.
Is a CGS required to stay compliant in Michigan?
No. A CGS isn’t required to stay compliant in Michigan. However, if you want to request a CGS you need to stay compliant. This means paying taxes and fees on time, filling out an annual report or annual statement, and owning the appropriate licenses and permits.