A Minnesota 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 signing a contract with another company, a CGS might be essential.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to get a Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing, hassle-free.
What is a Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing?
A CGS is a legal document declaring that your business entity exists. It confirms that your company is allowed to conduct business in Minnesota at the time of issuance and that you’re in compliance with state law.
In Minnesota, CGSs are issued by the Minnesota Secretary of State (SOS). A CGS is issued only if your business is in compliance with the state’s business regulatory requirements.
ZenBusiness is all about helping your business grow smoothly. We know how to keep you in good standing. Choose us as a partner, and you can enjoy our worry free compliance service.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
If you’re asking for a CGS, you should know what’s in it. The release of a Minnesota CGS confirms that a business entity has:
- Paid the necessary fees to the Secretary of State Office.
- Submitted its annual renewal.
- Paid franchise taxes.
The content of Minnesota’s CGS will indicate that:
- Your company is registered with the state to transact business in Minnesota.
- On the date the Minnesota CGS is issued, your limited liability company (LLC) or corporation is in compliance with state law and is in good standing.
- Your business has paid all fees and sent the required documentation to the Office of the Secretary of State.
Why do you need a Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing?
There are many reasons why you might want to request a CGS. You might be asked to provide one if you want to do the following:
Generate business outside of Minnesota: An entity (such as a corporation or an LLC) looking to expand outside of Minnesota may have to provide a Minnesota CGS to the state in which they want to operate to prove they’re in good standing. This is usually a requirement across the United States.
Secure funding (public or private): A funding agency might need to be sure that your business entity is in compliance with state requirements 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 assurances that they’re dealing with a lawful business.
Sign a contract with another business or state: An entity that’s considering transacting business with your company might want to be certain about your compliance.
Renew certain permits and licenses: This is usually state- and business-specific, so check with the relevant authorities to find out what applies to you. This may include local and state permits.
What Minnesota business entities can request a CGS?
Entities registered with the state of Minnesota can request a CGS.
LLCs and corporations can request a CGS since they require state registration to operate in Minnesota. This includes profit corporations, professional corporations, nonprofit corporations, limited liability partnerships, and public benefit corporations.
Additionally, any sole proprietorship or general partnership that conducts business under an assumed name (that is to say, a name that isn’t that of its owner, often referred to as Doing Business as, or DBA) can similarly apply for a CGS. Registration needs to be done with the Office of the Secretary of State.
Sole proprietorships operating under the name of the owner don’t require registration and can’t submit a CGS.
How do you get a Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing?
First, you need to be sure that you’re in compliance. 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 state laws. In other words, have all your affairs in order and stay up to date with Minnesota’s legal requirements for businesses. Let’s have a look at what this means exactly.
Every business has to acquire the relevant licenses and permits to operate, such as building permits or commercial authorizations, on federal, state, and local levels. To request a Minnesota CGS, your company needs to operate with the correct licenses and permits. You might want to check with the relevant authorities to be sure everything’s in order.
Taxes and State Fees
Make certain that you’re in compliance with Minnesota taxes. This includes sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and any other taxes and fees that Minnesota requires you to pay to transact business in the state. It’s important to pay them on time.
Minnesota LLCs and corporations must file an annual renewal, known in other states as an annual report. Filing needs to happen at the end of your business year, so don’t forget. This report/statement confirms and updates the entity’s basic information, such as the address, registered agent, managers, directors, etc.
There’s no doubt that managing all the above can be overwhelming even for the most organized person. There’s no shame in asking for help. Bureaucracy can be complicated, boring, and time-consuming. ZenBusiness offers a worry free compliance service that can help your company meet its compliance obligations.
Requesting your Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing
You can request the CGS online, by mail, or in person. Before you do, double-check that the CGS you’re about to request is valid for your intended use.
Start by finding your business entity on the Minnesota Business Search page of the Minnesota Secretary of State website. You can use your company’s name or ID to do this. Once you find your company, click on the Details page. Here you can click on the Order Certificate button, which is near the top of the page. Enter your email address, as this will be used to notify you of the link from which you’ll download your CGS.
The link is only valid for 90 days. Payment can be done online using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. The cost is $15, and it’s an expedited service.
To request your Minnesota CGS by postal mail, download and complete the Business Certificate/Copy Request Form on the Minnesota Secretary of State website.
Mail it to:
Minnesota Secretary of State – Certification
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Dr., Suite 100
Saint Paul, MN 55103
The fee is $5 and can only be paid by check. No expedited service is available. The CGS will be sent back to you via mail.
If you’d rather do it in person, you can drop off the same form and check at the address above. If the counter is open, you’ll be given the CGS while you wait at no additional charge. It usually takes about an hour. No expedited service is currently available.
Once you’ve received your Minnesota CGS, don’t hesitate to send it to the party that requested it, whether it’s your bank, the government, or the state where you intend to transact business.
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 Minnesota 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.
Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
How much does a Minnesota CGS cost?
A Minnesota CGS costs $15 if requested online. Mail and in-person requests cost $5.
How long will it take to get my Minnesota Certificate of Good Standing?
Online processing usually takes one business day. If you file via mail, it’ll take two to five business days, plus the mailing time. In-person requests take around one hour.
Can I expedite a Minnesota CGS request?
Online requests are already expedited and cost $10 more than if you file via mail or in person.
Is a CGS required to stay compliant in Minnesota?
No. A CGS isn’t required to stay compliant in Minnesota. However, if you want to request a CGS, you need to stay compliant. This involves paying taxes and fees on time, filling out an annual renewal, and owning the appropriate licenses and permits.