If you own and run a business in Oklahoma or plan to start one, you may benefit from having a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS). It enhances your business’s credibility and establishes its legal validity in the State of Oklahoma.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of getting an Oklahoma CGS and help you understand why you may need one.
What is an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing?
The Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing (known in some states as a Certificate of Status, Certificate of Existence, or Certificate of Compliance) is evidence that your business satisfies all the state laws and regulations.
The CGS acknowledges that your business is in existence and is in good standing with the Oklahoma state government. Therefore, it helps facilitate several business activities, including expanding your business to other states, securing funds, buying business insurance, renewing trade licenses, and dissolving your business.
Which Oklahoma office issues Certificates of Good Standing?
You may request a Certificate of Good Standing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State (SOS). The service is available under the business entity services. You can file an application in person, online, or by mail.
Although the process is simple, you may not have the time or knowledge of the legal jargon. If you require a Certificate of Good Standing but don’t want to deal with the hassle, let ZenBusiness take care of the process. We can help you stay in compliance so that you can focus on running your business.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
A Certificate of Good Standing certifies that your business meets all the statutory requirements. The CGS confirms the business does not have any defaults in paying franchise taxes, filing annual reports (called “annual certificates” in Oklahoma), and paying any state-imposed fees.
Documentary evidence confirms your business is compliant with all state requirements. The CGS proves that your business is properly registered and authorized to do business in the state.
Oklahoma’s CGS contains the following information about your business:
- Registered business name
- Date of business formation
- A declaration that your business has paid all taxes and fees and filed its annual reports within the statutory timelines
- Verification that the business has not filed for dissolution
- A declaration that the business is in good standing with the Oklahoma Secretary of State
Why might a business need an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing?
Not every business needs to obtain an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing. Although it’s not mandatory, the Oklahoma CGS can make it easier to grow your business, and you may need one in some instances. Let’s look at certain situations where you may require one.
Registering to Do Business in Another State
As you grow and venture into other territories, you may desire to increase your presence in other states. Here, other states may consider your business a foreign entity. The new state will require you to furnish a Certificate of Good Standing to show that you have adhered to the laws in your home state. You may be permitted to do business in the new state once they ascertain your track record in complying with state legislation.
A CGS can go a long way in helping you secure funds for your business. When you apply for a line of credit or business finance, the investors need proof of your business credibility and financial standing. The CGS provides information that proves your business is a good bet.
Opening a Business Bank Account
You will likely want to open a separate bank account for your business in Oklahoma. Banks and financial institutions may request you to provide a Certificate of Good Standing along before allowing you to open an account with them. Here, having a CGS on hand can reduce the time required to open a business bank account.
Buying Business Insurance
A business may need to purchase different insurance policies to comply with state laws. In Oklahoma, every business with employees requires workers’ compensation insurance. Other business insurance policies may include general commercial liability insurance, professional liability insurance, product liability insurance, etc.
The insurance company uses the CGS to ascertain your credibility and assess the risk of failing to adhere to state laws. It may be used to gauge how competent your business is at ensuring employee safety and ethical practices.
Contract Formation with State/Other Business
As you expand your business across state borders, you may be asked to provide an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing. Since the CGS is a snapshot of your business’s legal journey, it helps other businesses and new states to take your business at face value when signing commercial contracts.
Selling Part or All of the Business
Anyone looking to invest in your business may want to examine the CGS to assess the buying decision. The Oklahoma CGS reflects your business’s compliance status with the regulatory framework and state legislation, therefore facilitating the transfer of your business.
Renewing Certain Permits and Licenses
Periodic permits and licenses need to be renewed over time. Usually, the renewals are done every year or whenever the fees are due. The CGS shows your legal standing and compliance track record with the state of Oklahoma. It can prove particularly useful or even be required in certain license and permit renewals.
What Oklahoma entities can obtain a CGS?
According to the Oklahoma Secretary of State, only businesses registered in the state can request a Certificate of Good Standing. If your entity has paid all the state taxes and filed the requisite returns, then you’re eligible to apply for a CGS.
LLCs and Corporations
Many businesses opt for these entity structures. LLCs and corporations are popular because there’s a clear separation of liability and finances for personal and business purposes. It allows you to grow your business while minimizing personal risk.
Thus, it seems justified that most LLCs and corporations need to provide a CGS when they seek to venture into other states. Several third-party organizations, suppliers, and vendors may request a CGS before entering into new business relations.
Other business entities that require registration in the state
Any other entity that has a registered business in the State of Oklahoma may request the CGS from the Secretary of State. These business entities may include trusts, nonprofit organizations, LLPs, partnership firms, etc.
Entities that don’t need to be registered
Not all business entities need to be registered with the state. These entities most often don’t have any employees and are usually sole proprietorships. Since they’re not registered with the state, they can’t receive a CGS.
How to get an Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing
You can file an online application for a CGS on the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website. You can also submit your request by mail or in person. However, the quickest method of obtaining the CGS is the online application.
Check to make sure your business is in compliance
Ensure that your business stays compliant with the state laws. You shouldn’t have any outstanding dues or taxes. Check whether you’ve filed all the reports within the specified deadlines. Verify that all licenses and permits are up to date.
If you have any doubts, get in touch with ZenBusiness. Let experienced professionals perform the compliance checks so that your business can enjoy a smooth experience.
Go to Oklahoma’s business website to request a Certificate of Good Standing
Once your compliance checks are done, you need to sign in on the Oklahoma Secretary of State website and request a CGS under the business entity orders. You have to pay a filing fee. You may also print the form and mail it with a fee. Usually, you receive the certificate in your email.
Make sure your Certificate of Good Standing will be valid for its intended use
The Oklahoma CGS doesn’t usually have an expiration date. The validity of the certificate depends on the party requesting it. Banks, financial institutions, creditors, etc., have different guidelines on what they’re willing to accept as a credible CGS when it comes to how old it is.
Send to requesting party
Once you get your CGS, you can share it with any party that requests you to furnish a Certificate of Good Standing.
We hope this guide has provided you with an in-depth understanding of the process to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in Oklahoma. ZenBusiness can help you apply for your CGS if you’re having trouble or just want to make sure everything is done right. Contact ZenBusiness for worry-free compliance checks today.
Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
How much does an Oklahoma CGS cost?
As of 2021, an Oklahoma CGS costs $20, which can be paid online, by mail, or in person.
How long will it take to get my Oklahoma Certificate of Good Standing?
If you opt for online filing, you can get the certificate within a day. However, the other methods may take slightly longer. Nonetheless, you can usually receive your certificate within three days depending on mailing time.
Can I expedite a CGS request?
No, there’s no option to expedite your request. The fastest way to get the certificate is online.
Is a CGS required to stay compliant in Oklahoma?
It’s not required to get the CGS to do business in Oklahoma. However, having one can help you in a number of different situations.