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What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

A certificate of good standing is often referred to as a Certificate of Existence or a Certificate of Authorisation. It is used to say that a company is authorised and incorporated to conduct business in a certain state.

The Certificate of Good Standing is used to demonstrate two important things:

  1. The company has been in existence from the time of incorporation; and
  2. that no action is currently being undertaken in order to remove the company from the register.

In the UK, you can obtain a copy of the Certificate of Good Standing from Companies House. This will be sent out to the Registered Address of the company, however, you can obtain an electronic copy (this will not contain a copy of a signature of a Companies House official and therefore may not always be appropriate to use).

What is included in a Certificate of Good Standing?

The Certificate of Good Standing includes information about the company including:

  • The company's number and trading name
  • The date of incorporation
  • A statement that the company has existed from the date of incorporation.
  • A declaration that no actions have been taken by Companies House to strike off the company and class it as invalid.
  • A statement that, as far as the Registrar is aware, the company isn't in liquidation, isn't subject to an administration order and no manager or receiver of the company's property has been chosen.

What's the point in having one? I know my company has existed since incorporation

Most companies have no need to get one, however some do like to keep their filing up to date and as such can request one for those purposes.

But the main use of the Certificate of Good Standing is if you're looking at doing business abroad. This is because the Official Registrar in that country (equivalent to Companies House) will request it in order to make sure the company is running as it should be and is fully compliant with its obligations.

Even if your company is fully based within the UK the following reasons could apply to you needing your Certificate of Good Standing:

  • If you're setting up a new business bank account, the bank may request to see it.
  • Sometimes lenders will have a clause stating they need to see it when applying for a loan.
  • A new business partner or investor may want to make sure your company is running as it should be.

These people/organisations can request to view it because sometimes it's not enough to have your word that your company is still running and is running correctly. By viewing the Certificate they will be able to see that legally they can trust you.

How can I obtain mine?

A Certificate of Good Standing can be prepared for any company that has been incorporated (even if it has existed for only a few days).

Companies House will not issue a Certificate of Good Standing is the following are true:

  • Your company accounts or Confirmation Statement are not up to date.
  • The information about the company's constitution, ownership or control have not been provided.
  • In case the company fails to have the anticipated number of officers. Read more on Officers here.

If you feel that your business needs to have a Certificate of Good Standing then you can order one through us for as little as £34.99. Find the request form here.

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