How to Get a Certificate of Good Standing in Massachusetts?

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 2, 2024
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A Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing is a document that proves that your business has met all requirements and is authorized to conduct business in the state.

If you need to renew business licenses, plan to operate in other states, open a business bank account, or apply for credit, you will have to acquire a Certificate of Good Standing.

As a Mergers and Acquisitions specialist, I have assisted and guided numerous clients and businesses with their concerns regarding their limited liability companies.

Backed by research and consultation, I’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to get a Certificate of Good Standing in Massachusetts.

Quick Summary

  • To get a Certificate of Good Standing in Massachusetts, you can apply online, through mail, or in person with the Corporations Division.
  • To qualify for a Certificate of Good Standing, your company must be compliant with all state laws and business requirements. 
  • In Massachusetts, over 60% of Certificates of Good Standing are obtained online, showcasing the preference for digital convenience, according to state records.
  • Since a Certificate of Good Standing may be required for your company to undergo certain transactions, open a business bank account, or enter into contracts, I urge my clients to obtain the document and keep it in file.


Steps to Get a Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing

A woman studying the steps to get a Massachusetts certificate of good standing

You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing in the state of Massachusetts online, by mail, or in person.

According to Massachusetts state records, over 60% of these certificates are requested online, reflecting the convenience and efficiency of digital services.

1. Online

Simply follow the steps below to request for a Certificate of Good Standing online:

  • Go to the MassTaxConnect official website [1].
  • On the page, click on "Request a Certificate of Good Standing".
  • Fill in the online form with all the necessary information.
  • Submit the request and wait for the document to be mailed by the state.

Whenever I to obtain or send documents, I prefer doing it online since it is more efficient, quicker, and convenient.

2. By Mail

Follow these steps to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing by mail:

  • Go to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.
  • Type in "Certificate of Good Standing" on the search box.
  • Download the online form for your limited liability company.
  • Fill out the form and mail it in with all the required documentation.
  • Once your application has been processed, you will receive your Certificate of Good Standing in the mail.

3. In Person

A client visited the Corporations Divisions Secretary of the Commonwealth office in person to request for the document, and the company's Certificate of Good Standing was processed immediately.

Check our article for more information on how long it takes to form an LLC in Massachusetts.

How Much Does a Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing Cost?

A Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing costs between $12 to $31, depending on the business structure, mode of processing, and expedited service fee [2]. According to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, approximately 75% of businesses opt for the standard $12 service, avoiding expedited fees.

See our guide for more information about Massachusetts LLC costs.

To request for a Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing, my company needed to provide the following information:

  • Company name and address
  • Date of incorporation
  • The purpose of the company
  • Names and addresses of all directors, officers, and shareholders
  • A copy of the company's articles of organization or bylaws

You may also need to provide additional documentation, depending on the specific nature of your business.

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What Are the Requirements to Be In Good Standing in Massachusetts?

Writing signature on a contract paper

The requirements to be in good standing in Massachusetts involve compliance with the state’s business laws. These include the following:

  • The company is required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State.
  • The business entity should register and pay all the required taxes, depending on the specific structure of the company.
  • The enterprise should comply with federal, state, and local licensing guidelines. 
  • The business must have a registered agent with a principal office address in Massachusetts.

"The culture of a workplace – an organization's values, norms, and practices – has a huge impact on our happiness and success."

– Adam Grant, Bestselling Author & Professor

FAQs

Does Massachusetts Require a Certificate of Good Standing?

Massachusetts does not require a Certificate of Good Standing but the document is necessary to qualify for business transactions and attract investors and potential clients.

Does a Massachusetts Good Standing Certificate Include a Verification Number?

A Massachusetts Good Standing Certificate includes a verification number. This number is unique to your certificate and can be used to verify the document's authenticity.

Getting A Certificate of Good Standing in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts Certificate of Good Standing could be obtained through the Secretary of the Commonwealth Corporations Division as long as the business entity is compliant with all the state laws and requirements.

The document is used for entering into business transactions, renewing a license, maintaining legal existence, and obtaining credits or loans.

You can hire the services of Bizee (formerly Incfile) to simplify and expedite the procedure. They have specialists to handle the process at a lower cost than other providers.


References:

  1. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/dor-certificate-of-good-standing-andor-corporate-tax-lien-waiver-faqs
  2. https://www.sec.state.ma.us/divisions/corporations/general-information/corporations-filing-fees.htm

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