Foreign Qualification: Doing Business in Other States

How can you operate your Delaware LLC in the state (outside Delaware) in which you are physically doing business? The answer is a process called Foreign Qualification.

When you file for Foreign Qualification, states typically require either a Certificate of Good Standing (GS) or a Certified Copy of the Certificate of Formation (CC) from the state of Delaware.

Most but not all states require a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Existence). This document comes directly from the Delaware Division of Corporations and declares that your LLC is in good standing with the state, meaning it is in compliance and your taxes are paid.

Some states only require a Certified Copy of your Certificate of Formation. A Certified Copy is an official document, issued by the Secretary of State, which certifies the authenticity of your LLC’s corporate documents.

The infographic below illustrates which states require a Certificate of Good Standing, which ask for a Certified Copy and which states do not require either document.

We understand that Foreign Qualification can be a confusing process for some entrepreneurs. Feel free to call our experienced business formation specialists with any questions you may have about foreign qualifying your Delaware LLC.

(Mobile users: tap the image to see the full size infographic.)

Foreign Qalification


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*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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There are 3 comments left for Foreign Qualification: Doing Business in Other States

ocean kings e-sports said: Thursday, March 4, 2021

I am really glad to glance at this weblog posts which contains plenty of valuable information, thanks for providing these kinds of data.

HBS Staff replied: Sunday, March 7, 2021

You're very welcome. Thank you for reading our article.

Tracy Mitchell Griggs said: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

This infographic is not displayed correctly on iOS - non mobile responsive design.

HBS Staff replied: Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Thank you for letting us know, Tracy!

Paul H. Spitz said: Thursday, March 9, 2017

Actually, Ohio does require a certificate of good standing.

HBS Staff replied: Thursday, March 9, 2017

For corporations, perhaps, but not for LLCs (which is what the infographic refers to).

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