In New Hampshire, businesses may sometimes need to verify that they’re operating legally and have kept up to date on all filings, taxes, state regulations, licenses, and permits. Companies may also want to start doing business in another state and need confirmation that they’re legally compliant in New Hampshire. To do any of the above, you need a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS).
A CGS may be obtained by mail, online, or in person. Each application format has its own methods and fees, which are described below.
This article will walk you through the reasons you may need a CGS and the steps to take to acquire one.
What is a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing?
A New Hampshire CGS is a legal document that confirms that a specific business entity exists in and can conduct business in the state. It also ensures that the company has complied with New Hampshire state law. It’s up to the business to maintain compliance with all laws and regulations.
There’s no specific expiration date for a CGS. However, it will be invalidated if any of the compliance items like the annual report are missing, incomplete, or expired. Many entities that want to see a CGS, like a bank or insurance company, may have their own requirements as to how old a CGS can be to remain valid.
It’s important to note that in the United States a company can receive a CGS even if involved in investigations about fraud, tax evasion, or other criminal offenses. As long as the current compliance requirements are met, other, pending factors aren’t considered in issuing a CGS.
The New Hampshire Secretary of State (SOS) Corporation Division issues a CGS in response to a business’s written, verbal, or online request. ZenBusiness can help you with our worry free compliance service, helping you have everything on hand when you request a certificate and that you stay up to date on all legal requirements.
Note: Solicitations from entities other than the New Hampshire Secretary of State (SOS) offering a CGS form for a price are scams. Residents of New Hampshire should report scams to the Corporation Division of the SOS. New Hampshire issues CGSs for a fee through its QuickStart web page.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
A CGS verifies that certain required documents have been submitted and are updated. It also confirms that business and franchise taxes are current and that the company is appropriately registered to do business in New Hampshire.
New Hampshire’s CGS validates:
- Verification of current annual report fee paid and report filed
- Most recent registration filing date
- Business’s name and address
- Name and address of the company’s registered agent (must be a physical address in New Hampshire)
- All federal, state, and local licenses are up to date
- The business has an EIN and has paid its federal taxes
It also verifies that the entity has paid state taxes for the current year, including:
- Business Profits Tax, which is a flat tax rate on a business with more than $50,000 in income (as of 2021)
- Business Enterprise Tax in the form of a percentage that’s based on the company’s earnings
- State franchise taxes and other applicable state taxes
- Unemployment tax
Why might a business need a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing?
The CGS isn’t mandatory to conduct business in New Hampshire, but the following actions could require it:
- Opening a business bank account
- Buying business insurance
- Renewing some licenses and permits
- Registering to do business in another state
- Obtaining loans, credit and debit cards, and other credit transactions
- Customer-related transactions, such as electronic bill payments or auto-pay
- Forming a contract with the state or another business
- Transferring ownership or selling all or a portion of your business
- Setting up debit payments to and from clients or customers
- When recruiting business partners and other corporate and business tasks
What New Hampshire entities can obtain a CGS?
Not all business types are eligible for a CGS, namely businesses that aren’t required to register with New Hampshire. Business entities eligible for a CGS include:
- Corporations of any type, for-profit and nonprofit
- Limited liability companies (LLCs)
- Limited partnerships
- Limited liability partnerships
Businesses that don’t need a CGS include:
- Sole proprietorships
- General partnerships
How to Get a New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing
Check to ensure your business complies with the items listed above: taxes, annual report, permits, licenses, etc. ZenBusiness can assist with our compliance services, watching due dates to help make sure renewal documents are filed on time. They’ll also manage amendments help you complete and submit your annual report.
Visit New Hampshire’s business website portal to request a CGS and pay the fee online. There you’ll find a sign-on and instructions page, and your CGS will be immediately available for you to print and use.
To obtain a CGS by mail, write a letter to the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s Corporation Division requesting a CGS that includes:
- The name of the business for which you need the Certificate of Good Standing
- The address where you want the certificate to be mailed, and
- A check or money order for the right amount made payable to “State of New Hampshire”
Mail the letter to:
New Hampshire Secretary of State
107 N. Main St., Room 204
Concord, NH 03301
Visit the office in person at:
25 Capitol St., 3rd floor
Concord, NH 03301
You may still need to pay a fee for requesting the certificate in person. If you want an expedited copy to have in hand the same day, there’s an additional fee. The SOS office accepts cash, check, money order, and all major credit and debit cards for payment.
There’s a small percentage-based processing fee for credit or debit card transactions in addition to the general price. If you pay with cash, come with the exact amount in hand because change cannot be returned.
It’s up to you to ensure that a Certificate of Good Standing is valid for your intended use. If you’re uncertain, check with the New Hampshire SOS Corporation Division office. Their phone number is 603-271-3246, and their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The office will mail the certificate to the name and address provided online or in the mailed letter of request.
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 New Hampshire CGS for you if you need one; you just pay the state fees. And, if you don’t have the worry-free compliance but still need a CGS, our Certificate of Good Standing service can help.
New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
- How much does a New Hampshire CGS cost?
Check the Secretary of State’s business division website for the most current fee schedule for state filings.
- How long will it take to get my New Hampshire Certificate of Good Standing?
If you request the certificate in person at the SOS’s Corporate Division office, you can leave with it in hand for an extra fee. When you order it online, you’ll be able to see and print the certificate immediately. The SOS’s office will mail the original to mailed-in letter requests and in-person requests within a few days. New Hampshire affixes its seal in black and white, so it’s printable and able to copy.
- Can I expedite a New Hampshire CGS request?
Yes. If you request the certificate in person, you receive it that day for an extra fee.
- Is a CGS required to stay compliant in New Hampshire?
No. A CGS is not required for a business to stay compliant. It’s something that may be requested by another source, for example, a bank or insurance company. Compliance with all responsibilities is mandatory to get a CGS.
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