A certificate of good standing is an official document issued by Companies House which verifies that a limited company is essentially in ‘good standing’ with the registrar of companies.
More specifically, it certifies that a company has been in continuous, uninterrupted existence since its incorporation and that no action is currently being taken to strike the company off the register.
What is shown on a certificate of good standing?
The following information will be displayed on a certificate of good standing:
- The date of incorporation
- The names of all company directors
- The name of the company secretary (if applicable)
- The registered office address
- Company objects (if applicable)
- Verification that the company is up to date with filing requirements
It also includes a good standing statement, to the effect that the company has been in continuous, uninterrupted existence since its incorporation and that no action is currently being taken to strike the company off the register.
Please note: It used to be possible to request a certificate of good standing which included information on shareholders, shareholdings, and statement of capital. This is no longer the case following changes under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.
What are the requirements to obtain a certificate of good standing?
There are several requirements which a company must fulfil to successfully obtain this certificate:
- The company must have at least one director who is a natural person. A natural person is a human individual, as opposed to another company, etc.
- In the case of a public limited company (PLC), there must be at least two company directors. At least one of these directors must be a natural person.
- The company must be up to date with its annual accounts and confirmation statement filings.
- There must be no action being taken against the company to remove it from the register.
- The company must have been in continuous, uninterrupted existence since its incorporation.
Why would I need this certificate?
There are several scenarios in which a certificate of good standing may be required, such as:
- Bank accounts – to open a business bank account, it may be necessary to submit a certificate of good standing to the bank.
- Overseas branch – companies that want to open a branch in another country may need to present a certificate of good standing to the relevant authorities in that particular jurisdiction.
- Investment – potential investors may request a certificate of good standing before making a decision regarding any investment.
Can I use it abroad?
A certificate of good standing may be needed for companies that are considering opening a branch overseas. However, it will often be necessary to have it legalised for use in the foreign jurisdiction, using an apostille.
An apostille is essentially a stamped official certificate issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. This makes it legally valid in any contracting states of the Apostille Convention.
Quality Company Formations provide an Apostilled Document Service at a cost of £89.99 per document.