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Certificate of Good Standing: What is it & When is it Required?


Simon Colwill - October 26, 2021 - 0 comments

A Certificate of Good Standing otherwise referred to as a ‘Letter of Good Standing’ or a ‘Certificate of Authorisation’, is a widely accepted and internationally recognised document that ultimately shows a business is quite literally in ‘good standing’. 

The certificate can be requested by anyone, for example, it is often required by another organisation planning to go into business with a certain company, or the company itself to simply keep up-to-date with their own filing records. 

For businesses in the UK, a Certificate of Good Standing is requested from the government service Companies House, who will then post the signed certificate to your registered business address or an alternative address of your choosing. 

The MSC Notaries apostille services include those needing a Certificate of Good Standing for foreign use. We go into further detail on what this certificate entails, when you will need one and how to get one below. 

What is a Certificate of Good Standing?

In a nutshell, this certificate, most commonly requested by banks and/or foreign organisations, shows that a company is currently running and has been since its incorporation, whenever that originally was. It also shows a company is up-to-date on all document submissions and account duties and that at the time of issuing the certificate, companies house is not aware of any winding up procedures on the company. 

When do you need a Certificate of Good Standing?

Certificates of Good Standing are not technically required unless another company or bank has requested one from you, for example, before large contracts are drawn up or a bank account can be set up. Despite this, many companies will request a copy of their certificate for their own records to keep up-to-date with filing records.

Common instances where you will need to request and provide a Certificate of Good Standing are:

  • When working with new suppliers or clients to show the company is certified
  • Opening a business bank account in the UK or overseas
  • Applying for a business loan
  • When approached by new investors or business partners
  • Starting a company offshore
  • Opening a branch of a company in a new territory or overseas
  • Entering into large contracts with foreign companies
  • If you’re a doctor planning to practise abroad 

How can you get a Certificate of Good Standing?

You can order a certificate via the Companies House website or over the phone. If you’ve left it last minute to obtain, you can even use a same-day service or stick to standard delivery to have it processed within four days and sent second class. 

As long as your company has been included in the Companies House database, you can simply search for the company and hit request to have your certificate sent out, whether your company has been running for years or only a matter of days.

What’s included in a Certificate of Good Standing?

  • Company name
  • Company number
  • Date of registration
  • A declaration to validate the continuation of the business since its incorporation date
  • A declaration that no action has been or is currently pending against the company
  • A declaration that the company isn’t in insolvency or due to be sold

Additional info can be requested to be included where needed:

  • Registered office address
  • Company Directors (must be two directors for Public Limited Companies)
  • Company Secretary’s
  • Any former company names
  • Company objectives
  • In more particular cases, information like the nationalities or dates of birth of directors can be asked for too

If another organisation or bank has asked to see a Certificate of Good Standing from you, it’s important to clarify the information they require to be included before you make the request. Some companies, for example, may require your certificate to be notarised and/or have an apostille attached. An official apostille stamp on your certificate ensures it is valid in all and any states that are part of the Apostille Convention. 

Does your Certificate of Good Standing need to be notarised?

MSC Notaries offer notarisation and apostille services to ensure businesses planning to trade or expand overseas do so with all the correct and fully certified paperwork. Our team of professionals offers attestation of Certificate of Good Standing for competitive prices with declaration efficient turnarounds so you can provide documentation quickly, whether you need the certificate notarising to open a bank account, open a new branch, or enter into contracts overseas. 

Certificates of Incumbency

These are certificates, similar to a certificate of good standing, but prepared and issued by an accountant, solicitor, or notary. The benefit of a Certificate of Incumbency over a Certificate of Good Standing is that it can often be prepared more quickly, and can be tailored more specifically to the client’s requirements. 

For example, a Certificate of Incumbency can include details of the shareholders of the company, whereas a Certificate of Good Standing would not contain this information. We regularly assist clients with preparing, apostilling, and legalising certificates of incumbency.


You can contact our team for any further advice or obtain a quote for the preparation of a Certificate of Incumbency or the notarisation of a Certificate of Good Standing or other documentation.