How Do I Get a Certificate of Formation?

A certificate of formation, also called a letter of good standing or a certificate of status, is an official document that shows your business is in compliance with state laws and regulations.

A corporation, LLC, or other entity may need a certificate of status when it opens a bank account, applies for credit or registers to do business in another state.


When you start a business in Florida, you need to file with the state for a certificate of formation. This document proves that your LLC is legally formed under state law and that it meets all requirements.

You can get this online from the FL Division of Corporations. Ordering online is simple and free.

Alternatively, you can request a certificate of status in person or by mail. Typically, these requests take up to 7 days.

To submit a request, provide the entity name, payment, registration number, specific request, preaddressed prepaid envelope or airbill and a daytime phone number for questions.

Once you have the certificate of formation, you’ll need to register your Florida business with the Secretary of State and appoint an agent for service of process. This person or company receives legal papers on behalf of your business and forwards them to you in the case that someone sues you.

In Person

A certificate of formation is a document that proves your business is registered and complying with state regulations. This is important for obtaining an EIN, business licenses and opening a bank account.

It’s also required if you want to start doing business in another state. If you’re a foreign corporation or LLC, for example, you can’t legally operate in Florida without first qualifying as a “Foreign Corporation” or a “Foreign Limited Liability Company.”

You can request your certificate of formation in person at the Department of State in Tallahassee. The process usually takes seven days, though you can also get it same day if you submit your records order by 4:30 p.m.

Your application will need to include the Articles of Incorporation for a corporation or the Articles of Organization for an LLC, along with a filing fee and cover letter. Once you’ve submitted these documents, the Florida Division of Corporations will approve them and issue your certificate of formation.


A certificate of formation (or a certificate of status, for those who are state-speakers) is a fancy name for a license or document that confirms that your business is legitimate and free to operate in that particular jurisdiction. It is a must have for businesses that wish to do business in Florida, as well as any entity that wants to prove their bona fides to banks, vendors and licensing agencies.

You can get a certificate of formation from the state by mail or in person at the Division of Corporations. The process consists of filling out a form with the requisite information, providing a credit card, and paying the fee. The resulting documents are then sent by mail, and should be received within 7 days for standard processing.

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Legal Needs

If you want to open a business bank account, obtain credit card merchant accounts or start doing business with vendors and professionals in Florida, you may need a certificate of formation. The state will issue this document to you when your LLC forms and complies with filing and payment obligations.

To form a Florida LLC, you must first file Articles of Organization with the Florida Division of Corporations. These documents must include the name of your LLC, your registered agent’s address and signature, and your employer identification number (EIN).

Once you’ve filed, you can request a certified copy from the FL Division of Corporations by mail or in person. Usually, these requests will be processed within one day or less.

Your LLC must have a registered agent in Florida who agrees to accept service of process on behalf of your company in the event someone sues you. This agent can be a single individual or a business entity, so long as they have a physical street address in Florida.