Most company documents, such as the certificate of good standing (CGS), will require an apostille before being used abroad.

We can apostille your certificate of good standing as per the Hague Convention in just one or two days. We can also arrange for the solicitor or notary public certification for your UK documents quickly, thanks to our staff and professional consultants.

What it is:  

A certificate of good standing is an official document issued by the Companies House in the UK. This document shows that the company has been in continuous and unbroken existence since its incorporation.

Frequently used for:

A certificate of good standing will be required even if your company is based entirely in the UK. You can use it to perform the following tasks:

  • When you wish to set up a new business bank account
  • When seeking a loan. Some lenders will insist on it
  • When seeking an investor or partner
  • When opening an overseas business bank account for a UK limited company
  • When opening an overseas branch.
  • When you wish to demonstrate the company’s certification while working with new suppliers or clients
  • When signing contracts with foreign corporations
  •  If you’re a doctor who wants to practice medicine in other countries

Original or copy:

You can use the original or certified copies for the apostille service

Considerations:

  • The certificate is ordered from the UK Companies Registrar
  • FCDO can only legalise documents certified by the registrar of the Companies House

Replacement documents:

You can request a replacement from the Companies House; please inquire ahead of time.

How much does it cost?

Standard service starts from £79 for a certificate of good standing.

However, our apostille services will vary depending on the services you select, such as:

  • Same-day service
  • Whether you require a notary or solicitor services,
  • Whether you will require embassy attestation
  • The delivery mode you have selected.

The cost of the apostille service will also depend on how many company documents you wish to have apostilled.

How to order:

A straightforward apostille for a UK certificate of good standing can be ordered online. You can choose additional options on the order page. If you are unsure, please call our office and speak to one of our experts.

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Enquire or order a UK apostille

Why do companies require a certificate of good standing?

Companies require a certificate of good standing to prove that they have been in operation since their inception. The good standing certificate also confirms all the company details held by the public registrar’s office.

If you wish to open a bank account in a country other than the UK or set up a new branch with the same company name, you must confirm the details of your business. This document will provide all of the details required.

Must I have a certificate of good standing in the UK?

Not really. Most businesses do not require one, but some prefer to keep their records up to date and can request one.

Even if your business is wholly based in the UK, the following institutions may ask for it:

  • Lenders
  • Banks
  • Investors
Certificate of Good Standing Example Document
Certificate of Good Standing Example Document

What is included in the certificate of good standing?

The standard format comprises the following information:

  • The company name
  • The company number
  • The registration date
  • The company’s registered office address
  • A declaration indicating the business has been in operation from its inception
  • A statement confirming that Companies House has not taken any action to strike the company off the register and declare it invalid
  • A statement showing that the business is not in liquidation or administration and that no manager or receiver of the company’s property has been appointed, as far as the registrar is aware

You can also request that additional information be added to the certificate, such as:

  • The names of the company directors
  • The names of the company secretary
  • Any previous name changes made by the company
  • The company’s goals

Do I need to legalise the certificate of good standing?

Yes, if you intend to use it outside the UK. A certificate of good standing is needed if you plan to do business in another country or work with foreign companies.

The official registrars usually ask for it. They also ask for an apostille certificate to confirm the official authentication of the Companies House document to confirm that your business is operating properly and in full compliance with its duties.

Some countries also require further legalisation at their Embassy in London.

How do I get a certificate of good standing?

You can request your certificate of good standing from Companies House. [1]

Suppose your company has already been incorporated and appears in the Companies House database. In that case, you can be issued a certificate of good standing even if the business has only been in operation for a few days.

When applying, there are two main speeds of receiving it:

  • 1. The basic service, which takes 5 to 7 days to complete, and,
  • 2. The expedited service takes 1 to 2 days to complete.

How long is the certificate of good standing valid?

The certificate of good standing is valid for three months from the date of issue. You need to order a new CGS once the three months have passed, which means the new CGS will again need to be apostilled.

Sometimes if the CGS is used in a non-English speaking country, a translation of the CGS may be needed. We can assist with obtaining translations of documents where required.

Call +44 (0) 207 0500 692
Enquire or order a UK apostille

This article has been written by experts and fact-checked by experts. We only link to high-quality sources like government information & data, original reporting and interviews with industry experts. Reputable publishers are also sourced and cited where appropriate to support the facts within our articles.

[1] Order certified copies and certificates from Companies House
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/order-certified-copies-and-certificates-from-companies-house