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Qualify My Entity to do Business Out of State

Foreign Qualification allows Entities to do Business in other States.

Obtaining “Foreign qualification” is the process of registering your existing entity to legally conduct business in another state jurisdiction. This foreign qualification filing is done with the secretary of state office of another state; It’s typically the first step in expanding a business into another state.

After being qualified, your company can then legally pursue growth opportunities across state borders without having to incorporate a new business entity.

Once you foreign qualify in a state, the secretary of state will issue a "Certificate of Authorization," which is a state-issued document that shows that a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) has met the state’s statutory requirements and is authorized to do business in that state.

After the entity has qualified, it then has to navigate the tax rules and registration, secure the necessary state-level business licenses and permits.

Reasons for Obtaining Foreign Qualification

Common reasons for securing a Foreign Qualification are:

  • Bidding on contracts
  • Selling products and services.
  • Purchasing properties or buildings.
  • Opening a new office or other facility.
  • Applying for a professional business license.
  • Hiring employees in a state outside of the state of formation.

When Foreign Qualification is Unnecessary

Foreign qualification guidelines and requirements are deferent in every state, however it not required when:

  • Opening or maintaining a bank account.
  • Securing a partnership or joint venture.
  • Transactions and activities, less than 30 days.
  • Evaluating business prospects in other states.
  • Conducting internal affairs, maintaining corporate books and records.
  • Wholesalers of foreign states with minor participation in the activities of its dealers.

Process for being Foreign Qualified

The procedure of being foreign qualified includes first appointing registered agent, with has a physical address to receive legal documents for your company. The agent will then help you obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from your State of Formation. Which will then need to be submitted to the new foreign state, along with the completed application for the certificate of authorization.

Processing Times

Processing times varies state-by-state. While many states offer expedite options, others states have many expedited levels of service. After filing, it may take some states up to 5 weeks to process the file; Nonetheless, those states frequently offer expedite options for processing in 1-2 business days.

Visit RCA’s Foreign Qualification Fees by State.

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Foreign Qualification


Plus State Filing Fees

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Got help!

We’ll handle the research and paperwork for your entity to receive a Foreign Qualification; And assist you in acquiring the licensing and permits your company needs to conduct business in the foreign jurisdiction of choice. You can have peace of mind, knowing that our experts are hard at work for you.

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