Foreign Qualification Service includes:
There are many factors used to determine whether a company is transacting business in a state, such as:
This is not a complete list and different states may have different criteria. For questions regarding whether your particular company needs to foreign qualify, talk with an attorney.
There are no restrictions as to who can submit a foreign qualification filing. Anyone who prepares and files the Certificate of Authority and completes additional requirements (i.e. providing the Certificate of Good Standing) with the appropriate state agency is eligible to foreign qualify a business in that state.
No, an attorney is not a legal requirement to foreign qualify a business. You can prepare and file the Certificate of Authority yourself, but it’s good to understand the requirements of your intended state of qualification. You can use BizFilings to foreign qualify and save money on attorney fees. If you are unsure if a foreign qualification is required for your business, consult an attorney.
As with the incorporation documents, the type and amount of information each state requires differs. Commonly required information includes:
The following additional information is also requested by some states:
If your name is not available in the state of qualification, BizFilings will notify you and ask for a second name choice. You may also file for a doing business as (DBA) name for your company in the state of qualification to do business using a name other than the name on your Certificate of Authority.
Greenbush Telecom Inc. is a telecommunications company providing services in four other states. Greenbush is incorporated and maintains its headquarters in Georgia. It also offers its services in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee by employing contractors in these states. The company has offices and employees in these other states, and it offers services and accepts orders from residents of these states. Most likely, Greenbush Telecom would be required to foreign qualify in Florida, Alabama and Tennessee.
If this is later discovered that your company has been transacting business in a state and should have foreign qualified, your company will typically be subject to fines and penalties. It will also be liable for the back taxes for the period in which it transacted business in the state without being foreign qualified.
The second consequence of not foreign qualifying your business is that you could lose access to that state's court system until you file a foreign qualification. This means if an employee or customer within a state in which you are transacting business were to sue your company, you would not be able to defend the lawsuit in that state's courts because your company is not recognized as a business there. If this happened, your company typically would be given time to undertake the qualification process in order to allow you to defend such a lawsuit.
Because what is considered transacting business can be a gray area, talk with an attorney or accountant if you have questions as to whether your company is or will be considered to be doing business in a particular state.
Yes, BizFilings provides Registered Agent Service in all states. This allows you to have only one registered agent across all the states in which you foreign qualify your company. With BizFilings as your registered agent, we not only satisfy the state's legal requirement but also provide a number of benefits at no additional charge to you, such as: our monthly Registered Agent Watch email, access to BizComply─our online compliance management tool, electronic Service of Process delivery, 24/7 online access to your account and more.
BizFilings includes 6 months of our Registered Agent Service for free with our Foreign Qualification Service. You can also avoid interruption of this valuable service with our convenient auto-renewal program. For $167 per year, your Registered Agent Service will automatically be renewed to help ensure you remain in good standing with your state(s) of qualification.You also have the option to select one of our multi-year renewal options. You can choose to renew for two years for $225 (save $109) or renew for three years for $300 (save $201).
We have resources to help you understand your options.