When expanding an entity into a new jurisdiction, following the correct process ensures it’s recognized as a legal entity so you can conduct business within new borders. This process is known as "foreign qualification," and it can be a huge undertaking—especially if you’re not familiar with the unique requirements of the jurisdiction you’re entering. Let CSC handle the complexities and the paperwork, so you can focus on taking your business to its next stage.

Foreign Qualification


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Service in all 50 states

CSC can register entities in the U.S. and beyond in more than 140 international jurisdictions.

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In addition to fulfilling your foreign qualification needs, CSC can help secure the business licenses you need or act as your registered agent.

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You’ll have access to dedicated account experts. They’ll provide live, personalized service during extended business hours.


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  • What is foreign qualification?

    Foreign qualification is required when a company is doing business in a state other than the state of formation. The concept of "doing business" is defined by state statute and varies from state to state. There is no uniform standard, which can make foreign qualification difficult to navigate. Generally, however, doing business in a state means transacting part of an entity’s ordinary business in that state. Examples include:

    • Having a physical presence

    • Having local employees

    • Engaging in intrastate commerce

  • What documents do I need to file for foreign qualification?

    The process for foreign qualification varies by state. But most companies will be required to file a Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Authority. This carries a fee and often requires supporting documents, such as a Certificate of Good Standing or a Certificate of Incorporation from the state of formation.

  • How does the foreign qualification process work?

    Companies will likely need to file:

    • A Certificate of Good Standing or certified copy from the state of formation

    • A copy of the company’s Certificate of Formation or Incorporation

    • An application for a Certificate of Registration or Certificate of Authority

    If your corporation, limited liability company, or other type of entity is registered to do business in another state, you take on annual report filing obligations. You may also need to obtain a business license. Otherwise, you may violate the local jurisdiction’s rules on compliance and find your entity out of good standing. You may have to pay financial penalties—you may even be forced to close.

    During the process of obtaining foreign qualification, have the following information ready:

    • Company name

    • Nature of the business

    • Business address

    • Registered agent address

    • Name of managing member or officer who will sign the document

  • How much does it cost to file a foreign qualification?

    Foreign qualification fees vary by state. CSC can help you navigate the filing requirements of all 50 states and Washington D.C.


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Doing Business Outside Your State

An interactive guide with essential information about doing business outside your state.

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