A certificate of status can be obtained for any registered company. These certificates are not issued for sole proprietorships or partnerships or business names. Sometimes a certificate of status is called a certificate of good standing or a certificate of compliance but they are all the same type of document.
In most cases the information inserted onto a certificate of status will be the same for every jurisdiction and in Canada this is the case.
It will include the most current name of the company, the date of incorporation and confirmation that the company is in good standing. If the person or company that has requested a certificate of good standing from you wants additional information on the certificate it may be necessary to obtain a legal opinion instead.
How do you Confirm a Partnership or Sole Proprietorship is in Good Standing
The only way to do this is to order a partnership or sole proprietorship search. The search will show the buisness is active. Since there is no requirement for these types of registrations to do annual reports the only thing that needs to be in good standing is the registration itself. Some of these registrations will only last 3 years or 5 years and therefore if you have not renewed your registration you will not be able to obtain a clear search showing the registration is current.
What does in Good Standing Mean
In each jurisdiction in Canada and elsewhere it can actual mean something different. In some cases such as the federal jurisdiction and the BC jurisdiction all corporate annual returns or reports must be filed with the government in order to obtain a clear report.
These reports are required in many provinces and are to be filed annually. They are filed with the Companies Branches and they do not have anything to do with Revenue Canada filings.
A certificate of status in Canada does not confirm that federal tax returns are up-to-date, however, if the company has been dissolved by the Companies Branch for non-filing of tax returns, which normally takes 3 or four years of default filings to happen, then a clear certificate of status will not be able to be obtained.
Therefore if a few tax returns are outstanding you will still be able to obtain a certificate of status for your company as long as any corporate annual reports or returns have been filed.