[Update 5/18/2020: PPP funds are still available this week. Apply now.]
As part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has designated at least $349 billion in loans to help small businesses and independent contractors. These loans are potentially forgivable (essentially making them grants) if borrowers use the money for designated expenses and don’t lay off employees or cut wages during the eight weeks after receiving the loan.
Looking for information on how to apply? OnApril 27, a second round of funding ($310 billion) was approved to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program. Just like during the first round of funding, these new funds will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis. Funds are still available, and you can apply for a PPP loan now through Fundbox.
While the PPP has promised a streamlined, low-documentation process, some business owners may still face confusion over what they need to provide their prospective lender. These include payroll calculations and supporting documents. To help maximize your success, we’ve compiled the following list of possible required documents to have at your fingertips. Please note that specific requirements and acceptable documents may vary depending on the lender.
List of required PPP application documents
1. Basic information about your business and how to contact you
2. Average monthly payroll costs
Here’s a guide on what may classify as payroll expenses:
- Payroll costs include: employee salary, wages and commissions; payment of cash tips; payment of vacation; parental, family, medical or sick leave; allowance for dismissal or separation; payment required for group health benefits (including insurance premiums); payment of retirement benefits; or payment of state or local tax assessed on employee compensation; and for sole proprietors or independent contractors, income or compensation not in excess of $100,000 per employee.
- Payroll costs exclude: compensation of an individual person in excess of $100,000 (when annualized); compensation to an employee whose principal residence is outside of the U.S.; qualified sick leave for which a credit is allowed under Section 7001 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; and qualified family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under Section 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- Show your work. The borrower must “show their work” on how they calculated the requested loan amount, and retain the supporting documentation used to get to that figure.
3. Details of full-time employees and their payroll costs
- Include names and monthly eligible compensation.
- Annual salaries should be prorated for the month.
- If annual cash compensation (e.g., salary, commission, etc.) exceeds $100,000, monthly proration should be based on $100,000.
4. Proof of payroll (or your compensation as a contractor or sole proprietor)
Provide copies of applicable 2019 tax forms (all four quarters of 2019, and Q1 ’20 if available). Note that all lenders are different and some may not accept each of these listed.
- Form 940
- Form 941
- Form 944
- Form 1040 Schedule C (for independent contractors)
- Payroll processor records from a professional employer organization (PEO)
5. Proof of mortgage or rent, mortgage interest, and utility expenses
If your business owns or works out of a vehicle that you’re making payments on, have these records handy too. While this may not be necessary for the loan, this will help with calculating how much of the loan proceeds could be forgiven for the 8-week period following loan disbursement.
6. Articles of incorporation/organization (including business formation/established date)
7. Proof of ownership (for all owners of over 20%)
Provide all available documents that verify who owns the business, including any partners or owners with a greater than 20% share. Applicable documents can include:
- 2019 Schedule K-1; (More info here.) Or
- 2018 Schedule K-1 with a statement explaining how/if 2019 ownership changed; Or
- 2019 Form 1065 (U.S. Return of Partnership Income) if incorporated as a partnership. (More info here.)
- For single-member LLCs, ownership is verified in personal 1040 Tax Return Schedule C; OR
- 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C; Or
- 2018 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C with a statement explaining how/if 2019 ownership changed; Or
- Bylaws or Operating Agreement that explicitly states current ownership percentage.
8. Unexpired, government-issued photo ID for all owners over 20%
Each 20%+ owner must be accounted for when responding to required certifications in the PPP application form. Along with each owner’s TIN, EIN or SSN, lenders may also require a government-issued ID such as a state-issued Driver’s License. For alternative forms of ID, see the NCIS list of acceptable List A and List B documents (not List C).
9. Email addresses for all individuals owning 20% or more of the business
10. Proof that the business is Active and in Good Standing (from your Secretary of State)
Provide a screenshot or pdf file of the Secretary of State website showing your entity is both Active AND in Good Standing. Note: Sole Proprietorships and Independent Contractors (whether you have a DBA or not) may not need to register with the state, so the state cannot issue you a certificate of good standing. However, to prove you were in operation as a sole proprietor or contractor, you’ll need to provide a 2020 invoice, bank statement, or book of record establishing that you were in operation on or around February 15, 2020.
Here is a state-by-state list of official websites for requesting these certificates. [Last updated on 4/12/2020.] Many states require a fee for providing certificates.
First complete an online application to obtain a Certificate of Existence ($25 plus fees). Then search the business entity search options to learn the status of your business.
Request a Certificate of Good Standing online from commerce.alaska.gov. The fee is $10. Search the status of a business via the corporate database.
You can perform a search for corporations through the Arizona Corporation Commission or search for an entity through the website for the Arizona Secretary of State. A fee of $10 or more may apply.
You can secure a Certificate of Good Standing online and perform a search for a business entity using the search portal on the website for the Arkansas Secretary of State. If you are in “good standing,” you can purchase a Certificate of Good Standing for $25, which can be downloaded within 48 hours after purchase.
Perform a business search through the website for the California Secretary of State. The search results will not show the business’s standing, but will list whether a business is of “active” status or not.
Run a business database search on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website to learn the status of your business’s standing and also get copies of certified documents.
To obtain a “Certificate of Legal Existence,” register or log-in to the state’s online filing system to obtain the proper form. Perform an online business inquiry search to learn the standing of a business.
To check if your business is in good standing, run a name search on the Department of State: Division of Corporations web page. You can request the status of a business entity online for an additional $10. However, in order to obtain a Good Standing Certificate, you’ll need to make the request in writing or via fax by completing a Certification Memo.
Request a copy of the Certificate of Status online by visiting the State of Florida website. Check the status of a business entity through the Florida Division of Corporations. Fees start at $5.
Check to see if a business is active by performing a business search through the Georgia Corporations Division. To request a Certificate of Existence, visit the Georgia Corporations Division, for a fee of $10.
Request a Certificate of Good Standing after performing a search through the State of Hawaii’s online portal. The fee is $7.50.
Check to see if your business is in good standing through the Idaho Secretary of State’s website. If it is, you can purchase a browser-generated Certificate of Existence online for $11.50. Or for a $12 fee, you can get an official certificate signed by the Secretary of State’s office.
Search the Department of Business Services database for the status of your business. If eligible, you have the option to purchase a Certification of Good Standing for $25 (plus a payment processing fee).
Run an entity search through Indiana’s INBiz portal to learn your business status. Once you register for an account, you can request a Certificate of Existence through the Information Requests page.
Search for business entities through the Secretary of State’s website. Eligible businesses can print a Certificate of Standing starting at $5. Each certificate has a special Certificate ID to validate its authenticity.
Run a business entity search to look up the standing of your business. A “Good Standing” status will be noted as “Active and Good Standing.” You will have the option to print a Certificate of Good Standing for $10, or receive a paper copy for $15.
To verify if your business is active and in good standing, use the FastTrack Business Organization Search feature on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website. Certificates of Existence are available through the individual business entity’s page for $10.
Louisiana’s easy-to-use search portal lets you search by entity name, charter number, Trade Registration Number, name reservation number, officer name or agent name. Active records will appear in bold. At the top of the page is a link to “Buy Certificates and Certified Copies,” where you can order a Certificate of Existence for $20.
Run a corporate name search through the Maine Department of the Secretary of State website. Businesses with Good Standing are eligible to secure a copy of a Certificate of Existence. The fee is $10 for nonprofit corporations and $30 for all other company types.
Search for your business’s name through the Maryland Business Express Portal to view your current standing. You can then order a Certificate of Status. The cost is $20 for the certificate, plus a $20 fee for expedited certificates.
You can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing/Tax Compliance through the MassTax Connect Platform, or by phone or email. There is no fee for the Certificate of Good Standing/Tax Compliance.
You can search for the status of your business through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Requests for a Certificate of Good Standing can be made by visiting the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website or by calling (517-241-6470).
Perform a business entity search by searching business filings online. Depending on the type of business, Minnesota offers a Certificate of Existence or a Certificate of Good Standing. Online orders are $15.
Certificates of Good Standing/Existence may be searched and ordered online from the Mississippi state website.
Check the status of your business by performing an entity search through the Missouri Secretary of State’s website. You can register and order a certificate online through the Missouri Online Business Filing System.
Determine if your business is listed as active by searching through the Montana Secretary of State’s website. A certificate can be ordered online for $5.
To get a Certificate Good Standing, first perform a corporate and business search. If available, you can print a copy online for a fee of $6.50, or for $10 if you prefer a hard copy mailed from the office of the Secretary of State.
Search for your business through the Nevada Secretary of State business search portal. You can request a Certificate of Good Standing online, by email: email@example.com, or by fax: 775-684-5645.
- New Hampshire
Check the status of your business through the New Hampshire Department of State website. You can order a Certificate of Good Standing online for a $2 fee.
- New Jersey
You can still request a Standing Certificate from the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services for $25, $50 or $100, depending on the type of certificate. For just a status report ($6.50) you can access the State of New Jersey Business Records Service.
- New Mexico
You can also perform a business search to learn the status of your business. To order a Certificate of Status/Good Standing/Existence/ Non-Existence, submit a request form through the New Mexico Secretary of State Corporations and Business Services web page. The cost for certificates starts at $10.
- New York
You can check your business standing through the state’s business entity database or by calling the New York secretary of state’s office in Albany at (518) 473-1654. However, a Certificate of Status document must be requested by mail or fax from the Department of State for a fee of $25.
- North Carolina
To verify your business’s status, search the business search portal on the North Carolina Secretary of State website, where you can register and order a certificate.
- North Dakota
You can search your business’s status through the North Dakota State Government website. However, Certificates of Good Standing are currently unavailable through the website. Requests can be made phone, fax, email or mail.
To verify your company’s standing, you must first search for your business charter number. Once you know your number, you can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from Ohio’s automated online search portal.
To find the status of your company, run a business entity search. Once you register for an account, you can then select “Order Documents” online.
After performing a business name search through the Secretary of State’s website, you can request a Certificate of Status/Existence by mailing or faxing a Certified Request Form. The fee is $10.
You can run a business entity search through the Department of State website, and then request a “Certificate of Subsistence” (good standing) online from the Pennsylvania Department of State website or by calling 717-787-1057.
- Rhode Island
Search your business on the corporate database. Then you can order a Certificate of Good Standing by completing the request form. Online certificates are $7 for nonprofits and $22 for others.
- South Carolina
Called a “Certificate of Existence” in South Carolina, you can request one by first performing a business name search. You can request documents online through the South Carolina Secretary of State’s website.
- South Dakota
First find your Business ID by searching South Dakota’s Certificate of Good Standing web page. You can then file for a Certificate of Good Standing and Existence, for a fee of $20.
Once you find your Secretary of State Control Number here, you can request a Certificate of Existence through the Secretary of State’s business services page. The fee is $20, not including an online processing fee.
Check the status of your business using the Taxable Entity Search Portal. You can request a “certificate of account status” online, or by phone, fax, or email. To receive an official certificate, you must complete Form 05-359.
After running a search using the Utah Business Search website, you can request a Certificate of Existence. The fee is $12.
Request a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Status through the Vermont Secretary of State’s online portal. The fee is $25.
Search for your business using the SCC eFile Search tool under “Certificate of Good Standing/Certificate of Fact.” You can then order a Certificate of Existence/Fact.
Visit the corporations page on the Washington Secretary of State’s website and click the Corporations and Charities Filing System button to register. You’ll need your 9-digit Unified Business Identifier (UBI) in order to obtain a certificate. You can then request a Certificate of Existence for $20 (plus a $50 rush fee).
- Washington, D.C.
Register through the CorpOnline website. To order a Certificate of Good Standing, follow the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs FAQ. Small businesses can obtain additional guidance through online educational events.
- West Virginia
Perform a business entity search where you can also request a Certificate of Existence, for a fee of $10.
You can request a Certificate of Status for businesses operating in Wisconsin through the WDFI Certificates and Certified Fees web page. The cost is $10, plus a rush fee of $25.
Search for your business through the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website to learn your status and locate your Filing ID. You can then generate a Certificate of Good Standing.
11. Completed form
Complete the SBA’s PPP application form.
12. Voided check or electronic funds transfer information
Have a voided check or your bank routing # and account # ready upon request, as the lender will use this information to wire loan proceeds if they receive an approval from the SBA. Routing numbers are nine-digit numbers that identify the financial institution that holds your bank account. If the account number is misidentified, the wrong bank account will be credited. If you’re unsure, you can find your routing information in one of four places:
- The bottom of your checks
- By logging into online banking
- On your financial institution’s website, or
- Look it up on the ABA website by inputting your bank’s name and its location.
A warning about multiple applications
While some sources have suggested that it’s possible to apply to multiple lenders for a PPP, this may trigger a fraud alert and possibly lead to action by law enforcement. If you attempt this, to see which lender acts fastest, Ami Kassar, founder and CEO of MultiFunding, a small-business loan adviser, recommends that you ask for a guarantee from each lender that they contact you before submitting your file, so you can immediately withdraw your other applications.
Learn more details
For a description of the loan terms for the PPP, the SBA provides a summary here. See also the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s CARES Act Guide for Employers, or their Guide for Independent Contractors. You can also apply for a PPP loan now through Fundbox.
Disclaimer: This information has been aggregated from external sources. Fundbox and its affiliates do not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This content has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for financial, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own financial, legal or accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.