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 if borrowers use the money according to the program rules.
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. Completed PPP Application Form
- Include your contact name and email address.
- List the names of all owners (over 20%).
- Indicate your Business Type (Independent Contractors and Sole Proprietors have slightly different document requirements.
- Check Yes or No for all questions on the form.
- If you answer Yes to questions 1,2, 5, or 6, you do not qualify for a PPP loan.
- If you answer Yes to question 3 or 4, you may still qualify, but you must include an Addendum on a separate sheet explaining the details.
2. Average monthly payroll costs (only applies to businesses with employees)
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); 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. Borrowers must “show their work” on how they calculated the requested loan amount, and retain the supporting documentation used to get to that figure.
3. 2019 Proof of Payroll Costs (or Self Income)
- If you have employees (even as a partnership), you must provide one of these documents:
- IRS Form 940 for 2019
- IRS Form 941 for 2019 (Please note this is a quarterly form, so you must include all four quarters unless you were established less than a year ago. If that is the case, then you need to provide a Form 941 for every quarter since you were established
- IRS Form 944 for 2019
- Payroll processor records from a PEO (Professional Employer Organization)
- If you are a partnership without employees, you must provide:
- If you are self-employed as a sole proprietor or independent contractor without employees, you must provide a 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C, to prove your own income. Check profit noted on line 31. If line 31 shows $0 or less, you do not qualify for a PPP loan.
- Proof of health insurance payments may also be accepted (but are not required) as part of the lender’s document review and loan calculation process. For Sole Proprietors & Independent Contractors, receipts and invoices showing payments can be in your name. All other types of companies should share receipts, invoices, or a PEO report if available in the name of the business (not your own name).
- If you have employees (even as a partnership), you must provide one of these documents:
4. Proof of Ownership
You must provide each owner’s name and Social Security Number (SSN), Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), or Employer Identification Number (EIN), plus one of these documents listed below, as applicable to your business type. (If your business has more than one owner over 20%, you must list the percentage of all owners).
- For corporations (with employees) and partnerships:
- 2019 Schedule K-1 (IRS Form 1065). [See here for more info.]
- 2018 Schedule K-1 (IRS Form 1065) may also be acceptable if the primary owner provides a written statement that ownership has not changed since 2018 or detailing how the ownership has changed.
- Articles of incorporation (with SSN) if they show ownership, and must show % of ownership to be acceptable.
- Bylaws or operating agreement if they show ownership, and must show % of ownership to be acceptable.
- For Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors:
- 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C that shows business name and owner name, or
- 2018 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C may be acceptable if the primary owner provides a written statement that ownership has not changed since 2018 or detailing how the ownership has changed.
- IRS Form W9 (for Independent Contractors only).
- For corporations (with employees) and partnerships:
5. Unexpired, Government-issued Driver’s License or Passport for All Owners Over 20%
Each owner must be accounted for in the PPP application form. Along with each owner’s TIN, EIN, or SSN, lenders will also require a government-issued ID such as a Passport or a state-issued Driver’s License.
6. Email Addresses for All Owners with 20% or More of the Business
7. Electronic Funds Transfer Information
So the lender can deposit approved funds into your account, you may be asked to provide a bank statement (either an electronic [pdf] or scanned copy) showing both the name on the account and the account number. Some lenders (not Fundbox) may accept a voided check. If the account number is misidentified, the wrong bank account will be credited.
- For independent contractors and sole proprietors, the bank statement can be in the owner’s name.
- For all other business types, the bank statement must be in the business name.
8. Proof of Business Operation and Active Status with Secretary of State (SOS)
To verify that your business is Active and in Good Standing, you need to provide either a pdf or just a screenshot of the certificate from the Secretary of State website showing your business is both Active and in Good Standing. It must be current for the month you apply for the PPP loan.
Note: this certificate is not required for Independent Contractors and Sole Proprietors. 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.
If your business requires a certificate, here is a list of official Secretary of State websites. [Last updated on 4/12/2020.] Many states require a fee for providing physical copies of 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.
Learn more details
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.