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Start an LLC in Michigan

Use our free business tools below to complete your Michigan LLC Articles of Organization. This is the document that you file directly with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to form your LLC.

When you want more, hire us to form your LLC in Michigan for just $39 + state fees. We’ll get your business stood up in minutes with a free domain, website, email, business phone, and more.

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with the help of a Registered Agent

How To Start An LLC In Michigan

When you form a Michigan LLC for your business, you’ll get personal asset protection, a flexible management structure, and pass-through taxation. To officially form your Michigan LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You can file the document online, by mail, or in person. The total cost to file is $50. The state’s processing time for online filings is around two weeks. If you don’t want to wait two weeks for your LLC, you can pay extra for fast processing ($50 for 24-hour service up to $1,000 for 1-hour service).

There are also several other steps you’ll need to take to fulfill requirements to strengthen your liability protection, and protect your privacy. Follow our step-by-step guide to starting an LLC in Michigan and your business will be ready to roll in no time.



1. Name Your Michigan LLC

Every business needs a name. The name you choose must follow Michigan’s naming rules, and can’t already be in use by another Michigan business. Check here to see if the LLC name you want is available.

Overall your LLC name must:

  • Must include “limited liability company,” “limited company,” “LLC,” or “LC.”
  • Not include words or abbreviations to make it sound like the LLC is another kind of entity, like “corp” or “limited partnership.”
  • Be unique among approved business names in Michigan.

Tip: If you’ve come up the perfect name for your LLC but aren’t ready to pull the trigger, Michigan let’s you reserve a business name for up to six months.  You’ll need to file an Application for Reservation of Name with Michigan’s Corporations Division. It only costs $25 to reserve a name.

2. Register Your Domain Name

You may not be ready to start a business website just yet, but when you do, you’ll probably want a domain name that matches the name of your business. Registering a domain now means it won’t get snagged by someone else. A domain name also gives you a professional email address.  Instead of emailing clients from your personal email account, your emails to customers and vendors will look professional (ex: [email protected]).

Tip: When you hire us to form your LLC, you get free domain registration for the first year.

3. Submit LLC Articles of Organization

Now that your LLC has a name and a registered agent, it’s time to fill out and file your Articles of Organization. Registering your articles with the state is what makes your LLC legal, and what gives your personal assets liability protection.

Note: All of the information on this form will become part of the public record.

You’ll need to provide the following information about your LLC in order to successfully fill out the articles:

Here’s where you’ll list the LLC name that you plan to register with Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). You’ll need to include “limited liability company” or an abbreviation like “LLC” in the name. The name you list here can’t be the same or similar to other LLC names in the state.

Note: If the name you want to use is federally trademarked, you could get sued if you use it. Perform a Trademark Clearance Search just to make sure no other business is using your LLC’s name on the national level.

You can specify the purpose of your business (ex: “to teach yoga”), but this section is optional, and most LLCs skip it.

You can put an end-date here if you plan for your LLC to close up shop in a few years, but most LLCs skip this section as well since it is optional.

Michigan state law requires every LLC to have a Michigan registered agent (called a resident agent in Michigan). This can be you, someone you know, or you can hire a professional registered agent service like us. The important part is that your registered agent needs to have a local street address and agree to accept legal mail on behalf of your business. You’ll need a registered agent before you start filling out your Michigan Articles of Organization.

  • Keep regular business hours (9am to 5pm) at a physical address (no PO boxes) in Michigan.
  • Accept legal mail and correspondence from the state.

You can serve as your own registered agent, but that means your address will be listed on state forms, which is a great way to make sure hackers, scammers and junk mailers have your address.

Here’s where you can include additional information about your LLC, like if will it be manager-managed or member-managed. This is optional.

To delay your LLC’s formation for up to 90 days in the future, add a start date here..

Michigan needs your organizer’s name and signature. Your organizer is the person who completes, signs, and submits the LLC paperwork to the state. The organizer can be you, another member of the LLC, or a person outside of your LLC like your registered agent. Hire us and we’ll be your organizer and sign our name here.

The name and contact information of the person submitting the articles.

Want to get your LLC fast? Expediting ranges from $50 for 24-hour service to $1,000 for 1-hour service.


How do you “file” Michigan Articles of Organization?

Your articles can be filed online, by mail, or in person. It costs $50 to file Michigan’s Articles of Organization. It can take up to two weeks for online and in person filings to be processed. Mailed filings can take a whole month. Don’t feel like waiting? Pay $50 extra and you can have your corporation ready to go within 24 hours. Pay an extra $100 for same-day processing. If you have deep pockets and the patience of a toddler, you can get your corporation formed in 2-hours for $500, the in one hour for $1,000.

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909

In Person:
Corporations Division
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI

LARA Corporations Online Filing System

4. Write an LLC Operating Agreement

Like a lot of states, Michigan doesn’t legally require an operating agreement for LLCs. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write one. Your LLC’s operating agreement outlines the ins and outs of how you’ll hold meetings, the duties of members, how you’ll distribute profits (and losses), and other routine issues. The operating agreement can be tailored for the specific needs of the members. It’s an internal document, so you don’t need to file it—but not taking the time to write one could come back to bite you.

Tip: Skip the pricey lawyer and check out our free attorney-drafted Michigan LLC Operating Agreement.

5. Get an EIN

Your Employer Identification Number, or EIN, is a nine-digit number assigned by the IRS and used for tax filing and reporting purposes. Basically, your EIN is like a Social Security number for your business. An EIN is usually required when you open a business bank account. You can get an EIN for free from the IRS, or you can hire Northwest and we’ll get your EIN for you.

6. Get a Business Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is the next step. Creating separation between your personal and business finances helps bolster your LLC’s liability protections by building a wall between your personal assets and those of your business. Beyond that, having a business bank account makes it easier to accept and make payments, keep your accounting organized, and identify potential tax write-offs.

To open a bank account for your Michigan LLC, you’ll need to bring the following to the bank:

  • Michigan LLC Articles of Organization (a copy is fine)
  • the LLC’s operating agreement
  • the LLC’s EIN
  • an LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account (if your LLC has more than one member).

If your LLC has more than one member, use our free LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account.

7. File State Reports

You’re almost ready to hit the ground running with your shiny new LLC, but you need to keep an eye on these final formalities. Michigan requires an annual statement (sometimes called an annual report). The annual statement is due by February 15th every year. LLCs formed after September 30th don’t have to file until the following year. This means that if you form your LLC in October of 2022, you won’t be required to file a statement until February 15th of 2024. The fee for the statement is $25. Your LLC will be administratively dissolved if you don’t file an annual statement for two years.

Worried you’ll forget? Let us file your annual report for you.

8. File the Beneficial Ownership Information Report

The Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report is a brand new requirement, meant to crack down on business-related financial crimes. The report requires you to disclose identifying information about the company applicant who filed your Michigan formation paperwork with the state. The BOI Report must be filed with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within 90 days of your LLC’s formation.

Tip: File the BOI Report yourself, or hire us to do it for you.


*This is informational commentary, not advice. This information is intended strictly for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel. This information is not intended to create, nor does your receipt, viewing, or use of it constitute, an attorney-client relationship. More information is available in our Terms of Service.

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