How To Start An LLC In Michigan
To start an LLC in Michigan, you must file Articles of Organization with the Michigan Corporations Division. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $50 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Michigan LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Michigan LLC Guide:
Michigan LLC Filing Options
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Michigan LLC Articles of Organization free download. When you're done filing out the form, submit it to your state.
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Michigan LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form a Michigan LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Michigan Corporations Division. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Your name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “LC.” Most businesses go with “LLC.”
If you want to narrow or otherwise specify the purpose of your business, you can add an optional sentence or two in this section. The form already includes a sufficient general purpose though, so most LLCs skip this section.
Unless you want to add an expiration date for your LLC, you can skip this section too.
You can list an individual Michigan resident, or you can list a business that provides resident agent service, like Northwest.
This Michigan street address will become a permanent part of the public record. Hire Northwest, and our address will go here.
“Organizer” may sound fancy, but it’s just the person who signs and submits your Articles of Organization. Hire us to form your LLC, and we’ll be your organizer.
How much does it cost to start a Michigan LLC?
Michigan’s Corporations Division charges a $50 filing fee for Michigan LLC Articles of Organization. 24-hour expediting is an additional $50.
Hire Northwest, and your total, out-the-door cost is $275 ($325 expedited), including state fees, a full year of resident agent service, and loads of useful forms to help your Michigan LLC get up and running.
How long does it take to start a Michigan LLC?
Michigan LLC filing times vary depending on your filing method. Standard processing is 3 days for online filings and 10-15 days for mailed filings. 24-hour expediting is an extra $50.
Technically, the Corporations Division offers even faster expediting than this, but the prices are exorbitant for only incrementally faster service (including one-hour expediting for an additional THOUSAND dollars).
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your expedited Michigan LLC formed within 24 hours.
Does a Michigan LLC need a registered agent?
Yep—Michigan requires LLCs to appoint and maintain a Michigan resident agent (also called a “registered agent”). You don’t have to hire one though. You can be your own resident agent—although there are a few downsides. The address you list in your Articles of Organization will become part of the permanent public record, a common target for data sellers. You’ll also have to actually be at the address listed during business hours. As the resident agent, if you miss a process server, it’s on you. The State of Michigan doesn’t care that you have meetings to attend and suppliers to visit. (And if you’re in the LP, you really have to get away and make the pilgrimage over the Mackinac at least once in the amazing summer season.)
Hire a commercial agent like Northwest and avoid all the hassle. We’ll list our address on your Articles, sort through your spam, and be ready and waiting to accept your legal notifications. Keep your privacy and give yourself the freedom to run your business on your own time.
Create the Michigan LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
The State of Michigan may not legally require your LLC to have an operating agreement, but yes, you should absolutely have one.
When you’re driving in the summertime and hit the inevitable construction fixing all the potholes, do you ever wonder why they didn’t just make the roads out of something better in the first place? So you wouldn’t have to deal with all the annoying reroutes and traffic EVERY summer? Instead of just poorly patching each problem area as it develops? Think of the road as your operating agreement. Start out with a solid operating agreement and avoid the bumps later on down the road.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Your operating agreement is the most critical internal document of your LLC. Your operating agreement spells out how your LLC really works—who invested what, how profits and losses are allocated, and what happens if the business comes to a close. When there are member disputes, you can refer back to your agreement. When potential lenders, investors or partners are considering working with you, they’ll ask to see your operating agreement. Just to open a bank account, you’ll likely need your operating agreement. You don’t want to wait until you need an operating agreement to hurriedly patch one together.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
Not from scratch. We give you a free operating agreement, specific to your management style, when you sign up for our services at Northwest. We also give you other free forms, like resolutions and membership certificates. We’ve spent years refining all of our forms. We were the first website to hand out free LLC forms, and while loads of imitators have put out free garbage since then, we’re proud of our forms. And we should be—over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms to help form and maintain their businesses.
Get a Michigan LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
You’re required to get a federal tax ID if you hire employees or file certain federal excise taxes. Your bank will almost certainly request your EIN when you go to open a business bank account or take on debt. Vendors may ask for your EIN when you go to establish credit. Depending on the local tax forms you file, you may need an EIN for local taxes as well. Even if an EIN isn’t specifically required, you can often use it in lieu of handing out your personal social security number. Long story short, it’s a good idea to get an EIN. You can apply for one for free directly from the IRS. Or, save some time and paperwork and hire us to apply on your behalf when you sign up for our services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Michigan LLC
To open a bank account for your Michigan LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Michigan LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Michigan LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does a Michigan LLC need a business license?
Michigan doesn’t have a statewide general business license, but there are a handful of licensing requirements for specific occupations and business activities. To see if you need a state-level license, you can conduct a state license search. Cities and counties may have their own requirements as well. For example, the City of North Muskegon requires a general business license that must be renewed each year.
File Michigan LLC Reports
What is a Michigan LLC Annual Statement and Report?
The Michigan LLC Annual Statement and Report is a form that LLCs are required to file each year in order to ensure the state has your most current contact and ownership information. If your report is late, there’s a $50 late fee. The unusual due date (February 15th) is tough to remember, so it’s not uncommon for LLCs to find that their $25 report has ballooned into a $75 report. Northwest can help. When you sign up for our services, we send you reminders for your Annual Statement and Report. You can even hire us to file your reports for you, so you can check this annoying task off your list entirely.
How much does an LLC in Michigan cost each year?
There is a $25 filing fee for the Michigan LLC Annual Statement and Report.