How to Start a Corporation in Michigan
To start a Michigan corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and pay a $60 minimum filing fee. While this filing creates your business, it’s really just the first step to launching your Michigan corporation. The complete steps to incorporating in Michigan are as follows:
- File Michigan Articles of Incorporation
- Pay LARA a minimum of $60
- Wait to receive the approved copy of your Articles of Incorporation
- Get a federal tax ID (EIN) for the corporation
- Create Michigan corporate bylaws
- Take these documents to the bank and get a Michigan corporate bank account
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Michigan Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
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1 Day Michigan Corporation For $385 Total
How to File Michigan Articles of IncorporationTo form a Michigan corporation, you file the Articles of Organization in the following steps:
What is the Cost of a Michigan Corporation?
The state’s minimum filing fee for Michigan Articles of Incorporation is $60. If you have more than 60,000 shares, the fee increases along with the number of shares.
Hire Northwest to form your Michigan corporation, and your total, out-the-door cost is $285 ($385 for one-day filing), including a year of registered agent service and all the forms you need to open a corporate bank account.
How Much Does a Corporation in Michigan Cost Each Year?
$25. This is the filing fee to submit your mandatory Michigan Annual Report.Get Started
What is a Michigan Annual Report?
Your Michigan Annual Report is a form you file with LARA’s Corporation Division to update your corporation’s ownership and contact information. The report and $25 fee are due May 15th each year. Forget to file? There’s a late penalty of $10 a month (topping out at $50). Your corporation will automatically be dissolved if you fail to submit reports for two years and 60 days.
As your registered agent, Northwest can help you avoid annoying late fees and penalties. We’ll send you reminder notices for your Annual Reports to help keep you in compliance. Or, for $100 plus filing fees, you can hire us to file your Annual Report on your behalf.Get Started
What are the Taxes for a Michigan Corporation?
The Michigan corporate net income tax rate is a flat 6%. Note that some Michigan cities have a city income tax as well, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. The tax rate in Grand Rapids, for example, is 1.5%.
The state’s sales tax rate is also a flat 6%. Cities and counties can’t tack on additional local sales taxes, so you’ll pay the same 6% at the counter from Detroit to Houghton.
Is a Registered Agent Required for a Michigan Corporation?
Yes, you must include your Michigan registered agent (also called a “resident agent”) in your Articles of Incorporation. You could try to save a few dollars and be your own registered agent—although you’d have to include your name and the street address where you’d be available during business hours. And, this information would become part of the permanent public record of your Michigan corporation, available to any busybody or data seller interested in you or your business. Yet another downside of being your own registered agent is that you would need to be regularly available at the address you list. Not running errands or in meetings (or at the lake).
Instead, many corporations in Michigan hire Northwest to be their registered agent. Our clients can list our registered office throughout their Articles of Incorporation. This way, as their corporation grows and changes, they don’t have to worry about updating addresses or turning away unwanted visitors at their home or office. We also accept, scan and send any legal notifications the same day, so corporations can stay on top of their businesses from wherever they are (and even Mackinac Island has Internet these days).Get Started
Michigan Corporation Versus Michigan LLC:
State filing fees are pretty similar for both Michigan corporations and LLCs. For both entities, Annual Reports are $25 and most other general forms cost the same for either business type. The one exception is for Articles. For corporations, Articles are slightly more expensive ($10 more)—unless your corporation has an enormous number of shares, in which case it could be much more expensive. For example, if you have between 5 and 10 million shares, you’ll pay $510 dollars to submit Articles instead of $60.
While filing fees are generally pretty similar, operations can be fairly different for LLCs and corporations—so it’s good to take into consideration the needs of your particular business. For instance, corporations often appeal to large businesses—their familiar, formal structure makes managing easier on a bigger scale. The flexibility of stocks also gives corporations options LLCs don’t have, like offering preferred stock to more cautious investors. LLCs, on the other hand, are popular for small businesses because they’re a little simpler to operate and understand. Leaning toward a Michigan LLC? Here’s information on starting an LLC in Michigan.
Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a Michigan Corporation?
Absolutely—not only does the IRS require corporations to have an EIN for federal tax filings, but you may need your EIN for local tax registration, license applications or even just to open a corporate bank account. You can get your EIN directly from the IRS for no fee. Or, skip the extra application and hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for Northwest’s incorporation service.
Does a Michigan Corporation Need a Business License?
There isn’t a general state-level business license in Michigan, but some cities and counties have their own licensing requirements. For example, all businesses in Sterling Heights must pay a $50 fee to register their business and receive their business certificate.
Michigan Articles of Incorporation Requirements
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Company,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation of one of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”
If you’re creating an educational corporation, you’re required to list a specific purpose. Otherwise, it’s sufficient to list a general purpose such as “the corporation may engage in any activity within the purposes for which corporations may be formed under the Act.” Tip: Most corporations list a general purpose.
List the number of shares you’re creating. You must have at least one share. If you have multiple classes or series of shares, list the number of each, as well as any rights or restrictions for the class or series.
You can list a business (but not your own) or an individual Michigan resident (such as yourself). Tip: We recommend Northwest.
This Michigan street address is where your resident agent accepts legal notifications on behalf of your company and will be a matter of public record. Tip: Our address will go here when you hire Northwest.
Incorporators sign and submit your Articles of Incorporation. Many people assume an incorporator must be a director, but it doesn’t have to be anyone in your corporation—just someone you authorize to submit your Articles. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire us to form your Michigan corporation.
This provision is optional. In essence, it’s a statement about working out arrangements or plans of reorganization with creditors. Generally, this provision gives permission for a court to order a meeting in which ¾ of creditors and ¾ of shareholders can agree to a binding arrangement or plan.
This provision is also optional. Essentially, this provision gives permission for actions normally taken at corporate meetings to be done without notice or vote if consent is given in writing.