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Start a Business in Michigan

Starting a business in Michigan is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Michigan business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your Michigan LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • MI registered agent service

  • Michigan business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

How to Start a Business in Michigan

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.6 / 5 stars by 427 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in Michigan


You file articles of incorporation for a Michigan corporation or articles of organization for a Michigan LLC with the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Michigan showing your approved Michigan business.

Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new Michigan business name should be easy with these two items.

Department of Treasury

If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the State of Michigan Department of Treasury. We provide all these links in your online account.

LARA Licensing

If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the LARA Licensing Division. This division regulates multiple MI licensing boards and agencies. Licensing quick links and contact details are in your online account.

Local License

Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.


If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer? You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in Michigan yourself, you can just hire us as your Michigan registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Michigan LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Michigan corporation or form a Michigan LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Michigan registered agent service.


Michigan LLC vs Corporation:

Large business owners like the well-established, defined management structure of a corporation. Also, having the ability to sell stock helps attract top investors. LLCs are popular for small to medium-sized business owners. They’re easier to maintain and have fewer annual requirements. Plus, LLCs offer flexible management structures.

But, what about Michigan? Any pros and cons for a Michigan LLC vs a Michigan corporation?

In terms of initial fees and privacy, Michigan LLCs have a slight advantage over Michigan corporations. The cost of filing the Articles of Organization is $50 compared to $60 for the Articles of Incorporation. Plus, if your corporation decides to authorize more than 60,000 shares, your initial fee will increase. Both entities are required to file annual reports ($25); however, only corporations need to list director, president, secretary, and treasurer names and addresses. LLCs don’t need to include member/manager information.

During tax season, Michigan LLCs and corporations will be treated fairly equally. The rates for both corporate and personal income taxes are flat rates—6.25% and 4.25%. So, although traditional corporations will be taxed twice—first on the state level, then through shareholder returns—your total taxes won’t get too big, even if you start generating a large income. Michigan also imposes a Personal Property Tax on all commercial and industrial personal property. However, in 2014, the state began phasing out this tax and will be fully eliminated by 2023. Currently, if your property owned within the state has a total worth that’s below $80,000, then your total tax due will be $0.

If you want a corporation, you file Michigan Articles of Incorporation:

The Michigan articles of incorporation cost $60 with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
We custom draft your Michigan articles of incorporation. The requirements for Michigan corporations are:

  • The Michigan Corporation must have a corporate ending such as INC, Incorporated, Corporation or a different variety.
  • The Michigan corporation name must be different than already registered Michigan corporations.
  • A general purpose is sufficient but you may include a specific purpose.
  • The number and class of shares the Michigan Corporation is authorized to issue.
  • The name and office address of the registered agent in Michigan.
  • The name and address of the incorporator(s) of the Michigan Corporation.
  • Optional provisions.
  • The duration of the corporation should be stated in the Articles only if not perpetual.
  • The incorporation is effective when filed unless you state a future effective date.
  • Each Michigan incorporator must sign and date the articles of incorporation.
  • The name and phone number of the preparer of the Articles of Incorporation form.
  • Name of person or organization remitting fees.

Michigan does not require original signatures on new MI corporation filings. The filed document will be mailed to the address you provide. If you fax documents for filing, LARA will fax back the confirmation.

Start Your Michigan Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file Michigan Articles of Organization:

To form a Michigan LLC, you file Michigan articles of organization. The requirements for Michigan LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a LLC ending or variation of it.
  • The Michigan company name must be different than already registered Michigan companies.
  • The purpose of the Michigan Limited Liability Company may be general, stating a specific purpose is optional.
  • State the duration of the Michigan LLC if not perpetual.
  • The Michigan registered agent name and physical address.
  • Optional provisions – Michigan LLCs are member-managed unless the Articles of Organization state the LLC is manager-managed. If the limited liability company is to be manager-managed, include a statement to that effect in the optional provision section.
  • The Michigan organizer must sign and date the form.
  • Preparer’s name and phone number.
  • Name of person or organization remitting fees.

Michigan does not require original signatures on new MI LLC filings. You’ll get a certificate mailed back to you after the state approves your filing. If you fax filed, LARA will fax back the filing.

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