MI Business Facts
Michigan’s name is derived from the Ojibwa Indian words “Mishi-Gama,” which mean ‘large lake.’ It’s nicknamed The Great Lake State, as the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes. It’s also called the Wolverine State, though there are no longer any living wolverines to be found there.
No point in Michigan is more than six miles from a body of water. The state is home to the world’s only floating post office, which delivers mail to ships as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge.
The world’s first concrete road was laid in Detroit in 1908. Michigan is home to the world’s largest cement plant, limestone quarry, Holstein dairy herd, and manufacturer of magic supplies. Detroit is known as the car capital of the world, and Michigan remains a national capital for the automotive and advanced manufacturing industries.
Ford Motor Company holds the top spot for large companies in Michigan. They are followed by General Motors, Lear, and Whirlpool. Other large corporations are Meijer, ZF North America, the Dow Chemical Company and Kellogg.
Although Michigan’s economy took an enormous hit in the early 2000s, the state is currently experiencing a period of incredible growth, setting multiple records for the production of goods and services. This translates to a startup scene that has the potential to be quite strong for the auto and tech industries.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Picking a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that, the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Michigan, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Michigan state databases:
Our Michigan filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
Now that you’ve picked your business name, you’re ready to search the name on Michigan databases and register with the appropriate government office.
NOTE: All businesses in Michigan are required to register alternative trade names by filing for a DBA if the business seeks to operate under a different name than what it used when it was formed.
NOTE: We can prepare and file your DBA in any county in Michigan
NOTE: Our LLC formation package includes not only filing the Articles of Organization (we’ll prepare and submit them to the state) but all the necessary post-formation documents completed and personalized to you “ready for signature” as well as our exclusive Startup Wizard which guides you through the complete startup process from formation to bank accounts, logos and more.
NOTE: Our Corporation formation package includes not only filing the Articles of Organization (we’ll prepare and submit them to the state) but all the necessary post-formation documents completed and personalized to you “ready for signature” as well as our exclusive Startup Wizard which guides you through the complete startup process from formation to bank accounts, logos and more.
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top Business Banks in Michigan
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
Tip: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: In Michigan, your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: By February 15 of each year, each Michigan LLC is required to file an annual report with the government. Companies formed after September 30 on the year of filing and Foreign LLCs are exempt from this rule.
Corporation: Your business must keep corporate records at its principal place of business. By May 15 of each year, an officer of your corporation must file an annual report. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $25. This can be filed online here.
Franchise Taxes: There is no franchise tax in Michigan. Michigan corporations are taxed annually at a flat 6% rate.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Our Michigan filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
Michigan State Taxation Departments
Michigan State Labor and Employment Departments
Michigan State Startup Resources
2. SCORE Mentors
SCORE is made up of active and retired business people who volunteer their time to support startup businesses. From coaching to funding resources, finding a local SCORE mentor can save precious time and money.
3. Michigan State Legal Statutes:
5. Michigan Angel Investors
6. Michigan Business News
7. Michigan State Small Business Development Center
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Service and staff are really good, I need some documents on urgent basis and they help me a lot to get all the required documents on time. thanks to all team members
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.
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