The only bookmark you need if you ever want to start a business in Michigan.
Dow Chemical Company, Haworth, National Airlines, Gerber Products, Whirlpool Corporation, Alpena Power Company
Michigan is home to 856,682 small businesses, which between them employ approximately 1.7 million workers. This number accounts for over half of the state’s workforce.
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 for the automotive and tech industry that has the potential to be quite strong – though given that Michigan is currently still recovering from its ‘lost decade,’ there’s no telling how long it will be before things truly take off.
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:
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.
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. You can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4. You can read more about corporate tax laws on the Michigan State Website.
NOTE: We can 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
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
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.
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.
Wow loved it thankyou! I dreaded making this for a month thinking it would be a hassle. It wasn't thanks to you guys!
Excellent in all aspects. Perfect for new business owners with limited resources but wants to start it off right.