How to Start a Business in Michigan

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Business in Michigan

Starting your own business in Michigan is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can experience. But where do you begin? There are numerous strategies to establish a business, each with important factors to consider. If you wish to start a business in Michigan, there are many things that you should consider. Doing business in Michigan, popularly known as The Great Lakes State, will give you many opportunities because of the current estimated population, which consists of 10,135,438. Considering the large numbers, you will cater to a lot of customers.

Follow our in-depth guide on how to start a business in Michigan. We will help you remove the doubt from the process and explore your chances of success. It will start from defining your business idea to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. And we will guide you every step of the way.

How to Start a Business in Michigan?

To form a business in Michigan, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your Michigan business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your Michigan business. Starting a business is not something you can do overnight. The processing, planning, and preparation take a lot of time. If you want to start a business in Michigan, you must have everything ready beforehand.

Continue reading to learn more about the procedure as a whole and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they carry out each phase.

Step 1: Create a Business Plan

The first thing you need to start your business is a solid plan. In creating a business plan, you should consider many things when you are in the decision-making phase. Your business plan in Michigan is a road map for your successful business.

A business plan should consider the detailed purpose of your business. You should know what product or service you will serve in Michigan. A purposeful business plan is important because that plays a key role in knowing how your business will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is vague and not aligned with what service you are giving, it will affect the business you are forming. Make sure to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and in a certain timeframe) with your business goals. Also, researching your competitor’s service is a great deal to knowing what strategy you will form for your Michigan business. And lastly, you should include the funding of your business.

A business plan should be created before you start a business. Without it, you have nothing but a blank slate. This document will help you understand the key parts of your business and the plan for success. Regarding the potential funding for your business in Michigan, you can avail of business loans in bank and investor funding.

You can continue working on the legal structure of your business once you have the whole plan in your possession. You may create an LLC for your business legally. You can check other business guides shared by the LLCBuddy Editorial Team.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Michigan

A business entity refers to a legal structure formed to conduct business activities. It is a separate and distinct organization recognized by the law, which possesses rights, responsibilities, and liabilities distinct from its owners or members. Choosing a business entity for your Michigan business is significant.

You must decide on a business entity structure while beginning your own business. The form of company entity you choose will significantly impact how well your personal assets are protected, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with. You should consider forming a business entity in Michigan through having Sole Proprietorship, LLC, LLP, and Corporation.

Sole Proprietorships

A sole proprietorship is a simple and common type of business structure where an individual owns, operates, and manages the entire business. It is the easiest and least expensive form of business organization to establish and maintain. One of the most appealing aspects of a sole proprietorship is the owner’s direct control over all aspects of the business.

A key characteristic of a sole proprietorship is that the owner and the business are considered a single legal entity. This means that all profits, losses, assets, and liabilities are the owner’s personal responsibility. Although this can lead to increased risk exposure, it allows the owner to control their business operations completely.

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Michigan by yourself. For legal and tax reasons, the owner and the business are regarded as one and the same. The business owner takes on liability for the business. Therefore, the owner is liable for all business debts in the event that the company fails.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company, also known as an LLC, is a business structure ideal for entrepreneurs and start-ups. It is perfect for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs since it has limited liability issues for a company. The Michigan LLC is mainly used for the legal structure of a business between two or more companies that share management and profits. It also protects its owners from liabilities, debts, and responsibilities that may cause them in the future.

LLCs offer pass-through taxation, meaning that the profits and losses flow through to the members’ personal tax returns, avoiding double taxation that corporations may experience. Additionally, LLCs have fewer formal requirements and administrative burdens compared to corporations. Read Michigan classification of LLC tax to get more information about tax.

Another advantage of an LLC is the flexibility in the management structure. Members can choose to manage the company themselves or appoint managers to oversee the business operations. This allows for customization based on the unique needs and preferences of the owners.

Limited Liability Partnership

Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) are a unique business structure combining partnerships and corporations’ elements. An LLP offers limited liability protection to its partners, meaning that each partner is only responsible for their actions and debts rather than jointly and severally liable for the entire partnership’s obligations.

This structure is particularly popular among professional service providers such as lawyers, accountants, and architects, as it allows them to maintain the collaborative nature of a partnership while enjoying the liability protection typically associated with corporations.

In an LLP, each partner’s income is subject to self-employment taxes, and the profits and losses are passed through to the partners’ personal income tax returns, similar to a general partnership. This pass-through taxation avoids the double taxation issue faced by some corporations.


Forming a Michigan corporation reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

Step 3: Determine your Michigan Business Costs

In Michigan, you should determine the business costs that you will form. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee for LLCs, Articles of Incorporation fees for corporations, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, office rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Michigan Articles of Organization fee costs $50, while the annual fee costs $25 in Michigan. Read about the overall cost of LLC registration in Michigan cost to know more about Michigan LLC cost. If you wish to know more about how much it costs to form an LLC, you should look up and be guided by the LLC formation costs. For a corporation, you must pay the $60 for filing online, in person, and by mail. Besides, you need to pay taxes as a corporation.

Step 4: Name Your Business in Michigan

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Michigan LLC name search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Michigan, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Michigan, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name for 6 months. You must file a name reservation application in the Michigan Secretary of State to keep the name. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name.

Step 5: Register Your Business in Michigan

In order to register a business in Michigan, you need to file it with the Michigan Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Michigan Resident Agent for your business. The Resident Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

Get the Michigan Resident Agent

You must get your Michigan Resident Agent before you file your business. The person should be eligible to conduct business in Michigan. Also, they must be aged above 18 years. You can be your own registered agent. However, that will not be a wise decision. Appointing a professional will be much more beneficial for your business than doing it on your own.

Apply For Michigan Formation Document

After you have a Resident Agent, you need to file the Michigan formation document. If you are filing an LLC in Michigan, you must file the Articles of Organization and if you want to have a corporation structure, you need to file the Michigan Articles of Incorporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, you should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from IRS.

The application of an EIN in Michigan can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your LLC the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Obtaining a business license and operating permit is necessary to run any business in Michigan. Before launching your new business, you should request any required business license or permission. Most Michigan businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. You must contact Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for more details.

Step 7: Get a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Michigan might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, keeping separate finances helps you avoid combining personal and professional finances.

Step 8: Market your Business in Michigan

Now that your Michigan business is already registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Important Information

Do you need to have Business Insurance?

Your company needs insurance even if it’s a home-based business or you don’t have employees. Depending on your business planning and the risks you face, you may require different types of insurance. As your business expands, you might require more than one type of insurance. If you have employees, you are typically legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. You must contact Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services to ensure what type of insurance is required for your business.

What is the most profitable type of business?

The most profitable type of business will vary depending on a number of factors, including your industry, location, target market, and business strategy. However, some companies, such as those that provide expensive products and other services, tend to be more profitable than others. If you’re unsure about the kind of business to launch, think about your abilities and interests and the demands of your target market to guide your decision on an effective business.


What is Start a Business Today in Michigan?
Start a Business Today in Michigan is a free online resource designed to help entrepreneurs in Michigan start and grow their businesses.
What types of resources does Start a Business Today in Michigan offer?
Start a Business Today in Michigan offers a wide range of resources, including business plan templates, financing advice, licensing and permitting information, tax information, and more.
What types of businesses can be started in Michigan?
Michigan has a variety of business opportunities, ranging from traditional brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce businesses, professional services, and more.
How do I register my business in Michigan?
To register your business in Michigan, you will need to file the appropriate paperwork with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
How do I find investors for my Michigan business?
There are a number of resources available to help entrepreneurs in Michigan find investors. These include online marketplaces, venture capital firms, angel investors, and more.
What type of licenses and permits do I need to open a business in Michigan?
The type of licenses and permits you need to open a business in Michigan will depend on the type of business you are opening. You can find detailed information about the licensing and permitting requirements for each type of business on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
Are there any tax incentives for starting a business in Michigan?
Yes, there are a number of tax incentives available for businesses in Michigan, including credits, deductions, and exemptions. You can find more information about these incentives on the Michigan Department of Treasury website.
What is the process for filing taxes in Michigan?
The process for filing taxes in Michigan will depend on the type of business you are operating. The Michigan Department of Treasury website has detailed information about the filing requirements for each type of business.
Are there any resources available to help me develop a business plan for my Michigan business?
Yes, Start a Business Today in Michigan offers a variety of business plan templates and other resources to help entrepreneurs in Michigan develop their business plans.
What are the steps to start a business in Michigan?
The steps to start a business in Michigan include selecting a business structure, registering with the state, obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), and obtaining any necessary licenses or permits.
Is there a fee to start a business in Michigan?
Yes, depending on the type of business structure you choose, you may be required to pay a filing fee to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Do I need to register my business in Michigan?
Yes, you are required to register your business with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
What type of business structure should I choose to start a business in Michigan?
The most popular business structures in Michigan include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.
What are the tax requirements for a business in Michigan?
All businesses in Michigan are required to pay state taxes, including corporate income taxes, sales taxes, and other taxes depending on the type of business.
Do I need a business license to operate a business in Michigan?
Yes, certain types of businesses in Michigan require a license from the city, county, or state.
What are the labor laws for businesses in Michigan?
Michigan labor laws require employers to provide certain rights and benefits to employees, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, workers’ compensation, and anti-discrimination protections.
Do I need to register for unemployment insurance in Michigan?
Yes, all employers in Michigan are required to register for unemployment insurance and pay taxes on all wages earned by employees.
How do I find a business mentor in Michigan?
There are a number of organizations in Michigan that provide mentoring services to entrepreneurs, such as SCORE, the Michigan Small Business Development Center, and the Michigan Women’s Business Council.
Do I need to establish a separate bank account for my business in Michigan?
Yes, it is recommended that you establish a separate bank account for your business in Michigan to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances.
What do I need to do to hire employees in Michigan?
To hire employees in Michigan, employers are required to register with the state, obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), and obtain any necessary licenses or permits. Employers are also required to comply with state labor laws and pay taxes on all wages earned by employees.
What services does Start a Business Today in Michigan offer?
Start a Business Today in Michigan offers comprehensive business formation services, including assistance with business entity selection, filing of Articles of Incorporation, registered agent services, and more.
Is Start a Business Today in Michigan part of the State of Michigan?
No, Start a Business Today in Michigan is an independent business that provides business formation services.
What types of businesses can be formed using Start a Business Today in Michigan?
Start a Business Today in Michigan can help you form a Michigan LLC, C-corp, S-corp, or nonprofit organization.
How quickly can I form a business in Michigan?
Most business formations take between 3 to 5 business days to complete.
Do I need an attorney to form a business in Michigan?
Not necessarily. Start a Business Today in Michigan provides comprehensive business formation services and can help you form your business accurately and efficiently.
Do I need to have a Michigan address to form a business in Michigan?
Yes. All businesses in Michigan must have a Michigan address.
Are there any fees associated with filing Articles of Incorporation in Michigan?
Yes. The state of Michigan charges a filing fee of $125 to file Articles of Incorporation.
Does Start a Business Today in Michigan offer registered agent services?
Yes. We offer registered agent services for businesses in Michigan.
Do I need to have a business plan to start a business in Michigan?
No. A business plan is not required to form a business in Michigan.
Does Start a Business Today in Michigan provide business consulting services?
No, we do not provide business consulting services.
How much does it cost to form a business in Michigan?
The cost to form a business in Michigan depends on the type of business and the services you need.
Does Start a Business Today in Michigan provide tax advice?
No, we do not provide tax advice.
How can I contact Start a Business Today in Michigan?
You can contact us via phone at (XXX) XXX-XXXX or via email at [email protected].
Does Start a Business Today in Michigan offer any guarantee?
Yes, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with our services, we will refund your money.

Also Read

Why Start Business Michigan is So Important

One of the most compelling reasons to start a business in Michigan is the strong and supportive business climate that the state offers. Not only does Michigan have a relatively low cost of living compared to coastal states, but it also provides a number of incentives and resources to help entrepreneurs succeed. From small business grants to tax incentives, Michigan is committed to helping businesses thrive and grow.

Furthermore, Michigan’s location makes it an ideal hub for businesses looking to tap into markets across the Midwest and beyond. With easy access to major cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, as well as proximity to Canada, Michigan offers a strategic location for businesses looking to expand their reach and customer base.

In addition, Michigan boasts a skilled workforce that is well-educated and ready to contribute to the success of new businesses. With top-ranked universities like the University of Michigan and Michigan State University producing talented graduates every year, businesses in Michigan have access to a pipeline of skilled workers in a variety of fields.

Starting a business in Michigan also allows entrepreneurs to take advantage of the state’s strong infrastructure and transportation network. Michigan is home to one of the busiest international borders in North America, providing businesses with seamless access to global markets. Additionally, Michigan’s network of highways, railroads, and airports make it easy for businesses to transport goods and connect with suppliers and customers.

Beyond the practical benefits of starting a business in Michigan, there is also a sense of community and pride that comes with being a part of the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Michigan has a long tradition of hard work, creativity, and collaboration, and entrepreneurs in the state have a strong network of support and mentorship to help them navigate the challenges of starting and growing a business.

Overall, starting a business in Michigan is important because it presents entrepreneurs with a wealth of opportunities and resources to help them succeed. From the supportive business climate to the skilled workforce and strategic location, Michigan offers everything a business needs to thrive and prosper. Whether you are a first-time entrepreneur or an experienced business owner looking to expand, Michigan is the perfect place to start and grow your business.

Why Michigan Property Management Business is So Important

One of the main reasons why property management businesses in Michigan are so important is because they provide valuable expertise and knowledge in the field. Managing properties can be a complex task that requires a deep understanding of local laws, regulations, market trends, and best practices. Property managers in Michigan have the experience and resources to navigate these challenges effectively, ensuring that properties are well-maintained, tenants are satisfied, and owners are able to maximize their investment returns.

Another key reason why property management businesses are indispensable in Michigan is their ability to handle a wide range of responsibilities on behalf of property owners. From marketing and advertising vacancies to screening potential tenants, collecting rent, responding to maintenance requests, and handling evictions, property management companies can take the stress and burden off the shoulders of property owners. This allows owners to focus on other aspects of their lives or businesses, knowing that their properties are in good hands.

Furthermore, property management businesses in Michigan can also provide valuable insights and recommendations for improving the overall value and profitability of real estate investments. By tracking market trends, analyzing performance metrics, and identifying opportunities for cost savings or revenue generation, property managers can help property owners make informed decisions that will yield positive results in the long run.

In addition, property management businesses play a crucial role in fostering positive relationships between property owners and tenants. By acting as intermediaries in communication and conflict resolution, property managers can help prevent misunderstandings and disputes from escalating into larger issues. This not only benefits both parties directly involved but also contributes to a more harmonious and stable community environment.

Overall, the presence of property management businesses in Michigan is essential for the successful and sustainable management of real estate assets. Their expertise, resources, and dedication to excellent service ensure that properties are well-maintained, tenants are satisfied, and owners can enjoy a steady stream of income from their investments. As the real estate market continues to evolve and grow, the role of property management businesses will only become more critical in ensuring the long-term success of real estate investments in Michigan and beyond.

Why Open a Bakery in Michigan

First and foremost, small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. They make up the majority of businesses in the country and create millions of jobs every year. By starting a business in Michigan, entrepreneurs can contribute to the local economy by providing employment opportunities to residents and supporting the community through their products and services.

Additionally, starting a business in Michigan can lead to increased innovation and competitiveness in the marketplace. Small businesses are known for their ability to innovate and adapt quickly to changing market conditions. By fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, Michigan can attract creative thinkers and problem solvers who can drive technological advancements and improve the quality of products and services available to consumers.

Moreover, starting a business in Michigan can help to revitalize struggling communities and regions. In recent years, many areas of the state have experienced economic decline due to changes in the manufacturing industry and other factors. By starting businesses in these areas, entrepreneurs can create new opportunities for growth and development, helping to attract investment and increase prosperity for residents.

Starting a business in Michigan also has the potential to address social and environmental challenges. Many entrepreneurs today are motivated by a desire to create positive change in the world, whether through social enterprises that give back to the community or sustainable businesses that prioritize environmental conservation. By supporting these ventures, Michigan can help to address pressing societal issues and promote a more sustainable future for generations to come.

Furthermore, starting a business in Michigan can empower individuals and communities to take control of their own economic destinies. As the gig economy continues to grow and traditional employment practices evolve, entrepreneurship offers a path to financial independence and self-determination. By starting a business, individuals can pursue their passions, build wealth, and create a legacy for their families and communities.

In conclusion, starting a business in Michigan is crucial for the state’s economic prosperity, social well-being, and environmental sustainability. By encouraging and supporting entrepreneurs, Michigan can unleash a wave of innovation, job creation, and community development that will benefit residents and businesses alike. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or a first-time business owner, starting a business in Michigan is an opportunity to make a meaningful impact and contribute to the success of the state and the country as a whole. It is time to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit and start a business in Michigan today.


In conclusion, embarking on the entrepreneurial journey of starting a business in Michigan, also known as The Great Lakes State, requires thorough research, planning, and dedication. Understanding the local business landscape, choosing the right structure, and complying with all regulatory requirements are essential steps to ensuring your venture’s success. This article has provided valuable insights and guidance for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to seize the opportunities present in Michigan’s dynamic economy. By leveraging available resources and approaching the process with diligence and determination, you can lay the foundation for a thriving and prosperous business in Michigan.

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