How To Start & Grow Your Business

State Home Michigan

How to Start a Business in Michigan

Are you planning on starting a new business in the state of Michigan, but having some trouble getting started? Are the endless websites and paper trails making you feel overwhelmed? Look no further.

At , we have simplified the process of starting your business into simple steps, free software, and how-to content.

Sign up for free HERE

Let's Get Going

With one of the lowest corporate income taxes in the country, a low cost of living, and $170 million in financial assistance and incentives available to businesses, Michigan is an attractive state for the start-up business owner. Michigan also boasts the beauty of four out of five of the Great Lakes, a landscape ripe with year-long opportunities for outdoor sports, and world famous fried chicken (and fudge, we are told).

Bonus

Discover bizHUMM's popular ebook

“How to Start a Business”

Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. It requires your full attention and energy. It all begins with an idea, an observation that there is a problem and the belief that you have a new solution – or a better one. Allow us to walk you through the steps in this free guide: How to Start A Business.

General resources for starting a business in Michigan

up

Fun facts about starting a business in Michigan

Famous business founded in Michigan Chrysler

Chrysler is an American automobile manufacturer founded and headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and owned by holding company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Chrysler is one of the “Big Three” American automobile manufacturers. It sells vehicles worldwide under its flagship Chrysler brand, as well as the Dodge, Jeep, and Ram Trucks.

Famous businessperson born in Michigan Andrew Beal

Andrew Beal was born in 1952 in Lansing, Michigan. He is an American banker, businessman, investor, poker player, and amateur mathematician. Beal is founder and chairman of Beal Bank and Beal Bank USA, as well as other affiliated companies. Beal has an estimated worth of $12.7 billion as of June 2015.

β€œI just didn’t fit into any box.” – Andrew Beal

up

Which type of legal structure is best for my business in Michigan?

You must consider the tax, legal, and liability implications carefully before deciding on the best legal structure. At bizHUMM, we strongly recommend your incorporate.

Here are 5 helpful steps to determine the best legal structure:

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the different types of business legal structures and how to start them in the state of Michigan.
LLC (Limited Liability Company)
A limited liability company (LLC) is the United States-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners.

Steps to starting an LLC in Michigan:

  • Step 1 β€” Give your LLC a name.
  • Step 2 β€” File Articles of Organization.
  • Step 3 β€” Appoint a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 β€” Create an Operating Agreement.
  • Step 5 β€” Determine if there are any publication requirements.
  • Step 6 β€” Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 7 β€” File annual statements.
  • Step 8 β€” Register foreign LLCs doing business in Michigan.

For help forming your LLC in Michigan we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

Other Michigan resources for LLCs:

Michigan Business Name Database: Check this site to see if your LLC name is available in Michigan.

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: File your Application for Reservation of Name, and Articles of Organization here.
File your annual statement here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your business.

Michigan Department of Treasury: If you have employees or will be selling goods and collecting sales tax, you’ll need to register with this site.

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship, also known simply as a proprietorship, is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one person, and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner is in direct control of all elements and is legally accountable for all of the finances of such business.

Steps to starting Sole Proprietorship in Michigan:

  • Step 1 β€” Choose a business name.
  • Step 2 β€” File an Assumed Name Certificate.
  • Step 3 β€” Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 4 β€” Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your sole proprietorship in Michigan we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service).
Alternatively visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

Other Michigan resources for Sole Proprietorship:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: If you are using a name other than your own given name for your sole proprietorship, run a search at this site to make sure your business name is distinguishable from any other company currently on record (it’s the law).
Click here for a list of every occupation that requires a license by a sole proprietorship. You may need to get a business license or professional license, depending on your business activities.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal site for your business name search. Click on the β€œTESS” link.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your business here.

Michigan Treasury Online: Pay and manage your business taxes here.

Partnership
A partnership is a legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who share management and profits. The federal government recognizes several types of partnerships. The two most common are general and limited partnerships. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business and shares in the profits and losses of the business.

Steps to starting Partnership in Michigan:

  • Step 1 β€” Choose a partnership name.
  • Step 2 β€” File an assumed business name.
  • Step 3 β€” Create a partnership agreement.
  • Step 4 β€” Apply for licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 5 β€” Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your partnership in Michigan we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively, you can visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

Other Michigan resources for Partnership:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: A partnership in Michigan can use the surnames of the individual partners OR a fictitious business name. If you choose to use a fictitious name, run a search here to see if the name is available.
Click here for a list of every occupation that requires a license by a partnership. You may need to get a business license or professional license, depending on your business activities.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal site for your partnership name search. Click on the β€œTESS” link.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your partnership here.

Michigan Treasury Online: Pay and manage your business taxes here.

S Corporation
An S corporation is a regular corporation that has elected "S corporation" tax status. Forming an S corporation lets you enjoy the limited liability of a corporate shareholder, but pay income taxes as if you were a sole proprietor or a partner. In general, S corporations do not pay any federal income taxes. Instead, the corporation's income or losses are divided among and passed through to its shareholders. The shareholders must then report the income or loss on their own individual income tax returns.

Steps to starting S Corporation in Michigan:

  • Step 1 β€” Name your corporation.
  • Step 2 β€” File Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 β€” Find a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 β€” Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 β€” Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 β€” Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 β€” Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 β€” Issue stock.
  • Step 9 β€” Comply with Michigan annual report requirements.
  • Step 10 β€” Comply with other tax requirements.
  • Step 11 β€” Register foreign corporations doing business in Michigan.

For help forming your S Corp in Michigan we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service).
Or, you can visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

Other Michigan resources for S Corporation:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Run a search here to see if your business name is available.
File your Articles of Incorporation here.
File your Annual Report here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your corporation here.

IRS S corporations: Specific instructions for your tax requirements as an S corp.

C Corporation
A C corporation (or C corp for short), refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. In a C corporation, there can be an unlimited number of stockholders. This allows the corporation to sell shares to a large amount of investors, which allows for more funds to be raised for projects

Steps to starting C Corporation in Michigan:

  • Step 1 β€” Choose a corporate name.
  • Step 2 β€” Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 β€” Appoint a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 β€” Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 β€” Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 β€” Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 β€” Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 β€” Issue stock.
  • Step 9 β€” Comply with Michigan annual report requirements.
  • Step 10 β€” Comply with other tax requirements.
  • Step 11 β€” Register foreign corporations doing business in Michigan.

For help forming your C Corp in Michigan we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Or, visit the Michigan Secretary of State website.

Other Michigan resources for C Corporation:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs: Run a search here to see if your business name is available.
File your Articles of Incorporation here.
File your Annual Report here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your corporation.

up

Why choose Michigan for my business?

  • 1

    Michigan Economic Development Corporation
    Small business incentives and taxes.
    β€œWe have been ranked one of the Top 10 states for corporate tax competitiveness due to our simple, fair and efficient 6% corporate income tax and $500 million in annual business savings through the elimination of industrial personal property tax.”

  • 2

    Michigan Women’s Foundation
    Training and support for women entrepreneurs.
    β€œMWF is helping women achieve economic and social equality by providing access to entrepreneurial training, capital and resources to start or grow their businesses.”

  • 3

    Small Business Association Veteran-Owned Businesses
    Resources for Veterans. Search tools for grants.
    β€œIf you are a veteran or service-disabled veteran, SBA has resources to help you start and grow your small business.”

  • 4

    Michigan Business Incubator Association
    Links to incubators, grants, support.
    β€œMichigan Business Incubator Association is comprised of the state's best business incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, economic development partners, and entrepreneurial support professionals who are focused on creating jobs and developing Michigan's local economies.”

up