Starting Your Business in Michigan | A Step-by-Step Guide

Start a Business in Michigan

If you want to start an LLC in Michigan, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in Michigan. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in Michigan. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in Michigan?

If you’re looking to start a business in Michigan, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in Michigan.

  1. Affiliate Marketing Business
  2. Custom Prints Business
  3. Grooming Company
  4. Clothing Boutique
  5. Financial Advisor business

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in Michigan, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


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 business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in Michigan serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in Michigan. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for Michigan Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in Michigan.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Michigan

Selecting a business entity for your Michigan company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in Michigan.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Michigan by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for Michigan small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in Michigan if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in Michigan reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

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.

To choose the right business structure in Michigan, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

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Step 3: Determine your Michigan Business Cost

In Michigan, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Articles of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Michigan Articles of Organization fee costs $50, while the LLC annual fee costs $25 in Michigan. In terms of filing Michigan Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $60 for filing online, in person, and by mail.

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in Michigan.

Step 4: Name your Business in Michigan

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Michigan Business 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. You must file a name reservation application in the Michigan Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 6 months. The online name reservation fee is disclosed and the mail name reservation fee is $10. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing, which you can file in Michigan Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in Michigan for clearer understanding.

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Step 5: Register Michigan Business

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.

You can serve as your own Resident Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Resident Agent Services in Michigan.

Apply For Articles of Organization

After you have a Resident Agent, you need to file the Michigan Articles of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the Michigan Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Resident Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Michigan. 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 the 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 four 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 several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in Michigan. Before launching your new business, 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. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in Michigan, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain 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. Opening a separate bank account for your Michigan business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in Michigan, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in Michigan

Now that your Michigan business is 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.


Why should I start a business in Michigan?
Michigan is known for its diverse economy, well-educated workforce, and support for small businesses.
Do I need a business license in Michigan?
Yes, most businesses require a license to operate in Michigan. The specific license you need will depend on the type of business you are starting.
How do I register my business in Michigan?
You can register your business with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
What is the cost of registering my business in Michigan?
The cost of registering your business in Michigan varies depending on the type of business you have.
What permits and licenses do I need to start a business in Michigan?
The permits and licenses you need to start a business in Michigan depends on the type of business that you’re starting.
What is the process of getting my business registered in Michigan?
The process of getting your business registered in Michigan varies depending on the type of business you have.
How do I file my taxes for my Michigan business?
You need to file business tax returns with the Michigan Department Of Treasury.
What is the unemployment tax rate in Michigan?
Michigan collects unemployment taxes from employers at a rate of 2.7%, with a wage base of $9,000 per employee per year.
What kind of funding is available for startups in Michigan?
Michigan offers a variety of funding options for startups, including angel investors, venture capital, and crowdfunding.
What are Michigan’s business insurance requirements?
Business insurance requirements in Michigan vary depending on the type and size of the business.
Is Michigan a good location for manufacturing businesses?
Yes, Michigan has a strong tradition of manufacturing and continues to be a leader in the industry.
Where can I obtain financing for my Michigan business?
You can obtain financing for your Michigan business through banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions.
How do I find a small business mentor in Michigan?
You can find a small business mentor in Michigan through the Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC).
How long does it take to start a business in Michigan?
The time it takes to start a business in Michigan varies depending on the type and size of the business.
What industries are thriving in Michigan?
Michigan has a diverse economy with thriving automotive, technology, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors.
How do I determine which type of legal structure is best for my business in Michigan?
You can consult with an attorney or a business advisor to determine which legal structure (LLC, S-Corp., etc) is best for your Michigan business.
What are the tax incentives for starting a business in Michigan?
Michigan offers a variety of tax incentives for businesses, including the Michigan Business Development Program and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.
How do I get a business loan in Michigan?
You can get a business loan in Michigan through a commercial bank, community bank, credit union, or alternative lender.
What resources are available for Michigan minority-owned businesses?
Michigan offers resources and support for minority-owned businesses through groups like the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.
How do I obtain a Michigan tax ID number?
You can obtain a Michigan tax ID number by registering with the Michigan Department of Treasury.
What zoning laws should I be aware of when starting a business in Michigan?
Zoning laws in Michigan vary depending on the locality and type of business you are starting.
What workplace safety regulations apply to businesses in Michigan?
Businesses in Michigan must comply with workplace safety regulations set forth by OSHA.
How do I form an LLC in Michigan?
You can form an LLC in Michigan by filing Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
What is the minimum wage in Michigan?
The current minimum wage in Michigan is $9.65 per hour.
What are the insurance requirements for businesses in Michigan?
The insurance requirements for businesses in Michigan vary depending on the size and type of business.
Does Michigan require businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance?
Yes, Michigan requires businesses to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees.
What forms do I need to file to register my Michigan business?
You will need to file Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to register an LLC in Michigan.
How do I create a business plan for my Michigan business?
You can create a business plan with the help of Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or other business advisors.
How do I register for a sales tax permit in Michigan?
You can register for a sales tax permit in Michigan with the Michigan Department of Treasury.
Where can I find resources to fund my Michigan business?
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation offers a variety of financing options for businesses.
What licenses and permits do I need to obtain for my Michigan business?
It depends on the type of business you have. You can check the Michigan Business One Stop website for details.
How do I find out if my business name is available in Michigan?
You can search for your desired business name on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.
Should I incorporate my business in Michigan, or can I incorporate elsewhere?
You can incorporate in any state you wish, but incorporating in Michigan may offer certain advantages.
How do I get a tax ID number (EIN) for my Michigan business?
You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website.
What tax laws do I need to know about for my Michigan business?
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with Michigan state tax laws, sales tax, and any applicable federal tax laws.
How do I find the best location for my Michigan business?
You can research different areas of Michigan and consider factors such as rent costs, foot traffic, and population density.
Are there any grants or incentives available for small businesses in Michigan?
Yes, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has several grant and incentive programs available.
Can I start a Michigan business from my home?
Yes, you can operate certain types of business from your home in Michigan.
Do I need to hire a Michigan attorney to start my business?
It’s not required, but it may be helpful to get legal advice and assistance when starting a business in Michigan.
How much money do I need to start a Michigan business?
It varies based on the type of business you want to start. You can use online tools to estimate startup costs.
How can I find employees for my Michigan business?
You can advertise job openings on job boards, networking events, or reach out to staffing agencies.
What are the common causes of business failure in Michigan?
In Michigan, common causes of business failure include a lack of funding, poor management, and not focusing on customer service.
How can I market my Michigan business?
You can use a variety of marketing techniques, such as advertising on social media and search engines, attending industry events, and using email marketing.
Do I need to have a business plan to start a Michigan business?
It’s not legally required, but having a business plan can help you set clear goals and assess risks.
How long does it take to start a Michigan business?
It depends on the type of business, but the process can take weeks to months.
How can I find legal services for my Michigan business?
You can search online for local Michigan attorneys who specialize in business law.
What do I need to know about workers’ compensation insurance in Michigan?
If your business has employees, it’s required by law that you carry workers’ compensation insurance.
What do I need to know about forming a partnership in Michigan?
You’ll need to draft a partnership agreement with the help of an attorney, and register your partnership with the state of Michigan.
How can I manage my business’s finances effectively?
Hire an accountant or use accounting software such as QuickBooks to manage your finances.
How can I protect my intellectual property as a Michigan business owner?
File for a patent, trademark, or copyright through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
What permits do I need to obtain to sell goods in Michigan?
You may need a sales tax permit, or other licenses and permits depending on the type of goods you sell.
Can I operate an online business from Michigan?
Yes, you may operate an online business from Michigan.
How do I obtain a liquor license for my Michigan business?
You can apply for a liquor license through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.
How can I avoid legal disputes with vendors or customers in my Michigan business?
Draft clear contracts with vendors and customers that outline the terms of the relationship and agree on dispute resolution methods.
How do I perform market research for my Michigan business?
You can conduct surveys or analyze data about the demographics, location, and target audience of Michigan consumers.
What are the requirements for filing business taxes in Michigan?
You’ll need to file a Michigan business tax return each year and pay taxes on your business’s profits.
How do I dissolve my Michigan business?
Follow the dissolution process outlined by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and file appropriate paperwork.

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Why You Should Start Business in Michigan

One of the key advantages of starting a business in Michigan is the state’s favorable business environment. The state offers a range of incentives for entrepreneurs, including tax credits for job creation, assistance with workforce training, and access to government contracting opportunities. In addition, Michigan has a well-educated workforce, with a high concentration of skilled workers in fields such as manufacturing, information technology, and healthcare.

Michigan is also home to a number of top universities and research institutions, which provide a steady pipeline of talent and innovation for business owners. These institutions offer resources for collaboration, research and development, and access to cutting-edge technologies that can give startups a competitive edge in their respective industries.

The state’s convenient location in the Midwest also makes it an attractive choice for businesses looking to expand their reach across the country. Michigan is within a day’s drive of major cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and Indianapolis, making it a strategic hub for distribution and transportation logistics. The state also boasts an extensive network of highways, railways, and airports, making it easy for businesses to connect with customers and suppliers across the nation.

Beyond its business benefits, Michigan offers a high quality of life for residents and employees alike. The state is known for its stunning natural beauty, with miles of Great Lakes shoreline, charming small towns, and vibrant cities that offer a mix of cultural attractions, outdoor activities, and professional sports teams. Residents of Michigan enjoy a lower cost of living compared to many other states, which can be particularly appealing for entrepreneurs looking to stretch their startup capital.

In recent years, Michigan has seen a resurgence in entrepreneurship and innovation, with a growing number of startups and tech companies choosing to make their home in the Great Lakes State. The state’s economic diversification, strong infrastructure, skilled workforce, and supportive business climate make it an ideal destination for entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

While every state has its own unique advantages for starting a business, Michigan stands out for its blend of industry, innovation, and lifestyle offerings. From the bustling city streets of Detroit to the serene shores of Lake Michigan, there is no shortage of inspiration and opportunity for entrepreneurs in this dynamic state.

If you are considering starting a business, Michigan is worth a closer look. With its vibrant business environment, skilled workforce, strategic location, and high quality of life, the Great Lakes State offers a promising landscape for startups to thrive and succeed. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner looking to expand, Michigan is a prime destination to plant your roots and grow your enterprise.


Starting a business in Michigan has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in Michigan is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive Michigan business landscape.

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