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LLC Michigan Experts and 5 Steps to Your MI LLC

If you’re starting an LLC in Michigan, you’re on your way to becoming a business owner. There are several steps to take, with some being more complicated than others. Our guide will help you outline your path to form your Michigan LLC.

Keep reading to learn more about how to register a Michigan LLC, or use our fast and reliable formation services. We’ll handle the formation process for you, so you can get back to building your business. Just click the Start button below.

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LLC Michigan Formation Process

As you check off each step, you’ll learn how to start an LLC in Michigan, bringing your dreams closer to reality. This step-by-step guide will help simplify the process of forming an LLC in Michigan. We’ll also show you how our services can help you start, grow and run your business over time.

An infographic that explains how to form an LLC in 5 Steps
Step 1: Name your Michigan LLC

Step 1: Name your Michigan LLC

The first step is choosing a name for your LLC in Michigan. You likely have an idea or two of what to name your business. Although, naming a business is more than a creative way to market your services; it must also comply with state regulations. In this case, you’ll need to register your business under a unique name within the state of Michigan. Learn more on our page about how to conduct a Michigan business search to check availability of a name for a Michigan LLC.

Make a List of Business Name Ideas

Your best bet is to create a list of possible names before running a name search. What is an LLC name that represents your brand? Pick a few of your favorite names that not only represent your current company – but who you want to be in the future.

It might be helpful to check a more detailed explanation of the requirements for naming your business in Michigan. Slight changes in spelling, punctuation, or choice of suffix will not be enough to distinguish your business to the state.

Michigan Limited Liability Company Name Requirements

To comply with Michigan’s state law, your company’s name must end with the proper designator. In this case, you have four options: including the entire phrase of “Limited Liability Company,” the abbreviation “LLC,” or a punctuated version of the previous as “L.L.C.” or “L.C.” Regardless of which option you choose, it must appear at the end of your company’s name.

Keep in mind that some words are prohibited. For instance, you can’t include the word “corporation.”

Reserve a Business Name for your Michigan LLC

Once you’ve landed on an LLC name that meets your business goals and Michigan’s requirements, you can reserve it. To reserve the name, you’ll need to deliver an Application for Reservation of Name and a filing fee to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. If the LLC name you’ve chosen is approved, it will be put on hold for six months. This allots plenty of time for you to finish establishing your Michigan LLC. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

Secure a Domain Name

When coming up with a business name, it’s wise to consider whether you can secure a matching domain name for your business’s website. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search. Additionally, our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company.

File a DBA in Michigan

If the Michigan LLC owners want to do business using a name that is different from the original name used to form the business, they must also register the secondary name. Also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name in Michigan, this secondary name doesn’t replace the original name, but it can serve as an additional, legal name for the business. Once you find one that is available, file a Certificate of Assumed Name or use our DBA service.

US Patent and Trademark Office

Finally, to make sure you’re in the clear, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see whether your business name or logo is federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level. To find out more or apply for a state trademark, visit the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website.

There’s a lot to consider when you name your Michigan LLC. But don’t fret, you don’t have to start over if you don’t like your name. If your business evolves over time, you can change your business name. View our step-by-step guide to change your Michigan LLC business name.

Step 2: Michigan Registered Agent

Step 2: Appoint a Michigan resident agent

You’ll need to appoint a resident agent. Michigan requires that every LLC appoint a registered agent, known in Michigan as a resident agent. The person or entity you appoint will be the primary point of contact for legal matters. If your company is subpoenaed or sued, the papers will be delivered to your resident agent.

While the owner of the company can be the resident agent (if they reside in Michigan), this is not always the best option. Let’s face it, being served papers in front of customers is a sure way to deter business, and, with so many alternatives, it might be in your best interest to hire outside registered agent services.

Benefits of Hiring an Outside Registered Agent Service

Some other benefits of hiring an outside registered agent service like ours include:

As long as they are a resident of the state of Michigan or a business entity authorized to do business in Michigan, and have a physical street address within the state, hiring an outside resident agent is an affordable way to save you possible troubles later on.

Step 3: File Michigan Articles of Organization

Step 3: File Michigan Articles of Organization

You’ll need to complete and file Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division.

Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating for many people, which is why we’re here. With business formation plans, our professionals handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done correctly the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

Before you begin filling in the form, ensure you have all of the necessary information. 

Articles of Organization Requirements

You’ll need the following information to fill out the form accurately:

View step-by-directions on how to file your Michigan Articles of Organization. Want help filing your Articles? We can help. Click the ‘Start Now’ button below to use our fast, reliable LLC filing service.

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Non-refundable Fee to File Articles of Organization

Whether you mail the paperwork, go in person, or submit online, you must include a nonrefundable fee to file Articles of Organization. To have the service expedited, you can pay additional fees to have it completed in one hour, two hours, same-day, or 24-hours. Additionally, we can handle it for you with our faster filing speeds service.

Step 4: Create a Michigan Operating Agreement

Step 4: Create an operating agreement

Having an operating agreement in Michigan is not mandatory, but it can help you create governance for an LLC. An LLC operating agreement covers the rules your company will follow, lists LLC members, and the percentage ownership. It also discusses how finances will be handled, decisions will be made (including partner voting structure), and details necessary regulations.

Use Case for an LLC Operating Agreement

You may feel an operating agreement is unnecessary, especially since it’s not a requirement in the state of Michigan. However, operating agreements can outline what happens to your company in the event of your demise. It can also help protect you and your assets in case of dissolution or bankruptcy. If you’re starting an LLC with partners, each party will need to agree to the terms and sign the document.

Unsure how to start creating an operating agreement for your Michigan LLC? Use our customizable template to help get you started with your Michigan LLC forms.

Step 5: Apply for Michigan EIN

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

To finalize your LLC, you’ll need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), also known as an EIN or tax ID. Unless you are a single-member LLC with no employees, this nine-digit number is required for tax purposes. This includes filing fee taxes, hiring new employees, and opening business bank accounts. An EIN is sometimes even required for single-member LLCs with no employees.

You can get your Michigan LLC’s EIN through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website, through mail, or fax. If you’d rather avoid dealing with that particular government agency, we can get an Employer Identification Number for you. Our FEIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

Open a Business Bank Account for your Michigan LLC

Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time. It also helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make taxes more troublesome, it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are separate entities.

Fortunately, we have partnered with LendingClub to offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. To authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to make the process simple.

For further help managing your new business’s finances, check out ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place. 

LLC Michigan: We can help

We offer fast, accurate Michigan LLC formation online guaranteed. Our services provide long-term business support to help you start, run and grow your business.

If starting an LLC in Michigan feels like an uphill battle, we can reduce your stress. Let us take care of formation, compliance and more. That way, you can get back to running your dream business.

Michigan LLC FAQs

  • How much does it cost to start an LLC in Michigan?

    Starting an LLC in Michigan is relatively affordable. The state fees for forming an LLC range from $50 to $75, depending on whether you choose to reserve your business name, but expediting the process can bring the cost higher than that range. Note that filing fees change over time, so you should check the most recent fee schedule on the website of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division.

  • What are the benefits of an LLC in Michigan?

    When starting a business, there are various forms it can take. Ninety percent of our customers, along with the majority of entrepreneurs, choose to form an LLC. Compared to corporations, limited partnerships, and other forms of entities, LLCs come with enticing benefits.

    Forming a Michigan LLC means you’ll reap the following benefits:

    • Personal asset protection: Your personal liability will be separate from your business liability and debts.
    • Avoid double taxation: You’ll only pay personal federal income taxes rather than personal and corporate federal income taxes.
    • Flexible management: You’re not required to have a board of directors or annual meetings.
    • Less reporting: Compared to corporations, LLCs have fewer required meetings and reports.

    For a more in-depth look at why an LLC might be a better option for you, see our breakdown of what an LLC is and how it compares to a corporation.

  • How is an LLC taxed in Michigan?

    LLCs are typically considered “pass-through entities,” meaning they are not subject to corporate federal income taxes. Instead, the profits are passed through to the owner’s personal income, and the responsibility to pay federal income taxes falls only on the individual (as opposed to being taxed on both levels, as is the case with corporations). This holds for all Michigan LLCs — unless you choose to file as a corporation, you will not be required to pay Michigan’s corporate income tax. However, your limited liability company might be subject to other taxes, including:

    • State employer taxes, if you have employees
    • State unemployment insurance taxes, if you have employees
    • Sales tax, if you sell goods

    For more information on specific taxes that you could be required to file for your Michigan LLC, visit the Business Tax Guide from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

    Those who purchase any of our business formation plans get a free accounting consultation and tax assessment from our specialists to receive helpful resources and no-obligation recommendations around your bookkeeping, accounting, and tax needs.

  • What is the processing time to form my Michigan LLC?

    Usually in three to five business days, your Articles of Organization will be processed with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs if you choose to mail in your paperwork. If you file online, the turnaround time can be as quick as 24 hours from when the state begins processing your submission. For an extra fee, you can have your documents expedited and processed in as little as an hour.

  • Do I need to file an operating agreement with the state of Michigan?

    No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. While some states legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement, Michigan is not one of them.

  • What tax structure should I choose for my Michigan LLC?

    When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the available tax classification options. Most LLCs elect the default tax status, which is to be taxed as a sole proprietorship (for a single-member LLC) or a partnership (for a multi-member LLC). For either of these options, the LLC is not taxed on federal income, but the LLC members pay income taxes on their portion of the profits on their individual tax returns.

    You can also elect to have your LLC taxed as a C corporation or an S corporation. Although most new LLCs don’t choose these options, they do have advantages for certain companies. Be sure to review each option’s details to determine the best one for your business.

  • Does Michigan allow a Series LLC?

    A Series LLC is a group of limited liability companies operating under one “parent” entity. While each entity under the parent is considered independent, entrepreneurs are often attracted to the business structure if they wish to create numerous companies to explore different avenues but not risk one’s success due to the liabilities of another. However, only a few states have adopted Series LLC laws — none of which are Michigan.

  • Which licenses and insurance are required for an LLC in Michigan?

    Although Michigan doesn’t require a general business license to operate, certain industries require specific licenses and permits. You’ll need to make sure your LLC has all the licenses and permits it’s required to have by law. Unfortunately, because licensing varies by industry and location and can occur on the federal, state, and local levels, there’s no central place to check to see if you have all the licenses and permits you need. You’ll have to do some research.

    If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all this research, or if you just want the peace of mind to know that your business has all the licenses and permits it’s legally required to have, our business license report service can do the work for you.

    Your LLC might be required to obtain an insurance policy, depending on the type of business and whether you have employees. The types of insurance range from professional liability insurance to unemployment and workers’ compensation insurance. You can find a list and industry requirements on the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services website.

  • How do I change my LLC name in Michigan?

    To change the name of your LLC in Michigan, you need to file a Certificate of Amendment that includes the reason you’re changing your Articles of Organization (in this case, you want to change the name of your LLC). You submit this form to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ Corporations, Securities, and Commercial Licensing Bureau. There is a filing fee to amend your Michigan LLC Articles of Organization.

  • How do I pay my annual LLC fees in Michigan?

    In Michigan, an annual report or annual statement is a regular filing that your LLC must complete every year. This annual statement costs $25 and should be filed with the Michigan Secretary of State by Feb. 15.

    We can help you with your annual statement in a couple of ways. Our annual report service will help you file your annual statement, and our Worry Free Compliance service not only helps with filing your annual statement, but also sends you other important compliance reminders and helps you with two amendment filings each year.

  • How to dissolve a Michigan LLC?

    Before starting the dissolution process, the members of an LLC should vote to dissolve it. For the subsequent steps please refer to our Michigan business dissolution guide.

Michigan Business Resources

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