How to Form a Michigan LLC
By Bazal Razzaq
Updated: September 04, 2023, 12:30pm
Editorial Note: We earn a commission if you use the services recommended on this page. Commissions do not affect our opinions or recommendations.
- Choose a name for your Michigan LLC
- Come up with a business plan for your LLC
- Hire a registered agent
- Organize and prepare your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
- Apply for a federal employer Identification Number with the IRS
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Obtain necessary business licenses and permits
- Submit your Statement of Information(annual report)
- Final Word
- How To Form An LLC In 50 States
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Looking for ways to set up an LLC in Michigan? Well, you’ve arrived and how! You’re in luck because our comprehensive guide offers the most updated and relevant information one can get.
#1 Choose a name for your Michigan LLC
The very first step in your Michigan LLC formation process is to choose a distinctive and legally compliant name for your business. Your chosen name should reflect your brand’s identity in the best way possible and needs to be memorable. While we understand that shortlisting the perfect name for your LLC is a challenge on its own, we still recommend following the guidelines mentioned below,
- Most importantly, the name you choose for your Michigan LLC should be different from other registered business entities in the state. These entities include everything from corporations to sole proprietorships to LLCs. You can check the availability of names by doing an LLC name search online through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
- Your chosen LLC name should display its limited liability status. It should have appropriate abbreviations like,
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Company
- LLC(Most business owners stick with this one)
- It goes without saying, but your Michigan LLC name should have no vulgar, rude, or forbidden words as per the Michigan state regulations.
- Avoid using terms like “board,” “trustee,” “insurance,” “State Department,” or any other word related to any government agency, as they can restrict your LLC’s identity.
- Also, refrain from using words that might confuse people and make them think your LLC is something it’s really not or is providing services it really isn’t, like a bank, corporation, FBI, or CIA.
- Check that your chosen name is not already used as a website domain to avoid any trademark or legal issues. You can also check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s site for federal trademarks.
- Some words like “lawyer,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “attorney” have special restrictions because of their professional nature. If you use them, you will have to provide additional documentation licensing to the Michigan state government.
- If your LLC intends to provide any professional services licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, you need to use abbreviations like “Professional Limited Liability Company,” “PLLC,” or “P.L.L.C.”
- Similarly, a worker cooperative should use terms like “Limited Worker Cooperative Association,” “LWCA,” or “L.W.C.A.”
- Lastly, if you plan on using the name of a living individual in your LLC’s name, you will require their written consent.
Still unsatisfied? Here’s a complete list of naming rules and regulations for a Michigan LLC.
If you already have the perfect legally compliant name in mind but aren’t prepared to form your LLC just yet, you have the option of reserving your name by filing an Application for Reservation of Name. There’s a $25 fee, which is payable as a check or money order to the State of Michigan.
The form will reserve your name for up to six months. You have the option to submit your application online, or you can download the form mentioned above and then submit it by mail to
P.O. Box 30054, Lansing, MI 48909,
Or, in- person at
2407 N. Grand River Ave., Lansing, MI 48906
For more information, you can dial (517) 241-6470.
Lastly, if you aren’t comfortable using your official registered name in the real world, you always have the option to use a Trade name instead. Trade name(assumed name/fictitious name/DBA) is basically a way to operate under a different name than your legal name.
You need to register your trade name with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by filing a Certificate of Assumed Name. The filing fee is $25, and the registration lasts for up to five years.
#2 Come up with a business plan for your LLC
While it’s not a mandatory requirement in Michigan, having a business plan in place is always an advantage for new LLCs. Why? A well-drafted business plan offers multiple benefits, from strategic decision-making and risk management to huge scope for continuous improvement for entrepreneurs and businesses.
Here’s what you can include in your business plan,
- A brief Introduction describing your business idea and its purpose.
- A Market Analysis explaining your target market and competitors.
- Your Products/Services and an in-depth summary of what you offer and how it solves customer needs.
- A proper Marketing Strategy outlining how you’ll attract and retain customers.
- Operations section describing how your LLC will run day-to-day.
- Introduce key Team Members and their roles.
- Your Financial Projections, including income, expenses, and projected profits.
- A Funding section explaining how you’ll finance your business.
- Your future Goals, which highlight clear short-term and long-term objectives.
- Add any additional relevant information.
#3 Hire a registered agent
Like every other state in the US, even Michigan requires every LLC in the state to assign a registered agent for the company. A resident agent(just another name for a registered agent) is an individual or entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal paperwork, lawsuit notices, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. You can think of your statutory agent as your business’s point of contact with the state.
For a Michigan LLC, you usually have the following choices for a registered agent,
- Be your own registered agent.
- Another business entity.
- Hire a registered agent service.
- An individual within the company(manager/employee/member)
- An Attorney, lawyer, or legal facility.
The requirements don’t end here. There are plenty of other legal requirements a registered agent or a registered agent service needs to take care of. They need to
- Provide a valid physical address in Michigan.
- Be present during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to receive legal documents.
- Agree to be the LLC’s official point of contact.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Reside in Michigan or have authorization to do business there.
- Be an individual or a business entity authorized to operate in Michigan.
- Consent to act as the LLC’s registered agent.
Note: A PO Box is not sufficient as a business address.
Generally, the price can go as low as $50 annually, but the average cost is between $100 and $150.
#4 Organize and prepare your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State
To officially register your LLC in the state of Michigan, you need to file an Articles of Organization document with the Secretary of State. It’s basically a legal document that lays out all the necessary information about your company.
Some details you can include in your Articles of Organization document are,
- Name of your LLC.
- Address of main office.
- Purpose of the LLC.
- Start date.
- Duration (ongoing or limited).
- Effective date of articles.
- Registered agent’s name and address.
- Duration type (perpetual or specific).
- Initial manager/member info.
- Management Structure: whether member-managed or manager-managed?
- Organizer’s details and signatures.
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau — Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
2501 Woodlake Cir.
Okemos, MI 48864
The state filing cost is $50, which is payable to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and is nonrefundable. As mentioned above, veterans can qualify for free filing.
In the case of foreign LLCs, the owners/members need to submit a Certificate of Authority form. The filing fee is $60.
Lastly, if you don’t have enough time on your hands and wish to speed up(expedite) the process, we’ve listed the paperwork and their additional fee below,
- 24-hour service for formation documents or a Certificate of Authority: $50
- Same-day service for formation documents or a Certificate of Authority: $100
- Documents reviewed within two hours if received by 3 p.m. Eastern Time: $500
- Documents reviewed within one hour if received by 4 p.m. ET: $1,000
You also need to file a separate CSCL/CD-272 Form for every expedited service for every single paperwork.
#5 Apply for a federal employer Identification Number with the IRS
The next step from your end should be obtaining an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) for your Illinois LLC. It’s a unique nine-digit number and is quite similar to the Social Security number(SSN). It’s used to identify a business for taxation purposes and keep track of your business’s tax reporting.
You need it if your LLC has plans of,
- Hiring employees
- Opening professional business bank accounts
- Applying for business licenses and permits
- Meeting federal and state tax obligations
- And generally smoothly conducting day-to-day business operations
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
The whole process is free of charge.
#6 Create an Operating Agreement
For the next step, you need to create an operating agreement for your Michigan LLC. It is like a rulebook for your LLC and definitely comes in handy in case of any future fights, confusion, or disagreements between the members/owners or, in worst-case scenarios, in case of a court trial.
How? Well, if your LLC has no agreement in place, then the court will base its decision on the basis of state laws, which may or may not align with what’s best for your company.
It usually includes details like,
- The money and job choices for the LLC (that’s like a group of business friends).
- Rules for how the inside stuff of the LLC works and says who has to do what.
- How the business owners will get what they need to make the business run smoothly.
An operating agreement is not legally required to start an LLC in Michigan. But, nonetheless, it’s best to have one in hand in case things go sour.
An agreement for a Georgia LLC should include details like,
- Name and main address of the LLC
- How long the LLC will exist
- Name and address of the registered agent
- Details about the Articles of Organization
- The main purpose of your LLC
- Members/owners and their shares/contribution
- Allocation of profits and losses.
- The whole process outlines how new members will join, and old members will leave
- Meetings and Voting Rights
- How the LLC is run
- Dissolution and Winding Up
- Indemnification and liability clauses
- Dissolution and winding up
#7 Obtain necessary business licenses and permits
To legally run and maintain your LLC in Michigan, you need to obtain multiple business licenses and permits. With this state, you’re in luck because Michigan maintains a searchable database of business types categorized by industry, listing necessary licenses.
For instance, a coffee shop needs a food license, and if it offers live entertainment, it might require local permits. Some Michigan cities and counties may demand extra licenses, and retail LLCs may also need a sales tax license.
#8 Submit your Statement of Information(annual report)
All LLCs in Michigan need to file an annual statement(just another name for an annual report) with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can do it online for a filing fee of $25, with the exception of veteran-owned LLCs, which are entitled to zero fee in this case.
If you establish your LLC after September 30, you do not need to file an annual statement on the due date right after your formation. The annual statement for your LLC must be submitted by February 15 annually.
Failing to meet this deadline in Michigan results in a $50 late fee.
Once your LLC is registered, you’re finally free to complete the important but pending tasks, like,
- Opening a business bank account for your LLC
- Applying for a business credit card.
- Applying for necessary licenses and permits.
- Purchasing insurance for your business.
- Protecting your name and logo with a trademark.
Also, if you plan on hiring employees for your Michigan LLC, you need to stay compliant with the local state laws and focus on doing the following,
- Ask your employees to fill out the Employee Eligibility Form.
- Set up a process for the collection and payment of taxes.
- Make sure you have workers’ compensation insurance
- Report to the State about the “new hires” within 20 days of hiring them.
- Pay unemployment taxes.
Lastly, always make sure that your LLC is legally compliant and in “active” status on the State website.
And that’s a wrap! That was all you needed to know about forming an LLC in the Great Lakes State.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, every Michigan LLC is required to have a registered agent. A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and official mail on behalf of the LLC. This agent must have a physical address in Michigan and be available during business hours.
To maintain your Michigan LLC’s good standing, you’ll need to:
- File an Annual Statement with LARA by February 15th each year.
- Pay any applicable state taxes and fees.
- Update your Registered Agent information if it changes.
- Keep accurate financial and operational records.
- Comply with any local regulations and licenses.
To dissolve your Michigan LLC, you’ll generally need to file Articles of Dissolution with LARA, settle any outstanding debts and obligations, and distribute remaining assets to members according to the Operating Agreement. Consult with legal or financial professionals for guidance on this process.