Michigan LLC – How to Form an LLC in Michigan

Starting a Michigan LLC is the right decision for any start-up. With a favorable work environment and diverse tax benefits, it is cost-effective to start any business here. Those who are newly setting up their business must know about the procedural steps to start a Michigan LLC.

michigan llc

By following the steps below, one can easily form an LLC. However, it is recommended to seek help from professional services to start your LLC in Michigan to handle financial statements and other legal documents. Meanwhile, if you are thinking of setting up an LLC in another state, then do check out Start My LLC

How to Start an LLC in Michigan

The following guide is simple but essential for all entrepreneurs, especially for start-ups. All these procedures are to be followed according to the state’s government guidelines. Make sure to be careful while moving forward with the steps.

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC

The first step in your application for an LLC is to decide the name you want to give to your LLC. You have to choose a name that should be related to your business and should also be approved under the state government’s naming norms.

You should check the name you are thinking of giving to your LLC on the Secretary of State online services website or visit the Business Entity Search to check the name’s availability through the list of names. 

Here are some of the pro tips that will help you keep a name that will help you grow.

  • You should keep the name simple and try not to add some difficult words to the name. It can confuse the audience, and they won’t remember your name for a longer period.
  • There are some words like bank, attorney, and university, which you should avoid if not required. This is because such names are going to require an extra set of paperwork through a lawyer.
  • The name should also be available for making a website as you should keep the name of your business the same everywhere. Check if the name is still available for use with NameCheap and for web hosting, which is best to get now, check out Kinsta, and Google Suite, for your professional email account. 

For more requirements on naming your LLC, see other requirements.

Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Michigan

After you have decided the name, you must choose a registered agent in Michigan. The agent is going to work on your behalf. Agents are professionals and can be a person or a business entity. They will be responsible for receiving all documents. The documents consist of the tax forms, lawsuit notices, legal documents, and internal documents on their registered office in Michigan.

Some of the professional service providers that can be your agent and also, are able to handle all your official notices are:

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The best LLC services that would help you ease into operating an LLC or even other business structures in Michigan. From handling business license searches and filing to tracking upcoming filing deadlines and acquiring business insurance or professional liability insurance, an agent will answer all your questions and conduct all activities you need to set up your LLC. 

It would be so much time saved on your end if you avail of a registered agent’s service. You will have more time to focus on other business matters, not to mention you are guaranteed to meet every state requirement as you have experts handling everything. 

Step 3: File Certificate of Formation in Michigan

The certificate of formation is the legal document that you are required to start your LLC in Michigan. It establishes the type of LLC you are setting up, if member-managed or managers-managed.

Before you file the formation document, you need to attach documents such as name registration certificate, registered agent’s details, and/or employees’ details. The filing fee one has to pay is $50. 

Online Filing:

NOTE: But in some states, you are not allowed to fill the online form. For such people, there is a second option of sending the form through the mail.

File by Mail:

  • Download the original form from the Michigan Limited Company Certificate of Formation site.
  • Fill out the form and send it through an email to the Secretary of State Office or county judge’s judge.
  • With this form, the legal document to be attached will be the above-mentioned formation documents along with your cheque.

Mailing Address:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau — Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909

More Certification of Formation filing requirements in Michigan is mentioned below.

Step 4: Create Your Michigan LLC Operating Agreement

There are some major outlines and rules, regulations, and powers of attorney that become the LLC’s foundation. All of these rules and operational procedures are mentioned in the liability operating agreement. Also, when the agreement is formed, all the LLC members should agree with these rules. It will ensure that the limited liability company works smoothly and every person related to the company is on the same page.

If you want to start an LLC in Michigan, it is not required legally to form a limited liability operating agreement. But if you want to save your business from any future conflict, it is advised that you should make this effective operating agreement.

Step 5: Filing a Michigan LLC EIN

The E.I.N. is also known as the Employer Identification Number, which Internal Revenue Service provides. It is a nine-digit unique number given to businesses, and it is for tax purposes. When you are filing your limited liability company’s taxes, you need this number for the government official and taxation agencies; this is your identity.

You can file for the EIN online through the Michigan Internal Revenue Service website under Register an Entity section. Why do you need an EIN? The EIN will help you contact a business bank and will help you process your bank application.

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935

To know more details about the documents required, you should jump to the ‘requirement section‘ below. 

Why Set Up an LLC in Michigan?

What is an LLC in the first place? It is a type of business that protects you and your assets from issues like debts.

Michigan Development Corporation Renaissance Zone

Under this program, an LLC can benefit from property taxes, utility taxes, and local income taxes for 10 years. The only condition to get this credit is getting certified as an Eligible next Michigan Business, for which you have to file a simple application.

Brownfield Redevelopment

The economically backward area of Michigan is covered under the Brownfield redevelopment program. According to this program, a business, when it starts its functionality in distressed areas, is eligible for tax increment financing. The basis of receiving the credit will be based on the activities of the LLC.

New Personal Property Tax Exemption

LLC owners, especially R&D businesses or manufacturing, after buying personal properties in targeted areas can enjoy tax benefits. The Michigan state provides special property tax exemptions on those properties to the LLCs.

Pros of LLC

  • LLC does not have detailed formalities like minutes of shareholders’ and directors’ meetings like other corporations.
  • No restriction on LLC regarding the members and shareholders. One can structure the company as one are willing to.
  • Unlike corporations, the cash method of accounting is easy as LLCs don’t use the accrual method.
  • In an LLC, due to personal liability insurance, no shareholder and investor can possess the personal asset of the member.
  • Tax benefits such as unemployment insurance taxes on any coverage for employees, and have different tax classification options.

Cons of LLC

Cost of Starting an LLC in Michigan

Below are the exact costs that a business entity needs to pay when starting to form an LLC in Michigan.

  • First of all, a businessman needs to reserve their name with the government. It will cost around $25.
  • After that is the turn of filing the articles of formation. You have to pay $50 to submit these articles of formation to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can opt for an expedited process with $100 charges also.
  • After that, you have to consider the cost of hiring an agent, which can be equal to $49 also. But before choosing one, you should know about the top agents in the state and their charges.

Top Businesses in Michigan State

You need to have complete knowledge about the top businesses of Michigan and their contribution to state GDP. It will help you figure out some essential points about the economy of Michigan.

Manufacturing businesses

The manufacturing of automobiles is well developed in Michigan, in which you will find some big names also. Yes, the state has production houses of big automobile companies like Ford Motor, General Motor, and Chrysler LLC. The state is responsible for 24% automobile production of the state. Also, it is famous for its largest lithium-ion production units in America.

The manufacturing sector of Michigan’s overall contribution to make is $188 billion through direct and indirect manufacturing sources.

Agriculture businesses

Vegetables and fruits are the main part of the agriculture sector of Michigan, and the state is famous for the production of grapes, peaches, blueberries, and tart cherries. A variety of fruits is found in the state due to the mixture of mountains and lake regions that caters to different climate fruits in the state. The total contribution makes by the state to the economy is around $104.7 billion.

Tourism businesses

Michigan is famous for hunting vacations worldwide. Enthusiasts from the whole world visit the state for this activity. Moreover, the forest, mountains, and lakes are like cherry on the top for the hunters. That is why to cater to so many tourists; the state organizes unique festivals like the National Cherry and Tulip Time Festival. Due to these festivals, 70% of people like to visit during this duration only.

Low-Investment Businesses in Michigan

There are some small investment businesses also that are running well in the state. They are mentioned below.

  • Online currency trading
  • Recruiting businesses for large businesses
  • Business plan writing businesses

Requirements for Setting up LLC in Michigan

When you are setting up your LLC in Michigan, then there are some basic requirements that you have to fulfill. They are mentioned below in detail.

LLC Name

First of all, you have to think of a name for your LLC. When you think of the final name, you should get it registered through Michigan state’s official web portal. Before finalizing the name, it would be better that you check the availability of the name and also that it is feasible for your business or not. It would help if you thought from the customer’s perspective that you would attract with such a name. 

Directors or members

When you start an LLC, you must be some people in your mind that you want to do work with as members. You should have the current list of all those members with their approval to be a part of your LLC venture. Some points that you must always have in your mind when working for the list of directors is:-

  • The LLC can be started with one or more members. There is no restriction on the business owners. 
  • It is not required for the member to have a permanent residence in Michigan to be a part of the LLC. 
  • The minimum age of the member should be 19. 
  • The complete legal name and address of the member must be required for Articles of Incorporation. 

Formation Articles

The articles of formation should be ready when you are forming an LLC. In these articles; you should mention the details about the business services, the members who are going to be part of the business, and the profit division structure. The last one should be approved by every member so that there is no future conflict.

Along with that, there should be the agent certificate that you have appointed to help you with the step guide. The last thing that should be attached with the certificate of formation will be the services list. There must be some offering of your business which should be mentioned in detail.

Also, there should be a fixed value of stock required to be mentioned in articles of formation and address of the registered agent mentioned below. While selecting the business agent, you should ask them to always be available during office hours or not because they have to handle all the legal and tax documents.

Michigan state’s demand is a bit different from the other states. Here the business entity needs to submit the form to the Judge of probate instead of the state’s secretary. 

Corporate records

The Michigan LLC has to different corporate reports before setting up. This included the initial reports that include the initial business privilege tax filing returns and annual reports. Both of these reports should be filed within two and one-half months after they start functioning. The next is the county filing that the business has to file before its incorporation. They must be submitted to the principal office for reference. With time, the requirement increases, which is discussed below. 

  • If any member has taken any action without a meeting, it must be added to corporate records. 
  • A copy of the original by-laws and the amendments that are made in them, later on, should also be added to the records. 
  • The complete communication of shareholders over three years should also be submitted. 
  • The recent annual report should be added to the corporate records. 

Taxes and licenses

The taxes of the LLC should be filed on time, and for that, E.I.N. is important. This should be applied when all the formalities are completed. Also, according to the service you are willing to provide, you have to look at whether the service requires an annual license to operate or not. If required, then you should go through the procedure of any license formation for your LLC office.

The taxation requirements are:-

  • Michigan requires the annual report that you file with the Department of Revenue. In the annual report, the taxes added are  Business Privilege Tax Return and Annual Report, and Schedule AL-CAR. 
  • You should need a complete detail of every small to large state and center tax. 
  • There is a state tax identification number that a business must procure. 

It is always recommended to get professional help to understand more about the LLC requirements. Check out the top 5 LLC services to look for today. Below is the list of Best LLC services, 

Michigan LLC Formation Summary

Time needed: 30 minutes.

To summarize, here are the simple steps for creating an LLC in Michigan. To learn more about the steps in this list, simply click on them.

  1. Choose a name for your Michigan limited liability company.

    The first step is to come up with a business name that includes the word “limited liability corporation” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).

  2. Select a registered agent for your company.

    Selecting a registered agent for your LLC is needed in Michigan. Check out our list of the top five LLC services in the United States.

  3. Create a certificate of formation.

    When forming an LLC, you must file a formation certificate. It may be referred to as any of the following, depending on the state: Articles of Organization, Certificate of Formation, or Certificate of Organization.

  4. Make an operating arrangement.

    When forming an LLC, an operating agreement is not a legal necessity, but it is strongly recommended.

  5. Obtain an EIN

    The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a corporation in the same way that a social security number is used to identify a person.

F.A.Qs

What is the difference between LLC and C-Corp?

The C Corp’s structures are very complex compared to the LLC, which offers a flexible and easily changeable structure. Also, the LLC is saved from the disadvantage of double taxation that a C Corp has to bear, but the LLC has a privileged taxation system due to pass-through entities.

How does LLC be different from S-Corp?

The major difference that the businessman will notice among the LLC and S-Corp is the flexibility. In LLC, you can allocate income according to your rules and change them according to your will. Also, there is a different LLC interest class that can be considered a downside of S Corp.

Distinguish between LLC, Partnership & Sole Proprietorship?

In the limited liability partnership and sole proprietorships, the owners are responsible for their debts, but the LLC facilitates owners. The LLC members’ assets are saved, and they are not considered the reason behind the debts that a company has with the help of limited liability protection. Moreover, the member’s liability is only limited to the investment that they have made in the LLC, unlike the sole proprietorships and solo partnership firms.

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