How To Register A Business Name In Michigan – This form is filed with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). And once it is approved, your LLC becomes official.
However, there are other steps required to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Michigan. Example: Look up your company name and hire a registered agent (called a resident agent).
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We’ll break down the Michigan LLC process step by step using professional tips we’ve learned over the years. The process is simple and we can help you start a Michigan LLC today.
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Do you want to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC: Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)
Before you file any LLC paperwork, you need to make sure the business name you want is available in the state. Our Michigan LLC Name step-by-step lesson explains how to find your Michigan business name.
You can do this using a business entity database. You can search for your business name to compare it to existing businesses registered in Michigan. You must do this because no two businesses in the state can have the same name.
Section 450.4204 of the Michigan LLC Law contains several rules and requirements for naming limited liability companies that you should be aware of.
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LLC Designator: Michigan law requires that your LLC name have the correct designator at the end.
Your LLC’s name should not have a designator that makes it look like a different type of legal entity. For example, your name may include the words or abbreviations Corporation, Corp., Inc., Incorporated, Limited Partnership, LP, L.P. or not to use a trust.
A Michigan registered agent is the person or business that receives legal mail (called service of process) and state notices on behalf of your Michigan LLC.
Note: In Michigan, the official name is resident agent, however the term registered agent is commonly used. They mean the same.
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Your LLC’s registered agent must have a physical address in Michigan. PO Boxes are not allowed.
If you or a friend or family member is the registered agent for your LLC, you should feel comfortable listing your name and address with public records.
If you do not have a Michigan address or prefer more privacy, you can hire a registered agent service for your LLC.
They scan any mail sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account. Northwest has excellent customer service and they have been in business for over 20 years.
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Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they include their registered agent service for free for the first year.
To form an LLC, you must file a Michigan LLC Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
Alternatively, if you prefer to apply by mail, you can download the Form of Organization (Form CSCL/CD-700) and then mail it to the Michigan Division of Corporations with a check or money order.
LLC Approval Time: Approval time for a Michigan LLC is generally 10 business days. Check how long it takes to get an LLC in Michigan to see if there are any delays.
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A Michigan LLC operating agreement is a written agreement about who owns the LLC and how much of the LLC each member owns.
In the event of a lawsuit, LLC operating agreements can help prove that your Michigan LLC is functioning properly as a separate legal business entity.
You do not need to submit your Michigan LLC operating contract to any state or federal agency. It also does not need to be notarized. Keep a copy in your LLC’s business records and make sure all members have a copy.
Your operating agreement can be flexible. You can make any necessary changes as long as all members agree.
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The next step is to obtain a Michigan EIN (Federal Employer Identification Number) from the IRS for your LLC.
Wait for your LLC to be approved before applying for your EIN. If the state rejects your LLC, you will need to get a new EIN (and cancel the old EIN).
Getting a federal tax identification number is completely free. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides federal tax identification numbers free of charge.
US Citizens and Residents: If you have an SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number), we recommend that you apply for an EIN online. We have step-by-step instructions here: Apply for the EIN online.
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Non-US Residents: If you do not have an SSN or ITIN, you can still get an EIN for your LLC. It cannot be applied only online. Instead, you must submit your application by mail or fax. We have step-by-step instructions here: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.
File Online: Go to the state’s online filing page and enter your CID (Client Identification Number) and PIN to log in. Then complete your annual LLC statement online and make your $25 payment. If you can’t find your CID and PIN, you can retrieve them.
File by mail: The state sends a pre-filled annual return form to its resident agent each year. If any information changes, you can update it here. Then sign the form and prepare a check or money order for $25 made payable to “State of Michigan.”
You want to open an LLC business bank account for your LLC. Simplifies bookkeeping and record keeping for your company’s finances.
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Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection by keeping your business finances separate from your personal finances.
After you open a business bank account, the bank issues you a debit card. However, you may also want to get a business credit card for rewards. It also helps keep business expenses separate from personal expenses.
You can check if your company name is available as a domain name. You can search for your domain name with GoDaddy below.
Depending on where your LLC is located and what industry it is in, your LLC may need to obtain a Michigan business license as well as local business permits. For example, if you sell products in Michigan, you must collect sales tax and have a sales tax license.
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You can research the requirements yourself or hire a company like IncFile to take care of it.
If you don’t want to use your mobile or home phone number for your business, you can get a business phone number at Phone.com.
Starting an LLC in Michigan costs $50. This is the fee paid to file the LLC’s articles of organization.
Articles of organization and a $50 filing fee are submitted to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). And once the state approves the paperwork, your LLC will go live.
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If you own an LLC in another state, but want to do business in Michigan, you must register an out-of-state LLC in Michigan. This is called a foreign LLC. You can find foreign LLC fees on this page: Foreign LLC Fees by State.
Getting an LLC online in Michigan takes about 10 business days. This is the amount of time the state needs to process the filing of the Articles of Organization.
You can form an LLC in Michigan by filing online or by mail. We recommend filing online as the approval time is faster.
The primary purpose of an LLC is to protect your personal assets. That means that if your business is sued, your personal assets, like your home, cars, and bank accounts, are protected.
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This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC members). It doesn’t matter if you have a single member LLC or a multi-member LLC. All LLC owners are protected against business debts and business liabilities.
This type of protection does not apply if you operate as a sole proprietorship or partnership. In these types of informal business structures, the owners have no protection in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, limited liability companies (LLCs) are a more common business structure than a sole proprietorship or partnership.
Another advantage is LLC transfer taxes. This means that the LLC itself does not pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” the members of the LLC. And members report and pay taxes on their personal tax return.
And Michigan LLC taxes are almost identical because the state follows the federal tax system for LLCs. For more information, see How LLCs Are Taxed.
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The operating agreement is an “internal document,” which means you should only keep one copy for yourself and give a copy to any other LLC member.
You do not need to submit your operating agreement to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You do not need to send it to the IRS.
Operating agreements may be required when you open a business bank account. We recommend calling the bank first to see what documents you need.
Whether or not you need a business license depends on where your LLC is located and what industry it is in. You also may not need a business license.
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If you are a state-licensed professional (such as an accountant, lawyer, or doctor), you cannot form a regular LLC. Instead you have to build one
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