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How to Create an LLC in Michigan: Forming A Michigan LLC

If you’re looking to open up a new business, the state of Michigan offers many benefits to new business owners who want to start an LLC. The best way to run a business in Michigan is by opening it as a limited liability company, also known as an LLC. An LLC is beneficial for any type of business entity because it protects you and your members from being required to use personal assets, such as homes, cars, or personal accounts to pay off debts or lawsuit settlements that may arise when operating your Michigan LLC.

With a proper business plan, you’ll be ready to get your LLC up and running yourself or you can lean on us for help. Our team of professionals at LLC Formations makes Michigan’s process easy, quick, and inexpensive. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed—don’t hesitate to contact us at LLC Formations.

We’ve included a time-saving PDF Resource List for you at the bottom of this page. It contains a list of useful questions and answers that may come in handy before or after forming your LLC in Michigan state.

Who Can Establish an LLC in Michigan?

One or more people can work together to start a Michigan LLC. A limited liability company that operates with just one business owner as the only member is called a single member LLC. Larger businesses are called multi member LLC’s. The adaptable business structure of a limited liability company is ideal for small business owners who want to have personal liability protection. The company’s organizers don’t need to be members of the LLC but all owners must be members.

Those now operating a sole proprietorship should consider the benefit of operating as a single member LLC, such as the guarantee to have personal liability protection in the case of unexpected circumstances. Michigan provides entrepreneurs with protections not granted to sole proprietors, which is why forming an LLC is so important for your small business. If you’re looking to start an LLC, keep reading our guide for more information about how you cans start an LLC quickly and efficiently.

Michigan LLC

What Are the Benefits of Forming a Michigan LLC?

There are many benefits for business owners who operate as a Michigan LLC, or limited liability company. When you start an LLC, the limited liability company offers protection on three fronts: personal, financial, and managerial. Protection from debit is one reason why it’s a preferred business structure. Court judgements can’t harm owners, either.

Protection from future liabilities prevents needing to incorporate. These protections start when the LLC goes into effect. Establishing an LLC company in Michigan also protects members from double taxation. LLC owners in this state file personal tax returns. It’s advised that you keep your business bank account and your personal account separate.

When Are Taxes Due for A Michigan LLC?

Michigan state requires an annual statement by February 15th for each LLC. The only exception to this rule is if you’ve formed a new Michigan LLC after September 30th. There’s no need to file a statement this year if you formed an LLC on August 1st of the preceding year, for example. You can visit our website for more information about income tax for your business in Michigan.

The annual statement filing fee for in Michigan is low. You’ll only need to pay a $25 filing fee per LLC. Michigan sends the registered agent a statement three months before taxes are due. You’ll need to submit a state-issued ID number and complete the process of filing online. Michigan state does not impose any separate taxes or fees on LLCs for doing business in Michigan.

Your LLC can file like a corporation for tax purposes. Michigan applies a flat 6% corporate tax on taxable income. If you’ve elected to have the LLC taxed like a corporation, you’ll need to pay this tax. Otherwise, income tax requirements pass through the business to the individual members. If your LLC has employees, then paying employer taxes to the state is necessary. Always consult with tax professionals to ensure accurate and current information.

Are There Special Benefits for US Veterans?

If you are a US Veteran, it’s especially easy to create an LLC in the state of Michigan. When you start an LLC as a veteran, there is a lot of support available to you. Additionally, Michigan will waive fees associated with setting up an LLC. Veterans must show proof to qualify for the LLC fee waiver. Acceptable documentation includes a copy of your separation or discharge papers.

The presentation of these documents will ensure you qualify. You can then invest this savings in professional help with forming your LLC. Contact us at LLC Formations to get started with your Michigan LLC.

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Why Michigan?

Gain the benefits of a corporation without the hassle. A Michigan LLC operates without stockholder meetings, meeting minutes, or extra tax burdens. It’s easy to keep a Michigan LLC in good standing, too. Check out our cheat sheet about the advantages below. It’s made to be helpful if you’re left with questions about the advantages of operating an LLC in Michigan.

The Steps to Forming Your Michigan LLC

1. Name Your Michigan LLC

The first impression your customers or clients will have of your business is usually your business name. It’s important to choose a business name that is clever and unique. It’s wise to choose a business name that best represents you or your brand, and no other companies in Michigan can have a similar LLC name.

Michigan requires including “LLC” or “LC,” with or without punctuation. More requirements for your LLC name choice can be found in Section 450.4204 of Michigan’s state laws. Inclusion of the word “corporation” or “incorporated” isn’t allowed, either. Review Section 450.4204 to ensure that you’ve chosen a good name for your LLC.

Look the name you have in mind up on Michigan state’s Corporate Division website. This will ensure you don’t take another business’s name. The business name you choose must be unique. https://cofs.lara.state.mi.us/corpweb/CorpSearch/CorpSearch.aspx

2. Organize Your Michigan LLC Members

When starting an LLC, it’s important to determine the organization’s governance. You’ll need to know who your LLC’s members will be to form an LLC in Michigan. Michigan does not impose restrictions on members within the business. The limits only include that all members are over 18 years of age, and that relevant professional licenses and permits must be current and valid.

The members of your Michigan LLC can be management. Hiring a non-member for management is also an option. Think of each member like a shareholder. You may decide that your LLC needs a member-managed structure that resembles a partnership. You can still appoint a non-owner as a company manager as your company grows or offers more services.

The members will become part of the business’ formal Operating Agreement. Use form CSCL/CD700 or form BCS/CD 701 to define the roles of your LLC’s members during the planning process. These required forms can guide your planning efforts as you work towards starting an LLC.

3. Appoint A Registered Agent for Your Michigan LLC

A resident agent, also known as a registered agent, is an important and necessary part of your LLC team. When you appoint a registered agent, you are choosing to name someone who will be available and responsible to collect important mail and documents on the behalf of your Michigan LLC. This is why your resident agent must live within the state. You will need to name a registered agent before being able to do business as an LLC.

The members of your LLC can live within or outside of the United States, but your designated registered agent must be a Michigan resident with a real Michigan address. Failing to meet this requirement will result in losing your Certificate of Good Standing with the state. A resident registered agent is essential to prevent an LLC filing rejection for your new business.

Your selected registered agent must have a physical address within Michigan state and must be available during normal business hours. Post office boxes do not qualify. Your registered agent must take responsibility for accepting mail related to legal actions. The address associated with your registered agent must be available to process servers.

At no time can your LLC be without a registered agent in Michigan. If your registered agent needs to leave the state, a new registered agent in Michigan with a physical address must be assigned. You cannot have business mail forwarded to another state by the post office, either. If need be, you can hire a professional resident agent service to forward items to you.

Hiring a professional registered agent service enables you to fulfill Michigan’s requirements. A registered agent service will usually charge on an annual basis. Their team is made of up professional resident agent specialists that know how to collect and forward important statements, notices, documents, and legal demands to clients. Be sure to pick a reliable support if you’re unable to appoint an agent from within your organization.

A professional service can also save you money. It’s wiser to pay for a professional service than to risk state-related late fees and missed court appearances. They can also add a layer of privacy to your LLC. Contact LLC Formations for more information about choosing a responsible party for your business.

4. Choose Expedited or Standard Service

If you elect to file on your own, you have two choices when you file by mail: standard service or expedited service.

Expedited filings can cut the amount of time you must wait by approximately 5 days. But it will also increase the cost of the process. You may want to invest in getting help to ensure you’re successful the first time, instead.

A basic filing fee of $50 must be included with your filing. Expedited requests can cost as little as $50. Some rush fees cost hundreds of dollars. One-hour service, for example, costs $1000.

You’ll need to add the Expedited Service Request form to your LLC application if you go this route. Michigan provides 24-hour and same day services. Review the Expedited Service Request form itself to get the latest rush frees.

5. File the Forms for Your Michigan LLC Formation

There is a lot of information to submit when you form an LLC. When you form an LLC in Michigan, you’ll need to see which state requirements are necessary for your LLC to be approved. You can check Michigan’s Secretary of State website for more information about what you’ll need to file specifically.

There are two forms that you must submit to the state in order to be approved for your LLC. Form CSCL/CD700 establishes a general domestic liability company. Companies that will provide specific services may need to use a different form and may also need to acquire licenses and permits.

Some must also submit form BCS/CD 701. Osteopathic physicians, doctors of divinity, surgeons, and attorneys use form BCS/CD 701, according to the state of Michigan. Consult with the professional team at LLC Formations if you have any doubt about which form to use from the Secretary of State website. There are a few other form variations on the website for specific types of situations.

Below is a list of the most common forms needed to complete establishing an LLC.

Articles of Organization Form (also known as Form CSCL/CD700)

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/700_08-15_528193_7.pdf

Expedited Service Request Form (if applicable)

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/272_08-15_527662_7.pdf

You will also need to submit a Check or Money Order, made payable to the “State of Michigan” (if you will not be using the state’s online payment service). You may pay by credit card if you choose to pay your filing fee online for your LLC in Michigan.

6. Submit Your Documents to the State of Michigan

Now you need to send each document listed above, along with the applicable fees, to the state. You have three options to get this part of the job done. Submit your forms online, mail them in, or hand deliver the paperwork to the state’s office.

To pay fees and submit forms online, visit the state of Michigan’s Corporations Online Filing System (COFS) here. Consider registered mail to track a delivery date if you’ve elected to mail your forms for your new business. Mail the complete packet of required items to the following address at Michigan Department of Licensing:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau

Corporations Division

PO Box 30054

Lansing, MI 48909

Residents of the area are welcome to hand deliver these forms as well to the Michigan Department of Licensing. Take paperwork to this address: 2501 Woodlake Circle in Okemos, Michigan (Department of Licensing office).

Call (517) 241-6470 for information on business hours for the Corporations Division office. Fees can be paid in person with a check, money order, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover card at the Corporations Division office.

The state mails the original back to the registered office address indicated on the form. A copy of the form is filed with the Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau for your LLC in Michigan. This copy remains in electronic format. Your form remains available there if you need it for future business purposes.

7. Secure an EIN for Your Michigan LLC

Your next step for forming an LLC in Michigan is to apply for an employer identification number (EIN). Securing an EIN is a free service offered by the state. Your EIN is obtained directly from the IRS and acts as a tax ID for your business. We recommend that you wait until your LLC is approved before you apply for an EIN for your business so you don’t have to do the EIN application twice.

The EIN can be referred by other names as well. It is called Employer ID number, Federal Tax Identification Number, or Federal Tax Number. Make sure your business names associated with the LLC matches bank documents that contain the EIN. Anyone transitioning from sole proprietor to an LLC name must update their bank information if they want to have an EIN. Not only is this good practice, it will also help you avoid future trouble for your business if you are selling goods and collecting sales tax within Michigan.

If you will have more than one member in your Michigan business, you will need to have an EIN to pay them through your business bank account. Additionally, an EIN offers further liability protection by allowing you to keep personal transactions and business transactions separate. By running business transactions through your tax ID (EIN), it’s also much easier to keep your bank account and taxes organized for your business in terms of sales tax and income tax.

You can review our cheat sheet below for more information about how to easily obtain an employer identification number (EIN) for your Michigan LLC.

8. Apply For Any Required Business License and Permit

If you’ve never done business in the state of Michigan, you’ll need to be sure that you have the proper licenses and permits to legally run your business. Make sure your LLC’s name appears on all relevant business licenses and permits so you can be sure that your permits are valid for your LLC.

You can contact the Department of Licensing for further information about how to obtain the proper approval. Step 1 is to check with the Department of Licensing to see which permits are relevant for your company. This is based on the services you offer, your location, and other information pertaining to your specific business. Then you will fill out the proper forms and include the relevant information in your applications.

9. File Your Articles of Organization

Whether you are a multi member LLC or if you operate as a sole proprietorship, you’ll need to file your Michigan LLC Articles of Organization with the Michigan Secretary of State. Similar to an LLC Operating Agreement, the Articles of Organization distinguish the duties, obligations, and power structure of the LLC. Essentially, the Articles of Organization create an outline for your LLC to follow.

Once you create the outline for your Articles of Organization, all members will sign this binding agreement and operate the LLC as agreed upon. In order to remain in good standing, be sure to update your Articles of Organization if any changes are made to your LLC.

Fill out your Articles of Organization forms carefully. Remember to:

  • List all the members of the LLC
  • Name a designated representative for the Articles of Organization
  • Use your company EIN
  • Provide a Michigan street address from your registered agent

Maintain Good Standing by Filing Annual Statements

After all the hard work you’ll do, the last thing a person needs is to drop the ball on filing the annual statement. People often overlook the importance of filing the annual statement when maintaining LLCs in Michigan, which can lead to losing your Certificate of Good Standing from Michigan state. Don’t be one of them, or you may lose your Certificate of Good Standing. Our cheat sheet on filing your annual statement familiarizes you with the entire process.

You will file an annual statement with the Department of Licensing. You can contact the Department of Licensing directly, or you can contact us at LLC Formations if you have questions about the procedure itself. Our support is more affordable than an attorney.

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Cheat Sheets for Your Michigan LLC

We’ve worked to make these cheat sheets as simple as possible. Each one is helpful for your LLC in different ways. Download one or more for later reading. Rely on them as you make key choices about how to organize and set up your LLC. You can also share one or more of with anyone who might be assisting you. They’ll make the process of forming an LLC in this state less daunting.

Useful Related Resources

We’ve compiled a short list of the websites most useful resources for those looking to set up an LLC in the state of Michigan. This should help save you time in the future. It’s our way of saying thanks for looking to us for support. If you need more help, contact us.

Expedited Service Request Form

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/272_08-15_527662_7.pdf

Michigan Limited Liability Company Act of 1993

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(kg33t0zex45rgo5zh4q3yjmb))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=mcl-Act-23-of-1993

Business Structure Overview: State of Michigan Entrepreneur Guide

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/8011_528148_7.pdf

Business Benefits: The Many Benefits of Forming an LLC

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/72134

Tax Information: LLC Annual Filing Requirements in Michigan

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/filing-requirements-llcs-michigan.html

Tax Law Insights

http://michlaw.biz/business-law-insights-advantages-of-a-limited-liability-company-in-michigan/

Limited Liability Company Forms

https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_61343_35413_36736-118816–,00.html

LLC Michigan Business Name Search

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(zl5edv2n0uhppji5yys51lni))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-450-4204&query=on

Michigan Fee Waivers For US Veterans

https://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-89334_61343_35413_60200-293881–,00.html

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

For first-time business owners, all of the forms, applications, and processes required to form an LLC can be overwhelming. At LLC Formations, our team of professionals can offer advice and guide you through the information. We also offer consultations on state-specific requirements so you don’t have to. That way, you can spend more time worrying about your business and less time thinking about things like income tax or sales tax, licenses, paperwork, and other time-consuming tasks.

For assistance and guidance on how to form a Michigan LLC, acquire a Michigan registered agent, file for a certificate of formation, or acquire business licenses for your Michigan LLC, fill out our simple applicationLLC Formations can also help you to identify the right business structure for you, as well as guide you to all the necessary information you need in order to start a successful LLC in Michigan and keep your Certificate of Good Standing.

If you want to take advantage of the liability protection offered by an LLC, let the team at LLC Formations help you get started. with the paperwork so you can see the results of working hard on your business. You can also visit our Minnesota LLC guide for information about incorporating in the state of Minnesota.

Additional Resources