Your first consideration when choosing a name for your LLC is that it be unique from any other business on file at the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can quickly and easily check your company’s potential name options at the Michigan business database. For a $25 fee through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Commercial Services webpage, you can also reserve a company name for 6 months. To do so, you’ll need to submit the Application for Reservation of Name form.
In order to comply with Michigan state law, your company’s name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.”
The state of Michigan requires that any LLC have a resident agent, also called a registered agent, for service of process. This means your LLC must have an entity that agrees to physically accept any legal papers on the company’s behalf should it be sued.
The resident agent does not have to be an individual person and can be any resident of the state of Michigan or a business entity (including LLCs) authorized to do business in Michigan so long as the agent has a physical street address within the state.
You may want to consider preparing an operating agreement to outline the ownership and operating procedures for your LLC. Though not required by the state, an operating agreement will set the guidelines for running your company. This does not need to be filed with the state, but it can go a long way to ensuring your company’s success.
An IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) is required for your LLC unless it is a single-member LLC with no employees. Obtaining an EIN is as easy as completing the application on the IRS website.
It’s possible your company will need to register with the Michigan Department of Treasury. Whether or not your company needs to follow this step will depend on the exact types of taxes it will be collecting and/or has been collecting from the state. If applicable, you can register online through the Michigan DOT’s e-registration page.
If your LLC will be selling a physical product, you’ll need to register for a sellers permit through the Michigan Department of Treasury website. This will allow you to collect sales tax on taxable sales. Additionally, if you have employees, you’ll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency and also register for Employee Withholding Tax through the Michigan Department of Treasury.
If yours is a foreign LLC, also referred to as an out-of-state LLC, wanting to do business in the state of Michigan, you’ll need to follow all the aforementioned steps.
The main difference is that the form required to make your LLC legal to operate is referred to as an Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Michigan. You can file the paperwork with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs webpage, either by mail or in person.The filing fee is $50.
Additionally, your paperwork should include a statement of good standing from your home state dated no more than 30 days prior to filing.
The location of and specific type of business you are creating can potentially require additional federal, state-authorized, and local business licenses and permits. You can obtain federal licenses and perform a Michigan license and permit search to try to procure all the appropriate licensing for your business.
Since business licenses and permits are issued at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and for such a multitude of reasons (e.g., health, building, signage, etc.), you should still do careful research to find out what licenses and permits you need. You can also hire or use a professional service to do it for you.