How to Form a C Corporation in Michigan


Forming your own C Corporation is a smart way to operate your business. You can choose your own tax structure, decide how much money you want to invest in the company and set up employees’ salaries and wages. In this guide, we’ll show you how to form a C Corporation in Michigan so that you can start running your business like the big boys (or girls).

Select a business name.

Choosing a business name is one of the first things you’ll do when forming your C corporation. Your business name should be simple and easy to remember, so it’s best to avoid words that are too technical or difficult for most people to pronounce. Keep in mind that even if you own a small landscaping company, some customers might not know what “landscaping” means—so it’s better to use a more common word like “yard work.”

Also make sure your desired name isn’t already taken by another business in your area; this can be easily checked on the Michigan Business Portal (MBP) website. If there is already a registered business with your target name within 30 miles of yours, you need to pick another one before moving forward with formation. Another thing: make sure there aren’t any legal issues with using your proposed corporate name (for example, if someone else owns trademark rights).

Write your Articles of Incorporation.

The Articles of Incorporation are a set of rules that govern the internal operations of your corporation. When you’re filing articles, it’s important to remember that these documents are public record and will be readily available to anyone who wishes to read them. That means you’ll need to make sure they don’t include any sensitive information—especially when it comes to your business plan or finances!

Articles should include:

  • The name of the corporation (and whether or not it is taxed as an S corporation)
  • The purpose for which the corporation was formed
  • Your board members’ names and titles
  • How often they’ll meet (usually quarterly), as well as where and when meetings will take place

File your Articles of Incorporation and pay the filing fee.

After you’ve decided to form a C corporation in Michigan, you’ll need to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. To do this, you’ll need to fill out the required form and pay a fee. The filing fee is currently $20 and can be paid either in person or by mail.

Since filing your Articles of Incorporation has to be done in person or by mail, it’s best if you do this at least one day before starting your business so that you can get started right away on opening bank accounts, hiring employees and selling products/services once everything else is taken care of.

Create a corporate by-law document.

A by-law is a rule or set of rules that govern the inner workings of your corporation. For instance, it might specify how many people are allowed to vote on board matters (the board of directors). Or it could say that all directors must live in one state and only two may live in another state. By-laws also determine when an annual meeting can be held, who may sign for the corporation, how many officers it needs to operate effectively and much more.

When you file your articles of incorporation with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), you will receive a copy of their model by-laws as well as instructions on how to fill them out if they do not suit your needs exactly. If you want to create something totally unique from scratch, consult an attorney or CPA before doing so; there are important legal considerations involved when writing your own bylaws.

Create a shareholder agreement.

In order to form a C corporation in Michigan, you must have at least one shareholder. Shareholders are individuals or other corporations that own shares of stock in your business.

You will need to create a written agreement between the shareholders of your new corporation. This agreement should include how decisions will be made and how disputes between shareholders will be resolved.

Issue stock certificates to the founders.

The next step is to issue stock certificates to the founders. A stock certificate is a legal document that proves ownership of shares in your company. There are three ways you can issue shares:

  • Issue them to yourself (or another founder). This would be the most straightforward method; if you’re the only shareholder, then there’s no need for a meeting or any other formalities.
  • Issue them at a meeting of shareholders. This is required for all other cases where shareholders are present (e.g., when someone else invests in your company). You’ll have to put together an agenda and voting instructions prior to holding this meeting—you’ll also probably want some official documentation like minutes or resolutions from past meetings so that everyone knows what they’re voting on and why it matters in terms of their rights as owners.
  • Transfer certificates through DTC with EFT/ACH debit entries sent by name/account number for each transfer request received by mail or email from buyers who wish to purchase shares directly from existing C corporations formed under MCL 490 et seq..

Open a corporate bank account.

It is recommended that you open a separate bank account for your corporation. This makes it easier to keep track of money, especially if you are using multiple accounts (for example, one for payroll and one for billing). You should use a bank that is familiar with your business and can assist you in meeting its needs.

  • Open an account at the same time as filing the articles of incorporation. Bank accounts do not need to be opened before filing the articles of incorporation, but it will allow the bank more time to get all their information together if they have already begun working with other clients who have incorporated in Michigan. It also means that once everything is filed and approved, you can start using your new corporate name almost immediately!
  • . Choose an appropriate type of checking account – general purpose or business? Some banks have specific options available only for businesses; however, most offer both types regardless which type would work best based on what type of business activities are being conducted by using this particular bank’s services or products

Forming your own C Corporation allows you flexibility in how you run your company.

The most common type of business entity is the C Corporation. These entities are taxed like a partnership or sole proprietorship, but they have some distinct advantages over those two types. For instance, there is no limit to how much you can earn from your corporation and still pay yourself as an employee without having to pay any additional federal taxes (only state taxes may be owed). Additionally, if you sell your company, other parties can purchase it like stocks on the stock exchange — thus making them much more liquid than other types of businesses.


I hope this article has helped you understand the basic steps needed to form a C Corporation in Michigan. If you have any questions or would like assistance with your incorporation process, please contact us! We’d be glad to help walk you through all of these steps and more so that you can get started on your new business venture as quickly as possible.

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