How to Start a Business in Michigan


Starting a business in Michigan is a big deal. Not only do you need to find a way to make money, but you also need to create a legal entity that will be separate from your personal finances. This article will walk you through the process of registering your business name, obtaining licenses and permits, and more to give you an overview of starting a business in Michigan.

Register your Business Name and get a Federal Tax ID

Start off by registering your business name and getting a federal tax ID number. This is important because if you don’t have one, you cannot get a business license in Michigan.

You can register your name with the state for $40 at ( The process is pretty straightforward: just fill out some forms and pay the fee with a credit card or debit card (no checks!).

Once you have registered your business name, you will also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number from the IRS by filling out their form online.

Determine the Structure of your Business

You’ve done the research and you’re ready to start your own business. But before you dive in, it’s important to take a step back and determine the structure of your business.

The most common structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).

  • Sole proprietorship:

The owner of a sole proprietorship has unlimited responsibility for debts incurred by the company. There are no other owners involved in this type of structure—it’s just you! This is probably the simplest option for new businesses because there are no complicated tax forms required and no additional fees other than those associated with starting up any other type of business entity.

  • Partnership:

A partnership is similar to having multiple owners within one company because each partner has equal say over important decisions that affect operations within their respective divisions while also sharing profits equally among themselves.

  • Corporations:

Corporations provide complete liability protection from lawsuits filed against employees who may cause harm while working on behalf of companies owned by shareholders who own stock certificates issued by these entities during periods when changes occur.

Open a Bank Account for your Business

You will need to open a business checking account, savings account, and credit card. You should also consider opening a business credit line with a personal guarantee. The bank or financial institution that you choose to work with will be able to help you determine which accounts best suit your needs.

Register and Pay State Taxes

After you’ve established your business, it’s important to register with the state. Registration is required for many types of businesses and helps you submit tax forms and get information on job-related issues. The state of Michigan has a flat tax rate of 4%—the lowest in the country—but if your company makes more than $500,000 per year in gross receipts (or total sales), there’s an additional corporate income tax rate that varies depending on how much money you make. While this may sound like good news for larger companies, be aware that there are minimums; if your business doesn’t bring in enough money to pay that minimum tax threshold, then you’re responsible for paying both taxes anyway!

Business Licences and Permits

After registering with the state, you’ll need to apply for certain licenses and permits. Some businesses require licensing or permits before they can operate (e.g., restaurants), while others don’t (e.g., consulting services). The Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs has information about what types of businesses require licensing or permits on their website: http://wwwdlrcom/state/commercial_permit_programs/.

Additionally, some businesses may have additional requirements in order to operate legally in Michigan; these include obtaining workers’ compensation insurance coverage from the State of Michigan Workers’ Compensation Bureau (if applicable) and obtaining sales tax ID numbers from different state departments depending upon whether they sell products within or outside of their home jurisdiction.


While Michigan has a lot of protections in place to ensure businesses are operating legally and fairly, it’s always important for entrepreneurs to do their due diligence before starting any business venture.


Starting a business in Michigan is a rewarding endeavor that can bring you closer to achieving your goals. If you plan properly, identify opportunities and stay on top of your finances, there is no doubt you will succeed.

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