MICHIGAN

Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?


$49 + State Fee & 1st Year FREE Registered Agent

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Simple Steps to Start Your Michigan LLC

Located near the Great Lakes in the Midwestern U.S., Michigan and Detroit in particular have had a tough few years. That’s turning around now, though, as major cities are starting to revitalize and Michigan is again becoming an attractive place to start a business.

Although this state has become synonymous with the automobile industry, it is home to several other major sectors including technology, mining, aerospace, military manufacturing, furniture and food products. Michigan also has nearly 65,000 inland bodies of water and no resident is further than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. Any businesses that can take advantage of water sports, tourism and related areas will do well here.

If you want to start your own business in Michigan, one of the best ways to do so is by forming an LLC. Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a business entity designed for startups and small- and medium-sized businesses. Michigan makes forming an LLC easy and inexpensive. LLCs are great for small and medium businesses because they give you many of the protections and advantages of larger corporations — without all the rules, regulations and compliance issues common to larger business entities. Let’s start by looking at the advantages of forming a Michigan LLC.

Advantages of Forming an LLC in Michigan

Michigan LLCs have several benefits for business owners:

  • Preparing to start a Michigan LLC is quick and easy — you can complete all the necessary forms and actions online to start your company.
  • An LLC limits your personal liability — any liabilities created by your Michigan business (debts, obligations and other liabilities) are legally considered to be completely separate from your personal assets as the business owner or founder.
  • Michigan LLCs are easy to maintain — LLCs are light on rules and regulations. There’s no need for boards of directors, complex rules and regulations or formal annual meetings.
  • LLCs are very easy to manage, and you can add and amend members and make other changes with just a little paperwork.
  • Taxes are simple — any income you earn through your Michigan LLC is reported on your personal tax return. This means you won’t run into “double taxation” issues common with larger corporations.
  • Typically, gathering and preparing the forms to start your business can be completed in an hour or two. Once you have the information, you can then file through us. Once your paperwork is filed, it typically takes three weeks to form your LLC or eight days if you expedite the process.
  • Starting an LLC in Michigan is inexpensive: it costs just $50 plus and extra $50 if you want to expedite formation. Filing your annual report is inexpensive too, costing just $75 a year.

Start your Michigan LLC in Five Steps

1. Name Your Michigan LLC

  • You will need a distinctive, original name for your Michigan LLC that’s not used by another business in Michigan
  • To find out if another company is using your choice of business name, carry out a Michigan business entity name search
  • The name should be unique and not able to be confused with the name of another Michigan business
  • The name of your business must end with “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC. LC. L.C. or L.L.C.”
  • For example: “Michigan Automotive Market Research Services LLC” or “Great Lakes Vacations, Limited Liability Company”

2. Provide the Address for Your New Michigan LLC

A Michigan LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), where your office is located or any physical address of your preference — even outside of Michigan. It can also be a P.O. Box.

3. Assign a Registered Agent for Your Michigan LLC

Every Michigan LLC must have a “registered agent.” That could be you, the managing director, owner or a dedicated registered agent service. The registered agent in Michigan is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. There are several benefits to using a Registered Agent service.

Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in the state where you are forming the company. Some people establish companies outside of the state they live in and will use a service to provide the address. This should not be confused with your company's address, which is not a service the Registered Agent provides.

The Registered Agent address is listed on public records on the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. If you do not want your own name and address to be registered, you should use a Registered Agent service.

The Registered Agent must be present or available during normal business hours (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday) to receive any legal correspondence delivered since the type of documents delivered to the registered agent require a signature on delivery. Some people travel or are not always at their business location to receive these documents.

At Incfile, all of our packages include a Registered Agent service free for the first year and $99 per year thereafter. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your registered agent has received on your behalf.

4. You Need to File Articles of Organization With the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

Once you've gathered all the information together for your LLC, you’ll need to file formal documents with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Filing Articles of Organization creates your Michigan LLC. You can do this online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf.

5. You Can Create a Michigan LLC Operating Agreement

Michigan LLCs aren’t required to have an operating agreement, but they are extremely useful for several reasons. Your operating agreement covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas. Learn how to create your operating agreement. If you’re interested in having your Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile will draft a general Operating Agreement within most of our online business formation packages. It can also be selected as an add-on option in our Silver package. This Operating Agreement will be a basic template that you can make changes to anytime you see fit.

You can find lots more useful information on how to form an LLC here. It answers questions like:

  • Who can form an LLC?
  • Where should you form an LLC?
  • When should you form an LLC?
  • What are the ongoing responsibilities for an LLC?

Starting Your Michigan LLC: Useful Resources

Form a Michigan LLC without Breaking the Bank

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Naming Your Michigan Limited Liability Company

You need the right name for your Michigan LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. Michigan has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.

General Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Rules on Naming Your LLC

  • The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Michigan
  • The name of your Michigan business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” “LLC,” “LC” or “L.C.”

Don't Confuse Your Michigan Business Name With Another Business Name

  • It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Michigan business
  • When deciding if names are substantially similar, you cannot claim a different type face, font, accents, subscript/superscript characters, punctuation or words like “the,” “and,” “of” etc. to claim your business name is different
  • The following words can’t be used to say your business name is different to another business name: Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp, Co, Inc, Ltd, PC, Professional Corporation, Limited Partnership, LP, L.P., Limited Liability Limited Partnership, LLLP or L.L.L.P.
  • For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different to each other

Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name

Michigan Information on Naming an LLC

  • You can reserve an LLC name by filling in a form and paying a fee of $25
  • This will reserve your LLC name for up to six months
  • A name can be used to form any type of business entity, not just an LLC
  • Filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is legally formed before using the name for anything else
  • You can also be a Michigan LLC with a different “doing business as” name. In Michigan these are registered with the county, and you can find your county clerk here

Rules on Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside Michigan

In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your Michigan LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “Google Search Optimization Services,” since Google is a trademark.

The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new trademark search and registration service. You should also bear in mind that your Michigan business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.

How to Search for Your Michigan Business Entity Name

Search the database of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for your proposed business name to see if it's unique.

What Should You Call Your Michigan LLC?

Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:

  • Describes what your Michigan business does
  • Appeals to your planned audience
  • Makes your business easy to find
  • Is relatively unique
  • Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service

Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your Michigan LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.

You’ve Found the Perfect Name, What Next?

Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for starting your Michigan LLC and form your LLC today.

Best Cities in Michigan to Form Your LLC

If you want to start an LLC in Michigan, have you considered basing it in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids or Southfield? If so, read on to get the necessary information.

Starting an LLC in Detroit, MI

Known as “Motor City,” Detroit is the largest city in Michigan. The city is a major port on the Detroit River and the three big American car manufacturers (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler) are all headquartered here. Detroit went through difficult times from the 1990s into the 2010s and filed for bankruptcy in 2013. Since then, the city has been working hard to reinvigorate itself and is again becoming a good place to start a new business.

  • Area of city: 143 sq mi
  • Population: 673,000
  • Population density: 5,000 people/sq mi
  • Cost of living: 5 percent below national average; housing is 12 percent cheaper
  • Time zone: EST
  • Sales tax: 6 percent

Although most famous for the automobile industry, Detroit is also home to several other major economic sectors. These include finance and banking, life sciences, information technology, advanced manufacturing, architecture and engineering.

Starting an LLC in Ann Arbor, MI

The sixth-largest city in the state, Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, a major research center and medical facility. The city is perhaps best known for political activism and social movements.

  • Area of city: 29 sq mi
  • Population: 121,000
  • Population density: 4,000 people/sq mi
  • Cost of living: 4 percent above national average; housing is 18 percent more expensive
  • Time zone: EST
  • Sales tax: 6 percent

Major Industries in Ann Arbor

The major shaper of Ann Arbor’s economy is the University of Michigan, especially in the fields of medicine and research. Biotechnology, high tech industries, software, media and biotechnology are all well represented in the city.

Starting an LLC in Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids is the second-largest city in Michigan and the largest city in Western Michigan. Known as “Furniture City,” Grand Rapids is home to five of the largest furniture manufacturers in the world.

  • Area of city: 45 sq mi
  • Population: 196,000
  • Population density: 4,200 people/sq mi
  • Cost of living: 10 percent below national average; housing is 19 percent cheaper
  • Time zone: EST
  • Sales tax: 6 percent

Major Industries in Grand Rapids

Major industries in Grand Rapids include furniture manufacturing, healthcare, technology, automotive, aviation, consumer goods manufacturing and fruit production.

Starting an LLC in Southfield, MI

Southfield is a northern suburb of Detroit. The city is known for the “Golden Triangle,” a cluster of five golden skyscrapers that are part of Metro Detroit's upscale office market.

  • Area of city: 26 sq mi
  • Population: 73,000
  • Population density: 2,700 people/sq mi
  • Time zone: EST
  • Sales tax: 6 percent

Major Industries in Southfield

More than 100 Fortune 500 companies have offices in Southfield, and it supports a wide range of diverse industries.

Ready to Start your Michigan LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Michigan LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Registered Agents and Your Michigan LLC

Your Michigan LLC needs to have a “Registered Agent.” They’re chosen by you and can accept legal notices and other correspondence for your Michigan Limited Liability Company (LLC) on your behalf. There are some rules on choosing Registered Agents:

  • If you choose a person, they must reside in Michigan
  • If you choose a business, they must be able to conduct business in Michigan
  • They must have a physical street address (not a P.O. Box)
  • They must be available in person to sign for any delivered correspondence during normal business hours

At Incfile we provide a comprehensive Registered Agent service that’s free for the first year if you incorporate through us. Our Registered Agent service includes a dashboard where you can review documents received, get automatic notification of correspondence and get free forwarding of all official legal correspondence.

Incorporate through us to get your first year of Registered Agent services for free.

Michigan Registered Agents: What Type of Legal Notices Might They Receive?

A Michigan Registered Agent may receive, on behalf of your LLC:

  • Correspondence from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • Service of process notices (e.g., if your LLC is sued or required to appear in court)
  • Official Michigan state and federal government correspondence and notifications
  • Tax forms and requests to complete permits, company filings and reports

Note that the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs does need the address of your Registered Agent, and it must be a street address (not a P.O. Box).

A Registered Agent might also be known as a “Corporate Agent,” "Resident Agent," “Agent for Service of Process” or "Statutory Agent."

Acting As Your Own Registered Agent for Your Michigan LLC

If you live in Michigan, you might choose to be the Registered Agent for your LLC. Be aware that there may be some drawbacks to this:

  • You always need to have someone on hand to receive important documents for your business. If you can’t always be available, consider using a third-party service like Incfile.
  • The Registered Agent’s name and address is part of the public record and available through the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website. If you would prefer that your name and address isn’t published, you might choose a Registered Agent service.
  • If you change your Michigan business address or move out of state, you don’t need to file additional documentation with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for the new address of your Registered Agent. You will need to setup a new registered agent service in the new state.

If You Don’t Have a Registered Agent for Your Michigan LLC

Failing to have a Registered Agent in Michigan can cause your business issues. These include:

  • Getting served or sued and not finding out about it — If your business is sued and you don’t know about it, you could lose to a default judgement in your absence.
  • Michigan LLCs need to remain in good standing with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. If correspondence is undeliverable, certain states may revoke your right to do business.
  • Losing your status as a Michigan LLC — A Registered Agent “proves” to the state that your business exists. Without it, you could lose your business entity protections and your Michigan LLC may be dissolved.

Incfile Will Provide a Registered Agent for Michigan on Behalf of Your LLC

Here at Incfile, we have a reliable Registered Agent Service. We provide the first year of this service completely for free if you choose to form your LLC with us. After the first year, it’s only $99 for subsequent years — a small price for your peace of mind. Here’s what our service provides:

  • An always available Registered Agent service that can receive correspondence, documents and legal proceedings on your behalf
  • A digital dashboard where you can access, store and retrieve any information we’ve received for your business
  • Email notification whenever we receive documents for your business
  • Automatic forwarding of all legal correspondence, documentation and information directly to you

Form your LLC with us today to get your first year of a Registered Agent service for free, including easy access to our comprehensive online dashboard.

Michigan LLC Form, Filing and Permit Requirements

If you want to form an LLC in Michigan, there are certain forms, requirements and legalities you need to get in place. Below is a rundown of what you’ll need to do, together with details on each form required for your Michigan LLC. Some of these forms you only need to submit once, while others must be filed on a regular basis. You will need to set reminders in your calendar to file forms regularly if you're filing yourself. At Incfile, we provide an optional renewal service and can take care of renewals for you when you instruct us to do so.

Articles of Organization

Articles of Organization are the formal documents filed with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to create your LLC. They state certain information about your business. Once the documents are filed with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, they legally create your business as an LLC in Michigan. Here’s what’s typically included:

  • Your business name and address
  • Details of your Registered Agent

Here at Incfile we automatically create and file your Articles of Organization on your behalf when you start your business with us. You only need to file your certificate once. There is a fee charged by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to cover your filing (currently $50 or $100 if you want expedited service). You only need to file your articles once.

Business Licenses for Your Michigan LLC

Depending on the type of Michigan business you’re running, you will need to obtain various business licenses and permits. These are not required to form your LLC, but it’s important to know which permits and licenses are required for your business to operate in compliance for your business jurisdiction.

A Business Permit or License From Your City

Various cities in Michigan have slightly different rules and fees for permits and licenses. Check with your local Michigan city administration to see what their rules are. You will need a separate permit or license for each city your Michigan LLC operates in.

Additional business permits and licenses

Depending on the type of business you are running, you may need to get additional permits and licenses from the city, county or state of Michigan. You can get an idea of the types of permits and licenses you might need from the State of Michigan website.

The federal government may also require you to get certain licenses or permits, and the SBA has a comprehensive list of Michigan license permits. The frequency of how often you need to file permits varies depending on the permit type. You can find details of the various state licenses and permits here.

Interesting and unique permits for Michigan include various automobile and car services, credit services, electrical services and insurance services.

Federal Licenses and Permits

Depending on the type of Michigan business you are running, you may need to get licenses and permits from the federal government and various national agencies. You can find a complete list on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

Incfile Business License Research Package

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all of the licenses and permits for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all the licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Michigan Business Tax and Registration

All businesses in Michigan must pay the Michigan Business Tax. You can register for the tax through the Michigan Department of the Treasury.

Other Michigan Taxes

If you hire employees, you must register for unemployment insurance tax and state income tax withholding.

If you sell taxable goods, you must also file and pay sales tax. You can do that here.

Operating Agreement for Your Michigan LLC

Setting up an LLC is easy, but actively managing one can be more complex. An operating agreement defines how your business works and ensures all the founders, owners, members or managers have a common understanding. An operating agreement normally covers areas including:

  • Legal Standing: Declares the legal standing of your LLC, that it was formed in Michigan including dates, formation details and other important legal information.
  • LLC Ownership: States how ownership of the business is split between members. This influences how the business is run, voting rights and several other areas.
  • Ownership Percentages: Defines the amount each member has invested and the percentage of ownership of each Michigan LLC member.
  • LLC Management Type: States whether your LLC will be managed by managers (people the owners appoint or its members (owners).
  • Management Relationships: Declares the relationship between the members and the managers of your Michigan LLC including the roles, rights and responsibilities of each.
  • Voting Powers and Decision Authority: States how high-level decisions will be presented, discussed and acted on, including the voting rights of each LLC member.
  • LLC Rules: Defines the rules, procedures and policies to follow for adding, removing, amending and making other changes to members and managers. This includes moving ownership between members.
  • Profit and Loss Allocation: How profits or losses will be split and allocated between Michigan LLC members.

You are not required by Michigan state or federal law to have an operating agreement for your LLC, but we recommend one for several reasons. An operating agreement:

  • Strengthens your legal standing as an LLC and adds credibility for your organization
  • Clearly states how your business will operate, so there’s no confusion or ambiguity
  • Reduces misunderstandings and disagreements between LLC members, which is important for a harmonious business
  • Allows you to create your own rules for your LLC, rather than being subject to the default Michigan state rules for an LLC
  • Reduces the need for every member of an LLC to approve and sign off on every decision

Your operating agreement only needs to be created once and will need to be updated if significant changes are needed.

Annual Report for your Michigan LLC

You must file an Annual Report with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on an annual basis by February 15 of each year. The cost is currently $75. If you do not file your annual report, your LLC may be dissolved after two years. Here at Incfile, we can File Your Annual Report on your behalf.

As you can see, there are several forms and permits you need to conduct business, both initially and that you’re required to submit on an annual basis.

Certificate of Good Standing for Your Michigan LLC

You may need a “Certificate of Good Standing” for certain business-related services like opening a bank account. You can order one from us for a small cost of $45.

Ready to Start your Michigan LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Michigan LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year. If you're looking for help to start an LLC, our comprehensive services provide outstanding value.

Taxes and Fees for Your Michigan LLC

Here’s a breakdown of the likely taxes and fees you’ll incur when you start and run an LLC in Michigan.

Michigan Fees

Michigan LLC Formation and Filing Fee

When you first form your LLC in Michigan, you will need to pay a fee of $50 (or $100 if expedited) to file your Articles of Organization.

Michigan Permits and Licenses

You will need to pay licensing and permit fees on a regular basis depending on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. These do vary from city to city and industry to industry. If you don’t want to do the legwork yourself, we provide a complete Business License Research Package that will tell you all the licenses and permits necessary for your new LLC. It includes:

  • A comprehensive package of all licenses, permits and tax registrations required for your business
  • The application forms to file with the appropriate licensing authorities
  • Your customized Business License Research Package will be emailed to you within two days of your company being filed by the state
  • Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from state and local governments

Michigan Fees

  1. Michigan LLC Formation and Filing Fee: A one-time fee of $50 when you first file your Articles of Organization.
  2. Michigan State Annual Report Fee: A yearly fee of $25 when you file your annual report.
  3. Michigan Permits and Licenses: Various fees for renewing your licensing and permit fees on a regular basis. These depend on the type of business you are operating and where you are located. They do vary from city to city and industry to industry.

Michigan Taxes

Michigan State Sales/Use Tax

If you’re selling products or services in Michigan you may need to pay a state sales tax.

Michigan Other Taxes

You may need to pay other taxes and fees, depending on the type of business you run. Learn about other Michigan taxes.

Federal Taxes

Self-Employment Tax

Because your Michigan LLC income flows through to your personal tax return, you must pay self-employment tax (also known as FICA, Social Security or Medicare tax) on your earnings. This is typically at a rate of 15.3 percent. You will be able to deduct your business expenses from your income when working out how much self-employment tax you owe.

Note that if you are an LLC electing to be treated as an S Corp, you can reduce your self-employment tax. We have a handy S Corp tax calculator that will help you envision how much you could save.

Federal Income Tax

You will also need to pay regular federal income tax when you file your tax return every year. You can see the federal tax brackets here. Note that you will be able to apply your standard deduction, personal exemption and business expenses to this tax.

Ready to Start your Michigan LLC?

Incfile provides a cost-effective service to help you create your Michigan LLC. We guide you through the process and handle most of the administrative steps, such as filing the Articles of Organization on your behalf. Our basic package also provides a free Registered Agent service for the first year.

Understand Your Ongoing LLC Filing Requirements

Each state requires different forms such as your business annual reports and state franchise tax reports to be filed at different times. It’s important to understand when each form needs to be filed and when you may need to refile the form. Complying with these form filing requirements keeps your business in good standing with the state. Failure to file these reports can lead to the company being revoked or administrative business dissolution. Incfile includes lifetime company alerts with courtesy email reminders to inform clients of an upcoming filing requirement with all of our state filing packages.

Michigan’s Ongoing File Requirements

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually
Due Date: February 15
Filing Fee: $25

LLCs registered after September 30th of the preceding year are exempt from filing the report in the subsequent year.

Protect Your Business Name with a Trademark

A trademark is an essential asset for your business because it protects the brand name and identity that you worked so hard to create. When you secure a federal trademark for your business brand, it gives you exclusive rights to use your business name, logo or slogan once the trademark is approved. Federal Trademark Protection also prevents other businesses from using your brand name and brand identity.

Incfile is happy to help with conducting a trademark name search on your business name. Our partnered attorneys will do the research to make sure the mark isn't already taken, ensure the filing is properly prepared and submitted to the government office, and provide sound legal advice throughout the entire process.

Benefits of Incfile's Trademark service include:

  • Legal counsel from an experienced trademark attorney
  • A thorough search of existing trademarks
  • A registered trademark with the USPTO
  • Handling all correspondence with the USPTO until the name is approved.

Finances & Accounting for Your Michigan LLC

Once you form your LLC in Michigan, there are important next steps to ensure your business finances and accounting are organized for tax season and peace of mind, and that your personal and business finances are kept separate to ensure safety of your personal assets. With the right accounting steps, your business will run smoothly and be set up for increased profits and success.

Choose a Bank for Your Michigan LLC

The right business checking account for your business should have minimum fees, so that your money goes into the business or your own checking account instead of spending on hidden, tricky bank fees. According to NerdWallet — who looked at the 10 biggest banks in the U.S. and some additional online banks — these are the best four free business checking accounts for your LLC:

Separate Business & Personal Expenses

Once your form your LLC, it’s important to keep your business and personal assets separate to protect your personal assets from liability. It also makes tax season a whole lot easier when you have one clear account with all your business expenses, instead of all expenses mixed up within two accounts that need to be sorted. Once you choose a business checking account for your Michigan LLC, make sure you receive a business checking card or apply for a business credit card that you can use for all business expenses. You can also use a tool like Expensify to track and tag business expenses from your mobile phone.

Set Up Accounting Software

Choosing the right accounting software will allow you to track your accounts receivable — the money that is flowing in and out of your business. Accounting software will allow you to track bills, invoices, expenses and customers. This is also another important step in simplifying your year-end tax burden. With a clear, separate business checking account, spending card and an organized accounting software system, you’ll hardly dread tax season as a business owner.

Here are some favorite accounting software options for LLC business owners:

QuickBooks: This is a top option for a lot of business owners and starts out at only $10 a month. You can automatically important banking transactions, track your customers and vendors, see related bills and expenses and integrate with a lot of other online finance tools. If you hire an accountant or tax support, they will all likely support QuickBooks. You can even use an online version in addition to a desktop version of their software. The drawback is that the learning curve for QuickBooks can sometimes be a bit steep.

Xero: Xero is online accounting software that is a great option for those who find QuickBooks to be too complicated and difficult to understand. Their plans start out at $20 per month.

FreshBooks: Freshbooks is online accounting software that allows you to also track your time, expenses, collaborate on projects and view accounting reports. One drawback is that it doesn’t currently have a way to track invoices that your business needs to pay. But accounts start out at $15 per month.

Bench: Bench not only allows you to track your accounts receivable, but they include the help of a real-life bookkeeper to run your accounting every month. For a Bench account starting out at $125 a month, this is quite the deal instead of hiring your own bookkeeper.

Determine How You’ll Accept Credit Cards

If you use QuickBooks or Freshbooks, you’ll be able to accept credit cards to pay for invoices. If you have a brick and mortar location for your small business, you want to look into offering payments through a service such as Shopify or Square.

Look Into Business Funding Options

In case your business runs out of cash flow, you want to have a backup option so your business doesn’t go under. You can raise capital from investors, ask friends or family for loans, get a business credit card, take an online business loan, or look into government financing using the SBA & BusinessUSA’s financing tools. Also, it’s important to remember that you can also bootstrap your business — which means only using the funds you have in your bank account and not expanding until you get more business income.

Business Operations & Marketing for Your Michigan LLC

Build a Business Website

Having a great online presence for your business is the number one way people will find you. You need to start with buying a domain name using a service such as NameCheap. Then you need to choose a service to host your website such as Sniper Monkey. Finally, design your website using a tool such as SquareSpace or WordPress. Make sure your website includes important business information like how to contact you and business hours.

Choose a Virtual Phone System

Your business needs a phone number so that your customers, employees and and vendors can reach you. A great option is to look into a tool such as Grasshopper, which allows you to get a business phone that actually forwards to your cell phone, so you never miss an important call.

Design a Business Logo

A logo will reflect your business branding everywhere your customers interact with you — on your website, on your invoices, in your email signature, on business cards and more. Instead of trying to design a logo yourself, try a logo making service such as 99 Designs or buy some high-quality premade logos you can customize on CreativeMarket.

Get Business Cards Created

Once you have a logo, create nice looking business cards to give away when you’re out networking or even running errands. You never know when a conversation about your business will come up, and you want to be able to give someone a place to research your business and contact you. A great tool to create inexpensive business cards is Vistaprint.

Choose the Best Business Tools to Run Your Michigan LLC

In addition to accounting software, there are a number of online business software options that will lift some menial tasks and burdens off your full business-owner plate. Below are important business functions for your LLC and what we think are the best business tools for your Michigan LLC.

  • Project Management: Asana, Basecamp, Trello
  • Productivity: Todoist, Evernote
  • Collaboration: Google Docs, Dropbox, Box
  • Social Media Management: Hootsuite, Buffer, Sprout Social
  • Communication: Skype, Grasshopper, Slack, Yammer
  • Email Marketing: MailChimp, CampaignMonitor
  • Marketing Automation: HubSpot, Hatchbuck
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): SalesForce, Insightly, Zoho
  • Customer Support: ZenDesk, GetSatisfaction, SurveyMonkey
  • Human Resources: Gusto, Back Ops
  • Legal: DocuSign
  • Ecommerce: Shopify, Recurly, Vendio, Square
  • Website Development: Sniper Monkey, SquareSpace, WordPress, Jira
  • Analytics: Google Analytics, SumAll
  • SEO: SemRush, KWFinder, AHREFS
  • Hiring: Bullhorn Reach, Plum, ZipRecruiter

Get a “Start a Business Checklist” to Follow

If you want to track your progress in getting your new business set up properly, we have a great virtual Start a Business Checklist that includes everything you need to do to launch your business. It even features downloadable PDFs you can access to download and print.

Only $49 + State Free To Launch Your Business

Clear Pricing. No Contracts. No Surprise.

What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Michigan?

Filing Time and Price

The state charges this amount to file a new business entity. This fee goes directly to the Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$50 15 Business Days 8 Business Days

Compliance Requirements

This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.

Annual Report

Frequency: Annually

Due: February 15th

Note: LLCs registered after September 30th of the preceding year are exempt from filing the report in the subsequent year. 

Filing Fee: $25

Learn more about starting a business in Michigan

Additional resources, guides, and articles for better decision making.

Select the package that works best for you.

Silver

49

+ $50 (state fee)

The Basics To Get You Started

Prepare & File Articles Of Organization
FREE Registered Agent for !st Year
Lifetime Customer Support

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MOST POPULAR

GOLD

149

+ $50 (state fee)

Everything from Silver +

EIN / Tax ID Number
Personalized Operating Agreement
Customized LLC Kit

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BEST VALUE

Platinum

299

+ $50 (state fee)

Everything from Silver & Gold +

Expedited Filing
UPS Delivery
Contracts Library

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