Why Form a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

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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

STEP 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”

STEP 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.

STEP 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 $119 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.

STEP 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.

STEP 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.

Only $49 + State Fee To Launch Your Business

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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

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