How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Michigan?
Legal business formation — and keeping your business in good standing — involves some necessary expenses and investment on your part. Some of these costs are payable to the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, while others are collected by the federal or state governments. We’ve summarized some of the most common requirements and fees here.
Note that Michigan permit fees and business licenses may need to be paid for when you first form your business, on an ongoing basis or on an ad hoc basis. Learn more below.
Initial Michigan LLC Fees
When you first form your business in Michigan, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and pay a filing fee. Here are the current fees and filing times:
When you form your LLC through Incfile, we charge you this fee and automatically forward it to the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs when we file your formation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every Michigan LLC should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). These are provided by the Internal Revenue Service and you'll use it when filing taxes, opening a business bank account and paying employees. You can get an EIN from us and we'll do the paperwork for you, or you can go through the IRS process yourself.
When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign LLC.
Michigan Foreign LLC Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Michigan, you must request Michigan Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a Michigan Foreign LLC, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Michigan and pay a $50 filing fee. The state may have additional requirements, so contact the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for more information.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Michigan LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.
You'll likely be required to complete an application and pay a filing fee. Each state has its own requirements, so compare state filing times and state filing fees before you begin the process. Also, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and get specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Annual Report Requirements for Michigan
Most states — including Michigan — require businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with the government entity that administers business formation and management. In many states, that's the Secretary of State. In this case, it's the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and you file an Annual Statement.
When you file your annual statement, you’ll need to pay a fee of $25. Here are the annual filing requirements for Michigan:
LLCs registered after September 30th of the preceding year are exempt from filing the report in the subsequent year.
Michigan Business Licenses and Permits
As a business owner, you're responsible for making sure you have the necessary local, state or federal business licenses you need to operate your LLC. Some of these fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
You're not required to have a Michigan LLC Operating Agreement.
This document covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key facets of your business.
An Operating Agreement can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.
You can then make changes to the template based on your preferences and requirements.
Other Potential Michigan LLC Fees or Requirements
You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees are only payable under certain circumstances, which are listed below.
Obtaining an Assumed Name or DBA
If you want to establish a Michigan DBA (trade name), you can file a Certificate of Assumed Name form with the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You’ll need to pay a filing fee of $25.
Changing the Registered Agent
Your LLC needs a Michigan Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you file your Articles of Organization. You can also switch to a new Resident Agent later by filing a Certificate of Change of Registered Office and/or Change of Resident Agent form and paying a fee of $5.
Reserving a Name for Your LLC
If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name for six months with the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs by filling out an Application for Reservation of Name and paying a fee of $25. First, perform a Michigan business search and learn about business name rules to ensure you choose a name that meets state requirements.
Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC
Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Michigan business at the time it's formed. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment to the Articles of Organization form with the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and pay a $25 filing fee. You can do this yourself or have Incfile take care of it on your behalf.
Getting a Michigan Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations will request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you've met your commitments, you’ll need a Michigan Certificate of Good Standing from the MI Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You can obtain one by filing a Certificate of Restoration of Good Standing form and paying a fee of $50.
Note: Michigan refers to this as a "restoration" of good standing regardless of whether you've been in good standing before or not.
The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay in Michigan. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your LLC will also probably need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and other taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Michigan Business Taxes page.