How to Start an LLC in Michigan (Step-by-Step) 2023 Guide

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Starting a Michigan LLC, step-by-step

Starting a Michigan LLC costs $50. And it takes 10 days to get an LLC in Michigan.

How to start an LLCHere are the 5 steps to forming an LLC in Michigan:

  1. Choose an LLC Name
  2. Select a Registered Agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

If you want to form your LLC yourself, follow our free guide below.

If you want someone to take care of it for you, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Michigan?

LLC CostIt costs $50 to start an LLC in Michigan.

And then it costs $25 per year.

What are these fees for?

  • The $50 is to file the Articles of Organization – the document that creates an LLC.
  • The $25 per year is for your Annual Report – a mandatory filing that keeps your LLC in good standing.

To learn more about LLC Costs, see LLC Costs in Michigan.

Veterans: You can form an LLC for free in Michigan. Please read Michigan Veteran LLC for instructions.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Michigan?

If you file your LLC by mail, it will be approved in 10 business days (plus mail time).

But if you file online, your LLC will be approved in 10 business days.

Please see How long does it take to get an LLC in Michigan to check for any delays.

Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Michigan

1. Search your LLC Name

LLC namesSearch your Michigan LLC Name to make sure it’s available in the state.

You need to do this because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name.

First, search your business name and compare it to existing businesses in Michigan. You can make sure the LLC Name you want is unique from existing businesses using the Business Entity Search.

Second, familiarize yourself with the naming rules in Michigan (so your Michigan LLC gets approved).

We’ll explain both in more detail here: Michigan LLC Name.

2. Choose a Michigan LLC Registered Agent

The next step is to choose a Michigan Registered Agent.

Registered AgentA Michigan LLC Registered Agent is a person or company who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your Michigan Limited Liability Company.

Note: In Michigan, a Registered Agent is also called a Resident Agent. We may use either term.

Who can be an LLC Resident Agent in Michigan?

You have 3 options for who can be the Resident Agent:

  • You
  • A friend or family member
  • A Registered Agent Service

Michigan law requires that all LLC Registered Agents have a physical street address in Michigan. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.

And the Resident Agent’s name and address will be listed on public records.

If you don’t have an address in Michigan, or you want more privacy, you can hire a Registered Agent Service for your LLC.

Maine Registered Agent Services keep physical street addresses in Louisiana to meet state requirements – and our recommendation will also keep your information off public records.

We recommend Northwest Registered Agent

Our favorite feature about Northwest is they’ll let you use their office address throughout your LLC filing. This way, you can keep your address off public records.

They’ll also scan any mail sent to your LLC and upload it to your online account.

Northwest has excellent customer service, and they’re who we trust to be our own Registered Agent.

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

3. File Michigan LLC Articles of Organization

Articles of OrganizationTo start an LLC, you need to file the Michigan Articles of Organization.

This gets filed with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

The Michigan Articles of Organization costs $50 if you file online.

This is a one-time fee to create your LLC.

If you want to file this yourself, see our step-by-step guide: Michigan LLC Articles of Organization.

Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

4. Create a Michigan LLC Operating Agreement

Operating AgreementA Michigan LLC Operating Agreement serves as a “companion” document to the Articles of Organization.

The Articles of Organization creates your LLC, and the Operating Agreement shows who owns the LLC.

Additionally, some banks require an Operating Agreement when you open an LLC bank account.

And having an Operating Agreement will be very helpful if you ever end up in court. Reason being, it helps prove that your LLC is being run properly.

That’s why we recommend that all LLCs have an Operating Agreement – including Single-Member LLCs.

Furthermore, an Operating Agreement is an “internal document“. Meaning, you don’t need to file it with the state or the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Just keep a copy with your business records.

You can download a free template below.

Then, learn how to fill it out by watching our step-by-step Michigan Operating Agreement video.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

(What's better? See Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC)

5. Get an EIN for your LLC

The next step is to get a Michigan LLC EIN Number from the IRS for your LLC.

Note: An EIN Number is also called a Federal Tax ID Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.

EIN Number for an LLCAn EIN Number is used to:

  • identify your LLC for tax purposes
  • open a business bank account
  • apply for business licenses and permits
How much does an EIN cost?

Getting an EIN Number from the IRS is completely free.

How long does it take to get an EIN?

If you apply online, it takes 15 minutes.

If you apply by mail or fax, it can take 1-3 months.

How can I get an EIN?

US Citizens/US Residents: If you have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an EIN online. Follow these instructions: Apply for an EIN online.

Non-US Residents: You can’t get an EIN online, but you can still get one by fax or by mail. Follow these instructions: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.

What do I do after my LLC is approved?

After your Michigan LLC is approved, there are some additional steps.

Open an LLC business bank account

You’ll want to open a business bank account for your LLC.

This makes accounting and record-keeping much easier for your business finances.

Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection. This is because it keeps your business entity finances separate from your personal finances.

Get Michigan business licenses and permits

Business LicenseGood news, Michigan doesn’t have a state-level general business license.

However, the state does require special licensing for some industries through LARA’s Corporations and Commercial Licensing Bureau.

And depending on where your LLC is located, you may need a local business license or permit.

For example, if you want to start a daycare, you may need a business license from the city or county.

You can learn more on our Michigan LLC Business License page.

File your Michigan LLC Annual Report

LLC Annual ReportAll Michigan LLCs must file an Annual Report every year.

The Annual Report keeps your LLC in good standing with the state.

Note: In Michigan, the official name for an Annual Report is actually the Annual Statement. They both mean the same thing, so we will keep it simple and call it the “Annual Report”.

How much does a Michigan LLC Annual Report cost?

The Annual Report filing fee is $25 per year.

When is the Annual Report due?

Your LLC Annual Report is due by February 15th, every year.

When is my first Annual Report due?

Michigan uses your LLC’s Date of Organization to decide when your first Annual Report is due. Your Date of Organization is the date your LLC was approved.

If your LLC’s Date of Organization is between January 1 and September 30, your first Annual Report will be due by February 15 of the following year.

For example, if your LLC was approved on January 23, 2023, your first Annual Report is due by February 15, 2024.

If your LLC’s Date of Organization is between October 1st and December 31st, your first Annual Report will be due by February 15 two years later.

For example, if your LLC was approved on November 3, 2023, your first Annual Report is due by February 15, 2025.

How do I file my LLC Annual Report?

You can file your LLC’s Annual Report online or by mail. We recommend the online filing because it’s easier to complete.

Follow our step-by-step guide here: Michigan LLC Annual Report.

File and pay taxes

LLC TaxesLLCs don’t pay federal taxes. Instead, the LLC Members pay the taxes for the LLC.

Said another way, the owners pay taxes for the LLC as a part of their personal tax return.

How will my LLC be taxed?

By default, a Michigan LLC is taxed by the IRS based on the number of owners your LLC has:

  • A Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
  • A Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Alternatively, you can ask the IRS to tax your LLC like a C-Corporation or S-Corporation.

Besides federal taxes, there are also state and local income taxes – and sales tax. Learn more in Michigan LLC Taxes.

How to Start an LLC in Michigan FAQs

Can I start an LLC online in Michigan?

Yes, you can file your LLC online in Michigan. The Articles of Organization filing fee is $50.

When you start your LLC online, it will be approved in 10 business days.

What are the benefits of an LLC?

The first benefit of an LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.

This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC owners are protected from the business debts and liabilities.

This type of protection wouldn’t apply if you operate as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. With these types of informal business structures, the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a much more popular business structure.

Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation. Pass through taxation means the LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members pay the taxes on their personal tax return.

And Michigan state income taxes are very similar, since the state honors the federal tax treatment of your LLC.

To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.

Is Michigan a good state to start an LLC?

Whether Michigan is a good state to start an LLC depends on where you live – and where you’re doing business.

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Michigan, then you should start your LLC in Michigan. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.

For example, if you form an LLC in Delaware, but live in and conduct business in Michigan, you’ll also need to register your Delaware LLC in Michigan (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying Michigan taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Michigan, then yes, Michigan is a good state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Michigan, then no, Michigan isn’t a good state to start a business.

Real estate exception: If you’re purchasing real estate outside of Michigan, you should form your LLC in the state where the property is located.

For more information, please see Best State to Form an LLC.

What is the difference between a Domestic LLC, a Foreign LLC, and a PLLC?

The main differences between Domestic LLCs, Foreign LLCs, and Professional LLCs are where they are formed and their business purpose.

A Domestic Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in its “home state”, meaning, where the business owner lives and does business.

For example, if you live in and do business in Michigan, you would form your Domestic LLC in Michigan.

A Foreign Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in a state that isn’t its home state. In this case, the term “foreign” simply means that the LLC is foreign to its “home state”.

For example, if you live in and do business in Michigan, you would form your Domestic LLC in Michigan. If you later expand into Ohio, you would register your existing Michigan LLC as a Foreign LLC in Ohio.

Said another way, LLCs are created at the state-level.

And if you want your LLC to do business in two separate states, you have to form or register an LLC in both states.

This works by forming a Domestic LLC in your home state, and a Foreign LLC in the other state.

What is a PLLC?

A Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) is a type of LLC formed for the purpose of providing “professional services”.

In this case, “professional” refers to business types that require special permissions (like a license, registration, or certification from the state) in order to do business legally.

For example, architects, attorneys, and social work counselors, doctors, and veterinarians often form their business practices as PLLCs.

You can read more about PLLCs, their availability, and their stricter requirements in: What’s a Professional LLC?

And for more information on Foreign and Domestic LLCs, please see:

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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63 comments on “Michigan LLC”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. This provides the form to start an LLC in Michigan, but I can’t find the form to “convert” or “domesticate” an llc that was started in another state to Michigan.

  2. We recently registered our LLC in Michigan using L.L.C.
    Just today I found your website and discovered we could have done the LLC without periods. How hard would it be to change to LLC with State of Michigan?
    Mark

    • Hi Mark, it’s not material. Meaning, you can use periods or leave them out, regardless of what’s filed with the state. No one really checks and it’s not enforced. If you want to eliminate any doubt though, you can file a Certificate of Correction with the Michigan Secretary of State.

  3. I started my LLC about a year ago. Just recently, I decided to change the business name. I filed for a new Articles of Organization. Hoping to be approved. However, I’m wondering if I did process incorrectly. Should I have sent in an Article of Amendment first? Or do I file that after the new name is approved? Do I need to dissolve the former name? I’m a single small owner business. No employees.

    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Michelle, it sounds like you formed two LLCs! Did the new LLC get approved? If so, did you set up a bank account with the first LLC and use it for other things? We’ll see what we can do to help you troubleshoot it. For reference, filing the amendment is the way to change an LLC’s name.

      • Hi Matt,
        Thank you for the response! Unfortunately, I did start a second LLC. Opened a checking account & EIN number for the new name. I was given the advice i need to dissolve the first LLC. Is that right? Then close the first checking account out. I’m very small online buisness.

        Thanks!

  4. Hi Matt
    How much(in percentage) Sale tax or income tax required by Michigan state?
    For Michigan llc

    • I’m not sure as we’re not a tax firm. I recommend speaking with an accountant.

  5. Hi Matt! Super helpful information. If one member is in MI and the other in NY, do we need to create an LLC in both states?

    • Thanks Avantika! That’s great to hear. Where an LLC should be formed has more to do with where it’s “transacting business”. What kind of business is this and where will it be operating, or ran from?

  6. Hi Matt
    I want to start my new LLc. can you do it for me?
    please send me the information so we can start.

    Thanks

  7. This guide is super comprehensive and much appreciated. The question i have is, are all these steps kept up to date? I see comments and answers above from earlier this year (2020) all the way back to 2017. So i am assuming the answer is yes, what appears on this page reflects all current legal and procedural necessities and leaves out nothing that is crucial/basic.

    Thought it was worth checking anyway, before i continue organizing my plan (to form an LLC in Michigan).

    Thanks again!

    • Hi C, you’re very welcome :) Yes, we keep all our guides up to date. Thanks!

  8. Hi Thank you for all the information. I want to know whether I could use my Resident Agent’s address and contact information on my business website. Thanks.

  9. Hi Matt,
    I am an indian citizen. I wish to start an LLC in Troy Michigan. Do I need to have a physical address in michigan, for the same? Can I have an LLC formed without any physical address in the US? However I would like to start a business which could generate revenue in US without having a physical address in US. e.g A job placement consultancy. Can this be possible in Troy?

  10. I have been looking for a site that would completely explain everything and your site is awesome. I have one question, I am looking at starting my own road side produce stand selling fresh produce and fresh eggs, do I need to have a business plan in place or is everything that you have provided here enough to submit and get my business off the ground legally? Thank you.

    • Thanks Kim! Glad you’re finding it helpful. Nope, you don’t need a business plan in order to start your LLC. Hope that helps.

  11. Matt,

    You are a miracle! I happened across your video on YouTube and have had every question answered. I am starting my own production company on January 1st, and was feeling a bit anxious about it. Paranoid is more like it. I didn’t want to forget to do something, and have it adversely affect my down the line.

    I spoke with someone at Northwest yesterday, and I believe I’m gonna go with them. It’s a load off of my mind. Thanks!

    Ann

    • Hi Ann, thank you! I know the feeling. Very natural when you’re starting out. It fades away over time ;) Glad you had a nice conversation with them. I think they have great customer service. Happy New Year!

  12. Hi! Thanks so much for this excellent resource. Question for you: I would like to set up an LLC for a condo I will be buying and renting out. The condo (and rent payer) is located in Colorado. I (rent collector) am located in Michigan. Are there legal requirements for where I should set up the LLC? Should I set it up as a Michigan LLC or a Colorado LLC?

    • Hey Denise! You’re very welcome :) Where to form your LLC is based on where you’re “doing business”. Since your property will be located in Colorado and you’re collecting rents there, you’ll be doing business in Colorado and a Colorado LLC is likely the way to go. Hope that helps.

  13. Hi Matt, Just got back the approved Articles of Organization I filed with the state of Michigan after using this website. This website was so helpful!!! I have one question about my LLC name after I looked at the papers sent back from the state. On the Articles of Organization under Article I, I had put a comma in the name of my company before “LLC”. The state returned the Articles of Organization as “FILED” with a stamp at the top. The stamp in the third line says “ID: My Business Name LLC” (not my real business name of course, just for this question) with no comma before the “LLC”. Did the state drop the comma before “LLC”? Did they change my business name? Or can I proceed with my business name as I planned: “My Business Name, LLC”

    • Hey Alice, congratulations! You can proceed with your business name as planned (My Business Name, LLC). The state didn’t change your LLC name, they are just “normalizing” their records for their database. If you look at the Michigan LLC Act, Section 450.4204 (1), you’ll see “with or without periods or other punctuation“. Hope that helps!

  14. This website is a fantastic resource!! I will be forming an LLC in the next couple of weeks, and the costs through some of the services just didn’t seem right. Your website answered my questions and I will be able to save several hundred dollars, which will go into establishing MY business, not growing someone else’s!

    • Hey John, thanks so much! I’m happy to hear we were able to save you hundreds of dollars :)

  15. This is the best!!! Concise and to the point… and Free too!!! I love it!! Thank you so much!

  16. Hello Matt, thank you very much for company registration guidance, i followed your recommendation accordingly and below are the document Northwest registered agent are going to provide me
    Online Federal Tax ID w/SSN filing
    Registered Agent Service in Michigan
    Expedited Michigan Form a Company filing
    How To Start An LLC – Deluxe Package bundle
    Is there another document required for my company before i stat working on website and company logos etc ?

    • Hi Peter, you’re very welcome. You should be good to go :)

  17. This was definitely some beneficial information. I bookmarked this page for future reference. Thank you so much!!

    • Hi Karynthia, thank you for the compliment! We are glad you found our lessons helpful. Comments like yours makes all our hard work worth it :) Thanks again.

  18. I’m so thankful to have stumbled onto your site! You not only saved me money, but you saved me money. Did I mention that you saved me money?!?! Seriously though, thank you so very much for putting this information out there! Starting up a new business can be so expensive and you allowed me to put that extra $300 to $400 I just saved into much better use! I’m sincerely grateful for your help!

    ~Shawna

    • Hey Shawna! Thanks for such a lovely comment! I’m glad to hear we were able to help you form your LLC and that you got to keep those dollars in your pocket ;)

  19. Question. the person that file for the LLC do that mean they’re the owner of the business or company?

    • Nope. I believe you’re referring to the signature at the bottom of page 1 of the Michigan LLC Articles of Organization. That role is known as the LLC Organizer. An LLC Organizer may be an LLC Member (owner), but they don’t automatically become an LLC Member by organizing the LLC.

  20. Thank you so much! You answered all my questions and got me headed in the right direction! By far the best LLC information source that I found after well over an hour on the internet! Thanks again!

    • Hey Tammy! Thanks for your awesome comment! It means a lot!! :)

  21. If I buy two income properties outside of Michigan what tax will I pay in MI. I am a MI resident but live in Scottsdale AZ, can I form a single member LLC and have everything sent to my AZ address or must I have an address in MI?

    • If you’re forming an LLC in Michigan, you’ll need a Registered Agent (Article IV) with an address in Michigan. You can’t use a Arizona address here. Regarding taxes, we cannot answer this as taxes vary so widely among businesses. You’ll need to speak with an accountant regarding your tax obligations.

  22. Great step by step guide! This was very helpful. Tip! Please update your LARA links since all of them seem to be unlisted since the LARA update not too long ago. Other than that, fantastic work! Thanks again!

    • Matt, thanks for the heads up! LARA has made a series of changes, so the links have changed a few times over now ;) We just updated the page though… everything is correct now. Thanks for your note, and thanks for the feedback!

  23. Hi Matt,

    If I designate myself as the resident agent of my LLC, should I file a registration of agent document to Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs? Thanks.

    • Hi Ling, no, you don’t need to submit that form if you’re acting as the Registered Agent for your LLC. Hope that helps.

    • Kay, that’s great news!! Congratulations :) And you’re very welcome!

  24. Thank you so much for this info! I submitted my AOO but I didn’t write “perpetual” for the duration and believe I may get rejected. Will I have to pay the filing fee again to resubmit if I get rejected? (Michigan)

    • Hi Kay, if you look at Article 3 of the Articles of Organization, it actually says “The duration of the limited liability company if other than perpetual is”… meaning, you only need to enter something if you DON’T want your LLC to have a perpetual existence. So, by leaving it blank, you essentially told the state to give your LLC a perpetual existence. You should be all good!

      • Thank you for your reply! That was my line of thinking too but I was looking at Michigan’s “rejected filings registry” and so many of them were rejected for leaving Article 3 blank so I wasn’t sure :/

  25. Hi Matt,
    Does the Operating Agreement legally establish “member” or “managing member” designation for signing contracts.
    If “managing member” is used would members name be designated instead of “all of its members” in the “Members Provision – Management” (Michigan LLC).
    Thank you for providing this great site and valuable information.

  26. Without question, the best site assistant we have located online! Streamline and easy to follow directions & links! We’ll make sure to spread the word!

    • William, what a great comment to receive :) We always appreciate the love and thank you for spreading the word!

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