Michigan Business License for LLC

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Michigan Business License Requirements

Business LicenseAfter you form a Michigan LLC, you may need to obtain a business license or permit.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Michigan LLC is located.

Because of the large number of industries and all of the municipalities in Michigan, it’s not possible for us to explain them all. However, you can use the search tools below, call your local municipality, or hire a company for help.

Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using IncFile ($99) to handle the business license research for you.

How to get a Business License in Michigan

You can obtain a Michigan business license by applying with the necessary licensing or regulatory agency. The agency you apply with will depend on where your business is located and what business activities it engages in.

The application typically requires basic information, such as your LLC name, EIN Number, business owner address, and contact information. Many also include a questionnaire that asks about your business activity.

There are three main licensing jurisdictions:

  • State
  • Local municipality (county, city, township, etc.)
  • Federal

State Business License in Michigan

There are two main types of state-level business licenses: general business licenses and industry-specific licenses.

For example, if the state has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in the state must have the license, regardless of what they do. Michigan doesn’t require a general business license at the state level.

Most states have industry-specific business licenses or permits, which means a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you sell used cars, or run a hair salon, you may need an industry-specific business license. But a license may not be required for other types of businesses.

The Michigan.gov: State Business License Search helps you determine what state-level licenses and permits your Michigan business may need. You can search by keyword, such as “food truck” or “barber”.

Alternatively, you can browse all of the business licenses:
Michigan.gov: Alphabetical list of licenses and permits

Or you can call the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs via their contact page.

Municipal Business License

Municipal business licenses can be issued by the city, town, county, parish, township, borough, etc. We refer to all of these as a “municipality” to keep things simple.

There are two main types of municipal business licenses: general business licenses and industry-specific licenses.

For example, if a municipality has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in that municipality must have the license, regardless of what they do.

And if a municipality has industry-specific business licenses, a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you operate a food truck, or run a daycare, you may need an industry-specific municipal business license.

But a license may not be required for other types of businesses, like making wedding invitation templates or offering marketing consulting.

You can contact your municipality to check on your license and permit requirements.

Michigan Sales Tax License

If you sell products to consumers in Michigan, you may need to collect sales tax and have a sales tax license.

You can get this sales tax license from the Michigan Department of Treasury.

You can read more information about sales tax here:

If you have any questions, you can contact the Sales Tax division of the Michigan Department of Treasury at 517-636-6925.

Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using TaxJar. They'll help you register for, collect, and pay sales tax.

Do I need any federal business licenses?

Most Michigan businesses don’t. However, certain industries need federal business licenses:

If your business…Contact this agency about business licenses
Transports animals, plants or biotechnology over state linesDepartment of Agriculture
Imports or exports animal products, wildlife, or products derived from wildlife (including fish)Fish and Wildlife Service
Fishes commerciallyFish and Wildlife Service
Broadcasts on radio or TVFederal Communications Commission
Makes alcohol and sells it at a retail storeTobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
Makes or sells firearms, ammunition or explosivesBureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives
Transports cargo by seaFederal Maritime Commission
Transports goods or people by airFederal Aviation Administration

Check out the Small Business Administration’s Licenses and Permits page for a full list of industries with federal license requirements.

If your business isn’t one of these special cases, then the only federal requirements are that your LLC get an EIN Number (aka Federal Employer Identification Number) and that you file taxes.

Michigan Business License FAQs

Michigan doesn’t have a state-level general business license, so there are no fees there.

However, your business may need a state-level industry-specific license or municipal-level license or permit to operate. The filing fee for licenses will vary depending on where you’re doing business and what industry you’re in.

And you might not need a business license at all!

Unfortunately, we can’t say what your LLC’s business license costs would be, because it depends on several factors and the cost of Michigan licenses varies.

No, an LLC is not a business license. They are two completely different things.

An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing a document with the state government.

And a business license is a document, which gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business.

Sometimes a new business owner chooses to operate as a Sole Proprietorship instead of an LLC.

Even if you’re just trying out a business idea as a Sole Proprietorship, you are still subject to license requirements at the state and municipal level.

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Michigan:

  1. Select a business name for your Michigan LLC
  2. Choose your Registered Agent
  3. File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  6. Open an LLC bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Michigan

Next Step: LLC Taxes

After you research Michigan business licenses and permits, you can proceed to the next lesson: Michigan LLC Taxes.

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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