File your Articles of Organization to form an LLC in Michigan
In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your LLC Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
This is the document that officially forms your Michigan LLC.
You can file the Michigan Articles of Organization online or by mail.
The form asks for basic information like your business name, your LLC address, and your Registered Agent information.
Michigan LLC Articles of Organization filing fee
The filing fee for an LLC in Michigan is $50. This is a one-time fee, and it’s the same amount whether you file online or by mail.
Veterans: You can form an LLC for free in Michigan. Please read Michigan Veteran LLC for instructions.
Note: The “LLC filing fee” is the same thing as the “Articles of Organization fee”. They are different names for the same fee to create your Michigan LLC.
Michigan LLC approval times
The approval time for a Michigan LLC is 10 business days (about 2 weeks).
This is the same for both online filings and mail filings. However, allow a few extra days for mail filings.
LLC University® recommendation: We recommend the online filing as it’s easier to complete. Instructions are below.
However, if you aren’t very tech-comfortable, you can still file by mail.
Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in Michigan.
Filing your Articles of Organization by Mail
If you want to file by mail (instead of online), you need to:
- Download the Michigan LLC Articles of Organization (Form CD-700)
- Prepare a check or money order for $50
- Make payable to “The State of Michigan”
- Put your LLC Name on the memo line
- Send your payment and the completed Articles of Organization to: Michigan Corporations Division, PO Box 30054, Lansing, MI 48909-7554
Mail filing video instructions (see 8min 50s):
Filing your Articles of Organization Online
Tip: Don’t use your browser’s back button. This will clear all the data entered. Use the navigation buttons on the bottom of the screen instead.
- Visit the Michigan Corporation Online Filing System (aka COFS)
- Look under “Domestic Limited Liability Company” and click on “Form 700 – Articles of Organization“
- Fill out the form using the step-by-step instructions below
Article I – Name
- Prior lesson: Make sure you’ve read the Michigan LLC Name Search lesson before proceeding.
Enter your desired LLC name, including its designator (ending).
As per Section 450.4204 of the Michigan LLC Act, your LLC name must have one of the following designators at the end:
- Limited Liability Company
Tip: Most people choose “LLC”.
Article II – Purpose
- Related lesson: LLC statement of purpose
If you would like to list a specific purpose for your LLC, you can enter that in this box.
However, if you leave the box blank, it means your LLC will use the “all purpose clause” (aka a general purpose). This means your LLC can engage in any legal business activities.
Recommendation: We recommend using an “all purpose clause” as it gives your LLC the most flexibility.
What do most filers do? Most filers leave Article II blank.
Exception: If you’re forming a Professional LLC or an Educational purpose LLC, you cannot use the “all purpose clause”. You must specifically state the purpose of your LLC. Additionally, Professional LLCs and Educational purpose LLCs have different filing requirements, which are not covered in this lesson.
Article III – Duration
In this section, you’ll tell Michigan how long you want your LLC to exist.
We recommend leaving this section blank as this gives your LLC a perpetual duration. This means your LLC will exist forever, until you choose to dissolve it.
Note: It’s very rare to specify an end date in your Articles of Organization filing (a date on which your LLC would automatically shut down). You can always dissolve your LLC by filing a simple form later.
Article IV – Registered Agent & Registered Office
- Prior lesson: Make sure you’ve read the Michigan Registered Agent lesson before proceeding.
In #1 and #2, enter the name and address of your Michigan Registered Agent.
You can leave #3 blank, unless your Registered Agent receives mail at a different address.
Tip: If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, contact them for how to complete this section.
Optional Article (used for Effective Date)
The LLC Effective Date is the date your Michigan LLC goes into existence (is “born”).
You have two options:
- Your LLC can go into existence on the date it’s approved by the state
- or your LLC can go into existence on a future date
If you choose a future date, it can’t be more than 90 days ahead. You also can’t back-date your filing at all.
If you want your LLC to go into existence on the date it’s approved by the state:
Don’t enter anything here. Leave the entire section blank.
If you want your LLC to go into existence on a future date:
Enter the capital letter “V” (for Article ‘5’) in the box. Then enter your desired Effective Date.
Why would I change the Effective Date?
If you’re forming your LLC later in the year (October through December) and you don’t need your LLC open right away, you can forward date your filing to January 1st of next year. This can save you the hassle of filing taxes for those few months.
However, if you need your LLC bank account to be opened before January 1st, we recommend leaving this section blank (and not changing the Effective Date).
Optional Article (used for Additional Rules)
- Recommended reading: Please read Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC before proceeding. Remember, LLC owners are called Members.
Typically, this section is used for “additional rules”. For example, your attorney might give you specific instructions to include here. But that isn’t very common.
However, because of Section 450.4401 of the Michigan LLC Act, if you want your LLC to be Manager-managed, you need to state that in your Articles of Organization.
If you want your LLC to be Member-managed:
Leave this section blank. Because by default, all Michigan LLCs are Member-managed.
If you want your LLC to be Manager-managed:
Enter the following text: “This LLC shall be managed by 1 or more Managers, as provided by the Operating Agreement.” This is all you need to write here. The details of who the Manager(s) are will be spelled out in your Michigan LLC Operating Agreement.
What roman numeral should I use for this section?
- If you entered a delayed Effective Date in Article V above, then this will be Article VI.
- If you left the Effective Date blank, then this will be Article V.
- Recommended reading: Please read LLC Organizer vs LLC Member before proceeding.
At least 1 Organizer must sign your Articles of Organization:
- Click “Add new entry to this list” and enter the name of the Organizer
- Leave the drop down menu on “Organizer”
- Click “Accept”
- Then click “Add”
Tip: We recommend that your LLC Organizer(s) signs an LLC Statement of Organizer.
Special Instructions (Optional)
Leave this blank.
Submitter’s Contact Information
The Submitter is the “point of contact” for your Michigan Articles of Organization filing.
If the state has any questions, they’ll contact this person. Additionally, the LLC approval documents will be sent to the Submitter. The information listed in this section is private and doesn’t go on public record.
Contact Name: Enter your first and last name.
Business Name: Leave this blank. Don’t enter your LLC name.
Mailing address: Enter your preferred mailing address. This address can be:
- an address that’s already on the Articles of Organization
- a PO Box or Mailbox Rental Facility
- in Michigan or in any state
- in the United States or in any country
Contact phone number: Enter your best phone number. It can be a cell phone, home phone, or business phone number.
Contact email: Enter your best email address. This can be a personal or business email. Your LLC approval documents will be sent to this email address.
Delivery method for statutory notices
We recommend leaving “Email” checked. Then enter your email address in the field.
The state is simply asking for an email address where they can send future notices to your LLC. And even though the explanations mentions “Resident Agent”, we recommend using your own email address so the notices go right to you.
By default, your LLC will be approved in 10 business days (approximately 2 weeks).
If you would like your LLC approved faster, you can pay more money for expedited filing.
Most people don’t choose to expedite their filing. However, if you do, we recommend choosing the “24 Hour Review” for $50 extra. It’s the most cost effective.
Click “Review” to proceed to the next step.
You might not notice it, but the page will refresh. Review your information for accuracy and check for any typos.
If everything looks good, click “Submit filing” at the bottom.
If you need to make any changes, click “Make corrections”.
Michigan LLC fee: $50
Click “Enter credit card details”. You can pay with a credit or debit card.
Finalize and submit your payment to the state.
Congratulations! Your Michigan LLC has been submitted for approval.
Michigan LLC approval time (online filing)
Your Michigan LLC will be approved within 10 business days of submitting your Articles of Organization.
Then the state will send an email to the Submitter’s email address.
Attached to that email will be your LLC approval documents:
- Filing Endorsement
- Stamped and approved Articles of Organization
Additionally, that email will include information about your LLC’s CID (Customer ID Number) and PIN.
CID and PIN for a Michigan LLC
Important: Every Michigan LLC is assigned a CID (Customer ID Number) and PIN (password).
These are used to file your Michigan LLC Annual Statement each year.
Please make a few copies of your CID and PIN and keep them in a safe location.
Michigan Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations Division.
Their phone number is 517-241-6470. Their hours are Monday through Friday, from 8am to 5pm Eastern Time.
Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement
Once you file your Articles of Organization, and they are approved by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Michigan LLC Operating Agreement.
Michigan Articles of Organization FAQs
You can get the Michigan Articles of Organization from the state’s website.
If you’re looking for a copy of Articles of Organization that you already filed for your LLC:
Search your LLC name on the Michigan Business Entity Search page. Click the button “View Fillings” and select the Articles of Organization.
The Articles of Organization are a form that tells the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs important information about your LLC. Once LARA approves your LLC, your company officially exists.
The Articles of Organization ask for your LLC name, business address, Registered Agent, and other information.
Yes, you have to put “LLC” (or another allowable ending) in your LLC name. Michigan allows the following endings:
- Limited Liability Company
Tip: Most people choose “LLC”.
Your complete LLC name gets listed in your Michigan Articles of Organization.
It costs $50 to file the Michigan Articles of Organization.
This is a one-time fee paid to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Article 2 of the Michigan Articles of Organization asks for your business’s purpose.
You’re not required to list anything specific here. In fact, you can leave this section blank.
Doing so will give your LLC a “general purpose”. This means you can use your LLC for any legal purpose. This is a good choice to give your LLC the most flexibility.
It depends on what your business does.
Michigan doesn’t have a state-wide general business license requirement. However, the Michigan Commercial Licensing Bureau requires certain types of businesses to have a license.
You should check with your city or county about any local business license requirements for your LLC.
And you may need to register with the Michigan Department of Revenue in order to collect sales tax or register for other taxes.
No, the instructions on this page are specifically for filing a Domestic LLC in Michigan.
If you want to file a Foreign Limited Liability Company, you can find the forms and fees in Foreign LLC Fees by State.
Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Michigan:
- Select a business name for your Michigan LLC
- Choose your Registered Agent
- File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Michigan
Michigan LLC Act: Section 450.4104 (filing rules)
State of Michigan: Entrepreneur’s Guide (PDF)
Michigan LARA: FAQs and Instructions
Michigan LARA: Form CD-700 Articles of Organization
Michigan LARA: Limited Liability Company Filing Information
Michigan LARA: Policy Statement C-53 on Educational-Purpose LLCs
Michigan LARA: Policy Statement C-38 on Preclearance of Documents
Michigan LARA: FAQ – Information for completing an online submission