How to Register My Business in Michigan

How to Register My Business in Michigan

If you’re planning to start a business in Michigan, one of the first steps you need to take is to register your business with the appropriate authorities. Registering your business not only gives it legal recognition but also helps you comply with tax regulations and protects your personal assets. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to register your business in Michigan:

1. Choose a business name: Select a unique and distinguishable name for your business. Ensure that it complies with Michigan’s naming requirements and is not already in use by another entity.

2. Determine your business structure: Decide whether your business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation. Each structure has its own legal and tax implications, so it’s crucial to choose the one that best suits your needs.

3. Register with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA): Visit the LARA website and complete the necessary forms to register your business. You will need to provide details such as your business name, structure, and contact information.

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4. Obtain an EIN: If your business is not a sole proprietorship, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This unique number is used for tax purposes and is necessary for hiring employees or opening a business bank account.

5. Register for state taxes: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to register for state taxes such as sales tax, use tax, and withholding tax. Visit the Michigan Department of Treasury website to determine your tax obligations and register accordingly.

6. Obtain necessary licenses and permits: Some businesses require specific licenses or permits to operate legally in Michigan. Check with LARA or local government agencies to identify the permits or licenses you need, and apply for them accordingly.

7. Register for local taxes: In addition to state taxes, your business may be subject to local taxes or fees. Contact your local city or county government to determine any additional tax obligations and register accordingly.

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8. Register for unemployment insurance: If you plan to hire employees, you will need to register with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) to provide unemployment insurance coverage to your workers.

9. Open a business bank account: Separating your personal and business finances is crucial for legal and accounting purposes. Open a business bank account to keep your business transactions separate and organized.


1. How much does it cost to register a business in Michigan?
The filing fee for registering a business in Michigan is $25 for most entities.

2. How long does it take to register a business in Michigan?
The registration process typically takes around 1-2 weeks if done online.

3. Can I register my business online?
Yes, you can register your business online through the LARA website.

4. Do I need a lawyer to register my business in Michigan?
While not required, consulting with a lawyer can help ensure compliance with all legal requirements.

5. Can I change my business name after registration?
Yes, you can change your business name by filing a name change amendment with LARA.

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6. What is an assumed name in Michigan?
An assumed name, also known as a “doing business as” (DBA) name, is an alternative name under which a business operates.

7. Do I need a state license to start a business in Michigan?
Some businesses require state licenses, such as a liquor license or professional license. Check with LARA for specific requirements.

8. What taxes do I need to pay as a business owner in Michigan?
Depending on your business activities, you may need to pay sales tax, use tax, and corporate income tax.

9. Can I register a business in Michigan if I’m not a U.S. citizen?
Yes, non-U.S. citizens can register a business in Michigan by following the same process as U.S. citizens.

Remember, registering your business is a critical step in establishing its legitimacy and ensuring compliance with legal and tax obligations. By following these steps and seeking the necessary guidance, you’ll be well on your way to running a successful business in Michigan.

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