New Business Registration Frequently Asked Questions
All new businesses that have Michigan employees must register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Michigan Department of Treasury for Social Security Tax (federal) and income tax withholding (federal and state). Some cities also levy a city income tax. Contact the City Treasurer's office for information or City Tax Forms (Michigan cities that impose an income tax).
Individuals or businesses that sell tangible personal property to the final consumer also need a sales tax license. In order to register for sales tax, please follow the application process outlined on Form 518 , Complete Registration Booklet.
- May I register my business on line?
Yes. Michigan Treasury Online is a secure way to register a business for taxes in the State of Michigan. For additional MTO assistance, visit our Resources and Help section . It also allows you to perform a variety of tasks to start and operate a business, including applying for permits and licenses with other Michigan departments.
- Can I submit a registration application without providing a Social Security Number (SSN)?
Providing the social security number of at least 2 partners or at least 1 officer/owner is required. This information is required to verify, identify, and protect the principal parties for a business. Treasury takes the safeguarding of taxpayer personal information seriously and utilizes appropriate physical, technical, and administrative procedures to safeguard the information we collect and process.
- I am a taxpayer from another country and my personal identification number contains letters. I do not have any ID number equivalent to a SSN. What should I enter in the SSN field?
Treasury is currently reviewing system modifications that would allow taxpayers in your situation the ability to use MTO. At this time, we are unable to give a timeframe for this functionality. We apologize for the inconvenience, but you will need to continue to submit your information using paper forms at this time.Note: Foreign taxpayers who have their Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of an SSN are able to bypass the required social security number field during e-registration. The IRS issues ITINs to individuals who are required to have a U.S. taxpayer identification number but who do not have and are not eligible to obtain a SSN from the Social Security Administration. The SSN or Taxpayer Identification Number is required to complete Step 4 of the e-Registration application.
- What form do I use to register for Michigan Business Taxes?
Form 518 , Complete Registration Booklet. The completed paper application may be mailed to the address listed on the form. If mailed, please allow 4-6 weeks for processing.
- May I register my business over the phone?
No. You must complete Form 518 sign the form and mail or fax it to the Department of Treasury.
- Can Form 518 be mailed to me?
Yes, but for faster processing of your application, please use the online E-Registration application .
- If we have more than one Michigan location, do we have to submit a form 518 for each individual location?
No. When a new registration is received, indicating that business will be conducted from more than one location, the registration application/form must list each location. When the application is processed, a copy of the sales tax license will be sent to the legal address. You can also print copies of the Sales Tax licenses issued since March 2014 from the correspondence tab in the MTO application.If you are currently registered and are adding locations, utilize MTO to add locations.
- Which “business category” should I select on the 518 form if my exact business type is not listed?
Pick the code that most closely represents your business type. In addition, fill out the “define your business activity” section explaining exactly what you are selling/producing.
- I will be selling my product on the internet. How do I register my business?
Michigan residents who will be making internet sales should register using the Streamlined Sales Tax Registration.
- I want to sell my product at one show in Michigan and I don't have a Michigan sales tax license. Do I need to register?
a. Yes. If you will be selling your product every year consecutively, create a MTO profile and register your business through e-Registration.
b. No. If you will be doing 2 or less shows a year intermittently. Instead file Form 5089, Concessionaire’s Sales Tax Return and Payment.
- How do I notify you that my business is closing?
You may go to MTO to discontinue your business or submit Form 163, Notice of Change or Discontinuance. Be sure to include your name, address, account number, valid signature, and an effective date of discontinuance of tax liability. Our mailing address is: Michigan Department of Treasury, Registration, PO Box 30778, Lansing, MI 48909. You may also fax the information to 517-636-4520.
- How do I notify you that my business is moving?
You may go to MTO to change your address or submit Form 163, Notice of Change or Discontinuance. Be sure to include your name, address, account number and valid signature. Our mailing address is: Michigan Department of Treasury, Registration, PO Box 30778, Lansing, MI 48909. You may also fax the information to 517-636-4520.
- Does a business that is only registered for sales tax have to put previous business information for the Schedule B even if they do not have employees?
518 applications filed through E-registration requires that all questions are answered for schedule B. Treasury only requires pages one and two of a paper application, not schedule B.
- Will a tax booklet be mailed to me?
Effective 2015, tax booklets will no longer be mailed. We prefer that you e-file your tax returns. If you choose not to or are unable to use MTO to e-file, you will need to download the appropriate forms.
- Do I file under my ME number or my Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)?
All ME numbers were discontinued December 31, 2014, at which time, all business tax obligations were transferred to the FEIN for filing purposes with Michigan Department of Treasury. If you were actively using ME numbers for tax years 2014 and prior, SUW taxes should be filed under those respective numbers through the 2014 tax year (including annual returns).
Other Government Requirements
- How do I get a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)? Employer
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issues a FEIN or EIN to all persons or business entities with employees who are subject to the income tax withholding provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The number is also issued to corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships. Individuals with no employees do not need a FEIN. For additional information and forms to apply for a FEIN, visit the Internal Revenue Service Web site or call 800-829-4933 and register over the phone.
- How do I contact the IRS with questions on Individual Income Tax or a Federal Employers Identification Number?
All questions regarding your federal income tax return should be directed to the Internal Revenue Service or call 800-829-1040.
- What is a Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Corporate identification number?
Michigan corporations, limited liability companies, limited partnerships along with out of state Corporations and Limited Liability Corporations that file authority to transact business in Michigan are given an identification number when they file with the Bureau of Commercial Services. It is a 6-character number found on your Articles of Incorporation or Organization. Note: This should not be confused with a federal identification number or a tax identification number.
- What information do I need to be considered a corporation or limited liability company (LLC)?
To obtain information, forms, and name availability on corporations or Limited Liability Companies (LLC) you may go to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Web site .You may also obtain a copy of the “Guide to Starting and Operating A Small Business” or call the toll free Small Business & Technology Development Center (toll free) at 877-873-4567.
- Who is required to submit new hire reports?
Federal law requires all employers to report to the State of Michigan the:
- Social Security Number