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New Corporations Online Filing System (COFS) Cuts Red Tape for 800,000+ Businesses in Michigan
Doing business with the State becomes easier than ever
Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
October 26, 2017 - To facilitate business growth in Michigan and to better meet the business needs of the more than 800,000 business customers in the state, the new Corporations Online Filing System (COFS) will go live October 30 at 8:00 am. Launched by LARA’s Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing (CSCL) bureau, COFS will make doing business with the State of Michigan significantly easier and more convenient.
“We’re excited to launch this state-of-the-art software program that drastically improves our business filing system and adds many new online capabilities to better serve Michigan’s business community,” said CSCL Director Julia Dale. “Online filing means easier filing, faster service and expedited fee payment processing that eliminates all the paperwork, mailing and waiting – freeing up our customers’ valuable time to more profitably spend toward actually starting and running their businesses.”
With COFS’ technology, businesses can submit documents and annual filings, pay filing fees, and order certificates and certified copies all online; set up a secure electronic debit account (providing frequent filers with the ability to pay filing fees without repeatedly entering payment data); and sign up for subscription-based electronic notification of yearly reporting requirements. Certificates of Good Standing will be automatically processed by COFS and emailed to a business owner within minutes. COFS also features an expanded search functionality (by individual name, trademark, service mark and insignia records); a capability to search rejected submissions, and search the Corporations Division’s Card Files (which contain the records of business entities that were dissolved prior to January 1, 1978); enhanced communication with CSCL offices, and much more.
Businesses will be assigned new entity identification numbers by the Corporations Division for their exclusive use when submitting documents. The new entity ID number will not affect a business customer’s taxes. The business’ taxpayer identification number(s) used by the Michigan Department of Treasury and federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) remain unchanged.
In mid-October, resident agents of all registered business entities were notified about COFS and provided live log-in instructions, including the new entity identification number, as well as a customer identification number (CID) and PIN which are similar to a username and password to be used to log into COFS. Those who didn’t receive their CID and PIN or lose it, should contact the Corporations Division by email at CorpPIN@michigan.gov.
Dale emphasized a seamless transition to the greatly modernized system, and that all existing business information and filed documents will be available in the new system. “The Corporations Division’s entire database will be migrated to COFS,” said Dale. “A business entity’s information and filed documents on record with the Corporations Division will be available through the Business Entity Search.” There are approximately two million records and 13 million images in the existing database.
All current filing fees will remain the same as fees are mandated by statute. Customers may continue to submit documents by mail or in person at CSCL offices in Okemos, MI, in addition to online. Expedited services for the usual applicable fees will continue.
In preparation for the October 30 launch, the Corporations Division will cease accepting submissions via MICH-Elf, FILEOnline and the front office on Thursday, October 26 at 5:00 p.m. EST. The Business Entity Search and Name Availability Search sites will be available until 5:00 p.m. Friday, October 27. After which all of the above sites will be replaced by the COF System on Monday morning, October 30.
More information on how to use the new system, including Frequently Asked Questions are provided on the Corporations Division website at www.michigan.gov/corporations. For further assistance, business customers may contact the Corporations Division at 517-241-6470, during newly expanded hours 8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday, October 30 through Friday, November 9.
CSCL’s Corporations Division administers statutes related to the formation, life, and dissolution of Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Partnerships, and for foreign entities to obtain a certificate of authority to transact business in the state. If a person desires to form one of these entities or qualify an existing entity to transact business or conduct affairs in Michigan they must submit the appropriate documents to the Corporations Division.