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Michigan Business Roadmap

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Michigan Business Roadmap

Michigan Business Roadmap

The following information will help ensure your business is successful, in compliance with state laws and regulations, and protected against business scams and identity theft. 

Mark these items off your to-do list and set your business up for success!

  

Step 1: File with the Corporations Division 

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START NOW

The Corporations Division is your first stop for filing your business and ensuring it complies with state laws and regulations.

If you are unsure of the type of business you should form, contact the Michigan Small Business Development Center, Small Business Association of Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a lawyer, or tax professional. 

   

Step 2: Submit Your Beneficial Ownership Report to FinCEN

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Your business may be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information Report with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Go to: www.fincen.gov/boi for more information and to submit your electronic report.

   

Step 3: Submit Your Annual Report or Annual Statement

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The Corporations Division provides all the information you need to ensure your business maintains an active status. 

Failure to file business entity annual reports or statements will result in the dissolution by Operation of Law of your corporation or loss of good standing for your LLC or PLLC. Filing taxes is not the same as filing an annual report or statement.

I'm Ready to File the Annual Report or Annual Statement.          

File my Report

Step 4: Obtain a Federal Identification Number

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The IRS issues Employer Identification Numbers (EINs). EINs are required for paying federal and state taxes and opening back accounts.

EINs are free and should be kept confidential. EINs should not be provided to the Corporations Division.

For questions, please contact the IRS

Note: Please do not complete this step until you have received approval that your entity has been formed by the Corporations Division.

Step 5: Apply for Tax Exempt Status

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APPLY NOW

The IRS determines whether a nonprofit organization qualifies for tax-exempt status. You must apply to the IRS to receive tax-exempt status.

To learn about state sales tax exemptions for nonprofits, click here.

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account

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Get Certified Copies or Certificates

Contact your bank to determine what you need to open an account. You will be required to have your EIN.

Ask your bank what information is required on the business record. Banks may require certified copies of the business record or certificate of good standing to open an account. 

Step 7: Register with the Michigan Department of Treasury

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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).

Step 8: Register your business for Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA)

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REGISTER NOW

Businesses are required to register with UIA to report wages if you have employees, acquired an existing business, or are an officer of a corporation or the sole employee. 

Step 9: Insurance and filing requirements for Workers' Disability Compensation Agency

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Learn more about the requirements and process for Worker's compensation insurance coverage. 

Step 10: Report Unclaimed Property

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Businesses are required to report unclaimed property to the Michigan Department of Treasury. 

Step 11: Obtain Required Licenses and Permits

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Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL)  www.michigan.gov/lara/bureau-list/bpl issues licenses for certain professions. If you are uncertain if you need a professional license, start by reviewing the list of professions at www.michigan.gov/lara/bureau-list/bpl/miplus-assistant or Accela Citizen Access.

Find New Business License Information at www.michigan.gov/som/government/state-license-search to find out if your new business needs a license. 

Contact your county and local government offices to determine if additional licensing or permitting is required for your business. 

Note: The Corporations Division does not issue licenses.

Step 12: Labor and Workforce

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Learn more about the labor agencies that are responsible for ensuring workplace safety and equitable labor relations for employees and employers.

Workplace safety and pay violations are among the most cited.  You can learn more on these specifically at:

MIOSHA Workplace Safety Regulations (click here)

MIOSHA also provides free consultative services to help employers develop or enhance workplace safety programs.

Click here to request Consultative Assistance.

Michigan Wage & Hour (click here)

Employers have obligations related to pay, pay methods, minimum wage & overtime, prevailing wage, and more.  

 

GET EXPERT ADVICE

There is a lot of great information and support for businesses that is free of charge.

Be sure your business is successful by taking advantage of these resources.

  • SUBJECT DEPARTMENT OR AGENCY PHONE # WEB ADDRESS
    State Taxes Michigan Department of Treasury 517-335-7508 www.michigan.gov/treasury
    Federal Taxes & Employer Identification Numbers (EIN) Internal Revenue Service 800-829-4933 www.irs.gov
    Unemployment Insurance Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) 800-638-3994 www.michigan.gov/uia
    Workers Compensation Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity (LEO) 888-396-5041 www.michigan.gov/wca
    Doing Business with the State of Michigan Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget 517-241-5545 www.bid4michigan.com
    State License Search www.michigan.gov/statelicensesearch
    Guide to Starting a Small Business Michigan Economic Development Corporation 888-522-0103 www.michiganadvantage.org
    State Trademarks and Service Marks Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau, Corporations Division 517-241-6470 www.michigan.gov/corporations
    Federal Trademarks and Service Marks United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) 800-786-9199 www.uspto.gov

 

  

BUSINESS SECURITY 

 

 

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 AVOID BUSINESS SCAMS 

Beware of notices that appear to be from state or government agencies. These notices are intended to make you think that action is required.  Read the fine print. These notices must state that they are not from a government agency.

The companies behind these notices charge exorbitant fees for filings and services that you can perform on the Corporations Division’s website. To ensure you receive the best pricing and fastest processing times, go the the Corporations Division’s website for all of your business needs.

 

ANNUAL REPORTS AND ANNUAL STATEMENTS

  • Companies charge $125.00 and up.
  • The Corporations Division’s fee is $20.00-$25.00 for most business types.

CERTIFICATE OF GOOD STANDING

  • Companies charge $72.50 and up.
  • The Corporations Division’s fee is $10.00.

CERTIFIED COPIES       

  • The Corporations Division’s fee is $16.00 and up.
  • Uncertified copies can be downloaded for free from the Corporations Division’s website.

ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES

  • Companies charge fees of $150 and up.
  • You can draft your own minutes and keep them with your business records. These records are not to be submitted to the Corporations Division.

LABOR LAW COMPLIANCE (POSTERS)

  • Companies charge fees of $125 and up.
  • Click here for free posters.

Prevent Business ID Theft 

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Like individuals, business identities are stolen. Business IDs are used to open lines of credit, steal money and commit other fraudulent activities.

The Corporations Division sends email notifications when your business information is changed. This email notice gives you a heads-up that the identity of your business may be under attack. Opt-in to receive official notices via email the next time you are submitting a document through the Corporations Division’s online filing system.

Ensure Cybersecurity

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Cybersecurity attacks on small businesses have skyrocketed and can have devastating effects. In fact, many small businesses fail after such an attack.

Put an action plan in place to help ensure your business is secure.

 

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Disclaimer: This website is an overview for informational purposes only, and it should not be interpreted as legal advice. To fully understand the legal, business, tax, and financial obligations for a business, please consult with an attorney, accountant, or other professional.