Employer e-Registration Glossary of Terms

Agricultural Employer

An employing unit whose employees perform agricultural services, usually on a farm. These workers perform such services as: cultivating the soil, raising or harvesting plants, raising or tending livestock, bees, poultry, fur-bearing animals, etc.


Includes the value of tangible items, such as cash and inventory, and that of intangibles, such as a trade name or good will.


Surety Bond, Irrevocable Letter of Credit, or other banking device as approved by the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

Bonding Requirements

Any employers that elect reimbursing status after December 21, 1989, and who have or expect to have, gross payroll of more than $100,000.00 during any calendar year, are required to provide a Surety Bond, Irrevocable Letter of Credit, or other banking device as approved by the Unemployment Insurance Agency, in the amount to be determined by the UIA. If the employer reaches $100,000.00 in a later year, the employer is obligated to notify the UIA and provide the bond at that time. The bond is usually 4% of the employers estimated total annual payroll.

Calendar Quarter

The three (3) months that comprise a quarter are shown in the following examples:

Quarter Period    Due Date of Tax and Wage Reports
1st Quarter- Jan 1st thru Mar 31st  April 25th
2nd Quarter - Apr 1st thru Jun 30th  July 25th
3rd Quarter - July 1st thru Sept 30th October 25th
4th Quarter - Oct 1st thru Dec 31st  January 25th

Captive Provider

An employer leasing company that limits itself to providing services and employees to only one client entity and the entity's subsidiaries and affiliates and which does not hold itself out as available to provide leasing services to other client entities that do not share an ownership relationship with the employee leasing company.


The term "church" and/or "church organization" shall be construed to include any church, denominational unit, or church society as the term is commonly used.  These entities are not liable for Michigan unemployment insurance taxes.  The entity may choose to be covered under Section 25 of the MES Act by submitting a written request.

Contributing Employer

An employer who files a tax report with UIA at the end of each quarter, and pays a state unemployment tax on the first $9,000.00 of wages paid to each worker.  The amount of the tax is determined by the tax rate assigned each year by the UIA.


A group of persons authorized under the authority of law to act as a business entity having liabilities distinct from its members. 

Date Acquired

The date the business was actually purchased.

DBA (as registered with county)

"DBA" (doing business as) is a name that is different from the business name. For example, Star Corporation DBA Star Drugstore.

Domestic (Household) Employers

An employing unit whose employees perform domestic services, such as, housekeeper, babysitter, nanny, butler, cook, gardener, valet, nursing care, etc, or other similar services performed in the employer's home.

Elective Coverage

Any employing unit, which has elected to become fully subject to the Michigan Employment Security Act (Act) for services, which are not covered or are otherwise excluded from coverage under the Act, such as services performed in the employ of a church.

Employee Leasing Company (ELC)

An ELC is an independently established business entity that provides payroll, human resources, and other kinds of management assistance to its clients


"Employer" is defined as an employing unit which has one or more individuals performing services in its employ.

Employing Unit

Any individual, type of organization, or governmental entity, which had in its employ one or more individuals performing services for it within this State.


A bankruptcy estate consists of all legal and equitable interests in the property of the bankrupt debtor.


An Employer's experience with unemployment in terms of an employer's payroll, payment of taxes, and benefits paid to former workers.  Experience with respect to unemployment or unemployment risk is measured for the purpose of determining tax rates in Michigan.

Federal Employer Identification Number

A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN/FEIN) identifies the business for federal and state tax purposes.  An EIN/FEIN number is a nine-digit number assigned to sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships and other entities for tax filing and reporting purposes.

Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) Subjectivity

Services performed for an employing unit, for which the employing unit is liable for federal tax against which credit may be taken for taxes required to be paid into a state unemployment compensation fund, shall be deemed to constitute employment for the purposes of this act, but only to the extent that the services constitute employment with respect to which federal tax is payable.

Form UIA 1017, Wage Detail Report

Is used to report quarterly wage information, which includes the Social Security Number of each employee and his/her total wages for the quarter.  This form is a required form and is due every quarter.  Go to Form UIA 1017 by clicking here.

Form UIA 1020, Employer's Quarterly Tax Report

Is used quarterly to report the total and taxable wages for the quarter and to pay the unemployment insurance tax that is due.  This is a required form and is due every quarter.  Go to Form UIA 1020 by clicking here.

Form UIA 1020-R

Form UIA 1020-R  is an Unemployment Insurance Agency form filed quarterly by reimbursing employers and used to report payroll and monthly employment. Reimbursing employers are non-profit organizations electing to be reimbursing, state or local government, political subdivisions, and Indian tribes or tribal units. The report is due on the 25th of the month following the end of the calendar quarter as provided by Administrative Rule 122.

Form UIA 1021-R

The 1021-R is an Unemployment Insurance Agency form used to correct previously reported payroll for reimbursing employers.

Form UIA 1021

The 1021 is an Unemployment Insurance Agency form used to correct previously reported payroll for contributing employers.

Form UIA 1027, Business Transferor's Notice to Transferee of Unemployment Tax Liability

A disclosure form, which must be completed by the seller (transferor) and provided to the buyer (transferee), which should contain the following information: The amounts of the transferor's outstanding unemployment tax liability; Any unreported tax liability; Tax payments, tax rates and cumulative benefit charges for the most recent 5 years; Listing of all individuals currently employed by the transferor; listing of all employees separated from employment with the transferor in the most recent 12 months.  Go to Form UIA 1027 by clicking here.

Fully experienced employer

An employer whose business is in its 5th or subsequent year of liability.

General Partnership

A partnership exists when two or more persons join together in the operation and management of business for profit.  A general partnership, like a sole proprietorship, must file a "Certificate of Co-Partnership" or a "Certificate of Persons Conducting Business Under Assumed Name" with the county clerk's office in the counties in which the business is located.

Governmental Entity (Agency)

Any Agency authorized to exercise a governmental function in a limited geographical area or other political subdivision and is organized under state law with power to hire, supervise, and discharge its employees.

Household (Domestic) Employer

An employing unit whose employees perform domestic services, such as, housekeeper, babysitter, nanny, butler, cook, gardener, valet, nursing care, etc, or other similar services performed in the employer's home.  Criteria for establishing liability: An employer that pays $1,000.00 or more, in cash, per calendar quarter, to domestic employees (babysitter, housekeeper, nurse, etc) who are employed in the employer's home.

Independent Contractor

An independent contractor is a person who contracts to do a job according to his/her own methods to achieve a stated result, but without being subject to control by his/her employer as to the means by which the result is to be accomplished.


A sole proprietor is an individual who owns and operates a business.  This person benefits from 100 percent of the profit and is personally responsible for 100 percent of all debts and liabilities of the business.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)  

A Limited Liability Company is a cross between a corporation and a partnership, providing its members some benefits of both.  Like a corporation, an LLC offers limited liability to its members. But as with a partnership, taxation for an LLC is passed through to the individual owners of the LLC, and no corporate income tax is paid.

Limited Liability Partnership 

A limited liability partnership is a business entity that is formed by two or more persons.  General Partnerships and limited partnerships may limit the liability of the general partners by registering a limited liability partnership with the State of Michigan.  The owners of the partnership are personally liable for all the debts of the business, except those debts resulting from acts committed by another partner or a representative of the partnership not working under the supervision or direction of the partner at the time the acts resulting in the liability occurred.  The joint and several liability of the partners for debts and obligations of the partnerships arising from other causes is not limited.

New Hire Reporting

Every employer is required to report newly hired employees.  This is a Federal requirement, but the Reporting is done at the State level.  File a copy of the MI W-4 and the New Hire Reporting Form (Form 3281) to meet this requirement.

Non-Profit Employers

An organization or group of organizations which is described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code and is exempt from income tax under Section 501(a) of that code

Notice of Change or Discontinuance

Form UIA 1772 (Discontinuance or Disposition of Business or Assets) notifies the UIA of any changes in an employer's business structure or status.  A change can include the following reasons: Sale, Lease, Foreclosure, Merger, Reorganization, Bankruptcy, Dissolution, Discontinuance, New Partnership, Incorporation, or Death.  The above reasons can be in whole or in part.


A voluntary contract between two or more persons to place their money, effects, labor, and skill, or some or all of them, in lawful commerce or business, with the understanding that there shall be a proportional sharing of the profits and losses between them.

Pay rolling

The practice of establishing a related or associated company for the purposes of reassigning the employee payroll functions from one business entity to the related business entity, usually to take advantage of the lower unemployment tax rate of the related business entity.

Power of Attorney (POA)

Form 151 Power of Attorney Authorization (POA) is necessary if you want the UIA to mail forms to your CPA, or other authorized representative.  The UIA cannot give a taxpayer's specific account information to anyone other than the registered owner or a corporate office of the business, unless Form 151 is on file.  The authorized representative may be an organization, firm, or individual. Click here for a Power of Attorney form.


An employing unit or person whose organization, trade, or business, in whole or in part, has been acquired by another employing unit or person.

Professional Employer Organization (PEO)

A "Professional Employer Organization" is also known as an Employee Leasing company (ELC).  A PEO is a business entity that leases employees to a client entity and does the following:

  • Provides employees to a client entity,
  • Pays the wages of the employees,
  • Reports and withholds applicable taxes from the wages of the employees,
  • Administers benefits for the employees, and
  • Provides other payroll, human resource, and management assistance services that are agreed upon with its client entity.

Professional Service Limited Liability Company

Professional service limited liability company is a company made up of licensed professionals.  Licensed professionals are those persons who have been legally authorized to provide such a licensed service.

Reimbursing Employer

Reimbursing employers pay only for benefits charged to their account.  Only certain employers are given this payment option under the MES Act-non-profit organizations, governmental units, schools, and Indian Tribal units that have received 501(c)(3) status from the IRS.

Seasonal Employer Status for Unemployment Insurance

Michigan employers who operate a business in an industry that customarily employs at least 50% of its employees for regularly recurring periods of 26 weeks or less within a period of 52 consecutive weeks and the industry customarily operates during regularly recurring periods of 26 weeks or less in any 52 consecutive week period can apply for seasonal employer status.

Designation as a seasonal employer means that workers may be denied unemployment benefits based on work with you during the period between your seasons if they are given ‘reasonable assurance' at the end of a season that there will be similar work available for them next season.   Complete Form UIA 1155, Application for Designation as Seasonal Employer, to apply for designation as a seasonal employer.  This form is available at www.michigan.gov/uia .

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is an individual who owns and operates the business.  There is no legal separation between the individual and the business.  A person benefits from 100 percent of the profits and is personally responsible for 100 percent of all the debts and liabilities of the business.  A sole proprietor who wishes to conduct business under a name other than the real name of the person must file a "Certificate of Persons Conducting Business Under an Assumed Name" (DBA) in each county where the business is located.

Standard Employer

A liable employer is an employing unit that has either (1) employed 1 or more individuals in each of any 20 different weeks in a calendar year or (2) paid $1,000.00 or more in wages within a calendar year.

Subject To Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)

An employing unit, which has employees in Michigan, and is liable for federal unemployment tax (FUTA) in another state, is liable to pay Michigan state unemployment (SUTA) taxes beginning with the first date of Michigan employment.

Note: Subject to FUTA refers to having to file Form 940 with the I.R.S. Credit for SUTA taxes paid may be taken against FUTA taxes owed

Successor Employer

A successor employer is one who buys an existing business and "inherits" the unemployment account of the predecessor.  In other words, an employing unit has acquired the organization, trade, business, in whole or in part, of another employing unit (predecessor).  A successor employer may also be an employer who has acquired 75% or more of the Michigan assets of the predecessor and/or has acquired their Michigan organization, trade, or business.

SUTA Dumping

SUTA (State Unemployment Tax Act) dumping is the manipulation of an employer's unemployment insurance (UIA) tax rate to achieve a lower rate, by transferring payroll out of an existing company or organization to a new or different organization solely or primarily to reduce unemployment taxes.


A trust may take the form of a corporation or of a body of persons or corporations acting together by mutual arrangement, as under a contract or a so-called gentlemen's agreement.

UIA Account Number

A unique 7-digit number assigned by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA). An employer must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) prior to registering for an UIA Employer Account Number.


A Union is an alliance or confederation of persons, parties, or political entities for mutual interest or advantage.