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LLC in Michigan: Costs & Fees You Need to Know

A Michigan LLC registration will include mandatory and optional costs.

LLCs extend liability protection to LLC members (business owners). They are also easy-to-form and affordable to operate in Michigan state. No wonder it’s a popular business structure to use.

Here’s a breakdown of possible costs how much money you should prepare to spend to form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Michigan.

Table of contents

  1. Michigan LLC formation cost: $50
  2. Extra Michigan LLC costs to account for
  3. Does Michigan have an annual LLC fee?
  4. Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Michigan?

Michigan LLC formation cost: $50

The Great Lake State is on the more affordable side of LLC formation costs. Filing for articles of organization for both domestic LLCs and foreign ones costs just $50 in-state fees.

Domestic LLC

Domestic LLCs file Articles of Organization with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs — Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau. The document can be filed by mail or online.

Michigan Articles of Organization for Domestic LLC Form
Michigan Articles of Organization for Domestic LLC Form. Source: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

The formation documents for a domestic Professional Services LLC (PLLC) ask for more detail. But, the fee and filing options are the same.

Foreign LLC

For a Foreign LLC to do business in Michigan, it must file an Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Michigan with Michigan’s Corporations Division. It can be filed by mail or online (see instructions on page 2 of the form).

Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Michigan for Foreign LLCs
Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business in Michigan for Foreign LLCs. Source: LARA.

For the filing to get accepted, a foreign LLC must include a certificate of good standing from its home state that is no older than 30 days. Also, if the business name is not available in Michigan, which can be checked through the Business Entity Search, then your LLC needs to file for an assumed name.

Processing times

Formation documents filed online are reviewed within 24 hours of receipt. Mailed-in documents can take several business days to review. There are additional fees for expedited service.

  • $50 for guaranteed 24-hour service
  • $100 for same-day service
  • $500 for two-hour service
  • $1,000 for one-hour service

So if you’re in a rush, you have options!

Extra Michigan LLC costs to account for

Articles of organization are the basic documents you need to start an LLC. But in reality, most LLC business owners face other costs, too, such as the following.

Registered agent fees: vary

There are no extra state fees in Michigan to add a registered agent to a newly formed LLC. However, if you decide to change your agent’s details, later on, you’ll have to file a form and pay a $5 state filing fee.

To be your own registered agent (or resident agent in MI), you need a Michigan street address. Alternatively, you can hire a professional registered agent service to handle the service of process documents — the receipt of legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

Why choose a registered agent professional service?

  • Unavailability to receive mail during business hours — for example, if you’re a Foreign LLC with members also located outside of Michigan.
  • Privacy — the registered address and registered agent’s name will be publicly disclosed, not yours.
  • Convenience — registered agents are expected to be available at the LLC’s registered office during business hours to receive service of process for legal documents. It saves you heaps of time and eliminates stress.

Hiring a professional registered agent service will cost about $49-$125 per year.

Trade name registration: $25

It’s important to choose a business name that is distinguishable from other Michigan business entities’ names when forming an LLC.

LLCs may use an assumed name, also known as a trade name or doing business as (DBA), to operate other business activities or divisions. An assumed name can be different from the LLC’s legal business name, written on company incorporation documents. For a foreign LLC with a business name not available in the state of Michigan, an assumed name can help stay on brand.

Michigan LLCs need to file a Certificate of Assumed Name with LARA for $25 to register an assumed name.

Taxes

Multi-member LLCs and single-member LLCs with employees must obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for federal tax requirements, income tax, and a tax ID. There are also state tax requirements.

Some LLCs need to register with the Michigan Department of Treasury for a sales tax license.

Overview of who needs a sales tax license
Overview of who needs a sales tax license. Source: Michigan Department of Treasury.

Businesses can file online to register for Michigan tax IDs and employer identification numbers. It’s essential if you plan to hire local workers.

On the positive side is the fact that Michigan doesn’t charge any minimal annual franchise taxes for the privilege of operating in the state.

The state also levies a 6% flat-rate corporate income tax on all business entities, reporting income as C-corporations. So if you ever change your tax class, be mindful of this.

LLC name reservation fee: $25

An LLC can reserve a business name so another business does not use it. In Michigan, the LLC name reservation filing fee is only $25, and you can “claim dibs” on a name for 120 days. Then extended the reservation for another 60 + 60 days.

Why do this?

Forming an LLC takes time. You need to do the document filings, pay state filing fees, register an LLC business name or assumed name(s), select a registered agent, obtain licenses and permits. If you are still ironing out the operational details of your business, then making a name reservation gives you some extra time.

How to reserve an LLC business name

First, check the Business Entity Search Michigan database to see if your LLC business name is available. Then, an LLC business name can be reserved by filing an Application of Reservation of Name form with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, along with a $25 filing fee.

Certified document copy costs: vary

Expect a fee when ordering certified document copies and certificates from the local authorities. The costs vary based on how you request them and the number of pages.

If you request by mail, online, or by phone, the fees are:

  • Certified copies – minimum fee of $16; $1 for each additional page over the first 6 pages.
  • Certificates – $10 for LLCs.

If certified documents or certificates are ordered in person, then the fees are:

  • Certified copies – minimum fee of $20; $1.25 fee for each page over the first 6 pages.
  • Certificates – $12.50 for LLCs.

Expedited orders are available for an additional 25%.

Business permits and licenses

Business permits and licenses are required for LLCs based on the type of business it operates. You need to comply with federal, state, and local (county/city) requirements.

Federal requirements

The U.S. Small Business Administration website lists the types of businesses and resources on requirements, plus state and federal agencies to file with.

If you operate in agriculture, finance, healthcare, or law, you’ll likely need to obtain a specific license.

State and local requirements

Also, you’ll need to check the state level and local level for additional business permits and licenses that may be required based on your LLC’s location and the type of industry. For Michigan, there’s an alphabetical state list of business permits and licenses to help you locate what the requirements may be for your LLC.

LLC owners should also check with the local county clerk’s office to determine if additional permits or licenses are required to operate their LLC in that location.

Costs

The costs will vary widely given the many possible agencies with requirements and the nature of each business. For example, agricultural, manufacturing companies, and professional service LLCs may have more permit and license requirements than other LLCs.

Ballpark annual costs for a professional business license are $100-$150.

Does Michigan have an annual LLC fee?

Yes, all LLCs are required to file an annual report. The due date is February 15th, starting after the LLC’s year of formation. If the company was formed after September 30th, the due date is February 15th of the year following the first full calendar year.

  • The filing fee for Limited Liability Company Annual Statement: $25.
  • The filing fee for Professional Limited Liability Company (or a PLLC) Annual Statement and Annual Report: $75.

Late filings have a $50 penalty fee in both cases.

Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Michigan?

Forming an LLC in Michigan starts with a $50 filing fee for the articles of the organization. It can be your only cost if you form a Michigan LLC yourself and skip other optional costs.

The annual cost to maintain an LLC in Michigan is $25 for domestic and foreign LLCs and $75 for PLLCs.

Other costs are variable. For example, you may choose to reserve a business name for $25 or obtain an assumed name certificate, which also costs $25.

Additionally, LLCs that choose to hire a professional registered agent service or professional LLC formation service can expect at least an additional $100 per year.

Also, there can come costs for tax requirements, such as sales taxes and business permits and licenses, depending on your LLC.

Charlotte Lauren

Article by:

Charlotte Lauren

Attorney

Charlotte Lauren is an attorney, freelance writer, and consultant. She enjoys writing on finance, legal matters, and budgeting. Additionally, she has a blog on how to save and make money online or through side jobs. Charlotte received a B.S. in Accounting, summa cum laude, and a B.A. in Philosophy, summa cum laude from Virginia Tech (2009). She then received her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2012.

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