Steps to Pay Your Michigan Filing Fees
- Pay your Michigan business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Michigan business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Michigan
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Michigan business
- Apply for your Michigan business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Michigan’s annual report requirements and fees
- Keep your Michigan business legally compliant
When you start a new business in Michigan, keep in mind that you may need to pay various fees to the state. These fees may vary depending on the type of business entity you form, where your business is located, and what industry you’re in.
Statutory entities, such as corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) must register with the state and pay necessary filing fees for registration. Even if your business doesn’t need to register with the state, it will likely be subject to various fees as it gets off the ground and continues to operate.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common fees your business will encounter in Michigan.
Step 1: Pay your Michigan business’s initial filing fees
New businesses have to pay initial filing fees to officially come into existence to the Michigan Secretary of state. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs processes most filings within a few days. However, Michigan offers expedited service for an additional fee. The fees vary based on whether the customer wants the 24-hour service, same day service, 2-hour service, or 1-hour service. We offer an Expedited Filing service to help you minimize the processing time.
You can find the relevant registration fees at michigan.gov, but please remember that these filing fees are subject to change, so it’s best to confirm the current filing fee before submitting formation documents.
Step 2: Reserve your Michigan business’s name
Michigan allows business owners to apply to reserve a specific business name. The name reservation lasts for six months following the month of filing the application. Michigan allows business owners to extend the name reservation twice. Each extension can last up to two more calendar months.
We offer a Name Reservation service to help with this process. We work with business owners to help them lock in their business’s preferred name for a certain period of time — usually 120 days.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Michigan
Companies can choose to use a different name than the one contained in their formation documents. This is often referred to as a “doing business as” (DBA) name. However, different states use different words for DBA names. In Michigan, DBA names are called assumed names.
Corporations and LLCs operating under an assumed name must file a Certificate of Assumed Name form with the state and pay a fee.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number used by the Internal Revenue Service for businesses. The vast majority of statutory and common-law business entities are required to have an EIN for several reasons. First, EINs make it easier for businesses to get business loans and grants. Banks and credit unions generally require that businesses have an EIN to open a business bank account. Furthermore, businesses must have EINs for tax purposes. Finally, EINs are a prerequisite for self-employed business owners who want to offer a 401k plan to their employees
Business owners can obtain an EIN from the IRS for free. However, we offer an EIN service so that business owners don’t have to file for an EIN themselves. With this service, we can help make the process of getting an EIN much smoother.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Michigan business
Operating agreements outline the heart of a business’s (usually an LLC’s) financial and functional situation. Operating agreements define rules for things like decision-making, profit-sharing, and the structure of the business.
Similarly, corporations have corporate bylaws, which define the processes for the corporation’s day-to-day operations. Specific matters that bylaws regulate include issues like elections, voting rights, and annual meetings. They also outline the officers’ roles and the composition of the board of directors.
For general partnerships, the equivalent to of an operating agreement or corporate bylaws is a partnership agreement. Partnership agreements function almost exactly like operating agreements.
Small business owners who want to form an LLC can use our Operating Agreement Template to make the formation process easier.
Step 6: Apply for your Michigan business’s necessary licenses and permits
Most businesses need to meet license and permit requirements. Some licensing requirements come from the federal government. Others come from states, cities, and counties. Michigan doesn’t have a general business license requirement.
However, many counties and cities in Michigan have business license requirements. These licenses often involve an initial fee and a periodic renewal fee.
We offer a Business License Report to help small business owners find out which licensing requirements apply to their businesses. Our partners will send out a concise summary of the federal, state, and local license requirements that apply to your business.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
Michigan uses the term “foreign” for any business entity that formed outside the state. Foreign businesses need a Certificate of Authority before doing business in Michigan. Foreign businesses also need to submit a fee with the Certificate of Authority.
Michigan also requires that foreign corporations have a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) from their home state. A CGS certifies that the foreign business is legally authorized to operate in its home state. Businesses typically need to pay a filing to their home state before obtaining a CGS.
Step 8: Check Michigan’s annual report requirements and fees
Each corporation and LLC in Michigan must file an annual report to stay compliant. Michigan also refers to the annual reports for LLCs as “annual statements.” A fee is required with each annual report/statement.
The due date for the annual report is May 15 for corporations and February 15 for LLCs.
Always file annual reports on time to avoid compliance complications. Our own annual report service makes compliance much easier. With this service, we can help business owners file their annual reports quickly and painlessly. In addition, our expert staff can help business owners avoid unnecessary and costly errors on the annual report.
Step 9: Keep your Michigan business legally compliant
Over time, businesses will have to make changes. Some of these changes won’t require any paperwork, but others will require that businesses owners file certain documents and pay fees.
However, we offer an amendment service to streamline the process of making amendments to a business’s foundational documents. This allows business owners to focus on running their company rather than getting caught up in paperwork drills.
Another service that we offer is Worry-Free Compliance. When a business owner signs up for this service, we assist them in keeping up with compliance filings. We will also remind them when they have critical administrative deadlines coming up. Our Worry-Free Compliance Service also includes two annual amendments. Finally, we can offer businesses that fall out of compliance an action plan to follow to get themselves back in good standing.
Let us help you stay up to date on Michigan filing fees
We’re here to help you regardless of the type of business structure you have. As mentioned earlier, we offer formation services for corporations and LLCs. In addition, our Worry-Free Compliance Service, annual report service, and expedited filing service can all help streamline the compliance process. Let us help you today!
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Michigan?
Yes. Depending on which document is being submitted, there are financial penalties. For example, late annual corporation fees result in a monthly penalty fee.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Michigan government?
Failing to pay Michigan filing fees to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs may result in the compliance form being rejected. Further failures to meet filing requirements due to nonpayment of fees could result in monetary penalties or dissolution.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Michigan business?
Pay your formation fees to the Michigan Department Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Corporations, Securities, & Commercial Licensing Bureau.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Michigan business?
For LLCs and corporations, the biggest fee is typically the one to register your business. Another one of the biggest Michigan filing fees is for the annual report.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Michigan government?
If filing online, payment options include any major credit card. Checks are accepted if filing by mail. Business owners who wish to submit forms in person can pay by check money order, or credit card.