Do you know that you must register your business with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs before opening your doors to the public? With a Michigan LLC, the process is quite simple. All you require to do is prepare and file the articles of organization. In these, you will detail the type of business you will conduct, where you will do so, and who will be involved in it. Once the authorities go through and approve your request to conduct business in Michigan (MI), you will have the right to officially start an LLC in Michigan. While it seems simple, it is easy to err and find yourself back in square one. This guide on forming a limited liability company will walk you through each step to make sure that this is not the case.
What Are the Articles of Organization?
The authorities require to know what business you will conduct within their jurisdiction to register your LLC. This information enables them to understand if your business activities in Michigan are legal and who is liable for any damage or harm that results from your operations. They also require records to keep up with all businesses in the area. The only way for them to understand your LLC in Michigan and its suitability is by having a detailed breakdown of what you do.
That is why all states require that you file the equivalent of registration documents with them, including MI. You cannot officially launch a Michigan LLC or in any other state without getting this legal document out of the way. You can simply think of it as a prerequisite to starting and maintaining your business.
Preparing to File Your Michigan Articles of Organization
Keep in mind that what you put down in these articles of organization Michigan will determine whether the state approves your business. You should make sure that you do not make any mistakes and answer all the sections clearly. Luckily, the documents are easy to navigate, and you are hardly likely to miss a point. But you need to understand what each section requires:
- A unique LLC name: not only must it be unique to your business, but it must also follow Michigan’s specific business name requirements. Ensure that it does not infringe on anyone’s rights and does not mislead the public.
- The purpose of your business: this part is easy as it relates to the general nature of your operations. For example, if you deal with real estate, that is the purpose of your business. You can get a bit specific and detail the exact aspect of real estate.
- How long you will be in business: some people form companies to serve a specific purpose and close them afterward. Others, on the other hand, want their companies to be perpetual. You should indicate your choice to be authorized to operate in Michigan.
- The name of the person or company responsible for receiving your legal documents. To be safe, you are better off working with an online service when you choose a Michigan resident agent.
- The name of the LLC formation organizer and the corresponding signature.
That is all you need to get your LLC officially on record, plus the $50 filing fee, and you will be good to go.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
As you set up an LLC in Michigan, you will likely be juggling many things at the same time, and it can easily become overwhelming. Let us look at the filing paperwork options available to you:
If you are like most entrepreneurs, the thought of filing paperwork can weigh heavily on you. Plus, it can take away from the time you can spend following up on vital tasks. If you want to file the articles of organization yourself, though, we have outlined all the steps you should follow in this guide. Go over them one by one and you will be sure to get your documents accepted and your business approved. If the steps feel like a lot of work and need help filing articles of organization, keep reading and we will give you an alternative.
Hire an attorney
Attorneys can pretty much do anything, and filing paperwork is right up their alley. They understand the intricacies of contracts and will ensure that you do not leave any stone unturned. If you are dealing with complex operations that require you to be on the good side of the law, hiring an attorney would be a great option. Sure, they are costly at first but the returns on investment when they handle LLC documents are not small.
Hire an online service
The final option is one of the most popular right now. It works for entrepreneurs who want fast and efficient filing at reasonable costs. Unless you are dealing with complex matters that only an attorney can handle, hiring a professional service is an easy way to get your business off the ground. The good news is that many of these services exist, and this competition has aided businesspeople to get these services at low prices. Some of the best LLC service options in MI include ZenBusiness and IncFile.
If you have followed all our steps to this point, you should be ready to move on to file the articles of organization. Where you have used an online service or an attorney, they will do the filling and filing on your behalf, saving you some time. However, if you are doing it yourself, you will have three options:
Start by accessing LARA’s online filling system. Navigate to the top of the page and look for a ‘new entity’ option after the ‘click here’ selection. The site will then give you a link to the registration documents which you should follow. Use the information you arrived at in earlier steps to fill in each section of the form and double-check to make sure you have not made any mistakes. Please note that each application will cost you money, and any error you make will come at another filing fee.
If you would prefer to file the old school way, you can as well download and fill the paper application. Once you are sure you have not missed any Michigan LLC registration section, you can add your payment and send the complete form to:
Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909
Alternatively, you can hand-deliver the application to:
2501 Woodlake Circle Okemos, MI
The processing time takes an average of 3 to 5 business days regardless of the method used. However, you have the option to rush through this period by paying an additional fee based on how fast you want the approval. If you use an online method, you can tick this option as you fill out the paperwork. However, for mailing and hand deliveries, you will qualify for the rush by making an expedited service request.
What About Foreign LLCs?
Please note that the processes shown in this guide refer to businesses formed in MI. However, if you already have an existing business outside MI and are expanding to Michigan, you will need to fill the application for certificate of authority instead. By doing so, you will petition the authorities to grant you permission to operate within the state. Without this go-ahead, any business operations would be in violation of the statutory requirements. It would also incur your business fines and penalties and may cost you the license to ever operate in MI.