Michigan – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

Welcome to “The Great Lakes State!” This week, we’re heading over to Michigan. This state borders four of the five Great Lakes: Superior, Michigan, Huron,  and Erie. (Oh, and they also have more than 11,000 inland lakes too!) Some of the world’s biggest companies got their start in Michigan. The Highland Park Ford Plant was the first factory in history to assemble cars on a moving assembly line. Swing by Battle Creek and you’ll find cereal and snack giant Kellogg’s headquartered there!

10 years ago, Michigan’s economy was negatively impacted by the 2008 financial crisis. Much of the crisis took a toll on its automotive industry, but the state has since made leaps and bounds in recovering. For small business owners interested in setting up shop, the state of Michigan offers plenty of appealing benefits. Income tax rates and real estate are affordable, and local universities and the Secretary of State provide plenty of resources to new and existing entrepreneurs.

Does this sound like your kind of state to open up business? If so, here’s what you need to know before you decide to incorporate in Michigan.

1. Choose a legal structure for your business.

We can’t legally advise you on the proper entity to form for your business, but we have noticed certain entities are popular with entrepreneurs. Many business owners may choose to form a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, limited partnership, or sole proprietorship. The Michigan Secretary of State even offers up a corporations division where business entities in the state have opportunities for development and growth.

2. File for trademarks associated with your business.

If your company has a unique name, slogan, tagline, or design, you will not want anyone else to infringe on this mark. File and register a trademark. This will show the world that your work is original and keep any copycat companies from plagiarizing your hard work. Remember — conduct a name search first before you file!

3. Register for an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

An EIN is often commonly considered to be a number primarily used for hiring employees. You can certainly do that with an EIN, but you can use it elsewhere as well. These numbers are assigned to your business by the IRS and used to identity tax accounts. EINs are often required by banks before you can open up a business bank account under your company’s name.

4. Work alongside a third party registered agent.

Some entrepreneurs choose to act as their own registered agent (RA), and that’s perfectly fine. However, this is not applicable to all small business owners. Registered agents act as your point of contact between the business and the state. An RA accepts all legal documents on your behalf, organizes them, and passes them along to the business owner. They must be residents of the state that you do business in and able to accept legal documents during business hours. If this doesn’t sound like something you can manage, you may want to get some extra help from a trusted third party resource.

5. Still seeking some great resources?

Michigan is here to help entrepreneurs of all ages out! The State of Michigan has a small business page where you can uncover tons of unique resources. You can learn more about the state’s hot jobs, learn more about the licenses and permits your business needs, and receive no-cost tools and services to assist your company.

The state of Michigan is also on social! Follow the Secretary of State on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest small business updates.

Thinking about starting a small business in Michigan? Give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or visit us at mycorporation.com if you have any questions about forming a business or the regulations required.

Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Join us biweekly for advice on how to start an LLC or corporation across the United States.