Form a Corporation in Michigan with Inc Authority

Inc Authority is a trusted business formation services provider with over 250K success stories under its belt. Use its free services to start your own Corporation in Michigan. Get complimentary registered agent services, S-Corp election, and other services as well.

Start Your Corporation in Michigan Today

1-Year Registered Agent Service Free

Free LLC and Corporation formation services, including preparation, review, and filing of paperwork.

Complimentary registered agent services from a local agent, free of charge for one year, with all plans.

Free S-Corp election, including review and filing of Form 2553 of the Internal Revenue Service.

Things to Know Before Starting a Corporation in Michigan

If you’re still considering whether starting a Corporation in Michigan is a good idea or if you should incorporate it in another state, this section will help you.

Here are some of the costs associated with forming and running a Corporation in Michigan:

  • For filing your Michigan Articles of Incorporation, you need to pay a small filing fee of $10, which is lower than what most states offer.
  • Michigan offers extensive expedited processing options, including 1-hour processing, at an extra cost ranging from $50 to $1,000.
  • Corporations in Michigan are required to file an annual report with the state, the filing fee for the same is $25, if it’s submitted on time.
  • If you file annual reports after the due date, you will incur penalties, ranging from $35 to $75, depending on how late you file your report.

Overall, the operational costs of running a Michigan Corporation are much lower than what some other states charge. With nominal state filing fees, it’s one of the more affordable states to start a C-Corporation.

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Choose a Business Name

When you start a Corporation in Michigan, you’ll need to register it with your official business name. So, your first order of business is to choose a unique, memorable, and relevant name for your new business in the state of Michigan.

Also, follow the naming convention and guidelines for Corporations in Michigan. You may need to use terms like Corporation, Incorporated, Limited, Co., Corp., etc. Additionally, check the state database to check for name availability.

Choose a Business Name
Reserve the Name with Michigan Corporations Division

Reserve the Name with Michigan Corporations Division

Many times, it takes new entrepreneurs a while to get started with the business registration process. This means that there may be a delay between when you choose your business name and when you file your Michigan Articles of Incorporation.

In such cases, you can reserve your business name for 180 days (six months) by paying a nominal fee of $10. Unlike most other states, Michigan allows you to reserve the name again once the initial reservation period ends in six months.

Appoint a Michigan Registered Agent

A registered agent is an individual or organization responsible for receiving all legal and business correspondence on behalf of your company. They’ll pass all important legal documents to you and notify you of any upcoming compliance deadlines.

That’s why the next step in this guide to starting a Corporation in Michigan is to find and hire a registered agent for your business. The agent you appoint should have a physical address in Michigan, which is where your documents will be sent.

Appoint a Michigan Registered Agent
File Michigan Articles of Incorporation

File Michigan Articles of Incorporation

To officially register your company, you need to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State for Michigan. You can do this online through their website or send the documents via mail or submit them in person at the concerned office.

You need to pay a state filing fee of $10. And if you want to expedite the process you can pay $50 for 24-hour processing, $100 for same-day processing, $500 for 2-hour processing, and $1,000 for 1-hour processing of your application.

Appoint a Board of Directors

Just like other states, Michigan also requires corporations to appoint a board of directors. In fact, you need at least one director to sign the Articles of Incorporation when you register your business with the Secretary of State.

The directors of a Corporation are responsible for making important decisions for the company. They can choose to manage the day-to-day operations of the company or appoint corporate officers and managers to take care of the operations.

Appoint a Board of Directors
Draft Corporate Bylaws

Draft Corporate Bylaws

The Board of Directors of a Michigan Corporation is responsible for drafting corporate bylaws for the company. This is a document that lays down the guidelines for how the company will be run and how decisions will be made.

The corporate bylaws also contain information on the company’s purpose, management structure, procedure for holding shareholder and board meetings, and other important information pertinent to the business and its operations.

Hold Your First Board Meeting

The first board meeting is extremely important for any Corporation, whether in Michigan or any other state. This is when the directors meet for the first time to make important business decisions that affect the strategic direction of the company.

During the initial meeting, directors will appoint officers, discuss each director’s roles and responsibilities, issue share certificates, etc. You need to take detailed minutes of this meeting to keep a record of everything that was discussed.

Hold Your First Board Meeting
Issue Stock for Your Michigan Corporation

Issue Stock for Your Michigan Corporation

A C-Corporation can issue various classes of stock to its shareholders, unlike an S-Corporation, which is allowed to issue only one class of stock. Some of these stocks may offer voting rights to shareholders while others may not.

When you incorporate in Michigan, you need to authorize shares and provide the details for the same in your Articles of Incorporation. If you issue more authorized shares than allotted, you will need to pay an additional fee of $50-$1,000.

Get a Federal Employer Identification Number

Any business that intends to hire employees, must have an Employer Identification Number. Also known as a Tax ID, this identification number is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes.

You will also need an EIN to open a bank account for your business. Sometimes banks and investors also ask for this number before they give you a loan or invest in your Michigan business in any capacity. So, acquire one as soon as you can.

Get a Federal Employer Identification Number
Open a Business Bank Account

Open a Business Bank Account

If you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, you would know the importance of keeping your personal and business finances separate. Opening a separate business bank account, therefore, is not an option, but a necessity for any business.

While it’s not exactly a requirement for incorporating your business, you should do this as part of your business formation process. The sooner you start a business bank account the better it is, as you can start tracking expenses from day one.

Obtain All Required Licences and Permits

To run a business in any state, you will need some licenses and permits at the federal, state, and local levels. The number and type of business licenses you’ll need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, and area of operation.

Some businesses may just require a general business license, while others may need occupational or professional licenses. Some businesses also need food permits, health permits, etc. Find out the requirements and get these.

Get the Required Licences and Permits
Launch Your Business Website1

Launch Your Business Website

A website is where potential customers go to find information about your business. A website is the face of your business and can either drive leads and turn them into customers or cause prospects to leave and never come back again.

That’s why you must have a well-designed, SEO-friendly, and user-friendly business website. Use a good website design and marketing solution to ensure that your site is easy to navigate, aesthetically pleasing, and optimized for search engines.

Why You Should Outsource the Corporation Formation Process

While many entrepreneurs choose to do things themselves, there are clear benefits to outsourcing, especially to free business formation service providers. Let’s check out some of these benefits.

Simplified Process

Simplified Process

When you outsource, professionals will take care of the majority of steps with minimal involvement required from your side. This makes the process much simpler for you.



When you let experts specializing in online filings do the paperwork on your behalf, you reduce any chances of l error, ensuring your application is approved by the state.

Quick Filing

Quick Filing

It may take you much longer to complete the process than professionals who do this daily. By outsourcing you can get your business incorporated more quickly. 

Form Your Michigan Corporation Today

Best Liability Protection

A C-Corporation provides more in-depth personal liability protection than any other business entity. In the event that a C-Corp fails to pay its debt, the shareholders are not personally liable and the accountability lies only with the company.

This means that the lenders can seize the company’s assets to recover their debt, but can’t touch shareholders’ personal assets for the same. This makes a C-Corp the safest business structure if you plan on taking loans and investor funding.

Best Liability Protection
Separate Legal Identity

Separate Legal Identity

A Corporation is separate from its owners and is treated as a legal entity in its own right. It has various legal rights like an individual. For instance, a C-Corp can take loans in its name or enter into contracts with vendors, investors, etc.

This makes it easier to acquire business funding for a Corporation in Michigan as the loan or investment can be taken in the company’s name. This further strengthens the previous point that a C-Corp is great at protecting its owners and shareholders.

Easy Ownership Transfer

With entities like Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships, the owners are inextricably related to the company. If an owner dies or wants to leave the company, there’s a long and complex process that needs to be followed for succession planning.

This is not the case with a C-Corporation. Ownership transfer is quick and easy, as shareholders can simply transfer their ownership shares to someone else, for an appropriate cost. This makes the ownership transfer process much simpler.

Easy Ownership Transfer
Perpetual Existence

Perpetual Existence

As stated in the previous section, the owners of a C-Corp can simply transfer ownership interest, in case they wish to leave the company. Through this simple process, the ownership can pass from one person to another for perpetuity.

This does not affect a Corporation’s day-to-day operations, as it will continue functioning as usual, irrespective of who the owners are. Theoretically, this means that a Corporation has perpetual existence, even if the original owners are gone.

Expense Write-Offs

Both domestic and foreign corporations face double taxation, which is one of the biggest drawbacks of a C-Corp. But that doesn’t mean that there are no tax-related advantages that a Corporation in Michigan offers to its shareholders and owners.

A Corporation can write off a lot of business-related expenses and deduct them from the taxable income. Employee salaries and retirement plan contributions, for example, are all tax-deductible expenses, for which you don’t need to pay taxes.

Expense Write-Offs

Fewer Ownership Restrictions

While other business structures, an S-Corporation for example, have several restrictions on who can be an owner, C-Corporations don’t. Unlike S-Corps, C-Corp owners or shareholders can be non-residents and certain organizations.

Additionally, there are no limits on the number of shareholders a C-Corporation can have. An S-Corporation can have only 100 shareholders, in comparison. This means that a Corporation in Michigan has a lot of ownership flexibility.

Well-Established Operational Guidelines

Many business structures like Limited Liability Companies don’t have a well-defined management structure or guidelines. They have to make the guidelines themselves, after careful consideration and lots of discussions and meetings.

While that offers more flexibility, it’s also a hassle. With a Corporation, the rules and regulations on how the company should operate are well-defined. You don’t need to start from scratch and operational guidelines are already in place.

Well-Established Operational Guidelines
Ease of Business Expansion

Ease of Business Expansion

Given its formal business structure and the fact that it’s treated as a separate legal entity, a C-Corporation is considered more credible than any other entity. This makes investors trust it more and they hesitate less to invest in Corporations.

Given that a Corporation is the best entity for acquiring business funding, it is easiest to expand. If you want to start a large business and grow it both geographically and otherwise, then you should choose a C-Corp structure over all others.


Here’s what you’ll get with the free plan:

  • Business name search: You can use the free name check tool to search for the availability of your chosen business name for use within the state.
  • Complimentary registered agent services: You get one year of registered agent services from a Michigan registered agent, completely free of charge.
  • Articles of Incorporation: Inc Authority will help you prepare and file your application to form a Corporation in Michigan, completely free of charge.
  • S-Corporation election: If you want to get the S-Corp tax status to get more tax benefits, then Inc Authority can help you file Form 2553.
  • Quick tax consultation: You get a brief consultation with a tax expert who’ll help you save money of federal and state taxes, as much as possible.
  • Online document management: When you sign up for any plan, you get the option to store your documents online and maintain online corporate records.
  • Business funding needs analysis: Inc Authority will assign you an expert who’ll analyze your short-term funding needs and offer sources of funding.

Price: Free


Apart from the services in the Free plan, you’ll also get the following services:

  • Corporate bylaws: Inc Authority’s team will help you create comprehensive corporate bylaws to ensure that you don’t miss anything important. 
  • Corporate stock certificates: If you want to issue stock certificates to your shareholders, Inc Authority can help you with that task as well.
  • EIN/Tax Id: Every business needs an EIN for various purposes and Inc Authority’s team will help you through the entire application process.
  • Corporate forms and documents package: With this package, you get several templates for various types of contracts, agreements, and other documents.
  • Annual compliance notifications: Your point of contact at Inc Authority will keep you informed of all upcoming deadlines and compliance requirements.
  • Detailed tax consultation: While you get a brief consultation with the free plan, you can get a much more detailed consultation with the Starter paid plan.
  • Web domain and 5 business email addresses: Inc Authority can help you get a web domain for your business, matching your chosen business name.

Price: Custom


Here’s what you’ll get, apart from what you get in the Starter plan:

  • Customer success advisor: With this highest-tier plan, you’ll get a dedicated success advisor. This individual will be your point of contact for all your needs regarding starting and growing your new business in Michigan.
  • Private banking specialist: You will get access to a private banker who will help you find a good business banking account by suggesting some great options. They’ll also help you with all your banking needs and queries.
  • Personalized business advisory: As a new entrepreneur, you’ll need help at every step of the way, from how to start a business to strategies for growing and scaling it. This is where a personal business advisor will help you.
  • Expedited filing: With this plan, you get expedited filing of your Articles of Incorporation and other business applications. Your application will be treated as top-priority and their team will file it within the same day.

Why Choose Inc Authority to Start a Michigan Corporation

There are many reasons why Inc Authority is a perfect choice for anyone who wants to start a Corporation in Michigan quickly and efficiently. Here are some of the reasons for choosing Inc Authority.

100 free

100% Free Service

While some business formation services cost hundreds of dollars, Inc Authority doesn’t charge any service charges for its C-Corp formation services. In fact, you even get several other free services with its free plan.

Access to Experts

Access to Experts

The team at Inc Authority comprises experts in various fields, from those specializing in government document filing to experts in the field of tax and banking. When you choose Inc Authority you get access to all these experts as well.

Hassle-Free Process

Why would you take on the hassle of filling out long and complicated forms when someone can do it for you, for free? When you let Inc Authority handle the process, you get a stress-free and hassle-free experience.

Start the Incorporation Process


Here is the step-by-step process for starting a C-Corporation in Michigan:

  • Choose a Business Name: Choose a unique and memorable name that follows the naming guidelines for Corporations in Michigan.
  • Reserve Your Business Name: If you anticipate a delay in completing your incorporation process, it’s best to reserve your chosen business name.
  • Appoint a Michigan Registered Agent: Hire a local resident agent who will receive and forward all your legal and business correspondence.
  • File Michigan Articles of Incorporation: Submit Articles of Incorporation to the relevant Michigan department to get your business officially registered.
  • Appoint a Board of Directors: Choose the directors for your new company and form an official board of directors to make strategic business decisions.
  • Draft Corporate Bylaws: Prepare comprehensive corporate bylaws documents laying down all the rules and regulations of how the company will be run.
  • Hold Your First Board Meeting: Hold the first meeting of your company’s board of directors and make decisions that will decide the direction of the company.
  • Issue Stock for Your Michigan Corporation: Issue company stock and stock certificates for the shareholders of your new Corporation in Michigan.
  • Get an Employer Identification Number: Obtain an EIN or Tax ID for your business, as this will be required for a variety of business purposes.
  •  Open a Business Bank Account: Open a separate bank account for your business to keep your business and personal finances separate.
  • Obtain Licences and Permits: Get these from Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs or Commercial Licensing Bureau.
  •  Launch Your Business Website: Get a professional to design a user-friendly website to get organic traffic and leads for your new business in Michigan.

Yes, it has a corporate tax at the state level. The state of Michigan levies a 6% corporate income tax on C-Corporations within the state. This is over and above the federal income taxes that corporations pay.

Here are the key benefits offered by Corporations:

  • Best Liability Protection: C-Corps offer more comprehensive personal liability protection than any other business entity. 
  • Separate Legal Identity: A Corporation in Michigan is a legal entity in itself, separate from its owners, with various legal rights, such as entering contracts.
  • Easy Ownership Transfer: You can transfer your ownership shares to someone else and transfer ownership, that’s how easy ownership transfer is with C-Corps.
  • Perpetual Existence: The easy ownership transfer also ensures that a Corporation can go on even after the original owners have left the company.
  • Expense Write-Offs: A Corporation in Michigan can use expense write-offs to substantially reduce its tax burden and total taxable income.
  • Fewer Ownership Restrictions: A Corporation in Michigan can have as many shareholders as needed, with fewer restrictions on who can be one.
  •  Well-Established Operational Guidelines: You don’t need to formulate management guidelines from scratch as there are well-established guidelines.
  • Ease of Business Expansion: It is easy to expand your business if you form a Corporation, as it’s easiest to get funding for these formal business entities.

Please note that a Corporation is a great choice for businesses that have ambitious expansion plans. However, for small business owners, LLCs or Sole Proprietorships may be the more affordable options.

As per various reports, Michigan ranges somewhere between the top 10 and top 15 states in terms of business friendliness. 

The state filing fees for most documents are nominal and the corporate tax rates are also average. Many other states charge hundreds of dollars in filing fees alone and the tax rates in many states are much higher.

Overall, it is a comparatively business-friendly state, better than most other states in the country, both in terms of forming a business and staying compliant.

The minimum cost of starting a Corporation in Michigan is $10, which is the state fee for filing the Articles of Incorporation. Please note that it may take the Michigan Corporations division several days or even more to process your application. So, if you want a quick service, you’ll need to pay more.

And if you choose to work with a third-party service provider, the costs may rise further.

The best alternative is to go with a free business formation service provider like Inc Authority. This way, you don’t need to pay anything and still get professional services. It offers a truly hassle-free experience without charging anything for its services.