Copy of Articles of Incorporation for a Michigan Corporation

By Heather Frances J.D.

Corporations offer liability protection for shareholders by providing a separate legal entity that divides personal debts and assets from business debts and assets. Though this is an attractive structure for many businesses, you must file appropriate forms, including articles of incorporation, to operate a corporation legally, and copies of these forms are available from the state of Michigan.

Corporations offer liability protection for shareholders by providing a separate legal entity that divides personal debts and assets from business debts and assets. Though this is an attractive structure for many businesses, you must file appropriate forms, including articles of incorporation, to operate a corporation legally, and copies of these forms are available from the state of Michigan.

Articles of Incorporation

To form a corporation, you must create articles of incorporation. These articles contain very basic information about your business, including a name that must contain a word or abbreviation such as “Corporation” or “Inc.” to indicate your company’s corporate status. Your articles must also contain details about your corporation's ownership, such as the number of shares you intend to issue and whether those shares will be all of one class or of multiple classes. Since your business must have a registered agent residing in Michigan, you must list this registered agent in your articles, too. If you want your corporation to last only for a certain amount of time, you can put a termination date in your articles, or you can state that your corporation has a perpetual term, meaning it exists until it is terminated.

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Filing Articles

Even after you create articles of incorporation, your business is not recognized as a corporation until you file your articles with the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. You must also pay a filing fee, which varies depending on the number of authorized shares you create for your company. Corporations with millions of authorized shares pay a substantially higher fee than corporations with under 60,000 shares. You can mail your fee and articles to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ post office box in Lansing or you can submit it in person to their office in Okemos. You can also file these online through the Michigan Electronic Filing System.

Entity Search

If you want to find out whether a business has articles of incorporation on file with the state, you can use the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs’ website to search their database. The database contains records of corporations, limited liability companies and limited partnerships that are authorized to conduct business in Michigan. You can search the department’s database by name, key word or identification number. Once you have found the correct business, you can view the business’ status and images of documents that business filed with the state, including its articles of incorporation and annual reports.

Certified Copies

You may request certified copies of your business’ articles of incorporation, or another business’ articles, by completing a Certification and Copies Request with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The request form requires your name, contact information and billing information, as well as the identification numbers and entity names of the businesses for which you are requesting document copies. You must also specify that you want copies of the articles of incorporation, though you can request copies of all documents filed with the state.

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References

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How to Register an LLC in Michigan

Michigan registers new limited liability companies (LLCs) through the Bureau of Commercial Services, which operates under the state Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. The website for the bureau provides all of the information needed to prepare LLC articles of organization in compliance with the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act, including a downloadable, fill-in-the-blank template; the current fee schedule; step-by-step filing instructions; and a web-accessible business entity database to check the availability of business names.

How to Incorporate in Iowa

Some state governments use the internet to streamline the business registration process. Most states have a central website to provide new business owners with resources to make it easy to incorporate within the state. These states either allow you to fill out articles of incorporation online or provide a fill-in-the-blank template that you can download from a state website. Iowa is one of a handful of states that does not provide an articles of incorporation template. Instead, it refers business owners to the state's corporations statute and requires incorporators to draft their own paperwork by looking at the law. Preparing articles of incorporation is fairly straightforward, but if you are uncomfortable drafting your own legal documents, you can consult an attorney or download a template from an online document preparation.

How to Register a Business Name in Michigan

Choosing a good name for your business can help you succeed in your new endeavor. When starting a small business, you might want a name that is as simple as Pete's Pizzeria. Depending on the type of business entity you are setting up, you'll have to register it with a county clerk in Michigan or state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, or LARA. You don't have to register your business at all if you give it your legal name.

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