Setting Up a Single-Member LLC in Michigan

By Jeff Franco J.D./M.A./M.B.A.

If you decide that Michigan is the state where you want to set up a single-member LLC for your business, you’ll be happy to know that the formation requirements are fairly straightforward and don’t require a significant amount of paperwork. However, by familiarizing yourself with some of the essential Michigan LLC laws, you can avoid the unnecessary delays that oversights can sometimes cause.

Naming Your LLC

Michigan requires that you create a name for your single-member LLC that is different than the name of any existing business entity created within the state, including corporations and partnerships. In addition, the name you choose must not be misleading—meaning that your business's name cannot imply certain business activities that your LLC doesn’t actually engage in. Moreover, the name you choose must include one of the common terms that identify the legal structure as a LLC, such as “limited liability company” or “LLC.”

Preparing Articles of Organization

In order for the state to legally recognize your business as a LLC, you must prepare the articles of organization. The Michigan Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs provides a standard form on its website that you can fill out rather than drafting an original. Your articles of organization must include the LLC’s name, a clause stating that the LLC may engage in any lawful business activity and the address of the LLC’s registered office and the name of its resident agent. Michigan doesn’t limit the length of time that a single-member LLC can exist; however, if you choose to limit the life of the LLC, you can note the maximum duration of the LLC in the articles.

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Registered Office & Agent

Every LLC created in Michigan must have a registered agent that is authorized to accept legal documents on behalf of the LLC. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Michigan or any business entity created in or authorized to transact business in the state. In addition, the resident agent’s business or home address must be listed as the registered office. However, because you are the sole member of the LLC, you may want to consider serving as the LLC’s resident agent and using your home or office address as the registered office. If you prefer not to serve as the resident agent, keep in mind that there is no shortage of companies who will provide this service for you in exchange for a fee.

Filing the Articles of Organization

Once you choose the LLC’s name, the resident agent, registered office and have prepared the articles of organization, you must file the document with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and pay the appropriate filing fee. You can accomplish this by filing the documents in person, over the Internet or via email. Legal formation of your single-member LLC occurs at the time a representative from the Department of Licensing reviews the articles for compliance and endorses the document with a signature and file stamp.

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