Friday, February 24, 2012

Forming a Michigan LLC

When I was living in California a few years back I used LegalZoom to form an LLC. After that I moved to Washington and now I live in Michigan. In each of these last two states I formed an LLC without the help of a 3rd party. I was surprised how easy it was. So I am writing this post to help residents of Michigan. There is no reason to pay LegalZoom to do these things for you... save your money, it's easy!

Quick disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer and I don't want to be one. So take this all with a grain of salt. I may be wrong on some detail and if you really want to make sure you did everything correctly, you should contact a lawyer.

Michigan LLC
Step 1 is to make sure you can actually use the name you picked out -- someone may have beaten you to it. I'd recommend doing a quick Michigan search and USPTO trademark search for your business name. (Michigan has some more business naming guidelines that may be helpful.)

Step 2 is to form the LLC. Click here to download the required form (BCS/CD-700). Now, the instructions are on page 2 and it is pretty clear, but I thought I'd summerize if you aren't into reading instructions.

Article I: This will be the name of your company. Don't forget to add "LLC" to the end of the name. It is required.
Article II: You can just say that you're generally in compliance or list what your LLC will be doing for business.
Article III: Leave blank if the LLC has no end or dissolution date.
Article IV: This is where you put your name and address.
Article V: This is where you would tell Michigan that your LLC is managed by a manager (someone besides the LLC members). But for most, like freelancers and small home-businesses, you will be member-managed and will leave this field blank.

Have it signed by each member and send it in. It will take about 2 or 3 weeks to hear back (unless you expedite).

Lastly, after you form your Michigan LLC (and get back confirmation) you can apply for a DBA name (if you'll be operating under another name besides your new LLC) and get a FEIN (a kind of social security number for a business).

It is all quite easy. Save yourself some money and do it yourself.


Laura | Paper & Honey said...

Hi Eric, thanks so much for this! I was looking for a step-by-step of what each article meant and this was perfect.

Lisa Wilczak said...

I appreciate it as well. The instructions, with all of the legal jargon, on the form are not as clear as they could be. In addition, several of the Articles are not mentioned in the instructions. Thank you.

Joe Canaztor said...

Thank you this was very helpful