Starting or reorganizing a small business in Michigan is always exciting, if not just a bit scary or confusing  too.  The state of Michigan itself has a lot of decent information available on their websites, such as here:  and also here:
Many very small businesses are set up as sole proprietorships, with virtually nothing needed in the way of filings and so on, particularly if there is only one “employee”—the business owner.  But even those setting up as sole proprietorships may need to file an assumed name application, and check with local zoning laws, or even state licensing laws, to make sure they are in compliance with the law.
Because of possible financial and legal liabilities that may crop up in business, there is a strong tendency these days to set up a small corporation or limited liability company of some sort instead. A properly established and maintained corporation or limited liability company may help the business founders and owners shield themselves from some liabilities, if things go badly for the business.  Perhaps the business itself might shrink or close, if things go badly, but the individual owners typically will not be required to use their personal assets to get the company out of the difficulty.  And that is different from a sole proprietorship.
Some additional information about forming a Michigan corporation or LLC can be found here:,4601,7-154-35299_61343_35413—,00.html .
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory affairs, through the website above, provides the initial forms one might need to file a corporation. State fees required for filing are also listed on the website.
Since it is not impossible to create a very simple corporation or limited liability company just by using the state website and forms, some small business owners don’t use an attorney or law firm to help.  And that may be perfectly “O.K.” in some instances.
But if you have more than one investor, or others who are playing a critical role in your business, it is often smart to meet with a lawyer then, since the operational aspects of a small business, are usually NOT covered by such simple filings.  And other complications — such as whether or not one investor can buy out another, for instance – are much better talked about and incorporated in some form of operating or management agreement UP FRONT and not after difficulties arise.  That’s where a lawyer can be of real help to you.
Here are some items to consider before you form or as you get started:
Your business purpose.
Ownership indications–including shares of stock.
Company Agent.
Company control and voting requirements.
Director Liability and Indemnification.
Officers and their Authority.
Dispute Arrangements.
Operating Agreement.
Corporate Records.
Employee/Employment Arrangements.
If you would like to know more, please contact our firm.