Welcome to the Start a Business guide for foreign corporate registration in Michigan. In this jurisdiction, applicants will be filing with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) as opposed to a Secretary of State office. As there currently exists no online filing system, all application must be downloaded in PDF, completed on a computer (or in black ink) and submitted to the government offices with an attached filing fee. Those registering profit corporations must pay a total admission fee of $60 while nonprofit entities need only supply $20. The tutorial below will simply provide you with the PDF of the filing form and will go over exactly what information is needed from you.

Prior to actually filing your entity, it might be wise to perform a Name Availability Search to ensure that your current operating name isn’t already on file under another entity in Michigan. If you need additional time with which to prepare for filing, you may want to consider performing a Name Reservation. The reservation period in Michigan lasts for a total of 6 months and the filing costs no more than $10.

How to File

Step 1- To begin the filing process, download the PDF of the Application for Certificate of Authority to Transact Business.

Step 2- When opened in your PDF reader, you will be able to submit the following information:

  •  1- Name of corporation
  • 2- Assumed name if original corporate name is unavailable
  • 3- Jurisdiction of formation, date of formation and period of duration (existence)
  • 4- Address of main office


Page 2

  • 5- Street address of registered office, mailing address of registered office, name of registered agent
  • 6- Specific business or affairs to be transacted in Michigan
  • 7- Total number of authorized shares (profit corporations only)
  • 8- If the applicant is a trust, provide any powers or privileges possessed by the trust that are not possessed by an individual or a partnership
  • Date of signing, signature of authorized representative, name of authorized representative
  • Preparer’s name and business phone number


Step 3- Once your document has been completed, you will be able to print it off to provide the requisite signatures. If you plan on filing by fax (517-241-0538) or by email ([email protected]), you will be able to pay the filing fee ($60 for profits, $20 for nonprofits) through your MICH-ELF account. Those filing by mail should send their completed forms to the below address with an attached check made out to the State of Michigan.

Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Corporations, Securities & Commercial Licensing Bureau
Corporations Division
P.O. Box 30054
Lansing, MI 48909


Renewal– It is the duty of a corporation to renew each year with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in order to keep the department updated on any structural changes which may have occurred. The renewal form, as in many states, is an annual report which can be submitted online using the FILEOnline feature of the government website. If you represent a profit corporation, your report should be submitted by the 15th of May of each calendar year and must be accompanied by a $25 filing fee (payable by credit card). Likewise, nonprofit entities will be required to file by October 1st and will be charged a total of $20. Click on the heading of this paragraph to access the annual report filing system.