Posted by Don L on September 16, 2016
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Published on September 16th, 2016 | by Don L


(MI Only) I Formed a Business in Michigan

Quick Summary

This is a simple, straightforward post on forming a business in Michigan.


(In addition to all the standard disclaimers,) please do not consider this post as legal, financial, or tax advice.

It is simply the steps I completed to form a business in Michigan.  I hope it offers some value to you.


In this game that we play, owning a business can be a valuable piece.  It offers:

More subtly,

Perhaps even allowing

The Process

Complete the Articles of Organization Form

  • I filled out and submitted the Articles of Organization Form
    • This form allowed me to establish a limited liability company (LLC) – a relatively simple business type to create and operate.  The LLC business type was a good match for my startup business, as it offered liability protection and the ability to chose a tax treatment (but I’ll keep the default tax treatment for an LLC that of a disregarded entity and include it when filing my personal taxes).
    • I was sure to include an LLC abbreviation in my business name (e.g. Astronomer of Credit LLC [this is not my business name, but I like the sound of it])
    • And also verify that my business name was not already taken by using the name availability search tool.
    • I mailed in the completed form with my $50 check.

Request an EIN

  • After my new LLC was approved (I received my original Articles of Organization Form back in the mail – stamped “FILED”), I requested an EIN
    • There was no cost to request an EIN and the EIN was immediately available at the end of the online process.
    • While an EIN was not required for my business, it seemed like a prudent move to greater separate my business and personal transactions.

The Math

No complicated math.

With the $50 filing fee, my business was profitable on its first deal.

Quick Promotion

Definitely check out the Chase $500 Business Checking offer [sorry expired] the current best offers on DoC’s Best Business Bank Bonuses List.

For those in Southeast Michigan, I believe the $250+ Monroe Bank and Trust Business Checking Offer is also a solid deal.  I’m Don in the comments 🙂

Final Note

As always please let me know where I am wrong and incomplete to help improve this resource.

For more information on starting a business in Michigan consider this guide.

All the best!

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17 Comments on "(MI Only) I Formed a Business in Michigan"


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Phillip Dampier
Phillip Dampier

One note of caution about chasing bank promos. Even if you establish a business presence in Michigan, that does not by itself qualify you to chase Michigan regional bank promos unless you have a verified mailing address in that state. Some credit unions and smaller regional banks reject apps if your driver’s license is from out of state (several credit unions I’ve dealt with), others demand a residential or business street address within 50 miles of any branch (Webster Bank, Central Bank, etc.).

So while this will help with a national bank to get business checking, it will not help people chase regional bank bonuses in a state where they do not have an address of a business location or residence to put on the app. Banks and Homeland Security are sensitive about identifying banking customers thanks to terrorism/money laundering, so trying to skirt this with a mail drop can bring the wrong kind of attention if they don’t realize you are a bank promo hunter, not Mr. Terrorist or Drug Dealer trying to move money around under false pretenses.

William Charles

This is more about advice for people living in Michigan, rather than creating a business in Michigan purely for bank bonuses.


Do you/others know whether a bonus-only business might trigger IRS/other entity review and/or taxation, assuming you don’t tie or file any actual business revenue to this and only use it for credit card and bank bonuses? I don’t know if for instance if money moving in-and-out of this business account from other banks (for bonuses) or other such activities might trigger a review, and if so whether there might be any financial or legal consequences.

William Charles

You’d need to speak to a tax professional about this, we cannot give this type of advice.


i was also curious about this.


Now how long will it take till all reddit trolls kill business cards by going insane with cc business applications…


How hard is it to get approved for a business CC, say the ink plus, with a new business using the EIN?


You gotta fill out an application.


5/24 is the biggest issue, I think, for most.


I don’t think I explained myself well, I meant how hard is it to get approved for a business card without using your social, in order to get the sign up bonus twice. Is it even possible to sign up with an LLC without giving your social?


Why Michigan? Because it is where you live, or because it is easier? Could you shed some light on the choice of MI?


Ha the whole time I was reading the article I too thought he lived somewhere else and Michigan was easier than most states. Will just assume it’s his home state.

Mark O
Mark O

I am pretty sure he lives here (Michigander myself) since he wrote the hacking Michigan Lottery post too.


For me, this just crosses a line of complexity that I’m not even willing to consider. It’s annoying enough to open some of these accounts when the reps goof on funding it on time or whatever, and having to stay on top of what was opened when and so forth, but *opening a business in your state*? Even if the process outlined above only took four hours, there is something unnerving about having a business open. What tax or legal complexities will this produce down the road? How much time will I have to put into researching that? Am I *sure* about what I find out?


Yeah these are some of my concerns as well about something like this. Even if you do a lot of research and get some kind of OK-ish by a CPA or attorney, as far as likelihood of trouble. Having a formal (registered) business pretending to be something while in actuality only does bonuses via simulated business activities might trigger flags with banks and/or government. So yeah this stretches this financial hobby’s limits.

For one thing, I’d advise Don to keep meticulous records in case you’re ever investigated and the burden of proof is put on you to show what’s what.

The other concern, although just financially, could be costly if it turns out you have to pay taxes on payroll and employees you’ve simulated, as well as potential penalties.

I’m sure there’s others who do this to one degree or another, but there’s not a whole lot of clear info about potential consequences. Also those degrees can make the difference as far as flying under radars or not. For instance someone who has a legitimate business might trigger less flags for a second bonus-only “business” that someone who doesn’t.

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