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Michigan Business License

If you have incorporated a business in Michigan or planning to form a small business in the state then it’s time to apply for a business license. In order to operate your business in Michigan, business licenses, permits, and other professional licenses have to be obtained. Absence of license or permit to operate a specific business can lead to heavy penalties and in some cases, closure of the business.

There are several types of businesses that require a permit or business license in Michigan to become operational and at the same time, not all businesses require licenses issued by the state. There are certain licenses or permits that are handled at the city, county, or town level. The information regarding various types of license or permits issued in Michigan is available at the State Licensing Division of the Michigan Government.

How to Get a Business License in Michigan

Where and how do you apply for a Michigan company license? Are permits required for my business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple permits or licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses or permits? The only way to answer these questions is by understanding the process of business licensing.

Here is a step-by-step approach towards acquiring a business license in the state of Michigan.

Step#1: The Industry or Business Type

How would you know what type of business or professional license is required to operate in Michigan? The type of industry or the activities of a business entity helps in identifying the type of business license required.

There is a long list of permits or licenses issued mostly by the state of Michigan but some of the important categories according to industry segmentation are:

  • Accountancy
  • Agrichemical Bulk Storage Facility Registration
  • Different classes of Hotels
  • Clothing Manufacturer and store
  • Clubs and Coffee shops
  • Continuing Care Communities
  • Drug Rehabilitation Counselling Centers
  • Environmental Testing
  • Fish Breeder
  • Food Establishment and Food Cart
  • Gaming Business
  • Grocery Stores
  • Alcohol Buyer or Seller
  • Loan Company
  • Pharmacy

These are some of the categories for which statewide licenses are issued. Click here to check other licenses and permits issued by Michigan State.

Step#2: Licenses issued by City/County

If your business or industry type doesn’t fall under a statewide license then you will have to check with the local city or county office. A business license in Michigan can also be issued by local counties or cities in which the business is located.

Let’s take a look at an example to understand this better.

If you establish a business, which is an Amusement Park in the City of Detroit that has 5 devices (games) or more then the Michigan company license will be issued by City of Detroit, Business License Center.

The fee for the license or permit is $690. If you were to establish a carnival within the premises then you would be required to pay an additional fee of $58 and if there is an outdoor circus then the fee would be an extra $400.

There is a single application that covers all categories of licenses in the City of Detroit. You can check the fee and download application to get an insight into the process.

Step#3: Requirements for Business License

How is a business license in Michigan issued? Is there a process? What documentation is required? The following example will help you understand how the process works:

Type of Business

  • Type of Food Service Establishment – A food service establishment consists of restaurants, delicatessens, cafeterias, temporary food service establishments, retail establishments, vending machines, mobile units, and special transitory food units.
  • License Issuing Authority – Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD)
  • Cost of procuring a license or permit – The business license fee for a Retail Food Establishment is $186 and this includes grocery store, retail bakery, convenience store, and fish market among others. If you want to establish a fixed restaurant, cafeteria, coffee shop, luncheonette, tearoom or any other eating or drinking establishment then you will be required to contact the local health department to know the license fee applicable. Download Application

If you have any questions regarding registration of your business or require information regarding business license in Michigan, feel free to call us at 702-871-8678.

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