Business Assistance

With a large pool of resources, including capital funding and business mentoring, Michigan is poised to help your business succeed.

Do You Need Help Starting Your Business?

The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, training, research and advocacy for startups, existing small businesses and innovative tech companies. Counselors provide support and a planning tool to help evaluate the direction of your technology, chart strategies and more.

Michigan's SBDC publishes a Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business. Information includes steps for starting a business; forms of business organization; elements of a business plan; federal, state and local tax obligations; management, hiring, marketing and more.

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This guide assists with starting and operating a business in Michigan.

Review the SBDC Guide

Will You Need a License or Permit?
Use the State License Search to find out.

OBTAINING OR RENEWING LICENSES AND PERMITS

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Treasury and Taxes

Services from the Michigan Department of Treasury can be obtained via their online tool: Michigan Treasury Online (MTO). MTO provides registered businesses with the ability to access, view and make changes to account specific information that Treasury has captured from their application. In addition, taxpayers are able to file and pay Sales, Use and Withholding taxes from MTO. The MTO self-service tool is intended to improve taxpayers’ convenience and efficiency.


UIA

Unemployment Insurance

The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) administers the unemployment insurance program in Michigan and offers two online services for employers. The first, eRegistration, can be utilized to register a business for an unemployment insurance account. The second, Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM), can be utilized to manage an unemployment account electronically and allows employers access to other automated services and functions within UIA.


DEQ

Environmental Quality

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), assures permits are issued promptly. To help achieve this goal, the DEQ's Office of Environmental Assistance offers personal assistance to assure identification of all required permits. Please begin permitting discussions as early as possible.


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Transportation

Whether you are considering starting or expanding a business in or through Michigan, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) can help answer your transportation related questions.


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Secretary of State

The Business Licensing & Regulation Division of the Secretary of State is responsible for the licensing, training and regulation of motor vehicle dealers, repair facilities, mechanics and salvage vehicle agents in the State of Michigan. 

The International Registration Program (IRP) office registers commercial vehicles involved in interstate operations among the United States, the District of Columbia and provinces of Canada. This reciprocity agreement provides for payment to each jurisdiction in proportion to the distance operated there by the carrier. IRP's fundamental principle is to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of the highway system.


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Agriculture and Rural Development

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDARD) administers more than 40 different licenses for a variety of businesses including livestock dealer, grocery store, dairy processing plants, grain dealer, gas station, exterminator, fertilizer manufacturer, nursery stock dealer and aquaculture facilities.


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Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) supports business growth and job creation while safeguarding Michigan’s citizens through a simple, fair, efficient and transparent regulatory structure. LARA offers a number of online services for creating, maintaining or expanding your business.


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Human Services

The Department of Human Services issues Adult Foster Care, Homes for the Aged, Child Care and Child Welfare licenses to individuals, corporations, limited liability companies and certain government entities for the provision of supervised care or placement services.


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Insurance and Financial Services

The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) regulates a variety of individual licensees and business entities, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, HMOs, banks, domestic insurance companies, credit unions, foreign insurance companies, individual insurance agents, insurance agencies, mortgage licensees and registrants, deferred presentment companies and other consumer finance-related entities.


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Michigan Gaming Control Board

All employees of Detroit casinos and employees of their supplier companies may have to obtain an occupational license through the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).


Lottery

Lottery

Under Public Act 239 of 1972 as amended, retailers must be licensed by the Lottery Bureau to sell lottery tickets. The Lottery website has information on applying for application, as well as forms necessary to complete the process. 


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Natural Resources

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides licenses for the retailing, catching, exporting and processing of fisheries and wildlife products.


MEDC GENERAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE

MEDC Economic Gardening® Service

The MEDC Economic Gardening program is a fast, targeted, virtual service designed to provide significant, sophisticated technical research assistance to qualified second-stage growth companies with the intent and capacity to grow their business. The Economic Gardening service helps CEOs build stronger teams, identify new markets and sharpen their competitive edge using high-end corporate research tools. This program is a must for growing small businesses needing assistance with business strategy, market research, social media marketing, search engine optimization and Geographic Information Systems data analysis and mapping. To qualify, companies should have 10-99 employees with annual revenue between $1 million and $50 million and be on an upward growth trend. The MEDC covers all costs. To apply, fill out the secure online application at michigan.nationalcentereg.org.

Retention and Growth Program

The MEDC is a one-stop resource for your business. Business development managers (BDMs) are a part of the MEDC sales force, assigned geographically throughout the state. Your BDM serves as your business’s point of contact, coordinating all state services to ensure your success. View our map to find your BDM and start growing your business with their assistance.

Agribusiness Programs

The MEDC, in partnership with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), offers multiple programs to help support the financing and growth of agricultural businesses. Michigan is an international leader in the agriculture industry, and MDARD and MEDC are committed to supporting the continued growth of the industry within the state. For more information, visit the Agribusiness Financing Program fact sheet. 

Michigan SmartZone Network

This innovative, statewide program connects universities, research organizations and corporations to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs. For more information, view the SmartZone Network fact sheet.

ADDITIONAL PARTNERS AND TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANCE

Michigan Manufacturing Technology Centers (MMTC)

MMTC provides Michigan’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers with operational assessment, process improvement training, mentoring services, website technical assistance and market diversification tactics.

Michigan Venture Capital Association

Seeks to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan by bringing together industry participants. For more information, visit: http://www.michiganvca.org/ 

Michigan SBIR/STTR Assistance Program

Provides intensive training and consulting to support early stage life science and technology companies in pursuit of SBIR/STTR federal R&D funding. For more information visit: http://www.bbcetc.com  

Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs)

Michigan’s statewide network of PTACs match the capabilities of Michigan companies with state and federal government contract opportunities. Services include registering to become a government contractor, identifying bid opportunities, simplifying the bidding process, expediting payments through electronic invoicing, and assisting with post-award evaluations of submitted contracts and/or awards.

Additionally, the Michigan Defense Center is now offering a Proposal Writing Services grant program to assist Michigan companies in writing a bid response to a Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security contract opportunity. Interested companies should contact their regional PTAC to apply for this new grant. For more information, visit the PTAC fact sheet.

Michigan Unmanned Aerial Systems Consortium (MUASC)

MUASC is an Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Flight and Ground Test Center offering a large spectrum of opportunities for Commercial UAS manufacturers, operators and R&D organizations. MUASC provides flight operation services including all FAA requirements related to flight activity, Certificates of Waiver Authorization or COAs, and documentation for FAA certified independent evaluation processes. MUASC clients receive access to the same prioritized FAA approval processes as the seven FAA UAS Test Sites and the support of the entire Griffiss/NUAIR and Michigan team. For more information, visit: https://michiganuas.com/.

Michigan Corporate Relations Network (MCRN)

The first statewide university network in the country is designed to connect Michigan companies with university assets to promote innovations and grow Michigan's economy.  For more information, visit: http://michigancrn.org 

  • Small Company Innovation Program (SCIP) will help companies partner with universities for applied research and development of identified technologies. The SCIP will provide Michigan small businesses access to matching funding to engage the M-CRN partner universities on company-specific research projects.
  • Small Company Internship Award program (SCIA) provides funding and encourages student job placements with innovative and dynamic company partners within Michigan.

University Experts Portal

Part of the M-CRN network, the Expertise and Resource portal is an easy-to-use, searchable website featuring available university researchers and related resources at facilities such as university research centers to serve businesses both within Michigan and globally. For more information, visit: www.michigancrn.org/university-experts-portal/.

Michigan Technical Education Centers

Eighteen state-of-the-art centers are associated with Michigan’s community college system. They provide educational, training and workforce development infrastructure for Michigan’s businesses.

NextEnergy Center

Through the Michigan Energy Office technical strategic services partner, NextEnergy Center offers technical assistance based on customer need, to drive advanced energy investment and job creation in Michigan. It is an epicenter of entrepreneurial activity and serves as a living laboratory for advanced energy technology development and demonstrations. Advanced energy innovation companies are engaged in collaborative projects at NextEnergy, leveraging our knowledge base, unique testing capabilities and laboratories in an independent and secure environment.