©2018 Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan is committed to your business success. From operating guidance to capital funding to technology assistance, the resources below can help your business start-up become more than just an idea waiting to happen.
The Michigan Small Business Development Center provides counseling, training, research and advocacy for start-ups, 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. sbdcmichigan.org
Michigan's SBDC publishes a Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business. Information included in this guide is both general and Michigan-specific: 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. This guide is a quick reference designed to assist in the process of starting and operating a business in Michigan.
Review the SBDC Guide
To find out if your new venture could require a state license or permit, use the data search feature.
Search for Michigan Licenses and Permits
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.
Begin receiving service from the MTO Business Services website.
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. Both services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The UIA website provides an Employer Handbook explaining unemployment insurance and a MiWAM Toolkit to assist in using MiWAM.
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.
For assistance identifying relevant environmental permits for a new venture, please review the DEQ permit website.
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.
For more information on the variety of transportation modes and intermodal resources and services available visit the MDOT permits web page.
The Business Licensing & Regulation Division is responsible for the licensing, training and regulation of motor vehicle dealers, repair facilities, mechanics and salvage vehicle agents in the State of Michigan. If you are considering starting your own driver education business in Michigan, the Michigan Department of State can help answer your questions. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information on the variety of public services DIFS is responsible for administering, visit the DIFS home page.
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). For specific qualifications contact MGCB.
Under Public Act 239 of 1972 as amended, retailers must be licensed by the Lottery Bureau to sell lottery tickets. Website has information on applying for application, as well as forms necessary to complete the process.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides licenses for the retailing, catching, exporting and processing of fisheries and wildlife products. Available licenses include: Fur Buyers, Processors and Fur Manufacturers; Taxidermy; Minnow, Wiggler and Crayfish Dealers (Resident and Non-Resident); Commercial Minnow Catchers; Bait Export; Wholesale Fish Dealers; Fish Cleaning Stations; Salmon Spawn Processors; and Sport Trolling Licenses (Resident and Non-Resident).
The DNR website provides step-by-step instructions on who needs to have a license or permit for which activities, and how to apply for them when applicable.
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.
To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103
The MEDC is a one-stop resource for your business. Business development managers (BDMs) are a part of the MEDC salesforce, assigned geographically throughout the state. Your BDM serves as your business’s point of contact, coordinating all state services to ensure your success. BDMs are available through email or a phone call away to help your business grow. View our BDM map.
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. Read more.
Provides counseling, training, research and advocacy for start-ups, 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. View the SBDC website to contact an office in your region.
This innovative, statewide program connects universities, research organizations and corporations to stimulate the growth of technology-based businesses and jobs.
MMTC provides Michigan’s small- and medium-sized manufacturers with operational assessment, process improvement training, mentoring services, website technical assistance and market diversification tactics. View the MMTC website for more information.
Seeks to grow and sustain a vibrant venture capital community in Michigan by bringing together industry participants. http://www.michiganvca.org/
Provides intensive training and consulting to support early stage life science and technology companies in pursuit of SBIR/STTR federal R&D funding. http://www.bbcetc.com
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. Read more about the PTACs.
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. http://michigancrn.org
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, please check out the portal at www.michigancrn.org/university-experts-portal/.
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.
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.
300 N. Washington Sq., Lansing, MI 48913