What Are Articles of Organization for an LLC in Michigan?

The Articles of Organization is a document created by LLCs in Michigan to declare how the owners of the company, called members, plan to operate their business. Choosing to create a company as an LLC can be a smart move for many businesses. Members get the liability protection corporations get, while benefiting from remaining a pass-through enterprise. In most cases, LLCs are formed by one of its members.

Advantages of Forming an LLC in Michigan

  • LLCs are the most popular business structure.
  • LLCs are separate entities from its members.
    – Member liability is limited to member financial contributions.
    – The LLC structure limits taxes and liability.

Disadvantages of Forming an LLC in Michigan

  • LLCs must file an annual statement with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
  • If you don't file your LLCs documents on time, Michigan enforces penalties.
    – Late filing will result in late fees.
    – The state of Michigan can opt to dissolve your LLC if you don't file in time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who manages an LLC in Michigan?
In most cases, members manage the company. However, if the Articles of Organization state that managers should manage the LLC, it should be followed. 

Do I need to put LLC after the name of my business?
The state of Michigan requires that LLCs have some variation of LLC in its name. Acceptable variations include:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Limited Liability Company

What other requirements does the state of Michigan have about the name of an LLC?

  • LLC names must be distinguishable from the names of existing businesses. You'll need to verify your name before creating your LLC.
  • Your LLC's name must not use a prohibited word without permission of the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth. The agency publishes a list of terms that you cannot use that includes federal agency terms, such as the secret service. 
  • Licensed professionals may require additional paperwork to be used in the name of an LLC — for instance, to use the word lawyer or doctor in the LLC's name.

Can you reserve an LLC name without using it?
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Bureau of Commercial Services will reserve your LLC name for six months if you fill out an Application for Reservation of Name. This will enable you to save your name from being used by another LLC while you are still in the process of getting your business ready to operate.

Who is eligible to become a registered agent?
To be a registered agent in the state of Michigan, you must be one of the following:

  • Michigan resident
  • Michigan corporation
  • Foreign corporation or LLC with relevant authorizations

What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service helps you file your LLC documents if you do not reside in Michigan or you want to avoid putting your personal information on file. Registered agents typically charge around $200 each year for this service.

Steps to Creating Articles of Organization for an LLC in Michigan

1. Choose a distinguishable name for your LLC. 

  • You want to make sure the name reflects your business and is something you'll want to stick with for the duration of your business venture.
  • Check the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth's online database to see if your chosen LLC name is available. You cannot choose a name that is already taken.

2. Create an Articles of Organization document.

  • This is the document that you will use to govern your LLC.
  • Without filing Articles of Organization, your LLC does not exist. 

3. File Form CSCL/CD-700 with your Articles of Organization with the State of Michigan or the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. 

  • It costs around $50 to file.
  • You can file your Articles of Organization by mail, fax, or email. If you would rather, you can file them in person.

4. Choose a registered agent. 

  • You are required by law to choose a registered agent, although you do not need a commercial registered agent. One of your members can be the agent. This person simply agrees to accept legal papers for the LLC.

5. Create an operating agreement for your LLC. 

  • Although the state of Michigan does not require an operating agreement, it is an important document that details who owns your LLC and how it is to operate.

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