Starting a business is an endeavor that takes risk and the ability to navigate licensing and business law. However, the state of Michigan has been trying to diversify its economy from reliance on the auto sector and has made it easier to start a small business. Information on licensing and bonding is available online to help prospective business owners get started.

Things You Will Need
  • For licensing:

  • Computer with Internet access

  • Information about the legal structure of your business

  • For Bonding:

  • Financial and banking information

  • Credit history

  • Business contracts

  • Business plan

Getting Licensed

Step 1.


laptop image by Dušan Zidar from

Licensing requirements vary by the type of business you want to set up. When you have determined the legal structure and type of business you plan to open, go to Michigan Business One Stop at

Step 2.

Create an account and log in, or practice by clicking the "Try Business One Stop" link to get a simulator. Answers put into the simulator can be printed but will not be saved.

Step 3.

When you log in you will be asked a series of questions about the legal structure and type of business you wish to license. Answer the questions to determine which federal, state and local licenses you will need.

Step 4.

When you receive the results, select from a series of options to register for licenses, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and tax information.

Step 5.

Complete registration for the business license and tax information and you will be licensed to start your business in Michigan.

Getting Bonded in Michigan

Step 1.

Certain businesses, such as construction or those dealing with issues of the public trust, are required to have surety bonds. Determine if your business contracts require surety bonds and which type of bond is needed.

Step 2.

If you are required to have a surety bond you can go to the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth for a list of surety companies authorized to work in the state.

Step 3.

Meet with an authorized agent and discuss your business's bonding needs. You will have to provide information on your business, licensing, insurance and financial statements. This information will help the surety company decide if and how to issue a bond for your company and its contracts.

Step 4.

Contact multiple agents in the state to get the best rate on bonding. Rates typically fall between one half of one percent and two percent of the total amount of the bond.

Step 5.

Select a bonding contract that best suits your business and contract needs. When the contract is finalized you will be bonded and able to continue with your business contract.


While online applications can make registration easier, consulting with an attorney beforehand can help establish the business structure and other legal protections prior to registration.