Although Michigan does not require a single general business license for companies doing business in the state, many companies must obtain at least one type of business license or permit from the state before doing business. business. For example, businesses selling tangible products will need a license to collect the appropriate sales and use tax.
Additionally, while businesses do not need a general business license from the state, many local Michigan municipalities will require licenses and permits depending on where the business operates and/or of the industry in which it operates.
When do you need a business license in Michigan?
When starting a new business in the state of Michigan, you will likely need at least one, possibly two or three local, state, and/or federal business licenses before you open your doors. The majority of local municipalities, towns, or unincorporated areas of counties do not require a general business license, but do require a professional license for certain professions and industries.
The City of Detroit provides an extensive list of all businesses required to obtain a specialty license, including amusement parks, dry cleaners, gas stations, hotels, pet stores, restaurants and sports stadiums, for to name a few. To determine if your business needs a business license in Detroit or any other Detroit city, visit your city clerk’s or county registrar’s website.
Similarly, the state of Michigan does not require business licenses for all businesses, but does require certain types of businesses and professions to obtain a license. The list of required licenses includes a number of health-related professions such as acupuncturists, optometrists, pharmacists and social workers as well as a few other industries such as construction, cosmetology and the sale of alcoholic beverages.
In addition, any business doing business in Michigan that intends to sell or lease tangible personal property normally subject to retail sales tax will need to obtain a sales tax license. This license allows Michigan businesses to collect the appropriate sales tax on items sold or rented.
Finally, your business may be required to obtain a federal license to operate legally. Although federal licenses are rarer, they are required for companies operating in certain highly regulated industries.
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