You may have read my previous post on LLC Operating Agreements and thought, “that’s not the first step, is it?”  Well, no, it’s not.  The first step in legally forming a business should be to meet with a Michigan business lawyer to get the critical advice and help you need to make sure you get the full, legal benefits of forming the business.

The first documentation step in forming a Michigan Limited Liability Company (LLC) is to draft and file Articles of Organization (the “Articles”).  Filing the Articles means that the business entity officially “exists.”  Although the Michigan Limited Liability Company Act (the “Act”) doesn’t require a particular form for the Articles, it does set out what information is required in the Articles. For example:

  • The name of the LLC,
  • The purpose(s) for which it is formed,
  • The street and mailing address for the LLC’s registered agent,
  • Whether the LLC will be managed by a manager or by the members, and
  • How long the LLC will last.

Generally, I favor using the form from the State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (click here for the form). Don’t let the simplicity of the form fool you.  There are many important decisions that need to be discussed and decided with a Michigan business lawyer before knowing whether or not the state form is sufficient for your particular business.  And in certain cases it is better to use custom-drafted Articles rather than the form, to make sure your goals and objectives for the business are accurately represented.

Have questions about getting your business “off the ground?”  Want to make sure that your existing business was set up to give you the maximum protection and help reach your full potential?  Call us at 616-827-7596 and schedule your business needs analysis meeting to have added peace of mind.

Michael Lichterman is a relationship-based business attorney who leverages his business, marketing and legal knowledge to help business owners and entrepreneurs create a Foundation for Business Success™.  This goes beyond merely drafting a set of documents – it’s about  proactively preparing the business and the business owner for continued growth while remembering the “human side” of running a business.  He best serves small business owners (less than 50 employees) and entrepreneurs.  He takes the “counselor” part of attorney and counselor at law very seriously, and enjoys creating life long relationships with his clients  and their businesses – many of which have become great friends.