Business Center FAQ
Do I need a license to open a business?
Oakland County does not require a business license. Check with the State of Michigan and the local community to see if one is required.
Do I need to register my business name?
You are not required to register a business name if the business is formed as a sole proprietorship and you are using your own (e.g. John Smith) name when billing your customers or receiving payments for goods or services. If you conduct the sole proprietorship as "Smith Company," you are required to obtain an "Assumed Name" or "DBA" (Doing Business As). These are issued by the Oakland County Clerk's Office, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341-0412.
What is a DBA? Where do I get one? What does it cost?
A DBA, or Doing Business As, is the name under which you do business. You can request your DBA at the Oakland County Clerk's Office, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341-0412. The fee for filing is $10. Forms are available online and may be downloaded, completed, and returned along with the payment. You can check online or at the county Clerk's Office to see if the name you have chosen is available.
What is an Assumed Name? Where do I get one? What does it cost?
An Assumed Name is the name under which you will operate your business. You would file an Assumed Name so that no one else can use that name. You can request an Assumed Name at the Oakland County Clerk's Office, Assumed Names Division at 1200 North Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341-0412. Forms are also available online and may be downloaded, completed, and returned along with payment. The filing fee is $10.
Where do I file if I want to incorporate my business? What does it cost?
Contact the State of Michigan, Bureau of Commercial Services, Corporate Division, Department of Labor & Economic Growth. For more information, call 517-241-6470.
What is a Tax ID Number (EIN) and how do I get one?
An Employer Identificaiton Number, or Tax ID number, identifies the business for federal and state tax purposes. Sole Proprietorships with NO EMPLOYEES do not require an EIN. For more information, visit the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Where do I register my business name?
The county Clerk's Office if you are filing as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership, or the State of Michigan if you are filing for an LLC or some other type of corporate entity.
Does my business quality as a minority-owned business?
To qualify as a minority owned business, your business must be 51 percent or more owned by an individual of Native American, African, Asian, Indian, Pacific Asian or Hispanic descent.
Where do I get a minority certification?
Contact the Michigan Minority Business Development Council, 3011 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48202. (313)873-3200. Certification is also available through the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Wayne County & Detroit Civil Rights Department.
How do I qualify as a woman-owned business and who do I contact?
To qualify as a "Woman Owned Business, " a business must be 51 percent owned and
operated daily by a woman. For further information contact the Center for
Empowerment & Economic Development, Women's Business Enterprise Council -
Great Lakes (WBEC-GL), Ann Arbor. Their phone number is 734-677-1400.
Where do I get zoning information?
Zoning information comes from the city, village or township where your business is located.
I want to start a business in my home. What do I need to do?
Contact the community where the business will be located and see if the zoning laws permit it. Starting a business at home is the same as starting a business anywhere.
How do I find my Chamber of Commerce?
The Oakland Chamber Network is one outside resource to find Oakland County Chambers of Commerce. The site serves as a gateway to 27 Oakland County Chambers; and lists events and resources related to the 27 member chambers.