Business Licenses Checklist


You Must Obtain a Building Permit or Occupancy Permit
You must visit the Zoning Division of BSEED to obtain the required permit necessary to open your business. This is a very important step that must be done.

BSEED Zoning Counter
Buildings, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 2 Woodward Avenue, Zoning Counter, Room 409 Detroit, Michigan, 48226

A Certificate of Occupancy will be issued when a permit is completed. After the building has been certified for your intended use, proceed to step 2.


Choose a Name for Your Business or If You, Incorporate Your Business, You Must Register
a) Choose A Name For Your Business:
If you conduct business in Detroit under an assumed name (a name other than your real name), you must file an application for an Assumed Name Certificate with Wayne County. Assumed Name application forms are available at the Wayne County Clerk's Office.

Wayne County Clerk's Office

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 2 Woodward Avenue - Room 201 Detroit, MI 48226
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm


Online information on assumed names.

b) If You Incorporate Your Business, You Must Register:
If you incorporate or establish a limited partnership, you must register with the State of Michigan. Please get legal advice about operating as a sole proprietor, a partnership, a limited partnership or a corporation. Incorporation forms are available at:

Department of Labor and Economic Growth



You Must Obtain a Sales Tax Number or Apply for Your Federal Tax ID Number

a) You Must Obtain A Sales Tax Number:

If you have any type of business in Detroit, you must have a sales tax number. The sales tax number form is available at:
Michigan Department of Treasury, Collections Division.

b) Apply For Your Federal Tax ID Number:

Corporations and partnerships require a Federal tax ID number. Obtain the Federal Tax ID forms at:

McNamara Building
477 Michigan Avenue (at Cass)
Detroit, MI 48226.

Apply For Your Federal Tax ID Number online

Step 4   

Apply For Your Detroit Business License

You must have a Detroit business license to operate certain types of businesses in the city. 


Apply for the license at:

Business License Center

Coleman A. Young Municipal Center 2 Woodward Avenue - Room 402 Detroit, MI 48226
Monday - Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm


You must pay all license fees when you apply.

Applicant Must Bring The Following:

  • Assumed Name or Articles of Corporation Papers
  • Information for all applicants and/or stockholders/corporation officers
  • Telephone Numbers
  • Driver License or State Identification Card
  • Acceptable Form of Payment: Cash, Certified Check, Money Order or Credit Card (Master Card & Visa)
  • Federal Identification Number (if applicable)
  • Proof of property ownership – Lease (Notarized) or Land Contract/Property Deed (registered with Wayne County)
  • Building Permit or Occupancy Permit (from the Zoning Counter, Room 409, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center)

Applicant must also submit the following supporting documents:

Forms Cannot Be Filed Electronically At This Time

Step 5  

Submit Completed Application including all Legal and Supporting Documents listed under Step 4.

Step 6

Schedule All Required Inspections for Business Location.
Important Note: Permits and Inspections will be required prior to opening your business.

Step 7

A Certificate of License will be issued once all approvals are secured. All Licenses Are Renewable Annually

City Ordinances are available in the City Clerk's Office located in Room 200 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.

If not operating a business in the City of Detroit, please check with the city or township where you plan to do business.