The Corporations Division facilitates the registration of new and renewed or restored business entities in Michigan, as part of the Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This division accepts the filings of required documents that allow companies to register and operate as corporations or limited liability companies.
The State of Michigan requires corporations to register and send yearly reports to the state. The content and requirements of these reports has changed over time, as has the agency responsible for collecting them. The timeline below provides an overview of these changes. Annual reports of the Corporations Division from 1997-2006 are available in our digital collections. Earlier reports can be requested from the Archives of Michigan reference staff. Records from 2007 to the present are with the Corporation Division of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.Browse the Collection
History of Annual Reports
Public Act 148 of this year required mining companies to file annual reports with the Secretary of State. Companies had to indicate the names of shareholders, their places of residence, and the number of shares owned by each.
Public Act 80 of 1881 established reporting requirements for charitable societies. Annual reports filed with the Secretary of State included the name of the organization, reason for organization, names of trustees and officers, description and value of real estate owned, and value of any investments made by the charity.
Manufacturing and mercantile corporations were required to file annual reports by Public Act 232. Reports included the amount of capital stock, amount invested in real estate and personal estates, debts and credits of the corporation, and the names of stockholders and number of shares each held.
Public Act 232 of this year provided for incorporation of companies outside of manufacturing and mercantile. It also required annual reports to include names and addresses of members of the board of directors, when applicable.
Public Act 84 specified that the annual report requirement didn’t apply to entities regulated by the Insurance Department, Banking Department, or the Public Utilities Commission
Public Act 327 required corporations to include a complete and detailed statement of assets and liabilities in their annual reports. It also required nonprofit corporations to file reports every third year rather than annually.
The Corporations and Securities Commission was created by Public Act 13. The Secretary of State’s duties and records related to corporations were transferred to this new commission.
Public Act 194 reversed some of the requirements of 1931’s Public Act 327, and went back to requiring nonprofit corporations to file reports annually.
The Executive Reorganization Act transferred responsibility for corporation filings to the Department of Licensing and Regulation.
Annual reports began listing the corporation’s federal Employer Identification Number. This number appears on the reports through 1996. Archives of Michigan staff must redact the EIN before researchers access these records.
Responsibility for corporation filings was transferred to the Department of Commerce.
Public Act 196 revised the requirements for annual reports and extensive financial information was no longer required.
Public Act 197 allowed corporations to report that no changes occurred in the previous year without completing a full report. Researchers may need to consult more than one report to determine who the officers and directors were.
Executive Order 1996-2 transferred responsibility for corporation filings to the Department of Consumer and Industry Services.
Executive Order 2003-18 transferred responsibility for corporation filings to the Department of Labor and Economic Growth.
Executive Order 2011-4 transferred responsibility for corporation filings to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
at the Archives of Michigan
In addition to content on Michiganology, you can find more annual reports prior to 1997 at the Archives of Michigan. Annual reports from 1851 to 1967 are available for onsite research. Since reports from 1968 to 1996 have confidential information, you would need to be make a research request for those records.
You can make a research request.
If you aren't able to visit the Archives of Michigan, you can place a request for staff at the Archives of Michigan to conduct research for you. This research does include a general fee. Learn more through our online shop.