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17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Michigan

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Michigan

Michigan boasts a culture of innovation and business-friendly policies. Its largest city, Detroit, is known as Motor City because it’s the birthplace of the automotive industry. Michigan is also known for its long freshwater coastline and vast forests. 

If you’re looking to start a business in Michigan, consider launching an aftermarket auto parts business. You can perhaps set up a farm. Opportunities also abound in other sectors. Check out our list of excellent Michigan business ideas to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey in the Great Lake State.

1. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

In Michigan, manufacturing businesses need specific licenses, often issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Essential tips include understanding local manufacturing laws, investing in quality equipment, and maintaining strong relationships with suppliers. Emphasize worker safety and ongoing training. Researching emerging markets and technologies can also offer competitive advantages.

2. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

To operate in real estate in Michigan, professionals must be licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Key advice includes gaining a deep understanding of Michigan’s property markets and local economic conditions. Networking with other real estate professionals and offering exceptional client service are vital. Staying updated with zoning laws and market trends will help in making informed decisions.

3. Dog Treat Store

How to start a dog treat business

Selling specialized dog treats in Michigan may require a business license from your local municipality. Ensure your products meet the health standards set by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Focus on creating unique, high-quality treats that appeal to pet owners. Marketing efforts should highlight the health benefits of your treats. Consider collaborating with local pet shops and vet clinics to increase visibility.

4. Farm

How to start a farm business

Farming in Michigan requires registration with the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. Successful farming involves understanding the local climate and soil conditions to choose suitable crops or livestock. Invest in sustainable practices to benefit from long-term yield improvements. Building relationships with local restaurants and markets can create stable sales channels.

5. Retail Store

retail store business idea

Opening a retail store in Michigan requires obtaining a sales tax license. Location is crucial; choose a spot with high foot traffic. Stock products that meet the needs and preferences of the local community. Excellent customer service and an effective marketing strategy are key to attracting and retaining customers.

6. Art Gallery

How to start a art gallery

Starting an art gallery in Michigan requires understanding local tastes and art trends. While registering your business is needed, curating distinctive and appealing art collections is crucial. Building strong relationships with artists and collectors will enhance your gallery’s reputation. Regular events and exhibitions can draw more visitors and potential buyers.

7. Cake Making

How to start a cake business

Cake making businesses in Michigan must comply with food safety regulations overseen by the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. Focus on developing a range of unique flavor combinations and designs to stand out. Building a strong online presence and offering customization options can attract a broader client base. Participate in local events and fairs to showcase your cakes.

8. Lip Gloss Store

How to start a lip gloss business

To sell lip gloss, you’ll need a business license from your local authority in Michigan. Staying informed about FDA regulations regarding cosmetic products is crucial. Creating a diverse range of high-quality, appealing products can help capture a loyal customer base. Effective online marketing and partnerships with beauty influencers can boost your store’s visibility.

9. Gift Basket

How to start a gift basket business

Creating and selling gift baskets in Michigan typically requires a sales tax license. Focus on crafting unique, thematic baskets for different occasions. Source high-quality and locally made products to increase appeal. Effective online marketing and offering customizable options can set your business apart from competitors.

10. Clinic

How to start a physical therapy clinic

Running a clinic in Michigan involves obtaining medical practice licenses from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Ensure compliance with all healthcare regulations and standards. Recruiting qualified and compassionate staff is essential. Building a reputation for quality care will help in attracting and retaining patients.

11. Car Rental

How to start a car rental business

Starting a car rental business in Michigan requires compliance with state-specific insurance and safety regulations. Securing a fleet of well-maintained vehicles and offering competitive rates are crucial. Location is important; consider proximity to airports or tourist spots. Exceptional customer service and flexible rental terms can differentiate your service.

12. Music Production Company

How to start a music production company

A music production company in Michigan should focus on building a network of talented musicians and sound engineers. You should invest in high-quality recording equipment and a comfortable studio space is key. Understanding the music industry’s trends and marketing your services effectively will help attract clients.

13. Advertising Agency

How to start a advertising agency

To start an advertising agency in Michigan, a business license from your local municipality may be needed. Success depends on creativity and understanding of current marketing trends. Building a diverse portfolio and strong relationships with media outlets are essential. Tailor your strategies to the needs of local businesses to enhance client satisfaction.

14. Insurance Agency

How to start a insurance agency

Operating an insurance agency in Michigan requires obtaining a license from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Knowledge of insurance products and the local market is essential. Focus on providing exceptional advice and customer service. Developing trust and understanding clients’ needs can lead to long-term business growth.

15. Beauty Supply Store

How to start a skincare business

Starting a beauty supply store in Michigan involves obtaining a sales tax license. Staying updated with beauty trends and stocking a wide range of products can attract a diverse clientele. Emphasize quality and safety in your product offerings. Effective use of social media marketing can increase your store’s visibility and attract customers.

16. Payday Loan Business

How to Start a Money Lending Business

A payday loan business in Michigan must comply with state regulations and obtain a regulatory loan license from the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services. Offering transparent terms and ethical lending practices is crucial. Educate your clients on responsible borrowing. Maintaining a strong understanding of financial regulations will ensure your business operates within legal guidelines.

17. Aftermarket Auto Parts

aftermarket auto parts business idea

Selling aftermarket auto parts requires a sales tax license in Michigan. Understanding your customer base and their needs can help you stock the right products. Offering high-quality parts and knowledgeable service can set your business apart. Effective marketing and maintaining good relationships with auto repair shops can also boost sales.


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17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Michigan