Starting a new Real Estate office

Looking to start a new real estate brokerage office?

To start your own brokerage office you will need to complete the following steps:

  1. Obtain your brokers license.  For the full steps on this, click here.
  2. Determine the legal structure of your business in Michigan. If you are going to form a basic sole proprietorship, read the instructions here.  If you are going to form an LLC, Partnership or Corporation, you will want to need to begin here at the State of Michigan Corporations Division at LARA.  The state of Michigan also has an information page here to help you decide what is the best structure for your business.  You may also want to consult your tax adviser to make this determination.  Michigan allows you to prepare and file the forms yourself, or you can hire an attorney to do this for you.  It is always good advice to seek legal counsel on this step to assist you with the process.
  3. Once your legal business structure is determined, you will need to file a State of Michigan application for a Broker Company or Branch Office here.
  4. When submitting the application for the office, you will be required to submit a new broker application as well.  If you are already a licensed Associate Broker, this application still is required to be submitted, and the accompanying fees paid, as the State will be issuing you a new Broker license number with the new office.  (Note: Only pages 1 & 2 of the 3 page application is required for submission, if you are already licensed as an Associate Broker in Michigan.)
  5. Consider the need for a 'Certificate of Assumed Name'.  Example, if you formed an LLC entitled 'ABC Realty, LLC.' and you would like to market the company as 'ABC Realty' you will need to file a Certificate of Assumed name.
  6. As an independent broker office, you will want to protect yourself with Errors and Omissions Insurance.  To find out more about this, click on this link here.
  7. You will need an to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your business through the Internal Revenue Service.  You can apply for this online here.
  8. As a brokerage and business, you will need to set up your bank accounts.  Part of this establishment, you will need to set up an escrow account either through your bank or through another institution that your office will use.  For more information on escrow accounts in Michigan, click here.
  9. Your next step will be to submit an application for a new office through BCAAR and have your new office set up with the Association.  Once the application is approved, and the fees paid, the BCAAR staff will set up your new office on the MLS, the BCAAR website and announce it to the membership.  (Download the application below).
  10. Order your signs, business cards, and website and get rolling in business!

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