Starting & Operating a Business in Kentwood

Open for Business

Overview 
Congratulations! Owning your own business is an exciting adventure, and we are thrilled that you are considering Kentwood as a potential home for your workplace. Whether you're just getting started or a looking to relocate or expand in Kentwood, this section is dedicated to helping you find answers. 

The following are intended to give you an overview of starting a business in Kentwood and may not include everything you need to start a business. You are required to meet all federal, state and local requirements for your business. 

Resources 
Financial Assistance 
Location & Zoning 
Licenses, Permits & Code Compliance
Taxes & Fees 

Contact Lisa Golder at golderL@kentwood.us with any questions about operating a business in Kentwood. 

Resources 

MICHIGAN SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER 
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. This nonprofit organization is committed to the success and growth of small businesses by providing cost-effective training, one-on-one counseling and market research. 

WEST MICHIGAN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY INITIATIVES 
Created for those entering the technology field, the West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative provides assistance to help grow local businesses. With services such as legal, business development plans and market research, WMSTI is a great resource for fledgling businesses. 

You can contact West Michigan Science & Technology Initiatives by calling 616.331.5840 or emailing at wmsti@gvsu.edu

GRAND RAPIDS OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN 
Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women is focused on serving women at every step of business ownership. GROW provides counseling and mentorships, as well as microloans for qualified individuals. 

SCORE 
SCORE is a group of active and retired business owners and executives working to improve the success of local businesses in West Michigan. With real world business experience, volunteers partner with up-and-coming business owners and leaders for mentoring, planning and workshops.   

FAMILY BUSINESS ALLIANCE 
The Family Business Alliance is a local nonprofit created to help family businesses succeed. Working in a family business has its owned unique set of challenges. The FBA has resources and networking opportunities to help connect you to the right people to make sure your family business thrives. 

KENT DISTRICT LIBRARY SMALL BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER
This online resource, provided by Kent District Library, has helpful resources to support you in learning what you need to know about starting a business. You must have a KDL library card to access the information. Don't have a library card?  Click here to get one.

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Financial Assistance & Incentives 
There may be some financial assistance and incentives for your business. The City of Kentwood offers certain programs and incentives. You can contact the Economic Development Office for more information. 

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Zoning 
Your business is subject to zoning requirements. Zoning varies based on type of business and your location. Please contact our Planning Department to learn more. 

View the Zoning map
View Zoning Ordinance  

Licenses, Permits & Code Compliance
If you haven't already, you are required to obtain a business license from the City of Kentwood.  You can learn more at the Kentwood City Clerk page. 

Registration with Kent County 
You are also required to register your business with the Kent County Clerk. You can search to see if the business name you want to use is available, as well as find the forms you need on the  Kent County Clerk website. If you can't find what you're looking for, please call 616.632.7640.
 
All food service establishments and temporary food vendors need a license from the  Kent County Health Department. Please visit the website or call 616.632.7100.

State of Michigan 
You are also be required to register your business with the State of Michigan. The State has a helpful  state license search to guide you. 

Home-Based Businesses 
If you run a business from your home, you need a home-based business license. This license is a one-time application valid as long as you're operating a business out of your home.  To learn more about operating and applying for this license:

Home-Based Business License Procedures  
Home-Based Business Application 

Chemical Survey
As a business owner, you are required to complete the City of Kentwood Chemical Survey. Click here to learn more, and take the survey online.  
 
Building Permits
If you intend to build or modify a structure, you may need a building permit. You can find out more about Kentwood's Building Permits and regulations by visiting the Kentwood Inspection Office page. 

Taxes & Fees 
As a business, you will be required to pay personal property taxes to the City of Kentwood. If you have questions about your taxes, you can contact the Kentwood Treasurer

The personal property of all entities in the State of Michigan is taxable unless specifically exempted by Michigan general property tax laws. Taxable personal property is generally the furniture, fixtures, equipment, machinery, leasehold improvements, office machines, computers and tools of business. There are some exceptions for churches, farms and other organizations.

All taxable property must be reported annually to the local assessor on or before Feb. 20. The Michigan State Tax Commission has an approved form which must be used in reporting personal property. 
 
Tax day is Dec. 31 each year. The personal property statement requires all property be reported based on its location on Dec. 31.

All businesses with property in the City of Kentwood must comply with state laws. The Assessor's Office attempts to mail forms to all entities believed to have taxable property within the City on tax day. These forms are mailed the first week of January each year. 

All forms must be returned by Feb. 20, although it is recommended that they be completed and filed by the end of January. This allows for both the assessing staff and the taxpayer to review any questions and agree on an appropriate assessment before the  Board of Review meets in March.

Please visit the Kentwood Assessor's office for more details about owning a property in the City. 

Sales Tax & State Tax
If your business sells tangible goods, you will need a sales tax license from the State of Michigan.