Business Start-Up Checklist

Below, you’ll find a helpful guide to operating a new business in the City of Muskegon.

  1. Contact the Economic Development Department
    • Check the Zoning: Businesses must be located in the proper zoning districts. Never purchase or lease a building or lot without first checking the zoning. The Planning Department will be able to assist you with any questions you have about zoning.
    • Change of Use?: Although your potential business may be zoned properly, the use of the building may be different from the previous tenant. Check with the Planning Department to see if it is considered a change of use and what requirements must be met.
  2. Contact SAFEbuilt, the Building Inspections Department
    • Check the Occupancy Status: Check on the type and status of any occupancy permit. If your proposed business is considered a building code change of use, there may be additional requirements.
    • Check for Building Issues: Check for any known violations or outstanding issues with the building.
    • Apply for Permits: Any changes of use or alterations to the building, including electrical, plumbing, or mechanical systems, require a permit before any work is started. Also, be sure to get a permit for any new signage.
  3. Contact the City Clerk’s Department
    • Register your Business with the City: All businesses must be registered with the City of Muskegon through the City Clerk.
  4. Contact the Income Tax Department
    • Register your business with the City to withhold local taxes for employees. All employees working in the City must pay our local income tax: 1% for residents and 1/2% for non-residents.