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Business:  How to Guide

The City of Kalamazoo's Economic Development Department works with a variety of partners to attain the best results for each project. Use the resources provided to grow, relocate, or start your business! 


Sustaining and growing a business takes strategy and resources. The information below offers tools to help your business survive and prosper.

Learn how to attract and retain qualified employees by contacting Michigan Works!.

Prepare for business growth by using these resources for the profitable and healthy growth of your business:
    Michigan Works!
    Small Business Technology Development Center
    City Higher Education Page

Investigate business growth incentives by contacting Southwest Michigan First.

Research properties available for your business's growth by visiting the Michigan Certified Business Parks site.


Are you interested in relocating a business to Kalamazoo but aren't sure how? Few cities offer businesses the opportunities, incentives and support that you will find in the City of Kalamazoo. The resources below will help guide you along the relocation process.

Why relocate in Kalamazoo? View our Community Profile.

Research properties available for your business's growth by visiting the Michigan Certified Business Parks site.

Learn about utilities in Kalamazoo by visiting the Consumers Energy website.

View business incentives available through the City of Kalamazoo's Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative or through Southwest Michigan First.

View employment and training resources available through Michigan Works! and through Kalamazoo's institutions of higher learning.


The decision to start a business is a significant one that is quickly followed by equally significant questions: What type of business? What business structure is advantageous to my venture? What makes an effective business plan? Where will the financing come from? What licenses, permits and registrations are required by the City of Kalamazoo government?

The resources below can help you take the next step toward business ownership. It walks you through the process - from deciding your company's legal structure, to developing a business and marketing plan, to registering your business in Kalamazoo.

Attend business seminars and get educated by contacting the Small Business Administration.

Establish and develop a business plan by consulting the Small Business Technology Development Center.

Find property to house your business by contacting Southwest Michigan First and Downtown Kalamazoo, Inc.

Register your business name with the County Clerk and/or U.S. Trademark Office.

Check with the State of Michigan and/or County Clerk for special licensing or permit requirements.

Register for a federal employer identification number with the Internal Revenue Service.

Register with the Internal Revenue Service for payment of federal taxes.

Register with the Michigan Department of Treasury for payment of state taxes.

Check with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for environmental regulations.

Ensure a location is in compliance with Kalamazoo's local building and zoning ordinances.

Arrange for utility service with Consumers Energy.