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Michigan bill would lift burden on repair shops

Bipartisan legislation allows shops to register an additional facility under a primary business registration and helps with succession planning

Washington, D.C.—The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is urging state lawmakers in Michigan to pass Senate Bill (SB) 867. Introduced by Senator John Cherry, this bipartisan legislation, SB 867, would clarify that a motor vehicle repair business that owns an additional facility can register an additional facility under the same registration and registration number as the business’ primary facility if the additional facility meets all the following criteria:

  1. It is located within a reasonable proximity of the main facility
  2. It serves as an extension of the main facility
  3. It does not operate independently from the main facility

Not requiring multiple registrations spares independent auto repairers from paying redundant registration fees that could cost a small business up to $500 for each facility. It would also help repairers avoid needing to display exterior signs on additional facilities that identify the business and requiring duplicative customer forms, contracts, statements, or other documents.

Additional provisions in SB 867 would make it less burdensome for repairers to remain compliant with state law. Currently, repair businesses must renew their registration within the state annually. The new law under consideration would allow them to renew their registration for up to four years.

Many ASA members have expressed that they are struggling to plan for business succession. SB 867 would provide a degree of relief. Under current Michigan law, a repair business owned by a corporation must report to the state if 10 percent or more of the corporation’s stock is sold or transferred. If SB 867 becomes law, that reporting threshold would increase to 25 percent.

Roy Schnepper, owner of Butler’s Collision in Roseville, Mich., and an ASA board member, said, “It makes no sense for an auto repairer to have to pay for and go through the process of registering twice for a single business operation just because it operates out of two or more buildings. Running an auto repair business is a practice in small margins. Every dollar counts. SB 867 would make it easier for repairers to remain compliant with state law while simultaneously providing customers with high quality repairs. I urge our state elected officials to pass this important legislation.”

Fellow ASA Board member and Michigan resident Tom Piippo, owner of Tri-County Motors in Rudyard, Mich., added, “SB 867 would help repairers like me immensely. Anyone who runs a small business knows that time is money, and that adage is especially true for small independent auto repairers. Time spent completing detailed paperwork and dealing with government bureaucracy is time spent away from repairing my customers’ vehicles. Instead of having to go through the renewal process every year, SB 867 would allow me to renew every four years. ASA is grateful for Senator Cherry introducing this commonsense bill.” 

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