Security Agency License Requirements in Michigan: Security Agencies Screen The Security Guards They Employ

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) regulates the state’s private security industry. Michigan has set high standards for the proprietors and managers who head private security agencies.

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The state is not currently involved in the screening process of security agency employees. This is left largely to the employers. Prospective security guard employees should be aware that licensed security agencies are headed by professionals who are not only knowledgeable but are bonded or insured; they are professionally and financially responsible for the conduct of their employees. High standards at the managerial level can translate to high standards at the employee level.

A number of nationally recognized security agencies advertise in Michigan. They are required to have Michigan-based resident managers.

Select a Michigan Security Manager/Proprietor Topic:

Requirements for Operating a Security Business

A potential licensee is to be at least 25 years of age and have education at at least the high school level; equivalency is accepted.

The individual will need two to four years of qualifying experience.

The licensing agency will accept four years of experience as a security employee if it involves roughly the equivalent of four years of at the supervisory level; supervisory experience is defined as experience above that of patrolman.

The applicant can also be qualified on the basis of having had three years of independent out-of-state experience.

Two years spent as a security employee or provider or as the security administrator of a business can be accepted if the professional also has a baccalaureate degree (or the equivalent of a baccalaureate degree) in industrial security or police administration.

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The licensing agency will accept four years of experience as a police officer (whether for the U.S. government or a city, county, or state government).

An applicant can be qualified with as little as two years of experience served in the military police or in an equivalent job classification while on duty in the armed services. However, the individual will need to document that he or she was able to demonstrate at least basic knowledge or entry-level experience in each of the following:

  • Physical protection and security
  • Enforcing regulations and guidelines
  • Site security operations
  • Overseeing correctional institutions and prisoners
  • Reconnaissance and surveillance

The military applicant will need to have been discharged under honorable/ general conditions.

The prospective licensee cannot have a felony conviction on his or her record. Certain other offenses are disqualifying if the conviction occurred within the prior five years. These include, among others fraud, illegal use or possession of a firearm, and impersonation of a police officer. The licensing agency can allow one alcohol-related offense but no more.

Additional disqualifiers include having been discharged dishonorably from the military or judged insane (without sanity having subsequently restored by court order).

The licensee will need either an insurance policy or a surety bond. According to current standards, the bond would need to be at least $25,000. The insurance policy would need to cover $25,000 in property damages, $100,000 for the injury or death of one person, $200,000 for injuries affecting more than one person.

The Application Process

Application forms can be downloaded from the website of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (,4601,7-154-61343_35414_36748-339603–,00.html).

An applicant who is qualifying on the basis of military experience will need an affidavit from a commanding officer; the purpose is to document that the individual has basic knowledge or entry-level experience in all state-mandated areas.

If the applicant is seeking a fee waiver, discharge documents (for example, DD-214 or DD-215) will be required as well.

A sole proprietor or resident manager must provide two passport-style photographs.

A sole proprietor pays $200 for initial application (,4601,7-154-61343_35414_60647_35470-114625–,00.html). The fee can be waived for veteran applicants.

The applicant must provide five reference statements from individuals who can attest to character, competency, and honesty (

He or she will also need the approval of the 1) prosecuting attorney and 2) sheriff or chief of police; there is a space on the application form for their signatures.

A temporary license may, in some cases, allow a professional to commence operations sooner (

Hiring Expectations for Security Guard Employees

The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is no longer involved with the screening process of employees, but suggests that employers use technology offered by the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center to carry out background checks (,4601,7-154-61343_35414_60647_35470-356857–,00.html).

Some employing agencies carry out comprehensive background checks that include credit history and Department of Motor Vehicles history. Some require drug screening as well. Additionally, some agencies administer assessments such as aptitude tests, skills assessments, or personality profiles.

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The minimum age for employment may be 18 or 21, depending on the type of position. High school graduation (or GED attainment) is a typical expectation. Employers may specify computer literacy and/ or English language literacy.

Law enforcement or military experience may be valued. The employer may seek knowledge of CPR and first aid.

Additional Information

The Board of is under the banner of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (,4601,7-154-61343_35414_60647_35470—,00.html). The Licensing Division can be reached by telephone at 517-241-9288.