Doing Business


The City of Ypsilanti is  committed to working closely with entrepreneurs, business owners, and developers to provide a business-friendly climate while meeting the needs of the Ypsilanti community. Ypsilanti has a proud business community that includes the nation's oldest ladder manufacturing company  (Michigan Ladder), green businesses (Corner Brewery), small startups growing out of the SPARK East Incubator, and established restaurant and entertainment venues.

The process for starting, expanding or relocating a business does vary based on the business type and location, but the overall process is similar. The City's staff is committed to aiding businesses and developers through this process. If you have questions at any point, look to the lower left to find the appropriate contacts.

Every business in the City is required to obtain the following: 

For projects where rehabilitation or redevelopment is involved, consult this summary flowchart: Development Process Summary.

For a list of resources and incentives, please visit our Resources and Incentives Directory

To request a pre-development meeting, contact the Planning Department at 734-483-9646.

Ypsilanti Building and Business Permit Center

The B&B Permit Center provides all of the permits and forms necessary for conducting business in Ypsilanti.

Water Street Redevelopment Area

The Water Street Redevelopment area is a
38-acre, City-owned site adjacent to downtown Ypsilanti, between Ann Arbor and Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

Why Ypsilanti?


Business in Ypsilanti benefits from easy access to I-94 on the south side of town - 5 minutes west to US-23 and Ann Arbor, 15 minutes east to US-275 and Detroit Metro Airport (DTW), and 10 minutes to Willow Run Airport (YIP). Four state trunklines and Norfolk Southern’s Detroit-to-Chicago rail bisect the city. Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti’s Main Street, is seen by 24,000 vehicles every day.

Employees and residents enjoy convenient bus access to Ann Arbor, six college campuses, and three major hospitals, as well as pleasant walking and biking within the 4.5 square mile community. Ypsilanti features one of the largest contiguous historic districts in the State, including two traditional downtowns beautifully connected across the Huron River by Riverside and Frog Island parks.


More than 35% of Ypsilanti residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or beyond, in comparison with 24% of the nation. Education is key to the success in Ypsilanti, home of Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and a talented and creative workforce. With a short bus ride or commute, residents can also attend Washtenaw Community College or the University of Michigan.

The Ypsilanti Public School District enrolls over 4,000 students, including a Regional Career Technical Center and a variety of specialized programs for arts, theater, math and engineering. The district’s partnerships with University of Michigan and EMU provide K-12 students with unique access to higher education. The High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, headquartered in Ypsilanti, has provided groundbreaking findings in early childhood education and development since the 1960s.



Creativity flourishes in Ypsilanti. The local arts and music scene is a standout in Southeastern Michigan: community band, symphony orchestra, up-and-coming indie musicians, art center, puppet theatre, crafters, writers, and much more.

Ypsilanti is looking to the future. Join us in bringing it to life.


Ypsilanti is a community of engaged citizens, whether it’s through the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti, the Shadow Art Fair, Solar City Hall project, volunteering in the parks, community gardening, neighborhood associations, running the community pool, meeting up at the local cafe, or staying engaged through local blogs and online communities.

More than 80% of the population is under the age of 45, and you can see it in the night life, great restaurants and the spirit of Ypsilanti’s business entrepreneurs. More than 95% of the Depot Town and Downtown businesses are independently owned.


Looking for more reasons why to choose Ypsilanti for your business? Download them here.

Conduct a Property Search

How to conduct a property search through the BS&A portal:


  • Search "Municipalities"
  • Select "Washtenaw County"
  • Select "City of Ypsilanti"

Washtenaw County GIS

Upcoming HDC Meetings