Minnesota Business Facts
Minnesota, also known as the North Start State and Gopher State, brings in approximately $16 billion annually from the tourism industry. Other major industries in Minnesota are healthcare and medical equipment, high technology, finance and insurance, forest products, printing and publishing, food products, iron ore mining.
The state’s agriculture industry produces corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and wheat. Major livestock includes hogs, dairy cows, beef cattle and turkeys.
Major Companies Headquartered in Minnesota
Minnesota is the home of many major companies including Target, UnitedHealth Group, Cargill, Best Buy, 3M, Coustic-Glo International Ceiling Maintenance, U.S. Bank, Mayo Clinic and Ecolab.
Minnesota has an outstanding business climate with a history of leading the nation for new business 5-year survival rate and Main Street Entrepreneurship. Minnesota entrepreneurs also benefit from low operating costs, competitive tax rates and streamlined regulatory processes. The state’s strong sense of community, high civic engagement, and government support of business contribute to the ease of starting a company in Minnesota.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Minnesota, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Minnesota state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
Restrictions on Minnesota Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and selected your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Minnesota.
How to form an LLC in Minnesota
How to Incorporate in Minnesota
Considerations when incorporating or forming an LLC in Minnesota
Ready to register a business in Minnesota?
How to Register a DBA in Minnesota
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
To obtain an EIN you can apply online with the IRS or via IRS Form SS-4.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork b) your EIN c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Review our list of Accountants, Accounting Software and Bookkeepers in our Vendor Network.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection. Click here to view our preferred provider of business insurance online.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: An annual renewal is required to maintain in good standing. Any Assumed Name certificate that expires as a result of failing to file the annual renewal may be reinstated by filing the annual renewal and paying the applicable fee.
LLC: Minnesota LLCs are required to file an annual renewal every year by December 31.
Corporation: Minnesota corporations must file an annual renewal every calendar year.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most or your ongoing compliance tasks.
Business & Liens (for Corporation, LLC and DBA filings)
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Dr., Suite 100
Saint Paul, MN 55103
Metro Area: 651-296-2803
Greater MN: 877-551-6767
Minnesota Taxation Departments
Minnesota Labor and Employment Departments
Minnesota Startup Resources
Small Business Administration (SBA) Minnesota
Minnesota Legal Statutes
Minnesota Chambers of Commerce
MNvest.org – Minnesota investment crowdfunding
Minnesota Angel Investors
Minnesota Business News
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) – the state’s principal economic development agency. DEED programs promote business recruitment, expansion, and retention; international trade; workforce development, and community development.
Minnesota Small Business Development Center
Minnesota Green Business
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