How to Start a Business in Minnesota: Step-by-Step Guide

Starting a business in Minnesota is straightforward if you follow these steps. First, research your market and plan your business idea. Choose a legal structure and register your business with the state.

Get the necessary permits and licenses, which vary by industry. Secure funding through savings, loans, or investors.

Create a business plan outlining your goals and strategies. Establish an online presence and marketing strategy. Make sure to comply with tax and labor laws.

Finally, build a network within Minnesota’s business community to help your business grow.

Think Of Some Brilliant Business Ideas.

The thought of starting a business must come with a brilliant business idea. You should think of some amazing business ideas that will help you to gain profits, achieve your personal goals, and also help you use your natural abilities at your best.?

You can develop a small business idea, but it should be effective enough. You must take up brainstorming and think of what seems to be the perfect business idea.?

List these ideas down and shortlist a couple of ideas from those and work on them. Now, your real test starts. 

You must jot down a detailed business plan for both these ideas and see which one seems more practical, profitable and achievable.

Pro Tip ?: While considering one business idea in Minnesota, you should simultaneously start writing the business plan too. 

A well-established business plan will have the opportunities, challenges, finance requirements, marketing strategies, competition, market research, and even consumer demand,

Note ?️By making a business plan, you will get a chance to assess the plan in detail. With a thorough business plan, things will be settled, and soon, you will have a better potential for growth and profitability too.

Select The Legal Structure Of The Business.

It is quite crucial to select the legal structure of your business. You can take the help of an expert attorney, who will guide you. 

Choosing a business structure would mean you will have to choose the structure that will protect you from personal liability and maintain your credibility. 

Here I have listed a few legal structures that are more common in Minnesota.

Sole proprietary business:

As per data, almost 55 percent of people in Minnesota have a sole proprietary business. Many small businesses have this type of legal structure, as it is easy for any small business. But there’s a drawback, and that is personal liability protection is missing.


Like a sole proprietary business, even the partnership business is unincorporated. Hence, even though there are the least formalities, the individuals and the partners do not get liability protection.


LLC is also a leading form of business structure in Minnesota. In the year 2021, there were almost 60000 LLCs which were registered with the state of Minnesota.

The legal structure here provides freedom from personal liability, and there’s some flexibility like in sole proprietary business as well. But there will be a need to file Articles Of Organization and a specified fee with the Minnesota Secretary Of State.


The corporations have a complex structure. There are many compliances needed to start and run a corporation. There are basically two types of corporations, the S corporation and C Corporation.

There will be availability of tax and liability protection too. But there is a need for filing Articles of Incorporation along with a small fee with the Minnesota Secretary Of State.

Pro Tip?:

Understanding the business’s operating needs is crucial. Based on these requirements, you must come up with a decision on the legal business structure.

I always tell people if the foundation is strong, nothing can stop you from making a large castle. If you wish to start your business in Minnesota and take it to the next level, make sure that you take these initial steps with a lot of care.?

Form Your Business: As In Name It And Register

Now, post you have decided on the business’s ownership structure; you must form your business realistically. It means you need to keep a name and register your business.

Name your business

It would help if you came up with a business name that suits the products and services you provide. But that particular name should be available for your business. 

Tip?: Go through the Minnesota Secretary Of The State Website and check if the desired name is available. If that name is available, block it and then register the same.

Register your business

To register your business in Minnesota, you must choose a reliable Registered Agent who will help you to carry out the documentation and the registration processes. While you have chosen a Registered Agent, you can also take his help to avail an EIN number from the IRS. 

Note ?️: The registration process will be different for LLCs and Corporations as compared to sole proprietors and partnerships. So, if you don’t have much idea on this subject, you can take the help of the Registered Agent.

Start A Bank Account For The Venture.

You might have a few personal bank accounts. But they will not be useful as they will not help you separate your personal and business assets. Hence, starting a separate business bank account is an important step.

My Experience ☺️: When I started my own business, I used to keep one bank for business and personal purposes. But, it added to the complexities. Hence, I formed an opinion that a separate business bank account is a must. ☑️

At this stage, you can also apply for credit cards and business cards. 

Since you have a bank account, you can now avail a business loan, put in your funds or formally raise capital through shares.

Choose A Good Location For Your Business.

A good location matters because the business will flourish and grow only then. This holds especially for those who have retail outlets.

While choosing the location, you must consider the proximity, distance and traffic factors. The place should be easily reachable for your clients too.

Pro Tip?: If you are confused about which location to choose, you can research different areas of Minnesota and figure out how the other small businesses are doing there. Take up some market research and see if that can assist you.

Avail Required Licenses And Permits

Before you launch your new Business in Minnesota, you need to research the licenses and permits required to carry out the business in the state.?

Tip?: With the help of the Minnesota Bureau Of Business Licenses, you can figure out all the details about licenses and special permits that your business might need to do business in Minnesota.

Take Business Insurance.

Every business should take three basic insurance that would include General Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and Professional Liability Insurance. 

Note ?: There are many types of insurance. It would be ideal to talk to your accountant so that he can guide you about which insurance will be prompt for your business.

Set Up A Budget For Your Business.

You might have a budget in your mind that you wish to use for your business. Ideally, to start any small business in Minnesota, you may need USD 5000 to USD 10000. But, it depends on the kind of business you are in and the products you deal in. 

Note ?️: Creating a budget sheet is crucial so that you can allocate the fund towards different expenses like marketing expenses, hiring expenses, promotions etc. 

Come Up With A Solid Marketing Plan.

It is crucial to come up with a good marketing plan that includes online and offline marketing. Suppose you are looking forward to starting any product campaigns. In that case, you can hire a reliable advertising agency for the same.

Even though you are into an offline business, you will still need a website for creating digital awareness for your products and services.

So, invest in social media management, search engine optimization, website building, and digital marketing. You will see that your business will gain a very good reputation online too.

Marketing Case Study: 

  • There was a company in Minnesota called Halal Meat. As per the available case study, the company owners felt that marketing the goat meat to large markets far away would not be practical. This was increasing their marketing and logistic costs.
  • Rather, they decided to market a small product like goat meat to the retailers. It reduced their marketing and logistics costs and brought better orders from the retail line.
  • The company did well as it decided to market the small product to retailers. They were still marketing and selling the large livestock products to the large markets. But that was practical enough.

?Pro Tip: You should create a custom marketing plan depending on the type of products and the business you are in. 

The above case study provides the idea that, for smaller-scale products, the marketing plan was just a decent one, and there was no need for an aggressive or strategic approach.

Set-Up Accounts.

You must set up your accounts desk and hire people for the same. You must decide which accounting software will be practical and which accounting system you will use. 

Your accounting system will record the sales, purchases and expenses. You must therefore be clear about how you need to maintain your accounts.

Minnesota’s Licensing Requirements for Contractors

Minnesota has stringent licensing requirements for contractors, ensuring the safety and quality of construction projects.

Contractors must pass a rigorous examination, demonstrating their expertise in their chosen field. They are also required to provide proof of insurance and financial stability to protect clients.

Depending on the type of work, specific licenses may be necessary, such as electrical, plumbing, or general contracting.

Additionally, contractors must adhere to building codes and regulations, guaranteeing that projects meet industry standards.

These measures prioritize consumer protection and promote high standards of craftsmanship in Minnesota’s construction industry.

Top Minnesota Business Fields

Minnesota is home to a diverse economy with thriving businesses in various sectors. As of my last update in September 2021, some of the top business fields in Minnesota include:

Healthcare and Medical Technology:

Minnesota has a robust healthcare industry, with the presence of companies like Medtronic, UnitedHealth Group, and the Mayo Clinic. Medical technology and healthcare services are significant contributors to the state’s economy.


Manufacturing is a cornerstone of Minnesota’s economy. The state is known for industries such as food processing, machinery, aerospace, and electronics manufacturing. 3M, General Mills, and Cargill are among the major players in this sector.

Information Technology and Software Development:

Minnesota has a growing tech industry, with numerous software development companies, IT consulting firms, and startups. The Twin Cities area, in particular, is a hub for technology-related businesses.

Biosciences and Biotechnology:

Minnesota is a leader in biosciences and biotechnology research. The University of Minnesota and several private companies are engaged in cutting-edge research and development in this field.

Renewable Energy:

Minnesota has made significant investments in renewable energy, particularly wind and solar power. Several companies are involved in renewable energy production, as well as related services and technologies.

Finance and Insurance:

The state has a strong presence of financial and insurance companies. Major banks, credit unions, and insurance providers operate in Minnesota, contributing significantly to the economy.

Food and Beverage Industry:

Minnesota has a robust food and beverage industry, including food processing, breweries, and restaurants. The state is known for its diverse culinary scene and craft breweries.

Education and EdTech:

With renowned institutions like the University of Minnesota, the state has a strong education sector. Additionally, there is a growing presence of educational

Pros and Cons of Doing Business in Minnesota


  • Strong and Diverse Economy
  • Well-Educated Workforce
  • Business-Friendly Environment
  • Access to Global Markets
  • Quality of Life


  • Cold Winters
  • High Taxes
  • Regulatory Complexity
  • Seasonal Business Challenges
  • Competitive Labor Market


Starting a business in Minnesota is a promising venture. It offers a good environment, skilled workers, and support. But remember, careful planning, following rules, and a clear strategy are key to success in the competitive market.

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