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Start a Business in Minnesota

Starting a business in Minnesota is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Minnesota Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.

One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."

Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Minnesota business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.

All You Need

Hire us to start your Minnesota LLC or corporation and get all the tools you need to start fast:

  • MN registered agent service

  • Minnesota business forms

  • Online client account

  • Easy access to all our business services & answers to your business questions

Start Your Business the Right Way

As your registered agent, when we start your business, we give you what other filing services can’t:

  • Privacy by Default®
  • Business address
  • Free mail forwarding
  • Lifetime support from local Corporate Guides®

Start Your Minnesota Business

$225 + State Fees
Rated 4.7 / 5 stars by 556 clients on Google

How to Start a Business in Minnesota


You file Articles of Incorporation for a Minnesota corporation or Articles of Organization for a Minnesota LLC with the MN Secretary of State.

Federal Tax ID

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Minnesota showing your approved Minnesota business.

Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new Minnesota business name should be easy with these two items.

Department of Revenue

If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the MN Department of Revenue and the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development. We provide all these links in your online account.

Trade License

If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Minnesota licensing board. (Most businesses don’t.) But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.

Local License

Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.


If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.

Get Going

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:

If you want to start a business in Minnesota yourself, you can just hire us as your Minnesota registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Minnesota LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Minnesota corporation or form a Minnesota LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Minnesota registered agent service.


Minnesota LLC vs Corporation:

Small business owners like the flexible management structure and great tax options of an LLC. They have fewer annual requirements and are generally easier to maintain. Large business owners like the well-established, defined management structure of a corporation. Plus, having the ability to sell stock helps attract top investors.

But, what about Minnesota? Any pros and cons for a Minnesota LLC vs a Minnesota corporation?

Overall, there are no significant advantages to starting a Minnesota LLC versus a Minnesota corporation. Both entities cost $155 to file the Articles of Incorporation OR Articles of Organization. In addition, LLCs and corporations must submit annual reports each year to the Minnesota Secretary of State. These reports have no filing fee.

During tax season, Minnesota corporations will get hit slightly harder than LLCs. The Minnesota corporation franchise tax (also referred to as a corporate income tax) is a flat rate, but it’s pretty high—9.8%. All businesses—excluding single member LLCs—are subject to a minimum fee tax based on the value of your business property, payroll, and sales. However, for totals less than $1,040,000, your minimum fee tax will be $0. So, unless you’re earning an income in the millions, you shouldn’t have to worry about this specific tax. Personal income taxes begin at 5.35% and top out at 9.85%.

Unfortunately, Minnesota doesn’t offer LLCs the same level of asset protection as most states. Typically, creditors only have one remedy (a charging order) against an LLC; however, Minnesota also allows creditors to order a foreclosure. Definitely something to consider when starting a Minnesota LLC.

If you want a corporation, you file Minnesota Articles of Incorporation:

The Minnesota Articles of Incorporation cost $160 with the Minnesota Secretary of State.

We custom draft your Minnesota Articles of Incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your Minnesota business. The basic requirements of Minnesota corporations are:

  • An incorporating Minnesota ending such as Inc, corporation, or incorporated.
  • An amount of Minnesota corporation shares you would like to authorize.
  • The name, address, and signature of the Minnesota incorporator(s).
  • The registered agent of the proposed Minnesota corporation.
  • A contact name, phone number, and email address.

Minnesota does not require original signatures on new MN corporation filings. The stamped form will be mailed to the address on the check.

Start Your Minnesota Business!

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If you want a LLC, you file Minnesota Articles of Organization:

To form a Minnesota LLC, you file Minnesota Articles of Organization. The basic requirements of Minnesota LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it.
  • New Minnesota LLC’s name must be different than already registered Minnesota companies.
  • Duration of the Minnesota LLC is perpetual unless you state a term of years.
  • The Minnesota registered agent and the physical address.
  • The name, address, and signature of the organizer.
  • You need to include a contact name, phone number, and email address.
  • Name, address and phone number of the person that prepared the form.

Minnesota does not require original signatures on new MN LLC filings. A certificate is mailed to the address on your check after the state approves your filing.

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