Skip to main content

How to start a business in Minnesota


Starting a business in Minnesota consists of three basic steps:

1. Write a business plan.

2. Choose a business type.

3. Register your business.

These steps are explained in more detail below. When starting a new business or non-profit organization there are many important decisions to make. The following explanations are designed to assist you in this process.  

Links to other pages are provided only for the convenience of our customers. The Office of the Secretary of State does not guarantee the accuracy or appropriateness of the content of any outside website. 

Step 1:  Write a Business Plan.

There are many resources available to assist you in the initial planning stages of starting a business or non-profit organization. Here you can find resources to assist you with this process.    

Step 2:  Choose a business type.

Here is a brief overview of the main types of business structures available in Minnesota. You may wish to consult with an attorney, accountant, or with one of the resources listed above before making a determination as to the type of business to form.

Step 3:  Register (file) your business on this site, in person or by mail.

Click here for step-by-step instructions for registering your business

Click here to register your business online - scroll down below the search area on the page and choose your business structure type from the titled "File a New Business or Nonprofit".

NOTE: An account is required to file online. Follow the directions here to create an online account.

To register in person or by mail, click here for business registration forms, and choose your business type from the options at left.

NOTE: Your business registration with our office DOES NOT provide you with a tax ID number.

Contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue to obtain a state tax ID number

Go to the IRS for a Federal Tax ID number.

There are likely other types of licenses and insurance you will need for your business. Here is list of business resources that can help you manage this process.