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Minnesota Office of the Secretary of State

Starting a Business

Starting a business isn't just for grown-ups.

Many students ask us about how to start a business and what they should do.

Minnesota is a state where many business start-ups occur each year. We have an entrepreneurial spirit that is strong and has a long history, dating back to our first days of statehood in 1858. Over 30,000 new business filings occur each year, and there is no reason one of them can't be yours.

To study up on starting a business, view the Department of Employment & Economic Development publication Guide to Starting A Business in Minnesota. It has a wealth of information for those just starting.  Our office also has a page about Starting a Business which includes helpful information and links.

There are a number of organizations that can also help you start a business. For example, Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization that teaches school-aged children about business by involving children in actual business projects.

Does Age Matter?

While a student can take many of the actions required to start a business, there are several legal acts that require a person over 18 to be involved. A person under 18 cannot form a corporation or other business entity or sign a binding contract. These are important acts, so it is a good idea to ask an adult, whether a teacher, business advisor, mentor or someone playing another important advisory role, to be the responsible person for the organization. Make sure they understand that as the adult, they are responsible for the enterprise. In return, you should understand that if they are going to be legally and financially responsible, they may wish to set boundaries and controls on the business, too.

Last updated: 5/20/2013 2:22:19 PM