Start a Business in Minnesota

This guide on starting your business in Minnesota provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Minnesota, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Minnesota Limited Liability Company

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  • Minnesota Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form ABR: Minnesota Revenue Application for Business Registration
  • Formation: $135 by mail. $155 online or expedited in-person.
  • Formation: ~5-7 business days by mail. ~24hrs online.

Minnesota Corporation

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  • Minnesota Business Corporation Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form ABR: Minnesota Revenue Application for Business Registration, if required
  • Incorporation: $135 by mail. $155 online or expedited in-person.
  • Incorporation: ~5-7 business days by mail. ~24hrs online.

Minnesota Nonprofit

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  • Minnesota Nonprofit Corporation Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Apply for EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: Application for 501(c)(3) Exemption
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form ABR: Minnesota Revenue Application for Business Registration
  • Form ST16: Minnesota Revenue Application for Sales and Use Tax Exempt Status
  • Minnesota Charitable Organization Initial Registration & Annual Report Form, if required
  • Incorporation: $70 by mail. $90 online or expedited in-person.
  • 501(c): $400 or $850 IRS fee
  • Minnesota charitable registration: $25
  • Incorporation: ~5-7 business days by mail. ~24hrs online.
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Minnesota

  1. Keep the original signed copy of your formation documents in your records. Submit a copy to the state.
  2. Not all businesses will need to obtain a Minnesota Tax ID and register with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. For those who do, Minnesota offers a consolidated state tax registration application.
  3. Corporations must comply with a specific list of record-keeping requirements. We'll explain the list of records you need to keep.
  4. If you are filing documents in Minnesota for a business entity such as a corporation or LLC, you will need to list a registered agent and registered office address. A Minnesota registered agent is sometime referred to as a resident agent or statutory agent.
  5. Both LLCs and corporations must file annual reports (also called annual renewals) with the Minnesota Secretary of State. A postcard/e-mail is mailed from the Minnesota Secretary of State to your registered agent.


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Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

Start My Business

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

This page was last fact-checked January 22, 2014.