Welcome to the official Start a Business portal for the State of Minnesota. Across the board, Minnesota offers one of the most efficient and cost-effective entity formation procedures of any state in the USA. Filing costs cap off at $200- less than half the price one would encounter in, say, Massachusetts- and filings for every entity type, as well as most annual renewals, name reservations, and the like, can be completed with ease online via the Minnesota Business and Lien System (NOTE: individuals planning to file online will need to create an account; see our tutorial on account creation here).
For more information on entity formation, including access to all requisite forms, tutorial guides to formation, and the like, please scroll down and discover why Start a Business is the leading authority on entity formation in America.
Start an Entity
Minnesota Online Registration
Minnesota operates the online-filing section of its entity management with the use of an online account system. This system, technically run by the Department of Business and Liens, allows users to file any and all documents pertaining to entity management online with the Secretary of State. Likewise, the acquisition of many forms can be expedited through the use of such an account. For more information on these accounts and for access to a tutorial on account registration, please navigate to our online registration information page.
Search for a Name
Like most states, Minnesota offers a casual search function in regards to their database of entities past and present. A search of such a database can be crucial for many processes, including extending a Minnesota entity into another state or country (for access to a certificate of good standing) and narrowing down operating name options for a soon-to-be-formed entity of your own. No matter your reason form performing a business search, you will surely find our step-by-step tutorial, available here, of much help. Within our tutorial you will find a great deal of information relating to the functions of an entity search as well as the many methods by which one can be completed.
How to File in Minnesota
Step 1 – If you are looking to form an entity in Minnesota there are a few preliminary steps you must take depending on how you wish to file. Online filers have the luxury of an immediate, digital, name verification procedure being built into the online filing process, which dissolves the need to cross reference the business database to check for a name’s availability or to file a name reservation. Online filers will, however, have to register an account with the Business and Lien System through which all filings are made. Once your name is certified to be legally appropriate and available, and once, if you intend to file online, your account is created, you will be able to file without much hindrance.
Step 2 – The first step is to decide which entity type you intend to form. Select the link below which corresponds to your desired entity type to learn more about how to file, the associated fees, and the nature of the entity structure. Each filing consists with the creation or completion of a basic form and the subsequent submission of said form.
- Domestic Business / Professional Corporation
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation
- Foreign Business / Professional Corporation
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
Step 3 – Next, you will need to pay for your filing. Online filings and filings made in person are considered expedited and are thus more costly than those completed through the mail, the price differentials being laid out below. Online filers will pay automatically via credit card when their filing is complete. Individuals filing in person or through the mail will need to attach a check (made out to the Secretary of State) to their filing form and send or deliver the package to the following address:
Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100 St Paul, MN 55103
- Business / Professional Corporation – $155 online / in person / $135 by mail
- Non-Profit Corporation – $90 online / in person / $70 by mail
- Business / Professional Corporation – $220 online / in person / $200 by mail
- Non-Profit Corporation – $70 online / in person / $50 by mail
- Domestic – $155 online / in person / $135 by mail
- Foreign – $205 online / in person / $185 by mail
- Domestic LP – $120 online / in person, $100 by mail
- Domestic LLP – $155 online / in person, $135 by mail
- Foreign LP – $120 online / in person, $100 by mail
- Foreign LLP – $155 online / in person, $135 by mail
Minnesota offers a comprehensive entity name reservation service. Individuals are free to file online ($55), in person ($55), or through the mail ($35). Online filers will have the added benefit of completing a name availability inquiry as a part of the filing process, although they must do so via their online account. Individuals looking to file in person or through the mail will, unfortunately, have to vet their options the old fashioned way by perusing the business entity database. Reserving a name (reservations last 12 months) could be beneficial for any soon-to-be-formed entity to allow time for the proper filing of all requisite forms. For more information on the name reservation process, as well as access to the PDF file required for reserving, please see our tutorial here.
Certificate of Good Standing
If you need a certificate of good standing (the document proving the current legality of a given entity) in the state of Minnesota you will find that you are in luck. The process, which costs $15, consists of little more than filing out a brief online form. You will need this document for your entity if you intend to branch out into other states or countries, or if you are looking to get a bank loan. For more information on acquiring a certificate of good standing for a given entity please see out step-by-step tutorial here.
In Minnesota it is not legally required for an entity to have any kind of organizing document beyond what is necessary for initial filing. Whether you are forming a corporation, LLC, or a partnership of some kind, you may still want to consider drafting an organizing document, something akin to a constitution for your business, with the help of our tutorials available below. Within these tutorials you will learn more about the specific document in question. Additionally, you will have access to a PDF or MS Word template for the given document which you and the other affiliates of your entity will be able to fill out with ease.
Employer Identification Number
If the entity you are forming is indeed a new and domestic entity you will most likely be required to acquire an EIN, or employer identification number, from the IRS. This number identifies your entity to the government for the purposes of taxation and thus will be essential in order to operate successfully as a business entity. You may acquire an EIN online by way of the IRS website or you may download the application form SS-4 in PDF and file by mail or in person. For more information on how to apply for this number please see our in-depth guide here.