Welcome to the Start a Business tutorial designed to give an overview of the corporate registration process in Minnesota. Within this page you will find all the information necessary to prepare yourself for filing. There is an online filing system in place on the Secretary of State website, and due to the expedited delivery of the filing forms, we would recommend that business representatives take advantage of this luxury. We have also included, in our tutorials, all requisite PDFs and a breakdown of their contents for those wishing to file in the mail. The following corporation types are available for incorporation under current state law (associated fees are listed):

For more in-depth tutorials regarding each of the listed corporation types please select the link which corresponds to your corporation type above. NOTE: all online filings require the creation of an account with the Business and Lien System; learn how to create an account here.

How to File

Step 1- The first thing we always recommend to our readers is to check the availability of their chosen operating name prior to the actual registration of their entity. You can make this inquiry into the Secretary of State name database by performing a Business Entity Search. Once the availability of your name has been confirmed, you may wish to perform a Name Reservation. This filing will guarantee the security of your desired entity name for an entire year before it expires.

Step 2 – You will then need to select the corporation type that most closely suits your entity needs:

Step 3 – To continue with your filing you will need to decide which filing method suits your needs best. As mentioned above, you can file online by logging in to the Business and Lien system and then choosing your filing type from the homepage. Individuals filing through the mail must download the appropriate PDF form (forms are available on our site within each corporation’s tutorial).

Step 4 – Once the forms are complete, you can pay the filing fee. Online filers will pay via US Bank at the end of their filing. Individuals filing by mail or in person will need to take their completed forms and attach a check for the proper amount, and made out to the Secretary of State, to the following address:

Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

60 Empire Drive, Suite 100 St Paul, MN 55103

Tips

EIN – Domestic corporations will need to acquire an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, from the IRS immediately after incorporation in order to operate financially as a taxable entity. Without this identifier, your business will be unable to perform many of the most essential and basic financial procedures such as opening a corporate bank account or applying for a business loan. To acquire an EIN you may apply Online through the IRS website. Likewise, you may file through the mail by completing the PDF Form SS-4.  For more information on EINs and how to acquire them please follow the link to the left.

Corporate Bylaw– Corporations are not required in Minnesota to operate with a corporate bylaws document drafted, however you may want to consider drafting one for the sake of the organization of your business. These documents can help delineate the organizational and financial structure of your corporation beyond what is laid out in the admittedly bare filings necessary for incorporation. Please follow the link to the left if you would like to learn more about corporate bylaws. At our dedicated bylaws page you will likewise find a free PDF or MS Word formatted template for drafting your own bylaws document.

Renewal – Corporations, be they foreign, domestic, non-profit, professional, or what have you, must file annually with the Secretary of State to remain in good standing. Filings can be completed online via the Business and Lien System or in person or through the mail at the address listed below. If you wish to file in person or through the mail you will need to download and complete the correct PDF form from the options below:

Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services

Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building

60 Empire Drive, Suite 100 St Paul, MN 55103

How to (Video)