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How to Start an LLC in Minnesota: Step-by-Step Guide 2024


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If you’re considering starting a business in Minnesota, forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) might be the way to go. An LLC is a flexible structure that can offer specific protections for your business, whether you’re turning a hobby into a full-time job or growing an existing operation. We’ll take you through the steps to get your Minnesota LLC.


Step 1: Choose a Business Name

Choosing the right name for your LLC is the first and crucial step. In Minnesota, your LLC name must:

  • Be distinguishable from other business names already on file with the Minnesota Secretary of State.
  • Include “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or LLC).
  • Avoid certain restricted words without additional approvals (e.g., “Bank,” “Attorney,” “University”).

Checking Name Availability

Using the Minnesota Business Name Database before deciding on a name to avoid legal issues and ensure your chosen name is still available is essential. You can do a quick, free name check to ensure your desired name is available. If you are considering getting a website name that matches your business name, you can find good deals for your domain names on Namecheap.


Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

In Minnesota, every LLC is required to have a registered agent. This person or company agrees to receive important legal documents on behalf of your LLC, including tax forms and notices of lawsuits. Your registered agent must:

  • Be a resident of Minnesota or a corporation authorized to conduct business in Minnesota.
  • Have a physical street address in Minnesota.

You can act as your registered agent, choose someone you trust, or hire a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent or Bizee. Choosing a reliable registered agent ensures that your LLC stays in good legal standing.

Check out our blog: ‘Is a Registered Agent Necessary? Your Guide to Finding an Affordable Option


Step 3: File Your Articles of Organization in Minnesota

Filing the Articles of Organization is critical to officially forming your LLC in Minnesota. This document registers your LLC with the state and includes essential details about your business.

What to Include in Your Articles of Organization:

  • LLC Name: Your LLC’s name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “LLC” and comply with Minnesota naming guidelines to ensure it’s distinguishable from existing entities.
  • Mailing Address: If your LLC’s mailing address differs from its physical location, specify it here.
  • Registered Agent: Minnesota requires you to appoint a registered agent to receive legal documents for your LLC. Include their full name and physical address in Minnesota. The agent must consent to this responsibility in writing.
  • Management Structure: Indicate whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed, and list the members’ or managers’ names and addresses. Using a PO box for addresses is acceptable for privacy reasons.
  • Purpose: Please provide a general description of your business activities.
  • LLC Organizer: Identify the individual or entity responsible for filing the Articles of Organization. This person or entity plays a crucial role in forming your LLC.
  • Formation Date: Select your LLC’s official start date, either on the filing date or a specific future date within 90 days of filing.
  • Signing: Before submitting, verify all information for accuracy. Ensure that your registered agent has agreed to their role, then sign and date the form.

How to Send Your Form:

You have three options to file your Articles of Organization in Minnesota.

  • Online:  The quickest and easiest way is to file online through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. This method provides immediate confirmation of your filing. 
  • By Mail: You can also file by mail by completing the Articles of Organization form and sending it with the $155 filing fee to Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services, Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building, 60 Empire Dr., Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103. 
  • In-Person: If you prefer, you can file in person at the same address. This option lets you interact directly with the Secretary of State’s office.


Filing Fee:

To form an LLC in Minnesota, you must submit the Articles of Organization. The processing fee for online filing is $155, and $135 for mail or in-person submissions. This fee is mandatory for filing and forming your LLC.

When you complete and submit your Articles of Organization, you’re taking an essential step towards establishing your LLC in Minnesota. This document is a foundation for your business’s legal structure and recognition by the state. Please visit the Minnesota Secretary of State‘s website to learn more and begin the filing process.


Step 4: Making an Operating Agreement for Your Business

Let’s discuss setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it as a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section covers how new people can enter your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized so everyone knows what to expect, and it can save you a lot of time. 


Step 5: Getting Your EIN from the IRS

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts and credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees.

It’s free, and you can get it from the IRS website at


Step 6: Minnesota LLC: Permits, Licenses, Tax Requirements, and Annual Reporting

Starting an LLC in Minnesota is a strategic move for many entrepreneurs. Beyond the initial formation, it’s essential to understand the state-specific requirements for permits, licenses, tax obligations, and annual reporting to ensure your business operates smoothly and remains compliant.

Obtain Any Additional Permits and Licenses

Depending on your business type and location, your LLC may need various permits and licenses to operate legally in Minnesota.

Local Business Licenses

  • Overview: Many local governments in Minnesota require businesses to have a local business license.
  • How to Obtain: Check with the city or county clerk’s office where your LLC operates for specific requirements and application processes.

Professional Licenses

Health Permits

  • Overview: If your LLC is involved in food service, healthcare, or any industry that impacts public health, you may need a health permit.
  • How to Obtain: Health permits are issued by the local health department. Contact your local municipality for application details.

Tax Requirements in Minnesota

Navigating tax obligations is crucial for your LLC’s financial health and compliance.

Employer Taxes

If your LLC will hire employees, you must:

State Taxes

  • Pass-Through Taxation: LLCs in Minnesota are typically treated as pass-through entities for federal tax purposes, but you may still need to file state taxes depending on your LLC’s earnings.
  • Sales Tax: If your LLC sells goods or provides taxable services, you must register for a Sales Tax Permit through the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
  • EIN: Regardless of state tax obligations, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS is essential for tax purposes, hiring employees, and more.

Annual Reporting in Minnesota

Keeping your LLC’s information updated with the state is essential for maintaining good standing.

  • Filing Requirements: Minnesota requires LLCs to file an annual renewal once every calendar year. This process updates the state of your LLC’s information, including the registered agent and business address.
  • Fees and Filing: The annual renewal can be filed online with no filing fee through the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website

To ensure your Minnesota LLC is successful and compliant, it’s essential to stay informed and follow all necessary permits, licenses, tax obligations, and annual reporting requirements. For detailed information and updates on regulations affecting Minnesota LLCs, visit the official Minnesota Secretary of State website and the Minnesota Department of Revenue


Step 7: Steps After Forming Your LLC 

Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your personal and business finances separate is crucial for financial management and legal protection. Opening a business bank account requires your EIN and Articles of Organization. It makes tracking business expenses easier and simplifies tax filing.

Get a Business Credit Card

A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review. 


Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024.

Hire an Accountant

Managing finances can get complicated, especially as your business grows. An accountant can help you navigate tax laws, handle bookkeeping, and plan for financial growth. This professional guidance can save you time and money in the long run.

Create a Professional Website 

A website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. You can check out SiteGround or Hostinger for web hosting. They’re both good options to get your site up and running.

New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:

First Report Deadlines:

  • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
  • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you must file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.

Who Needs to Report:

  • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and similar entities within the U.S.
  • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities registered foreign entities must also adhere to these new rules.

Exceptions to Reporting:

  • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.

What Must Be Reported

What you need to report is all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about your LLC’s ownership and control.

When Must Reporting File Reports

Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.

Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You must file on January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and accurate.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information Penalties: Mistakes or misinformation can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 2 years in prison.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. 
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? If you discover inaccuracies in your initial report, you have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, please visit the FinCEN website for all the details.

If you’re considering starting an LLC in Minnesota, it might seem like a lot of work, but it’s easier than it looks. You need to take it step by step. First, you’ll need to pick a name for your LLC. Next, you must get an EIN and find a registered agent. These steps are essential for ensuring your business is set up correctly and legally. 


Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent Pricing: What to Expect

Northwest Registered Agent keeps pricing simple. They have a clear, straightforward fee structure, which is a big plus. No hidden fees or surprises – that’s the kind of honesty we all appreciate, right?

Why is Their Pricing Affordable?

  • Transparent Costs: They tell you exactly what you’re paying for so you can make informed decisions.
  • Competitive Rates: Their prices align with your expectations for top-notch services, ensuring you get good value.
  • One-Stop Shop: Since they offer a whole suite of services, you can bundle things together, potentially saving time and money.
  • Location: They’re headquartered in Spokane, Washington, but don’t worry – they have offices in all 50 states. So, wherever you are in the U.S., they’ve got local expertise ready for you.
  • Experience Counts: These folks have been in the game for over 20 years. That’s a lot of experience under their belt, helping businesses like yours start and grow.

Core Services

  • LLC Formation: Dreaming of starting your own LLC? They can help make that happen.
  • Registered Agent Service: The main event – they’ll be your reliable point of contact for all those essential legal documents.
  • Address Privacy: Keep your address off the public records. It’s all about your privacy.
  • Lifetime Customer Support: Got questions? They’re there for you, not just today, but for the life of your business.
  • Annual Report Reminders: Never miss a deadline with their handy reminders.
  • Online Document Dashboard: All your important documents are organized in one easy-to-access place.

Additional Services (Because There’s Always More)

  • EIN Number: They can help you get your business’s unique tax ID.
  • Annual Report Service: Let them handle your annual reporting needs.
  • Operating Agreements: Need help with the rules for running your LLC? They’ve got you covered.
  • Virtual Office Service: Get a professional business address without the office.
  • S-Corp Election: Thinking about S-Corp status? They can help with that.
  • Mail Forwarding Service: Keep your mail organized and forward it where needed.
  • Foreign Qualification: Expanding your business to new states? They can assist.
  • Legal Forms: Access a variety of legal forms easily.
  • Legal Services (in Indiana): If you’re in Indiana, they’ve got specific legal services just for you.
  • Incorporation Services: These are more than just LLCs; they can help incorporate your business, too.

So, if you want to create an LLC, Northwest Registered Agent is very beneficial. They ensure everything runs smoothly, keeping you focused on what you love – growing your business. 

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