How to Start a Small Business in Minnesota

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Why Start a Small Business in Minnesota? There are many places nationwide that a business owner can set up shop. Minnesota seems to be a virtual Mecca of opportunity lately. In the past three years, representatives from the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (MCC) said they visited more than 800 companies to find out how certain industries were fairing. They found most companies reported an estimated 45-percent surge in growth profit margins for 2006 alone.

If you are interested in starting your own small business, here are a few things you might need to know.

Starting a Small Business in Minnesota

Decide what industry you want. The MCC report, while generally favorable, indicates mass growth for certain industries like manufacturing, retail trade, and scientific and technical services. It will not make any sense staring a small business in Minnesota that no one will want.

Have a plan. First, your future customers will need some reassurance from you in this respect. Mid-Western folks are big on “trust” and are friendly to a fault. They will want to know that you can “take care” of them. Be educated about your industry, products and services. Next, if you need to borrow money, lenders will want to know your small business will be financially viable for short- and long-term. They will expect you to have a business plan laid out for them. Be sure to pick a proper “business structure.” Limited liability and sole proprietorships are only two types. For tax purposes ,you will also need an “Employer ID number” (EIN). You can apply for one with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Learn your competition. You can get a lot of information about companies via city or county court dockets. Area universities and local libraries will also have valuable information. A simple phone call or two might suffice, as well.

Make contact or network. If you are not originally from the area, talk with local and governmental representatives. You can do this by joining business or trade groups either locally or online. Your city’s Chamber of Commerce will help you will any licensing, permitting or insurance information you will need.

Find a legal or accounting representative, if you can. You do not need a lawyer or accountant to start a small business in Minnesota, but having some general business knowledge will definitely help.

Tips & Warnings

  • For tax purposes, keep a record of everything you do that is either personal or business related. Anything could be relevant. It is better to be prepared than not.
  • Know if you will need to hire employees.
  • The taxes you will pay will depend on your business structure. Know the different types and how they apply.

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