Minnesota Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Minnesota?

Starting a business in Minnesota means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

FILE YOUR BUSINESS

When it comes to running a business entity such as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, you have to pay filing fees to form your business and to keep it legally compliant. Starting a new business takes a lot of planning, and you’ll likely need to plan to pay a number of fees to run your business. The following article can help you prepare for common business filing fees for Minnesota businesses, and show how we can help.

Step 1: Pay your Minnesota business’s initial filing fees

You have a lot of options for the kind of business you want to start. One of your biggest business choices is deciding what structure your business will have. Depending on the structure you choose, you need to pay initial filing fees to form your business and make it official with the state. You pay these Minnesota formation fees to the Secretary of State. You can deliver your formation documents and fee payments by mail or in person. You can also complete many formation filings online. Minnesota expedites initial filings made in person, and your information could be processed the same day. 

When you’re busy building a business, you want your administrative tasks done quickly and accurately. That’s why we offer our Expedited Filing Service. We can help you get your business formation documents filed quickly, so you can move on to making your mark in the business world. 

Step 2: Reserve your Minnesota business’s name

Unless you’re starting a sole proprietorship or a general partnership, your business will likely need a name when you form it. Your business name says so much about what your business is and helps your patrons find you. Your business name also needs to be distinguishable from other Minnesota business names. But what if you have the perfect business name way before you’re ready to file your business formation documents? You don’t need to rush to file your formation documents while the name is still available — you want your formation documents to be accurate and complete. A great solution is to pay a fee to reserve your desired business name with the Secretary of State. You can reserve an available name for 12 months, and you can renew your reservation if needed. This can give you plenty of time to form your business using the care it deserves. 

Through our Business Name Reservation service, we check to see if the business name you want is available, and we reserve it for you. That way, you can give your focus to your other business demands — we imagine you have plenty. 

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Minnesota

Sometimes your business needs more than one identity. A “doing business as” or DBA name is a name your business uses that’s different from its full, legal name. Minnesota calls this an assumed name. A business might want an assumed name because its legal name is the sole proprietor’s full, personal name. And some businesses use assumed names to market different services they offer. You can’t reserve an assumed name in Minnesota, but the rules for using an assumed name are a little more relaxed than the rules for registering a business’s full, legal name. You need to register your assumed name and renew it once a year. 

Our DBA service page can provide you with lots of helpful information about the benefits of having an assumed name and how to quickly establish one. 

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an important (and often required) identifier for your business. An EIN is necessary for many businesses to pay their federal taxes. There are many reasons a business could be required to have an EIN, including: 

  • Having employees
  • Filing tax returns for excise, employment, or alcohol, tobacco, and firearms 
  • Conducting business as a partnership
  • Conducting business as a corporation

Even if you don’t need an EIN to pay your federal taxes, you might need or want one to open a business bank account or apply for services that help your business. 

EIN’s are free to obtain, but it takes time to apply for them. An important part of effectively building a business is freeing up time where you can. For a fee, our EIN Service can obtain an EIN for you.

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Minnesota business

Minnesota law has specific rules governing the management and regulation of LLCs, corporations, and certain partnerships, but sometimes it’s best to make your own rules. You can make your own enforceable business management rules by writing an LLC operating agreement, a partnership agreement, or corporate bylaws. You’re not required to have these documents to run a business, but they can help you organize your business the way you like it and set proper expectations for your colleagues and employees. 

Sometimes the hardest part of writing an important document is knowing where to start. If you’re an LLC owner, our Operating Agreement Template can give you a solid start on writing an Operating Agreement that suits your unique business needs. 

Step 6: Apply for your Minnesota business’s necessary licenses and permits

After they’re established, most businesses need some kind of license or permit to operate. Some states and local governments require general business licenses to conduct commercial activities in their areas. The state of Minnesota doesn’t have a general business license, but you’ll likely need to pay some kind of Minnesota filing fees for a license at the state or local level. Your need for licenses and permits depends on your location, your industry, and your business activities. You might also need licenses and permits at the local, state, and federal levels. Once you apply and pay fees for your licenses and permits, many of them will likely need to be renewed periodically. 

Finding out what licenses and permits your specific business needs can be a lot of work. But you can rest easy about figuring out which licensing requirements apply to you, because we and our partners at Business Licenses, LLC, can handle that with our Business License Report. Our partners at Business Licenses, LLC, use your industry, business characteristics, and location to determine your licensing, permit, and registration needs at all government levels. We then provide this information to you in one easy report. 

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

If you formed your business outside of Minnesota, you might have to pay Minnesota filing fees for a Certificate of Authority or Statement of Qualification to do business in the state. Minnesota doesn’t require you to provide a Certificate of Good Standing from the state where your business was formed, but you do have to make a statement that your business has complied with all relevant laws of its home state.  

Step 8: Check Minnesota’s annual report requirements and fees

The Secretary of State likes to check in on registered businesses on a regular basis. To stay compliant, many businesses need to file an annual renewal with the Secretary of State. Some businesses also need to pay fees for their annual renewal. These annual renewal requirements also have strict deadlines.

You don’t want to miss an annual renewal deadline, because the consequences can be dire. To avoid the consequences of missing a deadline, you can use our Annual Report Service. Our Annual Report Service can help you file your annual renewals on time and avoid costly mistakes. 

Step 9: Keep your Minnesota business legally compliant

The passage of time often means change. As your business changes and grows, you’ll likely need to report certain changes to the state and pay a corresponding fee. This is one more business obligation you have to keep up with. But our Worry-Free Compliance and Amendment Filing services can help you stay on top of this obligation with ease. With our Worry-Free Compliance service, we handle your annual renewal and up to two business amendment filings for you per year. We also help you get back in good standing if you make a mistake. Our Amendment Filing Service can prepare and submit certain amendments for your business.

We’re ready to help you with your Minnesota business’s needs

Having a good support system can be one of your business’s greatest assets. We can provide that support from the beginning and beyond with our many services, including our Business Formation, Worry-Free Compliance, and Annual Report Services. We’re here to make your work easier.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

FAQs

  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Minnesota?

    Yes. In many cases, you can suffer penalties for paying your Minnesota business filing fees late.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Minnesota government?

    You could suffer harsh penalties, including closure or termination of your business.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Minnesota business?

    Pay your formation fees to the Minnesota Secretary of State.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Minnesota business?

    The biggest fee you will have to pay depends on the nature and location of your business, but it will likely be the fee to file your formation or registration documents.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Minnesota government?

    Depending on how you file your documents, you can pay by credit card, check, or debit card (in some cases).

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