What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Minnesota?
Starting a in Minnesota will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a will register for in Minnesota.
Before applying for any licenses, the of . will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the , general partnership, , and (LLC). Corporations and LLCs will need to register with the
Related: Comparison of Entities
Learn more about forming an LLC in Minnesota
Also see: Steps to starting a business in Minnesota
There is no general of , however, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for registration vary depending on location and what the does. Below are a few cities that have requirements.
Minneapolis – The Office of Licenses & Consumer Licenses issues licenses for businesses operating in the City of Minneapolis, regulating certain types of businesses such as contractors, dry cleaners, food-related , tanning salons, and more.
St. Paul – The City of St. Paul requires a for businesses such as auto body shops, bakeries, bed & breakfasts, restaurants, and several more.
Rochester – Businesses such as contractors, ice cream vendors, mobile food vendors, tree trimmers, and more will need to register with the .
Duluth – Licenses are required for any operating in the city limits of Duluth. A few businesses requiring include; bowling alleys, garbage collectors, massage therapists, and towing services.
Bloomington – The Bloomington issues city licenses for businesses offering garbage services, massage therapists, pawnbrokers, tanning salons, and more.
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Building & Zoning Permits
Zoning – Depending on the location of the , it’s important to verify whether the needs an occupancy or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on the , home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation .
Building – A building may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage – Some municipalities require a before adding signage.
Minnesota businesses need to apply for a Minnesota Number with the of Revenue if they:
- Sell products and taxable services (Learn more about the Minnesota )
- File as a partnership or
- Have employees
- Are a vendor or receive payments from a Minnesota agency
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Minnesota of Exemption in order to not pay for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
A variety of professions in the are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require in Minnesota include; cosmetologists, accountants, caterers, and many more. Additional information, fees, and requirements for professions are available from the of Minnesota.
Food Service Businesses
Every food service establishment or retail food in Minnesota must comply with its local zoning ordinances and the and local building, fire, electrical, food, and codes. Food service businesses include restaurants, caterers, food producers, hotels, motels, and lodging establishments that serve food.
The state does not license commercial and general contractors, but many cities require them to register with the city and be bonded before the city will issue building permits or conduct inspections of their projects.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Number). The EIN is the equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.
There is no for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
Assumed Name Registration
While not a , it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing of . As or DBA) with the
These are some of the most common licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your , be sure to check with City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding .