There is no national registration of companies in the USA. All businesses are registered at the county or state level. Listed below is how to register in Minnesota. The state or counties will not check (or care) if your name conflicts with names of other businesses in other states, so be careful if you are going to do business across state lines.
Sole Proprietorships and private partnerships are registered at the County level in Minnesota. This includes Fictitious Business Name statements (also known as “DBA”s). In most cases the fee is under $50 and anyone can register a business simply by visiting your county’s business office and completing the right paperwork.
Corporations (both for-profit and non-profit), including C or S Corps, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and Limited Liability Corporations (LLC) are only valid when registered with the Secretary of State.
Secretary of State Business Services Division
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155-1299
Extensive information, including name checks, is available online through the Secretary of States Business Center website at:
NOTE: These notes are on registering the business only. You may also need a business license for any regulated businesses, and may also require city permits or licenses. These vary greatly from city to city.
Trademarks: Minnesota refers to trademarks and tradenames just like dba’s (fictitious business names). These provide you no protection outside your county or state, so Minnesota also recommends proper federal trademark filings with the US Patent and Trademark office.
Save yourself time and money by having a full trademark search done first through a naming agency (like this one in this site) or through a low cost online legal service. If your trademark application is rejected, you will lose your filing fee.
Sales Tax: In Minnesota retail sales tax is the same in all counties. Clothing and food for home consumption are not taxed in Minnesota. If you will be selling taxable good or services (which is often the case unless you only sell to resellers), you will need a tax id from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Largest Cities: Minneapolis and Saint Paul (together known as the Twin Cities) Duluth, Rochester, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Eagan, Coon Rapids, Burnsville.
Brighter Naming provides naming assistance to all parts of Minnesota, including the 218, 320, 612, 763, 952, 651 and 507 area codes.
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Disclaimer: These are purely informational guidelines. For details in your particular case, please consult your lawyer, accountant or state/county office. Brighter Naming is not licensed to provide legal advice. The information here is provided as an informational service only.
Minnesota’s name is based on the Dakota Sioux Indian word for “sky-tinted water,” referring to the Minnesota River or the state’s many lakes. The state nickname is The North Star State or more commonly: Land of 10,000 Lakes.