10 Simple Steps
Listen, for the same reason you don’t just head off on a long Minnesota cross-country ski trail without an idea of what you’re doing, you don’t found a company inside her borders without a professional business plan. It’s that simple. Google around on the subject and their value for 10 minutes and you’ll know beyond doubt why this is your first step.
Take Action: Seize upon our 100% free email-based Business Planning Course designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide access to tons of other great tools along the way.
Your next move should be to decide on a business structure, or form, under the law, then incorporate and register with the state so you/your assets and your company are protected. But that’s really just the beginning. The vast majority of benefits become abundantly clear once you move on to Step 3.
Take Action: As this aspect of starting a business can be rather sensitive, we’ve developed quick and easy incorporation guides for the most popular entities.
Integrated into the incorporation and registration process are tax obligations. Good news is that along with riverboats, bands and booze, Minnesota is brimming over with incentives, credits, entrepreneurial-friendly programs and other tax benefits that your brand deserves to leverage.
Take Action: Head on over to and bookmark the Minnesota Dept. of Revenue’s Tax Information for Minnesota Businesses. If you don’t have a tax attorney yet, this page is going to be indispensable.
Did you know that the MN State Fair is arguably the largest 12-day event held in North America? Now, just try to imagine the red tape involved with this production each year. Try to picture the digital STACK of permits and licenses. Point is, what you’re facing is likely a small fraction so don’t even sweat it.
Once your brand is legally named, registered, incorporated and fully-licensed to do business in the hipster state, your last piece of official business is setting up separate checking/savings accounts so your financials are centralized, clean and tidy. Remember, the bank you choose will in time become a potential lender.
We’re talking about the birthplace of personalities like Prince and Bob Dylan, the original Oregon Trail video game, and where most everything has its own festival celebration! Not to mention 11,000 lakes so if your product/service has to do with water, or with lake-life, you’re going to love it. Regardless of where you settle though, from Fergus Falls to Spring Valley it’s a wonderful place to do business.
Take Action: We know picking a spot can be tough if it doesn’t somehow happen naturally through your personal/professional networks. If you’d like to brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our friendly guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Funding. Capital. Dinero. As you know it’s the lifeblood of business. And yes, Minnesota has a thriving entrepreneurial culture that supports bootstrapping but eventually outside money becomes a necessity. When it does, don’t forget to keep non-conventional options handy like Social Lending and CrowdFunding which have recently seen tremendous growth in MN.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy here because planning and finances go together like the words Deep and Fried. You can also browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Initially we were going to leave this step out, but then we realized how many change-makers joining the startup era either a) have websites that really need updating or b) have no website at all. In truth, websites are never really “done” but you should know that management has really come a long way in the last 5 years alone.
Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there aren’t too many yet. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start.
This is definitely tough no matter how you slice it. What we can tell you is that the VAST majority of success stories start local, often very close to home. So no matter where you set up shop, even if you’re online only, the people of Minnesota have a ton to offer.
Take Action: While it might sound cliché, how well do you know your ideal clients/customers/users? Honestly? As technology and software tools continue changing the game, remember the ways your brand connects with these folks is your most potent source of inbound/outbound marketing.
Startup Savant is really hammering down on entrepreneurial interviews because we believe they’re an incredible source of learning and motivation. Browse a couple and you’ll see why. Plus, they really work well with all the many tools we love to lavish our readers with.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from ambitious professionals like you dontcha know.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Minnesota, here are the two we believe in most. With IncFile and LivePlan, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.
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