To register with the Minnesota secretary of state, LLCs have to follow certain steps and adhere to specific guidelines. By taking the appropriate actions, you'll have a much better chance at having your business registered and keeping its good standing status.

How to Register Your Business in Minnesota

Anyone who wants to form a business in Minnesota has to register with the secretary of state. Before doing that, you'll have to choose a business structure, such as LLC, sole proprietorship, corporation, etc. You can create an account on the secretary of state website.

  1. Go to the Business Filings Online page, and choose your desired business structure.
  2. Answer the questions pertaining to professional and nonprofit status.
  3. Check the availability of your desired business name. You can type your name into the search box and enter other required information. 
  4. Once you're done with your application, review it to make sure it's correct and complete. 
  5. Click Submit. You'll get an order number for your filing, and you might want to record it someplace. 
  6. Next, click on Go to U.S Bank. 
  7. When you get to the U.S. Bank page, you can either set up an account with U.S. Bank (so your payment information is stored for future transactions) or you can opt to pay without registering, allowing you to authorize a one-time payment.
  8. After paying, you'll see a confirmation page, and you'll get a confirmation number. You may want to print this out or simply write down your number. Once your filing and payment are processed, you'll receive an email notification.
  9. When you get the notification that your filing has been processed, you'll be able to download a copy of it by clicking the enclosed link.
  10. You'll have access for 90 days to your filing in your online account, via your transaction history.

If your business isn't a bank or trust, you can't use the words trust or bank in your name, unless it's clear that the words don't refer to a financial institution. If your business name has the word insurance in it, you also must include one of the following modifiers (or similar ones) to indicate you're not an underwriting company: 

  • Broker 
  • Agency 
  • Brokerage

Insurance companies and banks register at the Department of Commerce instead of the secretary of state.

Minnesota LLC Forms

To operate a business, there are several forms you'll have to submit. Some require fees and some don't. Common forms you'll have to deal with in Minnesota when operating an LLC include the following.

  • Articles of Organization: This is used to register your business. If your LLC will be a professional firm, you'll have to include additional language in your articles. The language states that your business is subject to and chooses to operate under specific state statutes or the Minnesota Firms Act.
  • Amendment of Articles: To change your articles, you'll have to submit an amendment form. In it, you'll have to detail what was changed. A business has to be in good standing to file an amendment.
  • Annual Renewal: To file your yearly renewal, submit this form. As long as your business entity is in good standing and active, you won't have to pay a fee for this renewal. If a business has been dissolved because it failed to file its yearly renewal, it can be reinstated by filing the current year renewal and paying appropriate fees. It will also have to submit an amendment form if any changes were made to the business name or registered agent/office.
  • Change of Registered Office/Agent: Submit this to change the address of the registered office, and/or the registered agent. If you're removing an agent, enter “none” in the name space. You must have a registered office address in Minnesota for your business.

You can visit the secretary of state site to find answers to many commonly asked questions about LLCs and other business structures in the state. You might also want to call the office during business hours if you prefer to speak to someone over the phone. By submitting necessary forms and fees, you ensure your business remains active and in compliance. 

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