To form a state of MN LLC, follow these steps:

  1. Name your business.
  2. Select a registered agent.
  3. File Articles of Organization with the state.
  4. Create an operating agreement.
  5. Obtain an EIN and all necessary licenses and permits.

Steps to Form an LLC in Minnesota: Your LLC Name

An LLC, or limited liability company, combines features of both partnerships and corporations.

Naming your LLC is one of the first and most important things you'll do when creating a business. Do some research to choose a name that is suitable for your particular business type and that potential clients can easily remember and find. Adhere to the naming guidelines in Minnesota. You'll have to include a designator on your business name that identifies it as an LLC. Use LLC, L.L.C., or Limited Liability Company.

Certain words are restricted, such as “University” or “Attorney.” You'll have to submit additional paperwork to use restricted words. You may also need a licensed individual, such as a lawyer or doctor, to be part of your business to use such words. Other words are prohibited because they can mislead the public about an association between your business and a state or federal agency, like the U.S. Treasury Department or the FBI.

Conduct a name search on the State of Minnesota website to check the availability of your desired business name. Once you know your business name is available, you might wish to reserve a domain name for it. Even if you're not planning to create a business website right away, securing a domain name for your LLC prevents someone else from using it.

Your Registered Agent

You must choose a registered agent for your business. This is also known as an agent for service of process, statutory agent, or resident agent. It's an individual or company that accepts and sends legal documents on your business's behalf. The type of paperwork your registered agent may handle includes service of process in case your LLC is sued, as well as state filings.

Your registered agent has to be a state resident who has a physical street address. Alternately, it must be a company with authorization to conduct business in Minnesota. You may select someone within your company to act as your registered agent or fill the role yourself.

Your Formation Documents

You'll file formation documents with the state, called the Articles of Organization. Before filing your Articles, you'll have to decide if members or managers will be in charge of company management.

In your Articles, you'll include the following:

  • Your business name and address
  • Your registered agent's name and address
  • Each organizer's name and address
  • Whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers
  • Articles drafter name

You'll file your Articles of Organization with the state, and you can do so by mail or online. Fees to submit Articles are non-refundable. The fee for submitting by mail is $135, and the fee for submitting online or in person is $155.

Your Operating Agreement, EIN, and Permits and Licenses

You should create an operating agreement for your company, although you don't have to file it with the state. It's a legal document that outlines your LLC's ownership and operating procedures. Although the state doesn't require you to have one, it's still a good idea to create one for your own records.

You'll need an EIN, also known as an Employer Identification Number or Federal Tax ID Number, from the IRS. It's a nine-digit number assigned to your company. While people use Social Security Numbers, businesses use EINs. You'll need an EIN to file your taxes, and in most cases, you'll need it to open a business banking account. After you form your company, you can apply for an EIN free of charge, by mail or online.

You may also need certain city, county, and/or state permits and business licenses, depending on your location. You'll need these before you can legally conduct business.

Many people are able to form an LLC quickly and inexpensively without the help of an attorney. Small business owners may prefer this business type because it offers them liability protection as well as a flexible management style.

If you need help starting an LLC in Minnesota or another state, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.