Steps and Timelines

Municipal Process Flow Charts

How to Start a Business

When starting a new business or non-profit organization there are many important decisions to make. While there is no single source for all essential requirements, the following steps have been developed to assist you in starting your business.

  • Choose a business structure – Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company – what structure is right for your business? This can be a daunting task but the Minnesota Secretary of State is a great resource to help define which structure is best for you.
  • Create and register your assumed business name - You will need to check on the Minnesota Secretary of State website to verify if the business name you want is available or if it is already registered.
  • Create a business plan – One of the first steps in a new venture is the development of a business plan. The business plan describes the business: its products or service, market, people and financing needs. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is a great resource to help you with your business plan.
  • Financing your business – So you have established your business and created a business plan; now comes the question – How are you going to finance your potential business? There are several resources to help you find the financing you need.