How Do I Get Minnesota Business License | Full Guide

In order to maintain your business operating in Minnesota or keep your business up and running, you must get a business license.

A business license is a permit or legal authorization typically issued at the state, local, or federal level to operate a business. And business licensing in Minnesota helps prevent fraud and ensures that products and processes are safe and effective. 

However, knowing which license your business needs may be challenging or if you should get a permit for your business in the first place.

This article will guide you in getting a business license in Minnesota.

Who issues business licenses in Minnesota?

Business licenses in Minnesota are issued at state, local, and federal levels depending on the type and location of the business. 

You can obtain information about the state business licenses from the Minnesota Bureau of Business Licenses (BBL), also known as License Minnesota. 

For local business licenses, there are departments in each city that take care of getting business licenses there. 

For example, a department known as Business Licenses & Consumer Services in the City of Minneapolis handles local business licenses.

What license do you need to operate your business in Minnesota?

Suppose you are looking to start a business in Minnesota. Depending on the type and location of the business, your business must be properly registered and licensed under one of the three jurisdictions: federal, state, or local.

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Federal License: Examples of businesses that require a federal license include those that engage in Aviation, Transportation, Wildlife, Explosives, Nuclear energy, Mining, etc.

It is essential to check with your city or state if the business you want to run is not listed among those that require federal licenses. 

State or Local License: At the state or local level, businesses such as restaurants, dry cleaning, mechanics, hair and nail salons, plumbers, electricians, and the likes may require a Minnesota business license to operate. 

There are some other necessary licenses and permits apart from the general licenses which may be required for your business. 

These include professional licenses for careers such as medicine, therapy, law, accounting, etc.

Other types of licenses may include industry-based licenses such as hotels, construction or on-site works, health services licenses, zoning or building permit, fire services permits, etc.

Is LLC the same as a business license?

LLC, also known as Limited Liability Company, is a type of business structure in which the personal asset of the corporation is protected, and a partnership or sole proprietorship structure is combined.

So, while LLC is a business structure, a business license, on the other hand, is a permit or legal entity to operate a business. They are not the same.

You can read this: How to Start a Business in Minnesota in 2022: The Ultimate Guide, Step-by-Step

What is the cost to register a business in Minnesota?

The cost of registering a business in Minnesota varies depending on the type of business structure. 

For an LLC structure, you must submit the necessary documents to the Secretary of State either online or in person for a $155 filing fee or by mail for a $135 filing fee.

For a corporation, you must submit the necessary documents to the Secretary of State either online or in-person for a $155 filing fee or by mail for a $135 filing fee.

Also, for a non-profit organization in Minnesota, you must submit the necessary documents to the Secretary of State either online or in-person for a $90 filing fee or by mail for a $70 filing fee.

Step-by-step guide on how to get a Minnesota business license

Here are the steps to getting a business license in Minnesota.

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#1. Find information on the requirements for your choice of business

If starting up a business in Minnesota, you will need information on the license type your business requires. 

You can check out your business type on the Minnesota Business website. For example, the City of Minneapolis lists the different types of businesses that require licenses, along with links to their registration forms. 

Also, you can contact the local Minnesota county government office for more information.

#2. Get the business registration certificate and seller’s permit

All businesses are required to register to get the Minnesota Business Certificate. 

While registering, if your business will be paying state sales tax or you are planning to sell taxable goods, then you have to get the Seller’s permit, also known as the Certificate of Authority. 

You can visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue to obtain a seller’s permit. You can also apply for a Minnesota seller’s permit when registering your business through the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Business Tax Registration website.

#3. Look up license information in your local municipal

After you’ve checked for licensing requirements based on the type of business you’re starting, you’ll want to look into any local license requirements. 

Contact your local Minnesota county or municipal government office for more information. You can get additional information on the different licenses that you need for each business at:

  • Minnesota License and Registration Lookup tool
  • License the Minnesota website

#4. Take the necessary exams for your profession

You know by now that licensing requirements differ from one profession to the other. 

While contractors only need to register and get their Minnesota business license, an Accountant or Medical Doctor would need to meet specific license requirements and pass the exam before he or she can be offered a license.

#5. Finish up your application by submitting

This is the final step in getting your business license. Most applications can be completed online, while others require that you send in your documents either in-person or via mail to the appropriate authorities.

How do I renew my license?

You do not need to renew your Minnesota seller’s permit. Renewal may vary depending on the type of business license. 

The Minnesota Department of Labor provides a list of renewal documents. You can contact the relevant government office for renewal information for any other business licenses you may have.

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Also, you can check this: How To Apply For And Get A Business License

Is it worth it to have a Minnesota License for my business?

It is absolutely worth it. Getting a Minnesota business license helps prevent fraud and ensures financial solvency in your business transactions. 

Also, it ensures that your products are safe and the processes are effective. A business license also certifies your competency as a legit business owner.

FAQs on Minnesota Business 

Is a license required for all businesses in Minnesota?

It depends. Some businesses require that you get a business license, while others will be fine with just a seller’s permit. It is advised you check with your local county or state.

What are the types of business licenses we have?

In Minnesota, we have federal, state, and local licenses. For some vocations, we can have professional licenses. Others are fire or Health service licenses, zoning permits, building permits, etc.

How do I know which particular license or permit to get for my business?

The State of Minnesota has information about that. Their website also contains valuable aids.

Yes. The city of Minnesota requires that you get a Minnesota seller’s permit to operate any local business, including a restaurant in Minnesota.

Is there a nationwide business license in Minnesota?

No. There is no nationwide business license in Minnesota. Although, a federal license may be required if the federal government regulates your business activities.


It is important you get a permit or license for your business to ensure its smooth running. In Minnesota, getting a business license is easy as long as you follow the proper steps. 

You can check out the Minnesota business portal for more information on how to get a Minnesota business license.



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