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Who Needs a Collections License


If you have questions about whether a license is required, please consult the License Minnesota website athttp://www.license.mn.gov/. Click on "A-Z Indexes" or "Browse by Topics." If the information there does not answer your question, please send an e-mail to licensing.commerce@state.mn.us that explains your activities as specifically as possible.

Statutes Governing Collection Agencies and Debt Collectors


332.33 Licenses. Subdivision 1. Requirement. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall conduct within this state a collection agency or engage within this state in the business of collecting claims for others as defined in sections 332.31 to 332.45, without having first applied for and obtained a collection agency license. A person acting under the authority of a collection agency, as a collector, must first register with the commissioner under this section. A registered collector may use one additional assumed name only if the assumed name is registered with and approved by the commissioner.

332.31, Subd. 3. Collection agency. "Collection agency" means and includes any person engaged in the business of collection for others any account, bill or other indebtedness except as hereinafter provided. It includes persons who furnish collection systems carrying a name which simulates the name of a collection agency and who supply forms or form letters to be used by the creditor, even though such forms direct the debtor to make payments directly to the creditor rather than to such fictitious agency.

Subd. 6. Collector. "Collector" is a person acting under the authority of a collection agency under subdivision 3, and on its behalf in the business of collection for others an account, bill, or other indebtedness except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

332.32 Exclusions. The term "collection agency" shall not include persons whose collection activities are confined to and are directly related to the operation of a business other than that of a collection agency such as, but not limited to banks when collecting accounts owed to the banks and when the bank will sustain any loss arising from uncollectible accounts, abstract companies doing an escrow business, real estate brokers, public officers, persons acting under order of a court, lawyers, trust companies, insurance companies, credit unions, savings associations, loan or finance companies unless they are engaged in asserting, enforcing or prosecuting unsecured claims which have been purchased from any person, firm, or association when there is recourse to the seller for all or part of the claim if the claim is not collected.

Apply for a Collection Agency License


Follow these steps to apply for a collection agency license.

  1. Go to www.pulseportal.com, select "Minnesota Department of Commerce" as the program, and "Debt" as the board. Then click on "Submit License Application" and follow the instructions from there.

  2. Fees are paid via the online portal: The initial registration fee is $1,050 state fee. In accordance with Minn. Stat. 16E.22, this fee includes a 10% OET surcharge, which is being collected on behalf of the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology to fund a statewide electronic licensing system. The online system vendor also charges a $9.95 application fee and a credit card processing fee.

  3. Each branch of a Collection Agency must obtain a separate license. The fee for a branch location is $550.00. In accordance with Minn. Stat. 16E.22, this fee includes a 10% OET surcharge, which is being collected on behalf of the Minnesota Office of Enterprise Technology to fund a statewide electronic licensing system.

  4. After you submit your Agency/Branch application, you should do an application status inquiry onwww.pulseportal.comto see when the license is issued. After the license is issued, you can print a copy of it.

  5. A State ID and PIN number will be printed on page 2 of the license. That number must be used to set up an account on www.pulseportal.com. Once the account is set up for your agency, you will be able to submit individual debt collector registration applications and perform other functions on the system.

  6. After the Minnesota Department of Commerce approves your agency license, at least one Minnesota-licensed Debt Collector must be affiliated with your agency within 30 days, or the department reserves the right to cancel or terminate the agency license. This requirement does not apply to a 'Letter Service Only' licensee.

  7. The original Minnesota Surety Bond for each licensed place of business must be mailed to the Minnesota Department of Commerce along with a copy of the application confirmation page from www.pulseportal.com. The Power of Attorney must also be attached to Surety Bond along with an itemized financial statement form.

  8. If the collection agency name is different from the legal name of the corporation, partnership, other business entity, or individual owner, a copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name, filed and stamped by the Minnesota Secretary of State must be faxed to the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-539-0111 along with a copy of the application confirmation page from www.pulseportal.com.

    • Information about filing for a Certificate of Assumed Name may be obtained from the Secretary of State (www.sos.state.mn.us), 180 State Office Building, 100 Constitution Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55155, telephone 651-296-2803).

  9. The following must be faxed to the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-539-0111 along with a copy of the application confirmation page from www.pulseportal.com:

    • If the collection agency is a corporation, a copy of the Articles of Incorporation that were filed and stamped by the Minnesota Secretary of State.

    • If the collection agency is a partnership, a copy of the partnership agreement signed by all partners.

    • If the collection agency is a Limited Liability Company or other business entity, a copy of the business organization documents.

  10. A completed "Disclosure of Owners, Partners, Officers" form, providing names and addresses of owner, officers, directors, 25% shareholders, partners, or employees who exercise management or policy control in the company must be faxed to the Minnesota Department of Commerce at 651-539-0111 along with a copy of the application confirmation page from www.pulseportal.com

Exemption From Licensure


EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2011.

Minnesota Statutes: Sec. 93. [332.3351] EXEMPTION FROM LICENSURE.
A collection agency shall be exempt from the licensing and registration requirements of this chapter if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) the agency is located in another state that regulates and licenses collection agencies, but does not require a Minnesota collection agency to obtain a license to collect debts in their state if the agency's collection activities are limited in the same manner;

(2) the agency's collection activities are limited to collecting debts not incurred in this state from consumers located in this state; and

(3) the agency's collection activities in Minnesota are conducted by means of
interstate communications, including telephone, mail, electronic mail, or facsimile transmission.