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Starting a Business

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sbao-video-playlistStarting a business in Minnesota is not a single decision but a series of them, each one an important step on the road to a successful launch. Here we help you tackle the most common questions in the order you're most likely to need answers.

Frequently and Recently Asked Questions

Your recently and frequently asked questions for the Small Business Assistance Office.

Before You Start

Starting a business should never be an impulsive decision. It should be carefully considered and planned.

Organizing a Business

Choosing how your business will be structured is one of the first and most fundamental decisions that you will make.

Business Plans

A written business plan makes you more attractive to lenders, helps you make sound managerial decisions, and positions your company for growth.


Everyone who starts a business should have a basic understanding of accounting and income forecasting.

Business Finance Basics

Common sources of business financing and insights into how to approach lenders.

Licenses and Permits

Your business may be required to obtain one or more licenses or permits.


The right insurance can mitigate risks, keep you in business when bad things happen, and offer peace of mind.

Business Taxes

Taxes are the only constant in business. It’s imperative that you know who, what, where, when, why and how to pay. And do it on time.

Basics for Employers

Whether at startup or later as your business grows, there are many issues to consider before you hire workers and become an employer.

Intellectual Property

Get to know four basic types of intellectual property: patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret. Then explore important IP protection issues.

Management Basics

Growing your skills and your business. Essentials for running your company smoothly and profitably.

Business Guidebooks

These in-depth publications are produced in collaboration with major Minnesota law firms and subject matter experts on a wide variety of business topics.

Small Business Assistance Office

Provides in-depth consultation and a comprehensive series of business guidebooks.

Small Business Development Centers

Nine centers statewide provide the expertise and guidance small businesses need to flourish.

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