For persons looking to start a small business in Minnesota, forming a limited liability company, or LLC, is an option to organize their business. Organizing a small business as an LLC grants the protections of limited liability, pass-through taxation and simpler annual filing requirements than those of a corporation. Starting a Minnesota LLC involves filing a document, called an Articles of Organization, with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Select a name for your company. Minnesota law requires the name of an LLC to include either the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “LLC.” If you are forming an LLC to provide professional services, such as accounting services, your company must include the phrase “Professional Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “PLLC” or “PLC.” The name of your company must also be distinguishable from the name of any business association registered or reserved with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State provides a name availability search, which you can use to find a unique name for your business.
Select a registered agent and registered office for your company. Minnesota law requires all registered businesses to maintain a registered agent. If your company is ever sued or subpoenaed, the registered agent is the person or business that will receive service of process. A registered office is the street address of a registered agent, which must remain open during normal business hours to accept service of process. If you are a Minnesota resident, you may serve as the registered agent of your company. If you do not wish to have your name and residence associated with your company in a public filing or are not a Minnesota resident, you may hire a registered agent service.
Choose a method of filing. You have the option of filing with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State via the Internet, by mail or in person. If filing by Internet, you must use the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Express Services website. If filing by mail or in person, you must use the Minnesota Secretary of State’s official form.
Fill out your Articles of Organization. Provide the name and mailing address of your company. Provide the registered agent and registered office. While a perpetual duration is the default option, you have the option of specifying a date of dissolution. Indicate whether your LLC owns or leases any land that can be used for farming purposes. Provide your name and address and sign the Articles of Organization.
File your Articles of Organization and pay the filing fee. As of 2010, the filing fee is $160, with an additional $10 fee for filing online. If filing online, you must pay by credit card. If filing by mail, you must pay by check or money order payable to the MN Secretary of State. If filing in person, you may pay by credit card, check or money order. The mailing and in-person filing address is Minnesota Secretary of State -- Business Services, Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building, 60 Empire Drive, Suite 100, St Paul, MN 55103.
- Although forming a Minnesota LLC can be done online fairly easily, consult with an attorney about the tax implications of operating a business as an LLC.
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