Starting A Business

starting business
Starting a business does not have to be overwhelming

Have you asked yourself “Where do I begin in how to start a small business? Though starting a business takes determination and persistence, with the right steps and tools the process can be manageable. Do not underestimate the amount of time and investments needed to start a business and grow into a success. In most scenarios, it’s going to take longer and with more money than originally planned. But remember, this is your dream and you can make it happen!

With the guidance of a Northland SBDC no-cost consultation, we will work with you to provide assistance and support in all aspects of your business from the very beginning and onwards through.

Minnesota Northland SBDC

Helping Businesses Start, Grow & Succeed

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how to start a business in Minnesota
Planning a New Business

Even though you are excited to get your new business off the ground, there are some very important planning steps you should take. The Northland SBDC can help you through this planning phase with a no-cost consultation.

planning business
Developing a Business Plan

Without a doubt, in order to best plan for the future of your business, a solid business plan must be prepared. Essentially, your business plan will be the foundation of your business and the roadmap for growing and managing.

At the Northland SBDC, we have a talented team of consultants who will work alongside you to ensure that a sound business plan has been developed that will aid in your overall growth and strengthen your business as a whole.

Executive Summary
A quick summary of your whole business plan.

Company Description
A detailed write up about the business location and hours, how it will operate, products and services offered, the number of employees, etc.

Goals
Setting up short term and long term goals for your business.

SWOT Analysis
Examine your business’s internal Strengths and Weaknesses, and external Opportunities and Threats.

Industry Characteristics & Trends
Researching current industry trends and asking questions like: Is it growing or declining? Is there room for your business to succeed?

Target Audience
Figuring out who your customers are, what they look like, and how they spend their money.

The Competition
Find out who is your competition and how can you stand out from them.

Market Analysis
How many people are buying the product or service you will be offering?

Marketing Strategy
Deciding how will your products or services be priced and how your customers find you.

Financial Plan & Assumptions
A narrative and spreadsheet explaining the financial roadmap of your business.

Appendix
Siting your references and statistical information.

Get started with these tools

business plan
Financial plan

A Financial Plan is your opportunity to persuade a lending institution or investor your business will be profitable and successful. Keep in mind, the narrative must reflect the data on the spreadsheet, be realistic, and have some wiggle room. Taking this step may feel daunting, but the process will improve your own insight into the inner workings of your business.

The Northland SBDC can help you through creating your financial plan with a no-cost consultation.

Components to a Financial Plan
  • Sources and Uses
    Listing where cash and equity are coming from and how much, and what your assets and start up costs are.
  • Detailed Equipment and Supply List
  • Balance Sheet
    Your assets, liabilities, and owners equity with projections for three years.
  • Profit and Loss Projections
    The revenue, operating expenses, and net profit with projections for three years.
  • Break-Even Analysis
    How much you will need to sell before your business breaks even and starts making a profit.
  • Cash Flow Projections
    A three-year projection of the breakdown of money coming in and out of your checking account.
  • Assumptions
    An explanation based on general assumptions such as payroll, employees, etc.

Get started with these tools

financial plan
The Next Steps

After all the preparation work you are now ready to get the ball rolling on your new business! If you get stuck or have any questions, the Northland SBDC is here to help!

  • Arrange Your Finances
    Obtain any business loans or investments, establish a separate banking account for your business.
  • Determine Your Business Structure
    Will your business be set up as a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, or Limited liability company (LLC)? This will determine everything from your daily operations to taxes.
  • Register your Business Name
    Create an online account with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and file for your new business.
  • Obtain Licenses and Permits
    Check with your city, county, state and federal government for any and all
  • Register your Federal and State ID’s
    Obtain your Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your Federal Tax ID and apply for your MN Tax ID through the Business Tax Registration.
  • Obtain Sales and Use Tax Permits
    If your product is taxable, you will need a permit from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
  • Understand Employer Responsibilities
    Stay in the know of Minnesota Employment Practices to keep your employees safe, happy, and healthy.
  • Secure Domain Name and Website, Google My Business, and Social Media Accounts
    An online presence can be more important than a physical one. Having a website and social media accounts greatly influences your buyers to trust your services and products.
Growing A Business

Downloads & Tools

next steps