One common question people have when starting their businesses is if they need a business license. A business license is essential for most businesses in Minnesota. If you plan to have a business, then you will need to register with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State.
Before you start the registration process, however, you will need to decide on how you want to structure your business. If you haven’t yet decided, then this is a good time to start talking to your attorney about the differences between business types and how each one offers different kinds of protections.
For this article, let’s discuss what it’s like to use a sole-proprietorship under an assumed name. Remember, if you plan to do business in Minnesota under a name that doesn’t include your full name or the full names of all the people who are working as partners or proprietors, then you’ll need to file a document called the Certificate of Assumed Name (CAN).
Once you decide on a name for your business, you will file for this name and then need to publish that name in the newspaper (which must be qualified by the state) for at least two issues. Those issues have to be delivered in the area where your business will be located.
After you get your business published in the newspaper, the newspaper will give you an important document called the affidavit of publication. This is something you need to keep, but you won’t need to give it to the state. Don’t ignore this requirement, however, because failing to report your business in the newspaper as required can make the entire CAN invalid.
Your attorney can help you with this process if it seems confusing or you’re not sure what to do to legally assume your business name. This process is required annually, so it may be wise to set a reminded for the annual renewal, so you can avoid a reinstatement fee.
If you plan to have another kind of business, the requirements will change. That’s something to discuss with your attorney as you move forward with all your business documents.