We’ve got a free, downloadable “do it yourself” kit you can use. In other words, the price you pay to purchase equals “zero.” That kit provides more information about LLCs and includes a couple of free LLC operating agreements. (We used to sell the kit but since the Covid-19 pandemic have simply given the kit away.)
If you only need some assistance with the filing of documents and don’t need the additional information provided in the kit, the actual steps you take to form a Minnesota limited liability company are pretty simple. (These instructions are up-to-date as of July 27, 2020.). Here’s what you do:
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available. Name availability may be checked by calling the Business Information Phone Lines at (651) 296-2803 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (CT) on any working day.
Here is an easy and free way to do this: You can search for a similarly-named LLC using the Minnesota Secretary of State online database at:
2. Download the LLC application form from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s web site, then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for the web page that supplies the Articles of Organization form is:
After you open this page, click the Articles of Organization LLC .pdf link (which should be near the top of the page).
As an alternative, you may receive expedited service by filing online at:
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Acme Explosives LLC.”) Note that the name goes onto the first page the form in two places and onto the second page of the form in one place. The name must include “Limited Liability Company” or one of the standard abbreviations, “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”
For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives L.L.C.
4. Identify the registered office address
This is the address where the LLC is located. The registered office address must be a Minnesota address and must be completed with a street address or rural route and rural route box number, city, state and zip code. A P.O. Box is not acceptable.
5. Identify the registered agent
You are not required to have a registered agent. If you have a registered agent, you must list the full name of the agent who must be located at the registered office address.
6. State the desired duration of the LLC
The desired duration of the LLC must be stated in years. The LLC has a perpetual duration unless you state otherwise in this item. You can leave this blank, or, as I did in the example, put the words “perpetual duration” in this section.
7. Provide organizer’s name(s) and address(es)
The name and address of the organizer(s) must be completed with an individual’s full name, street address, city, state and zip code. The original signature of the individual is required.
8. Provide a contact person email address and telephone number
List the email address and telephone number that may be contacted if there are any questions about this filing.
9. Submit the application
After you complete the Articles of Organization, mail one original and one exact copy along with a check for $135 to:
Minnesota Secretary of State – Business Services
Retirement Systems of Minnesota Building
60 Empire Drive, Suite 100
St Paul, MN 55103
Walk-in service is available at the public counter located at the above address. At the time I’m writing this, the walk-in service desk is manned from 8am to 4pm Monday through Friday.
Note: In-person and online filings are considered as expedited service, and the filing fee is $155.
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the DFI.