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How to Start a Construction Business in Minnesota

To start and operate a construction business that grosses more than $15,000 per year in Minnesota, you must be licensed and insured. The state’s Department of Labor & Industry administers licensing in Minnesota. You will be required to pass two examinations. Though licensure does not require you to have prior hands-on experience in the construction industry, such experience will improve the prospects for a successful enterprise.

Instructions

  1. Visit the website of the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry and download a license application packet for “residential building contractor/remodeler.
  2. Take and pass the required examinations. You must pass both a Minnesota Business and Law exam and a Residential Building Contractor exam. The exams are administered by a private company, Pearson VUE. Visit the Pearson VUE website to download a Candidate Handbook and to schedule your exams. You must document your passing scores on your license application.
  3. Choose a business name and register it with the Minnesota secretary of state’s office. You must include proof of registration with your application. If you are going to operate as a sole proprietorship you need only file for a Certificate of Assumed Name. Visit the secretary of state’s website to file online. If your business is going to take another legal form–a limited liability partnership or a corporation, for example–navigate to the appropriate section of the secretary of state’s website for detailed instruction. Meet with a lawyer and an accountant for professional advice before you register.
  4. Authorize a criminal background check by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Complete and sign the relevant form, which is included in your application packet. The form must be submitted with your application.
  5. Obtain federal and state tax identification numbers. In both cases, you can register online.
  6. Obtain general liability and property damage insurance with a limit of at least $100,000 per occurrence. Have your insurance agent complete the Certificate of Insurance form, which is included in your application packet.
  7. Visit the website of the Minnesota Unemployment Insurance program, if you will have employees, and register online. Obtain workers’ compensation insurance from a commercial insurance agent, since Minnesota does not administer workers’ compensation insurance as do other states.
  8. Complete your application and submit it, along with all supporting documentation and fees, to the indicated address. Upon approval, you will be sent a contractor license.

Things You'll Need
  1. License application packet
  2. Passing scores in two examinations
  3. Criminal background check
  4. Federal and state employee identification numbers
  5. Liability insurance
  6. Workers’ compensation insurance (if you will have employees)
  7. Licensing fees

Minnesota Construction Law Services

Minnesota Construction Law Services – Minnesota Construction Law Services, PLLC, a professional firm providing legal and business services to residential contractors and other owner-operated businesses. In todays business climate, legal and regulatory challenges are just around the corner. You deserve an attorney who understands construction law and what its like to own a small business — a true counselor who will put the law to work for you.

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA)

Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA) – Meda provides business development services, business financing and access to market opportunities to support entrepreneurs of color. In addition, Meda hosts the Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MN PTAC) that helps all Minnesota businesses pursue government procurement opportunities. MN PTAC offers specialized support for Women, Veteran, and HUB Zone businesses. Meda also operates two business development centers under cooperative agreements with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. With the 2011 launch of the first ever minority focused MBDA Federal Procurement Center in Washington D.C., Meda can serve Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs) across the nation. The Minneapolis MBDA Business Center connects Minnesota MBEs with business opportunities. In 2013, Meda connected with 1,604 clients through our combined service offerings and helped client companies secure over $1.2 billion in contracts. Since its beginning in 1971, Meda has helped more than 19,400 entrepreneurs of color and assisted in the start-up of more than 490 businesses.

A service provided by Ramsey County Workforce Solutions, 651.266.6041

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