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17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Minnesota

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to the Twin Cities, where many Fortune 500 companies are based. It’s also where the Mall of America, the biggest mall in the US, is located. As the pandemic recedes, the state is recovering from the biggest economic downturn in its history — and expecting strong growth ahead.

Aside from the services sector, Minnesota also has vibrant finance, insurance, and real estate industries. So businesses involving HR consulting, real estate, virtual assistant, and ecommerce have great chances of success. Check out our list of profitable business ideas in Minnesota below.

1. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

In Minnesota, manufacturers may need specific licenses depending on the products made; these are issued by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Ensure your location is zoned for manufacturing. Invest in quality equipment and consider automation to keep costs down. Establish relationships with suppliers and understand your market demand to succeed.

2. Real Estate

how to start a real estate business

Real estate professionals in Minnesota must be licensed by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Focus on understanding local market trends and build a strong network of contacts. Effective marketing and a solid online presence can set you apart from competitors. Continuing education is crucial, as it keeps you updated on laws and market changes.

3. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

Health care providers need appropriate licenses from the Minnesota Department of Health. Compliance with state regulations and maintaining patient confidentiality is critical. Investing in good staff and the latest medical technology can improve your services. Build trust through patient-centered care and community involvement.

4. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

Starting an insurance business requires a license from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Knowledge of local market needs and insurance laws is essential. Focus on delivering exceptional customer service and educating clients about their options. Developing a niche in your offerings can also help attract and retain customers.

5. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

Graphic designers in Minnesota can operate without specific licenses but registering your business is recommended. Stay current with design trends and software. Building a strong portfolio and networking with other businesses can provide a steady stream of clients. Consider specializing in areas like digital marketing or corporate branding.

6. Clothing Boutique

How to start a clothing boutique business

A clothing boutique in Minnesota requires registering your business and a sales and use tax account. Select a location with good foot traffic. Keep inventory aligned with current fashion trends and local preferences. Excellent customer service and an engaging in-store experience are key to repeat business.

7. Gym

How to open a gym business

Opening a gym in Minnesota involves obtaining health and safety certifications. Choose a location that is accessible and has ample space. Investing in high-quality equipment and diverse fitness classes can attract a broad clientele. Maintaining cleanliness and offering competitive membership rates are vital.

8. Summer Camp

How to start a campground

Running a summer camp in Minnesota requires Recreational Camping Area (RCA) License or Special Event Camping Area (SECA) license. Location is key; ensure it is safe and has various recreational options. Hiring experienced staff and offering a range of activities can enhance the camp experience. Safety protocols are paramount.

9. Ice Cream Truck

How to start an ice cream business

An ice cream truck business requires a mobile food vendor license. Choose a truck that is reliable and has the necessary equipment. Location and timing are crucial; target parks and community events. Maintain high standards of cleanliness and offer a variety of flavors.

10. Mechanic Business

How to start a car repair shop

Starting a mechanic shop in Minnesota involves getting a business license from your local city office and possibly specific permits for handling chemicals or waste. Location should be visible and accessible to attract customers. Investing in quality tools and continuous training for your staff ensures high-quality service.

11. Logging Business

How to start a logging business

A logging business requires compliance with Minnesota’s environmental regulations and possibly a commercial use permit from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Understanding timber sales contracts and sustainable harvest practices is crucial. Invest in reliable machinery and prioritize worker safety.

12. Tourism Agency

How to start a travel agency business

A tourism agency in Minnesota benefits from a deep knowledge of local attractions and partnerships with local businesses. Networking with travel professionals and maintaining a robust online presence are key. Focus on creating unique, customizable travel packages to attract a diverse clientele.

13. Real Estate Agency

how to start a real estate business

Operate under a licensed real estate broker in Minnesota. Understand local property laws and market trends. Developing strong negotiation skills and a trustworthy reputation can lead to referrals and repeat clients. Invest in marketing and technology to streamline operations and improve client experiences.

14. HR Consulting

How to start a consulting business

HR consultants in Minnesota should be well-versed in labor laws and employment practices. Certification through HR credentialing organizations enhances credibility. Focus on building a network and offering customized solutions to businesses. Keeping up with HR technology and trends can give you a competitive edge.

15. Virtual Assistant Service

How to start a virtual assistant business

A virtual assistant service can be started with minimal setup. Being organized and having a strong set of digital skills are essential. Marketing your services effectively and maintaining a high level of professionalism can help in building a client base. Specialize in services like scheduling, email management, or social media to stand out.

16. Farm

How to start a farm business

Starting a farm in Minnesota requires understanding of local agricultural laws and possibly registering with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Knowledge of sustainable practices and crop rotation can improve yield and soil health. Building relationships with local markets and food companies can secure sales channels.

17. Ecommerce Store

How to start an ecommerce business

An ecommerce store in Minnesota requires registering your business. A user-friendly website and reliable payment processing are crucial. Understand your target market and focus on SEO and digital marketing to drive traffic to your store. Customer service and efficient logistics are key to repeat business and positive reviews.


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17 Best Business Ideas to Start in Minnesota