State and Federal
Starting a Minnesota Business
Starting a business in Minnesota is not a single decision but a series of them, each one an important step on the road to a successful launch. MN DEED's Starting a Minnesota Business website will help you tackle the most common questions in the order you're most likely to need answers.
Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program
The Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program supports the growth of business owned and operated by minorities, low-income persons, women, veterans, and/or persons with disabilities. DEED provides funding to certified non-profit partners to make loans to these Minnesota businesses throughout the state. The program is designed to encourage private investment, provide jobs for minority and low-income persons, create and strengthen minority business enterprises, and promote economic development in low-income areas.
Eligible projects include startup and expansion costs, machinery and equipment, inventory and receivables, working capital, new construction, renovation, and site acquisition. Businesses in most industries are eligible, however, a retail business is only eligible if it is a beginning Microenterprise (less than 5 employees and less than 2 years of generated sales revenue).
For more information and to find a certified program partner, check out the Emerging Entrepreneur Loan Program website.
Launch Minnesota Innovation Grants
Launch Minnesota innovation grants are targeted to the most promising scalable technology startups. Innovation grants are awarded on a competitive, ongoing basis and include:
- Business operations expenses: up to $35,000
- Housing/child care expenses: up to $7,500
- SBIR/STTR Phase 2 recipients: up to $50,000
For more information and eligibility requirements, check out https://mn.gov/launchmn/capital/launch-grants/.
Minnesota Job Creation Fund
This program provides financial incentives to new and expanding business that meet certain job creation and capital investment targets. Companies deemed eligible to participate may receive up to $1 million for creating or retaining high-paying jobs and for constructing or renovating facilities or making other property improvements. For extremely large projects, companies may be eligible to receive up to $2 million. Award amounts depend on job creation and investment levels.
The program is available to businesses engage in select industries including manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and technology-related industries, among others. Businesses submit an application which must include local government supporting documents. Projects that begin prior to becoming designated by DEED are not eligible for the Job Creation Fund.
For a full list of requirements, eligibility, available benefits, application materials, and other information please visit the Minnesota Job Creation Fund website.
Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program
This program provides loans to companies that are affected when certain employees are called to active military duty. It also gives loans to individual veterans who have returned from active duty and want to start their own business. The program provides one-time interest-free loans of $5,000 to $20,000.
Business loans are for existing small businesses that have an essential employee called to active service in the military reserves for 180 days or longer on or after September 11, 2001. The business must be injured substantially due to the employees absence. Startup loans are for veterans who were on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, seeking financial assistance to start their own business.
For more information please visit the Minnesota Reservist and Veteran Business Loan Program website.
STEP Grant Program: Export Assistance
This is a matching grant program which provides financial and technical assistance to qualifying small and medium-sized business with an active interest in exporting products or services to foreign markets. Participants may be first-time exporters or companies that are currently exporting but are interested in expanding into new international markets. Businesses must be pre-approved in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
Financial assistance is available to Minnesota businesses, who may apply for reimbursement of up to $500 for export training or up to $7,500 for approved export development activities, including participation in trade missions, exhibiting at trade shows, translation of marketing materials, and development of foreign language websites among other actives.
To apply, review eligibility requirements, or learn more about the program please visit the STEP Grant Program Export Assistance website.
Angel Tax Credit
This program provides tax incentives to investors or funds that invest in startup business that are primarily focused on high technology or new proprietary technology. Key features of the refundable Angel Tax Credit include:
- A 25% tax credit for investments in small, emerging businesses
- A maximum credit of $125,000 per person per year ($25,000 if married filing jointly)
- Portion of credits reserved for investments in women-owned and minority-owned businesses and firms located outside the Twin Cities metro area
- Those using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process or service in a qualified high technology field
- Those researching or developing a proprietary technology to add value to a product, process or service in a qualified high technology field
- Those researching, developing, or producing a new proprietary technology for use in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation
- Those researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service for use in agriculture, tourism, forestry, mining, manufacturing, or transportation
Greater Minnesota Job Expansion Program
This tax refund program provides sales tax rebates to existing businesses located in Greater Minnesota that are approved by DEED meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Have operated in for at least one year in Greater Minnesota
- Meet wage and compensation requirements
- Will add at least two employees 10% of current staff, whichever is greater, within three years
- Meet industry eligibility including not being engaged in retail, gambling, entertainment, among many other industries
- Demonstrate that the expansion wouldn't occur without assistance
- Have a significant share of sales from the facility to non-Minnesota customers
Additional information on the Greater Minnesota Job Expansion Program can be found on their website.
Greater Minnesota Internship Tax Credit
Eligible employers may claim a refund credit of up to $2,000 for each internship provided to an eligible student in Greater Minnesota.
For more resources and programs for Minnesota businesses, please visit the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development website. Feel free to contact the Kasson EDA with any questions or comments, we are always happy to help and connect you with the right resources for your business!
FEDERAL PROGRAMS and RESOURCES
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
The U.S.D.A. Rural Development Office, has an extensive list of programs to assist new and existing businesses with construction, equipment purchases, renewable energy production, and energy efficiency upgrades.
Rural Development has over 15 programs, ranging from competitive grants to guaranteed loans, designed specifically for small businesses and agri-businesses in rural America.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Banks and other lending institutions offer a number of SBA guaranteed loan programs to assist small businesses. While the SBA itself does not make loans, it can guarantee loans made to small businesses by private and other lending institutions. Below is an overview of the SBA's programs:
- General Small Business Loans: 7(a)
- The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for businesses with special requirements.
- Real Estate & Equipment Loans: CDC/504
- This loan program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate.
- Microloan Program
- SBA's Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers.