Online & Free Services

Online Resource – a Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota (Free)

A copy of this document is available in electronic format from the City of St. Joseph Economic Development Authority. This publication by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (PDF) is intended to provide a concise, summary discussion of the major issues faced by those starting a business in Minnesota. This edition of the guide contains three major sections:

  • The narrative text; a resource directory, which provides addresses and telephone numbers of organizations referenced in the text.
  • The directory of licenses and permits, which lists all business licenses and permits required by the State of Minnesota.
  • The state agency which issues or administers the license or permit, and a telephone number for obtaining more information.

Topics presented in the narrative text are presented in the order in which the new business owner typically must address them.

Online Resource: SBA Free Online Business Courses

The SBA offers over 25 free online courses for businesses. Topics include: starting a business, business planning, business management, financing and accounting, marketing and advertising, government contracting, risk management and cyber security, eCommerce, international trade, federal tax training, and small business retirement. For more information visit the SBA Programs and Services to Help you Start, Grow and Succeed.

Free Business Consulting Services

The SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives) “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is a nonprofit association comprised of 11,500 volunteer business counselors throughout the US and its territories. SCORE members are trained to serve as counselors advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. These services are offered at no fee, as a community service. SCORE's experienced business experts provide general business advice on everything from how to write a business plan, to cash flow management, to developing a small business advisory board. Assistance for aspiring entrepreneurs may involve investigating the market potential for a product or service and assessing the capital needs to start a business. Counselors can provide insight into how to start a business, operate a business, buy a business or franchise and sell a business. The SCORE website offers practical "how to" information to help your run your business.

Online Women’s Business Center

The SBA's Online Women's Business Center, is a state of the art Internet site to help women expand their businesses. This free, interactive website, offers women information about business principles and practices, management techniques, networking, industry news, market research and technology training, free, online counseling, and hundreds of links to other sites, as well as information about the many SBA services and resources available to them.