The Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission (AAEDC) works with entrepreneurs and small businesses of all types to help with business startup:

  • Successfully plan and startup
  • Identify available facilities and land
  • Bridge commercial financial needs
  • Provide demographic and statistical information

Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links below to learn more.

Step 1

Click HERE to Write a Business Plan

Use these tools and resources to create a business plan. This written guide will help you map out how you will start and run your business successfully.

Step 2

Click HERE to Choose a Business Location

Get advice on how to select a customer-friendly location and comply with zoning laws.

Step 3

Click HERE to Finance Your Business

Financial assistance to help get you started.

Step 4

To Determine the Legal Structure of Your Business Click HERE

Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative.

Step 5

Click HERE to Register a Business Name

(“Doing Business As”) Register your business name with the State of MN.

Step 6

Get a Tax Identification Number Click HERE

Learn which tax identification number you’ll need to obtain from the IRS and your state revenue agency.

Step 7

Register for State and Local Taxes HERE

Register with the State of MN to obtain a tax identification number, workers’ compensation, unemployment and disability insurance.

Step 8

Obtain Business Licenses and Permits Click HERE

Get a list of federal, state and local licenses and permits required for your business.

Forms & Filings

When starting a new business, the Minnesota and Federal Government require that you complete a number of forms and filings for the purposes of business existence recognition, employer identification, sales and use tax collection, and business income tax collection. Depending upon the specific type of business being formed, not all forms/filings may apply to you or additional forms and filings may be required.

These services are completely confidential and provided free of charge to the businesses and residents of Douglas County, MN. In addition, a variety of small business training opportunities are presented by the AAEDC and its partner organizations to provide access to regional experts and training for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Training program participation normally requires a minimal attendance fee.

To learn more about the benefits of starting and growing your business in the Alexandria area, available land and buildings, business financial assistance and incentives, upcoming entrepreneur and small business training opportunities, or for more detailed information on assistance programs and services offered by the AAEDC and our partner organizations, contact the AAEDC at, (320) 763-4545.