Know the Law: Finding opportunities for women entrepreneurs

By: Mark Carver
February 1, 2018

According to a recent report from the Minnesota Legislative Office on the Economic Status of Women, there are over 150,000 businesses owned by women in Minnesota, which employ around 200,000 people and generate almost $25 billion in annual revenues. And there are some great opportunities out there to assist women who want to add their own business to those numbers.

The first step for any entrepreneur is to do your research and put a business plan together. Do you have a viable product? How can you bring it to market in a profitable way? One local and free resource is the Owatonna Area Business Development Center, formerly the Incubator. The OABDC can help you with your business plan and in a variety of other ways.

Mark Carver

You will then want to choose your business entity. There are a variety of entities to choose from including simple single-member LLCs (limited liability companies), multi-member LLCs, S-corporations, C-corporations, professional corporations and partnerships. There are specific legal and tax implications for each entity and you are strongly encouraged to seek the advice of an attorney and an accountant in choosing the specific entity that best suits your business. Don’t forget to look into any applicable licensing requirements as well. From there, most people will seek financing from a lending institution and engage in some form of marketing to get their new business off the ground.

For women, there are several opportunities that are not available to everyone. The Minnesota Department of Administration has a Targeted Group Small Business Procurement Program for women who both own and run their own businesses. This program can provide specific advantages for businesses that market their products or services to the state of Minnesota or that bid on state construction projects.

There are a variety of grants available to women entrepreneurs as well. can provide you with an exhaustive list of grants available to women business owners. Another resource for women entrepreneurs is the National Association of Women Business Owners – Minnesota. This association provides networking and mentorship resources for women business leaders in every stage of the business development cycle.

If this is the year you start your own business, I wish you the best of luck. In the words of one of the most successful business women ever, “Don’t worry about being successful, but work toward being significant, and the success will naturally follow.” – Oprah Winfrey

Attorney Mark Carver practices law with Einhaus, Mattison, Carver & Haberman, P.A., in downtown Owatonna.


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