How to Start a Business in St. James

Are you wondering what it takes to start a business in St. James? This step-by-step guide is a great place to start.

Phase 1: Business Planning

1. Ask the experts! There are two FREE resources for your business planning needs. 

Both of the organizations listed below offer FREE business planning services. They can guide you through creating a business plan, seeking financing, and much more.

  • RCEF (Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation)
    • RCEF is contracted with Watonwan County to provide these free services to any business in Watonwan County.
    • Office at Watonwan County Court house- no limit to the number of hours per client.
    • No limitations on type of business or organization- can assist agricultural businesses, non-profits, municipalities, etc. 
    • Can assist with succession planning and are certified in Civil Mediation as well.
  • SBDC (Small Business Development Center)
    • Mankato, MN

2. Choose a Business Name at the MN Secretary of State website.

3. Choose a Business Structure- SBDC or RCEF can help you.

4. Create a Business Plan- SBDC or RCEF can help you.

5. Additional Resources

6. Financing- go to our financial resources page for more information. 

7. Find a Location at our Building & Land Inventory

8. Call us to check the zoning regulations: 507-375-1289

PHASE 2: Filing/Documents

9. Business Filing, State of Minnesota

10. Apply for Building Permits or Licenses if needed

11. Taxes

PHASE 3: Plug in to Resources and Community

12. Consider membership with the St. James Area Chamber of Commerce

13. Stay informed by signing up for our E-Newsletter

14. Sign up for the SBDC Newsletter

15. Check out our community website: Discover St. James. There you can find:


Contact us if you have questions at 507-375-1289.