Economic Development Authority

Evaluating a Business Opportunity: Before investing in a potential business opportunity, successful entrepreneurs, franchisees, and business purchasers must evaluate the potential success of the business venture. The internet, your local library, state/federal offices, local governments, white papers, research material, etc. are excellent resources to tap into when evaluating a business opportunity. Personal interviews can add further dimension to your evaluation.

The Small Business Administration provides the following resources and advice to help you evaluate potential business ventures:

  • Find a Mentor
  • Finance Start-Up
  • Buy a Business
  • Buy a Franchise
  • Name Your Business
  • Protect Your Ideas
  • Get Licenses and Permits
  • Pick a Location
  • Lease Equipment


Business Organization: Before going into business you will need to decide why type of business organization is best for you. A myriad of tax and non-tax factors will likely influence your choice of business organization. Types of business organizations include: sole proprietorship, partnership (general or limited liability), corporation (C or S), professional organizations, cooperative associations, and business trusts. Legal, tax, and accounting professionals can provide valuable insight and information to you when choosing a business organization. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has published "A Guide to Starting a Business" which is an excellent source of initial information regarding business organizations. The SBA also has valuable information and resources on Choosing a Business Structure.

Creating a Business Plan: Your business plan is your road map to a successful business venture. Business plans can be required to secure outside funding and credit from suppliers. In addition, an effective business plan provides for the operational and financial management and marketing of your business. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is an excellent source of information when creating your business plan. Plan background and templates are available at the SBA's website.

Licenses and Permits - international, federal, and state: Most business ventures are required to secure licenses and/or permit to operate. Such licenses or permits can be required under international, federal, state, or local rules. The SBA provides an excellent resource for review of potentially applicable international and federal regulations. In addition, you can find information regarding applicable state regulations by business type or product offered at the state website.

Business Licenses and Permits - City of Richmond: Some types of businesses or retailers require a license/permit from the City of Richmond. Information regarding business licenses or permits for required by the City of Richmond by calling 320-597-2075.

Zoning Permit/Site Plan Review: All business establishments are subject to local land use (i.e. zoning) regulations. Please contact the City Administrator at Richmond City Hall for more information. 

  • Conditional Use Permit: If a proposed business classified as a 'conditional use' within the applicable zoning classification Conditional Use Permit (CUP) must be issued. An CUP requires a public hearing and notification of adjacent property owners.
  • Home Occupations: Businesses being operated out of home offices, homes, garages, and/or accessory structures may require a permit. Additional information is available by contacting the City Administrator at Richmond City Hall.
  • Site Plan Approval: Nearly all business establishments need to have a site plan approved. This process reviews how the applicable structure(s) will be placed on a parcel and related issues, including but not limited to signage, off-street parking, stormwater management, and landscaping. Please contact City Administrator for additional information on the site plan process.
  • Building Permit: The City of Richmond has adopted the State Building Code and several supplemental codes. The result in a need for all persons contemplating construction, reconstruction, repair, enhancement, etc. to file for a building permit. Once a building permit is issued, the project can begin. Inspections will be conducted as defined in the permit culminating with the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. Please contact City Hall at 320-597-2075 or Building Official.

For assistance in determining what licenses, permits, reviews, etc. you will need to operate a business in Richmond please contact City Hall at 320-597-2075.

Find a Richmond Site for Your Business at our new Richmond Business Park!

Technical Information/Financial Assistance for Business Owners: Technical and Financial Resources Available to Businesses is available here.

Why choose to do business in Richmond? We offer a favorable business climate, access to a skilled workforce, and our quality of life.  

Why choose to do business in Minnesota? Here are the first ten reasons!