What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Minnesota business filings down in 2013, up over time

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: January 8, 2014 - 5:58 PM

People filed papers for 58,260 new Minnesota businesses in 2013, the third-highest annual total in history and a 4 percent decline from last year, the Secretary of State’s office reported Tuesday.

“This is a positive signal of Minnesota’s continued economic growth and employment opportunities,” Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said. “Our state has a healthy environment for business and we hope to see this growth continue in 2014.”

Minnesota’s 2013 business filings represent a 17.5 percent increase from 10 years ago, Ritchie’s office said.

Business filings are tricky as an economic indicator. When some 63,338 entrepreneurs started businesses in Minnesota in 2009, it was the highest total ever. It was also the bottom of the recession.

But sentiment among company leaders is improving in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, according to recent data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Already-established manufacturers and construction firms who spoke to the Fed in December most often said they expect some growth in sales and hiring in 2014. Overall, 75 percent of the 321 business leaders surveyed in the Fed’s six-state region were optimistic about their local economy, a clear improvement over a year ago, when only about 55 percent were optimistic.

Optimism for business leaders is at a seven year high from Montana to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Fed reported. Four in five business leaders from greater Minnesota professes an optimistic outlook. Businesses are cheerier to the west in the Dakotas and Montana, and generally more pessimistic to the east in northern Wisconsin.

Aside from running the state’s election system, a major function of Ritchie’s office is reviewing and approving legal filings for companies and nonprofits doing business in Minnesota. That's why his office releases the business filings stats.

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