The Department of Safety and Inspections (DSI) staff can assist with opening, operating, and expanding a business in the City of Saint Paul. We are here to work with all owners and operators to help you achieve your business goals.

The Central Certification (CERT) program is a small business certification program recognized by Ramsey County, Hennepin County, the City of Minneapolis, and the City of Saint Paul, which serves as the program's point of contact. The program certifies Minority-owned Business Enterprises (MBEs), small Women-owned Business Enterprises (WBEs), and Emerging Small Business Enterprises (ESBEs). Questions? Email or call 651-266-8966.

DSI Announces Improved Business License Application Process

City creates an expedited and equitable process that starts with the community

The City of Saint Paul announces an improvement to its Class N Business License application process to make the process timelier and more equitable for residents and businesses. This effort is to make licensing more user-friendly for staff and community members as well as highlight the city’s priority of “Open for Business.”

This new process reflects business owners' concerns about the length of time it takes to obtain certain business licenses, as well as the community's interest in being involved earlier in business licensing conversations. A stakeholder workgroup reaffirmed these points and worked with the city to develop a better application process for Class N Business Licenses.

Businesses requiring a Class N License include alcohol, auto-related, entertainment, health club, massage center, gambling location, parking ramp, tobacco, and rental hall. Process takes effect December 19, 2022.

“The city’s renewed commitment to customer service guided our work with these business-friendly and neighbor-friendly revisions,” said Angie Wiese, director of the Department of Safety and Inspections. “These changes reduce the wait time for businesses and require notification to the District Council, helping streamline the process while including important checkpoints. These modifications also limit bias that exists in the current process. I thank the stakeholder workgroup for reviewing concerns with the status quo and issuing recommendations to the city.”

“We need to make it easier for entrepreneurs and local business owners to bring vitality to our neighborhoods,” said Saint Paul City Councilmember Rebecca Noecker, Ward 2. “I’m thrilled that these changes will do just that.”

“As Chair of the City of Saint Paul’s Business Review Council, I commend the city for fostering a more business-friendly environment with these much-needed Class N Licensing changes,” said Tonya Bauer, Director of Strategic Development for the Saint Paul Port Authority. “Formal process modifications such as this are a testament to the city’s dedication to cultivating positive economic development opportunities and truly being ‘Open for Business’.”

 “We are very appreciative of Councilmember Noecker’s leadership on this initiative to make our city more business-friendly,” said B Kyle, President & CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.

Key changes to the Class N License process include:

  • Elimination of petition requirements for Class N Licenses.

  • Requires Class N License applicants to provide District Councils with their business proposal prior to submitting their application to the city.

  • Reduces the overall Class N License application review process by approximately 30 days.

  • Provides more user-friendly ordinance language.

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Last Edited: June 14, 2023