This page provides a brief summary of the City of Minneapolis business license requirements. It is intended to educate our business partners on some of the ways to protect your business from common license violations.
Tobacco Dealer’s License
Any business that offers tobacco, tobacco products or tobacco related devices to the public requires a license. New tobacco dealer’s licenses cannot be issued to any business in the C-1 Zoning District. License applications are available on our website: www.minneapolismn.gov/business-licensing
Tobacco Products or Tobacco Related Devices
A tobacco product or device is anything related with the use of tobacco. This includes: cigarettes, cigars, snuff, hookah tobacco (narghile, arghile, shisha, hubbel-bubble and goza), pipes, rolling papers, rolling machines, tobacco scales, electronic cigarettes, nicotine-based electronic-cigarettes, lobelia-based electronic cigarettes (such as the e-mystick), and products like nicotine-laced water, for example.
Tobacco Products Shops
Exclusive Tobacco Shops are businesses that derive more than ninety percent (90%) of gross revenue from tobacco products or devices and have an exterior entrance door.
- Sale of tobacco products or tobacco related devices to minors
All tobacco dealers licensed in the City of Minneapolis will be checked annually to ensure they are not providing tobacco products to minors. Penalties can be increased in extenuating circumstances.
1st Violation: Store Fine $200, Clerk Fine $50
2nd Violation: Store Fine $400, Clerk Fine $50
3rd Violation: Store Fine $800, Suspension of 30 days, Clerk Fine $50
4th Violation: Store Fine $1,600, Suspension of 1 year, Clerk Fine $50
- Self-service sales of tobacco products or devices
Tobacco products or devices cannot be placed in displays or sit on counters/shelves for the public to obtain themselves.
- Tobacco products or devices cannot be placed in displays or sit on counters/shelves for the public to obtain themselves.
- Free distribution or samples of tobacco products or devices
- Sale of single cigarettes
- Smoking on the premises limited to exclusive tobacco shops
- Sale of flavored tobacco is limited to exclusive tobacco shops
- Exclusive tobacco shops must prohibit the entry of persons under the age of 18
A minimum price of $2.60 per unit up to four units for cigar products after coupons and discounts have been applied is now required. This means that all cigar products be priced as follows:
One single cigar = at least $2.60 + sales tax
Two-pack or double pack= at least $5.20 + sales tax
Three-pack of cigars = at least $7.80 + sales tax
Four-pack of cigars = at least $10.40 + sales tax
Pack of Five or more cigars = at least $10.40 + sales tax
Child Safe Caps Required
“E-liquid,” “juice”, or “E-juice” must be sold in child-resistant packaging.
What Happens if You Are in Violation?
- In certain circumstances, administrative citations can be issued on the first violation.
- Expect a letter, telephone call or visit from a License Inspector describing the complaint or violation.
- Take this notice seriously. Call your Inspector for information or solutions.
- Failure to comply with violation orders may result in citations, fines, suspensions, and revocation of your license to operate.
A complete set of requirements may be found in the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances (MCO)
Questions? Give us a call: (612) 673-2080 or 311
For reasonable accommodations, or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf, or hard of hearing, can use a relay service to call 311 at (612) 673-3000.
TTY users can call (612) 673-2157 or (612) 673-2626.
Para asistencia (612) 673-2700. Yog xav tau kev pab hu (612) 637-2800. Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay (612) 673-3500.
Last updated Feb 27, 2019