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    Subdivision 1. Requirement. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person
shall conduct within this state a collection agency or engage within this state in the business of
collecting claims for others as defined in sections 332.31 to 332.45, without having first applied
for and obtained a collection agency license. A person acting under the authority of a collection
agency, as a collector, must first register with the commissioner under this section. A registered
collector may use one additional assumed name only if the assumed name is registered with
and approved by the commissioner.
    Subd. 2. Penalty. A person who carries on business as a collection agency without
first having obtained a license or acts as a collector without first having registered with the
commissioner pursuant to sections 332.31 to 332.45, or who carries on this business after the
revocation, suspension, or expiration of a license or registration is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    Subd. 3. Term. Licenses issued or renewed and registrations received by the commissioner
of commerce under sections 332.31 to 332.45 shall expire on June 30. Each collection agency
license shall plainly state the name and business address of the licensee, and shall be posted in
a conspicuous place in the office where the business is transacted. The fee for each collection
agency license is $500, and renewal is $400. The fee for each collector registration and renewal is
$10. A collection agency licensee who desires to carry on business in more than one place shall
procure a license for each place where the business is to be conducted.
    Subd. 4. Investigations. The commissioner may require financial statements and references
of all applicants for a license or registration as the commissioner considers necessary. The
commissioner may make or cause to be made an independent investigation concerning the
applicant's reputation, integrity, competence, and net worth, at the expense of the applicant for the
initial investigation, not to exceed $500, and for that purpose may require a deposit against the
cost of the investigation as the commissioner considers adequate. The investigation may cover all
managerial personnel employed by or associated with the applicant.
    Subd. 5. Collection agency license issuance. Every application for a collection agency
license or renewal shall be acted upon promptly by the commissioner but in no event more than
45 days after receipt of the application. Each applicant may be issued a temporary license after
submitting a complete application which meets all requirements for licensure. This license shall
be effective until a permanent license is issued by the commissioner. If the application complies
in form and substance with sections 332.31 to 332.45 and the rules adopted under those sections
and the commissioner finds that the applicant is qualified under sections 332.31 to 332.45, the
commissioner shall issue a license immediately. If the application is not sufficient in form or
substance, the commissioner shall reject it and notify the applicant of the manner in which it is
deficient. The rejection is without prejudice to the filing of a new application. On finding that
the applicant is not qualified under sections 332.31 to 332.45, the commissioner shall reject the
application and shall give the applicant written notice of the rejection and the reasons for the
    Subd. 5a. Individual collector registration. A licensed collection agency, on behalf of
an individual collector, must register with the state all individuals in the collection agency's
employ who are performing the duties of a collector as defined in sections 332.31 to 332.45. The
collection agency must apply for an individual collection registration on a form provided by the
commissioner, or electronically when available. The collection agency shall verify on the form
that the applicant has confirmed that the applicant meets the requirements to perform the duties of
a collector as defined in sections 332.31 to 332.45. Upon submission of the form to the department,
the individual may begin to perform the duties of a collector and may continue to do so unless the
licensed collection agency is informed by the commissioner that the individual is ineligible.
    Subd. 6. Deposit of fees. All money received by the commissioner under this section shall be
deposited in the general fund of the state treasury.
    Subd. 7. Notice. A licensed collection agency or registered individual collector must give the
commissioner written notice of a change in personal name, company name, address, or ownership
not later than 15 days after the change occurs.
    Subd. 8. Screening process requirement. Each licensed collection agency must establish
procedures to follow when screening an individual collector applicant prior to submitting an
applicant to the commissioner for registration. The commissioner may review the procedures to
ensure the integrity of the screening process. Failure to establish these procedures is subject to
action under section 332.40.
History: 1969 c 399 s 1; 1969 c 766 s 3; 1971 c 23 s 22; 1971 c 576 s 1; 1973 c 720 s 54
subd 2; 1979 c 144 s 6; 1980 c 516 s 2; 1983 c 289 s 114 subd 1; 1984 c 655 art 1 s 92; 1985 c
248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 37 s 2; 1987 c 358 s 118,119; 1997 c 222 s 50,51; 2004 c 208 s 1