Security Guard Requirements in Minnesota

Minnesota security guards are under the jurisdiction of the State of Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services. Protective agent services encompass a variety of business, including those that provide guards, security personnel, and armored car personnel ( The professionals who run the security businesses, either as proprietors or ‘qualified representatives’, must hold state licensing.

Security agency employees are not licensed but must meet requirements set at the state level. Requirements are higher for employees who will be armed.

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Select a Minnesota Security Guard or Business Topic:

Background Check Requirement for Employees

New hires must clear criminal background checks; this requirement applies to security guards employed by proprietary businesses as well as those employed by protective service agencies.

Felonies are disqualifying. Certain other offenses are disqualifying; these are described in state statute (

Employees will hold conditional status until the results have been processed and sent to the employer. Conditional employees may receive training but will not begin protective duties.

The employee must have at least 12 hours of pre-assignment training; this is to be completed within 21 days of employment ( Required topics include the following:

  • Ethics
  • Communications
  • Security Overview
  • Assessment and emergency response
  • State statutes and administrative rules

The employee will be issued an identification card.

The Board has mandated that security agency employees receive continuing training.

Requirements for Armed Security Agency Employees

Training for armed guards will include the standard pre-assignment and continuing training as well as training in each of the following:

Firearms training Training with weapons other than firearms Alternatives to force Standards for weapons and equipment First aid

Firearms training must include legal limitations on use of force. Program elements are described in 7506.2300 of state administrative code (

The Board has provided a list of approved training providers (; it includes both initial and continuing training providers.

Requirements for Sole Proprietors and Qualified Representatives

A protective agent license may be issued to a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation. If the business is not a sole proprietor, there must be a qualified representative who serves as manager and supervisor. If the agency is a branch of an out-of-state business, there must be a Minnesota manager.

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The sole proprietor or qualified representative must meet experience requirements. Minnesota requires fully 6,000 hours of protective/ security employment. Service may have been provided under a licensed protective agent or licensed private detective. The individual may have been employed in a protective, security, or investigative role with a sheriff’s department, city police office, or investigative branch of the United States government. Other employment may be accepted if the Board finds it to be equivalent. In all cases, the licensing agency will expect the individual to have had experience with the following: security personnel supervision, security systems, and audits.

License holders, like employees, must meet training requirements.

Additional Licensing Requirements

Some requirements apply to all individuals who sign the application; this includes not only qualified representatives, Minnesota managers, and sole proprietors but (in the case of corporations) chief executive officers and chief financial officers. Each of these officials must have a background check. Each must provide five unrelated references who he or she been acquainted with for a minimum of five years; the Board will supply forms for this purpose.

The licensing agency requires protective agent applicants to hold $10,000 surety bonds. Additionally, they must either 1) carry insurance that meets Board requirements or 2) otherwise demonstrate financial ability to respond to liability. Insurance must cover general liability, personal injury, and completed operations. The licensing agency can instead accept a net worth statement or irrevocable letter of credit. The minimum amount will depend on the number of employees.

The Application Process

Directions can be downloaded from the website of the Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services. However, the application itself must be requested from the Board ( The Board will need to know whether the applicant is a sole proprietor, partnership, or corporation and whether the business will offer protective or investigative services. A $25 fee is to accompany the application request.

Applicants are invited to contact the Board with their questions.

Except in the case of sole proprietors, the application will have multiple signers. Each individual who signs will provide an employment and residence history. Each will supply a photograph and criminal history form as well as fingerprints and references.

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Qualified representatives/ Minnesota managers will provide experience documentation.

Licensing fees will vary. An individual will pay $800; a partnership, $1,600; a corporation, $1800. An applicant who is denied licensure will receive a partial refund.

Additional Information

Licensing information is available from the State of Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services ( Statutes can be accessed from the Board website ( Administrative rules are found in Chapter 7506 of state code ( The Board can be reached by telephone at (651) 793-2666 or by email at ‘mn.pdb at’.