The sorting of newly synthesized membrane proteins to the cell surface is an important mechanism of cell polarity. To identify more of the molecular machinery involved, we investigated the function of the small GTPase Rab10 in polarized epithelial Madin–Darby canine kidney cells. We find that GFP-tagged Rab10 localizes primarily to the Golgi during early cell polarization. Expression of an activated Rab10 mutant inhibits biosynthetic transport from the Golgi and missorts basolateral cargo to the apical membrane. Depletion of Rab10 by RNA interference has only mild effects on biosynthetic transport and epithelial polarization, but simultaneous inhibition of Rab10 and Rab8a more strongly impairs basolateral sorting. These results indicate that Rab10 functions in trafficking from the Golgi at early stages of epithelial polarization, is involved in biosynthetic transport to the basolateral membrane and may co-operate with Rab8.