Welcome to my guide on how to start an LLC in Mississippi. We will get into all the steps it will take to setup a Limited Liability Company in your home state but before jumping into it, I wanted to make you aware that it is possible to hit the ‘cheat code’ button and have a LLC formation service do this for you.
My recommendation is to go with Northwest Registered Agent. They will include the first year of a registered agent service for you and it’s a quick and easy process to make sure you’re following the right guidelines for the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office rules.
I also like to start with the best business ideas for Mississippi LLC owners who are looking for some motivation to spin up their own business entity in the state. The best business ideas for Mississippi are based on what Mississippi is known for which are:
- Start a Music Club Business
- Start a Band
- Start a Music Shop Business
- Start a Catfish Farming Business
- Start a Hot Tamale Business
See a theme in all this? Well Mississippi might be known as one of the poorest states but you will have a great time with the amazing blues culture and culture that the southern charm can bring so pick one of the business ideas above or get started with the Limited Liability Company you’re already thinking about starting.
Let’s get into the steps it will take to set something up as one of the many Mississippi LLCs that exist today.
Name Your Mississippi LLC
The first step is figuring out your business name. I always recommend trying to keep it as short as possible and if you’re going to conduct business in the state that you make sure you’ve checked the Mississippi Secretary of State’s search portal for what business name is available for you to use.
The search portal is here: https://corp.sos.ms.gov/corp/portal/c/page/corpbusinessidsearch/portal.aspx
Some of the Mississippi business name guidelines you’ll need to follow are:
The business name can’t be deceptively similar to another business that’s already incorporated in Mississippi
It needs to contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C., or Ltd. Liq. Co.)
It cannot contain words that could make someone think it’s a government entity or non-profit
The name of your LLC needs to be distinguishable from any other business names that are on file with the Mississippi SOS office. If the name you want is too similar, you won’t be able to use it and will have to try something else or use a DBA.
If you want to learn more about the business name guidelines, you can read this page on the Mississippi SOS website.
Once you’ve been able to do a search on the Mississippi Secretary of State’s site, you’ll want to make sure that business name is also available digitally. I always recommend going over to GoDaddy and working on finding the ‘.com’ or something as close as you can to that.
Your digital address is going to be just as important (if not more important) than a physical street address if you’re thinking about using the internet as a revenue website or if you’re looking to have existing businesses you work with go and upgrade there.
Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to make sure you have a registered agent setup for you to run your single member LLCs, sole proprietorship, Mississippi Limited Liability Company or whatever type of business structure you’re planning on.
Choose your registered agent service
A registered agent is someone who is responsible for receiving any important legal or tax documents on behalf of your LLC. The address of your registered agent will be public record and needs to be a street address in Mississippi (PO Boxes are not allowed). I generally recommend using a service like Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness who will for a small annual fee take care of this for you and give you some additional resources that can help you out.
You LLC’s registered agent will need to be a source that you can trust as a professional services group. If you’re going to be trying to act as your own registered agent services then you’re going to want to find a law firm or use Northwest to help you as your Mississippi registered agent. If you don’t do that, it’s going to be very difficult for you to follow local government regulations and the federal government agency like the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office will not be happy with your team.
Prepare and File Articles of Organization
The next step will be to actually prepare and file your Articles of Organization with the SOS. The state of Mississippi has a form that can help you do that which you can access here: https://www.sos.ms.gov/businessservices/Filings/Documents/Articles%20of%20Organization%20for%20LLC.pdf
The Articles of Organization will need to include:
- The LLC’s name and address
- The date when the Articles of Organization were signed
- The name, address, and signature of the LLC’s registered agent
- The organizers’ names and addresses
- Whether the LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
- The LLC’s duration (if it’s not going to be perpetual)
- The signatures of the organizers
- There is a filing fee of $50 that needs to be paid when you submit the Articles of Organization to the state.
You can mail in the Articles of Organization or hand deliver them, but I generally recommend using a service like Northwest Registered Agent or Incfile who can help you get your filing done quickly and correctly.
Create an Operating Agreement
The operating agreement is an internal document that outlines the LLC’s rules, regulations, and ownership structure. It’s not required by the state of Mississippi, but I always recommend creating one as it will help you avoid disputes down the road.
Create a Mississippi Operating Agreement
This part of the LLC formation process is my favorite. Why you ask!? Well because this operating agreement document is one of the most important pieces of your business. If you’re going to form an LLC with multiple members or you’re putting in personal assets into this business – you’re going to want a way to understand what happens when something challenging comes up. An operating agreement is that document that will help you keep track of business assets, tax structure (potentially) and if you have more than one member, you’ll be thanking me that you put this document together.
Typically an LLC operating agreement contains the following pieces of information:
- The names and contact information of the LLC’s members
- How much money or assets each member has invested in the business
- What percentage ownership stake each member has in the business
- How the LLC will be managed (by members or managers)
- What happens if a member wants to leave the LLC
- What happens if the LLC is dissolved
The operating agreement can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. If you’re the only member of the LLC, then it can be pretty straightforward. But if you have multiple members, I recommend working with an attorney to make sure that everything is laid out correctly.
That is it for your Mississippi LLC operating agreement and we’re ready to move on to making sure you’re setup with the right Employer Identification Number process.
Get an IRS Employer Identification Number
The final step in our LLC formation process is to obtain an EIN from the IRS.
An EIN is also known as a Taxpayer Identification Number and it’s essentially a social security number for your business. You need this number to open a business bank account, file your business taxes, and apply for business licenses and permits.
The process for getting an EIN is pretty simple and you can even do it online.
You’ll need to go to the Internal Revenue Service site to do it online which is here:
Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to conduct business and make sure you can collect sales tax, federal taxes, personal taxes (that may be from up-front investments) and track all your business debts and make sure you don’t have tax liabilities you may not be aware of.
Once you’ve gotten your EIN for your Limited Liability Company, we can move on and get your bank account setup.
Open A Business Bank Account
Alright – you have your EIN and you’re ready to setup your business entity bank account. I recommend you go to Lili.co where you can quickly get an account setup. It takes a matter of minutes vs. going into a bank and bringing all your Mississippi LLC documents.
You can do this all online and as long as you have your IRS Federal employer Identification Number you can start using Lili and the business tools associated to help you as new business owners will need help with this.
The other pieces of information you’ll need for a business bank account are:
- The name and address of your business
- The names of the people authorized to sign on behalf of the business
It’s pretty straight forward and from there you can go get a business credit card and really start to take off whether you decide to go find a credit union, local bank or just use Lili as I recommend.
Get Small Business Insurance
There will be different types of business insurance you’ll need but I recommend using commercialinsurance.net to help you get the appropriate quotes. Go there and they can help you figure this out.
Typically you’re going to need to consider:
- Liability Protection
- Workers Compensation Insurance
- Home-Based Business Insurance
- Business Interruption Coverage
- Product and Professional Liability
- Commercial Auto Insurance
Go get some help with this one because it’s much more complicated depending on your business structure and what the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office might want from your business.
Get Business Licenses
Once you’ve done all this you may also need to consider business licenses depending on the type of business entities you’ve setup.
In order to figure out what you’ll need, I recommend using this site called BizFilings.com which will help you based off your business location, business type and what you do to determine what licenses you might need.
This is the final step in terms of setting up everything for your LLC and from here you can start to focus on building out your business, marketing it and really growing it to the next level
Now that you know how to start an LLC in Mississippi, the next step is to put your business plan into action and get started on the path to success!
File an Annual Report
Every year, LLCs in Mississippi must file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. The report is due by April 1st and can be filed online or by mail. The filing fee is $50.
To file online, visit the Secretary of State’s website and login to your account. If you don’t have an account, you’ll need to create one.
To file by mail, download the annual report form from the Secretary of State’s website and send it, along with a check for the filing fee, to:
Mississippi Secretary of State
Jackson, MS 39205
Be sure to keep a copy of your annual report for your records.
Pay Annual Taxes
In addition to filing an annual report, LLCs in Mississippi must also pay an annual tax of $25 to the Secretary of State’s office. The tax is due by April 1st and can be paid online or by mail.To pay online, visit the Secretary of State’s website and login to your account
We’ve talked about:
- Getting your business name search through the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office
- Determining the right registered agent to use
- File Articles of Organization with the right Mississippi Department
- Building operating agreements that make sense for your business
- Getting your individual or business entity an EIN to operate correctly with the correct government agentcy
- Understand what you need to do with an annual report
- Get your taxes filed online (sales tax, federal tax, etc.)
- Have fun!
I’m excited to see what you create and hopefully I’ll see you at the next blues festival in Mississippi.
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Mississippi?
The filing fee for forming a limited liability company in Mississippi is $50.
How long does it take to start an LLC in Mississippi?
The process of starting an LLC in Mississippi generally takes about two weeks.