- Step 1. Naming Your Mississippi LLC
- Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
- Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
- Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
- Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
- Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
- Mississippi LLC Resources
- Mississippi LLC FAQs
Step 1. Naming Your Mississippi LLC
One of the most important steps to take when starting an LLC is to choose a name that fits your business and is unique. There are several state naming rules that you also need to follow.
Legally Required Designation
To adhere to Mississippi LLC regulations, your chosen name must contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:
If you so choose, you can include the names of one (or more) of your LLC’s members or managers.
To ensure the name you choose is unique, you can perform a search of names through the Mississippi Secretary of State’s business database. If a name you like is available, you can file a Name Reservation with the Secretary of State’s office. This document will hold your chosen name for up to 180 days before LLC establishment. It costs $25 to file and must be done online.
Additionally, you may want to perform a search of available domain names while looking for your LLC. Regardless of when you want to set up a business website, it can be helpful to purchase a matching domain name and avoid any stress about finding one in the future.
When choosing an LLC name, keep in mind that you cannot include words that confuse your business with a government entity. This includes “IRS,” “Treasury,” or “State Department.”
You should also be aware that using words such as “bank,” “attorney,” or “chiropractor” may require the presence of a properly licensed individual in your LLC and filing separate paperwork. Mississippi does allow for the formation of professional LLCs, so if you want to go this route, you need to check out specific information for professional LLCs and ensure that you meet all state licensure requirements.
Using a Fictitious Name
Mississippi does allow LLCs operating in the state to use a fictitious or DBA (doing business as) name for their business. Having an assumed name means you continue using your legally registered LLC name on all official documents, but a different registered name when interacting with the public. This can be a great choice for a business owner who wants to market their LLC a specific way or maintain an extra level of privacy with their business.
If you want to use a DBA name in Mississippi, you can simply start using it for your business. You may choose to file a registration for the fictitious name with the Secretary of State’s office, but this is not necessary unless you want to alert others to the use of your name. There is a $25 filing fee for this form, and it must be completed online.
Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
Every LLC operating in Mississippi is required to appoint a registered agent for their business. Your LLC’s registered agent is responsible for receiving all legal documents, government communications, and tax documents; they essentially act as a contact point between your business and state or federal agencies. They are also the responsible party that is contacted in the event of a lawsuit against your LLC.
You can appoint any Mississippi resident or a business authorized to conduct operations in the state as your registered agent. As long as your appointee has a valid Mississippi street address and is available during regular business hours, they are eligible to be your agent.
Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
To officially establish your LLC in Mississippi, you need to file a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State’s office. This document must include essential information about your business that the state can keep on file:
- Your LLC’s name
- Your LLC’s email address
- Your LLC’s effective date – either immediately or up to 90 days in the future
- The NAICS code for your LLC’s business – you can look up this code using the keyword search on the United States Census Bureau website to find the correct code for your LLC
- Your LLC’s registered agent’s name and address
- The signature of your LLC’s manager, a member, or the organizer
You must file your Certificate of Formation online using the Mississippi business filings system. To access this system, create an account and select the option to file for a new business. Follow the instructions and input all your information. Upon submittal, you will be prompted to pay the $50 filing fee for the Certificate of Formation.
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
Mississippi does not require LLCs to create or file an operating agreement, but you may want to consider drafting one anyway. An effective operating agreement sets clear guidelines for how your LLC is managed, the rights that members or managers have, and what to do if your LLC dissolves or experiences a lawsuit.
If you choose not to create an LLC operating agreement, Mississippi LLC law will dictate how your LLC is to be managed in the event of dissolution, conflict, or lawsuit. This may not be in your best interest, so creating an operating agreement is a good idea to protect yourself and your assets.
For help creating an operating agreement, you can check out a template online. Make sure to change all applicable areas to match what you have decided for your business and stay within Mississippi LLC legal requirements. You can always consult with a business advisor or attorney to make this process easier.
Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
Once your Certificate of Formation is processed and your LLC is officially established in Mississippi, you need to apply for a Tax ID number, also known as an EIN (Employer Identification Number), through the IRS. Any LLC that has more than one member — or for any single-member LLC that wants to hire employees or chooses to be taxed as a corporation — is required to apply for an EIN.
Your EIN is used to identify your business to the IRS on all tax documents and necessary government filings; the number acts as a social security number for your LLC. If you want to hire employees, file federal taxes, open business bank or credit accounts, or apply for business funding, you need an EIN.
It is free to apply for your EIN with the IRS, and you can file the application online or by mailing it in. Keep in mind that if you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, you must file for your EIN through the mail.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for your EIN is online; you will receive your number once your application is completed. Visit the IRS website to apply for your EIN for free.
You will need to fill out this form when applying for your LLC by mail. If you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, leave section 7b blank. Mail the completed form to the address below. You can follow up on any questions with the IRS at (267) 941-1099.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
There are several tasks you need to keep up with on a regular basis to ensure your LLC stays running without serious issues.
File Annual Reports
All LLCs operating in Mississippi must file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. Each calendar year, the report is due between January 1st and April 15th. The annual report must be filed online, and there is no fee for domestic LLCs to file.
You need your business’s ID number to file the report, however. This number can be found on the confirmation documents from your Certificate of Formation or by performing a search of your business name on the Secretary of State’s website.
Separate Your Business Finances
Mississippi does not require LLCs to open separate business bank accounts, but you may want to consider doing so anyway. A business credit or debit account can keep your LLC’s finances separate from personal ones, officially establishing the LLC as an independently operating business. This is something that can help protect your assets in the case of a lawsuit against your business.
You most likely need to show your Articles of Organization, operating agreement, EIN, or other LLC documents to open a bank account for your LLC. Compare all your options before deciding which bank account to open, as banks will have varying minimum required balances or credit spending limits; you want to be sure that you select what is best for your LLC’s needs.
Keep Up With Federal and State Taxes
While running your business, it is essential to keep up with federal and state taxes. This will help you avoid major tax penalties or fines and ensure your business stays operating smoothly.
Federal Tax Requirements
There are several tax structures you can choose from to use in your LLC that may meet different company needs; each structure comes with its own unique type of federal taxation. This article can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the differences between each type and help you decide which is best for you.
In general, most LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships or partnerships. This means you will be expected to file Schedule C along with your individual income tax return to declare any income that you receive through your LLC. When using this tax structure, keep in mind that you most likely need to pay self-employment tax (at a rate of 15.3%) in addition to any income tax. You may also need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid IRS fines; the IRS website gives more details on this.
If you want, you can choose to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, like an S Corporation or a C Corporation. You need to fill out IRS Form 8832 and IRS Form 2553 to declare this. After these forms are processed, your LLC will be treated as a corporation and expected to file a separate corporate tax return with the IRS.
Mississippi Business Taxes
There is no general business tax for LLCs in Mississippi, but your LLC may be liable for paying additional state taxes, depending on the tax structure you have set up. If your LLC is taxed as a sole-proprietorship or partnership (these are pass-through entities), then you must report your business income on your individual state income tax return each year.
For LLCs taxed as corporations, such as S or C corporations, you are likely liable to pay Mississippi’s corporate income and franchise tax. More information on this tax can be found through the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s website.
Sales and Use Taxes
If your LLC sells goods or services, you most likely need to register for and pay sales and use taxes in the state. The Mississippi Department of Revenue oversees this tax; more information can be found here.
State Employer Taxes
For LLCs with employees, you need to register for withholding and unemployment insurance taxes. Remember that these also likely need to be paid for on a federal level in addition to the state tax.
The Mississippi Department of Revenue handles withholding tax, and you can find more information about this here. Unemployment insurance tax is registered for and paid through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security; more information can be found here.
Acquire Necessary Permits and Licenses
Mississippi does not have a general business license requirement for LLCs, but you may be required to obtain permits or licenses on a local level. You can check with the County Clerk’s Office in the area your LLC is located to be sure you are meeting all licensing requirements.
For professional licensing, you may need to meet certain state and national requirements to offer services through your LLC. You can find more information about professional licensing in Mississippi here. You may also want to register for free business counseling through the Mississippi Small Business Development Center to ensure you are meeting all permit and licensure requirements.
On a federal level, you may be required to obtain certain permits and licenses for your LLC, depending mostly on the type of business you run and the services you offer. For help determining if you need to meet additional federal licensure requirements, you can use the directory on the US Small Business Administration’s website.
Mississippi LLC Resources
You can check out the list of resources below to assist you throughout every step of the Mississippi LLC establishment process.
- Available LLC name search
- LLC name reservation
- Available domain name search
- Register a fictitious name
- NAICS code search
- Certificate of Formation online file
- Operating Agreement template
- IRS EIN online application
- Annual Report filing
- Mississippi Department of Revenue
- Mississippi Department of Employment Security
- Mississippi professional licensing information
- Mississippi Small Business Development Center
- S. Small Business Administration
Mississippi LLC FAQs
These frequently asked questions below can clear up any remaining worries or concerns about starting your LLC in Mississippi.
In Mississippi, it will cost $50 to file your Certificate of Formation, $25 to reserve an LLC name, and $25 to register a DBA name in the state.
The cheapest way to start your LLC in Mississippi is to file your Certificate of Formation without first reserving an LLC name or choosing to register a DBA name for your business. Doing it this way will only cost $50 to get your LLC established.
Once your Certificate of Formation is filed in Mississippi, it takes 1 to 2 business days to process, depending on the information in your form and how busy the Secretary of State’s office is.
How much tax your LLC pays depends on the individual tax structure you have set up. In addition to federal taxes, you may also be liable to pay state income tax, corporate franchise taxes, sales and use taxes, or Mississippi employer taxes. Make sure to consult with a financial advisor or a professional accountant if you have questions about your overall tax burden — both federal and state level.
In Mississippi, your LLC must file state reports on an annual basis. The report must be filed online between January 1st and April 15th each year. There is no filing fee if you are filing as a domestic LLC.
If you are finished conducting operations under your LLC in Mississippi, you need to file a Dissolution with the Secretary of State’s office. You also need to consult with any operating agreement or internal documentation you have and proceed down the agreed-upon steps for closing your LLC.