How to Start an LLC in Mississippi

Written by Ryan Duffy – Attorney, updated on

Starting a new business always feels thrilling — you are about to build something new from scratch and make your mark in the chosen industry. Limited liability company (LLC) formation is one of the common routes entrepreneurs choose to establish new operations (or scale existing ones).

In this guide, you’ll learn how to start an LLC in Mississippi with a detailed explanation of all state requirements to be met and the necessary documents you’ll need to complete.

You’ll establish a strong foundation for your new business by following these steps.

Step 1: Choose a name for your LLC

Selecting a name for your business is the first step in forming an LLC.

The name you choose must:

  • Differ from the name of any other business structure registered in the state.
  • Include the words “Limited Liability Company” (or its abbreviation such as LLC, Ltd) in the title.

You can use the official Mississippi business name search tool on the Secretary of State (SOS) website to verify the availability of your prospective business name.

Choose a business name for your LLC

Name Reservations

If you found a brandable business name, you can prevent others from using it by placing a name reservation.

Complete the Name Reservations Filing form online and pay a $25 reservation fee to hold the name for 180 days.

MS name reservation filing

Trade Name

Similar to sole proprietors, LLCs have an option to do business under a name that is different from your LLC’s official legal name. This alternate name — called a “fictitious name,” a “trade name,” or a “DBA” (an abbreviation for “doing business as”) — has to be registered with the state.

To do so, complete the Fictitious Name Registration form online and pay a $25 fee.

Step 2: Choose a registered agent

Like every other state, Mississippi requires all LLCs to designate a registered agent.

The appointee will be in charge of handling business correspondence and receiving service of process for legal papers in the event of a lawsuit. Mississippi has a set of requirements for eligibility to serve as a registered agent:

  • The agent must be a Mississippi resident at least 18 years of age or a registered agent service provider that operates within the state.
  • The agent (either an individual or an organization) must have a physical address within the state of Mississippi (not a P.O. box) and be available during standard business hours.

In Mississippi, you can be your own registered agent as an individual LLC owner. But business owners can’t designate the formed LLC (as a business entity) to serve as a registered agent. The registered agent must be an individual, not an entity.

The alternative is to hire a third-party, commercial registered agent service. Doing so has its advantages as the name and address of the registered agent is a matter of public record, which may make some individuals wary of serving in the capacity due to the loss of privacy.

Typically, hiring a registered agent service in Mississippi costs $100-$150 per year.

Step 3: File the Mississippi LLC articles of organization and request a Certificate of Formation

The previous steps were the groundwork. Now comes the “heavy lifting.”

To officially establish a legal entity, you need to file the LLC Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office. This filing comes with a $50 state fee. The form can be filled out on paper and mailed in or completed online through the Secretary of State’s online filing system.

To complete the filing, you must provide the following information:

  • The name and address of your LLC
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The LLC’s effective date — this can either be the immediate date if you leave it blank, or a date of your choosing up to 90 days from the filing date
  • The NAICS code that corresponds to your LLC’s business type
  • The signature of an individual authorized to sign on behalf of the LLC (manager, member, or organizer)

The filing and approval process typically takes 3-5 business days for mailed-in forms — and faster for online submissions. MS SOS doesn’t provide any expedited services.

Once your filing has been approved, a best practice is to request a “Certificate of Formation” from the state of Mississippi. This document proves that your business exists and will be of assistance with various next steps as your business grows. This process can be completed by creating an account with the state and submitting a $25 payment.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

While creating an operating agreement is not legally required to form an LLC, it is strongly advised.

The operating agreement will delineate many of the key aspects of your LLC’s operation, such as:

  • The rights, obligations, and responsibilities of the LLC members
  • The overall business structure of your LLC
  • The rules and processes by which the LLC will be managed

If a comprehensive operating agreement is not in place, the management and operational structure of your LLC will be governed by Mississippi state law. This can be an issue should there be any legal disputes between members or third parties. The operating agreement is not officially filed with any state organization, but you should keep it internally with other legal documents of your LLC.

You can draft an operating agreement by consulting with a business lawyer or using a template from a legal website.

Step 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) for an LLC is an equivalent of a Social Security Number (SSN) for an individual taxpayer.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses EIN to identify the company for federal tax purposes and process LLC taxes filings (both for members and employees). You can obtain an EIN free of charge from the Internal Revenue Service by phone, fax, mailing the proper form, or simply by visiting the EIN Application page of the IRS website.

EIN application is required for multi-member LLCs and single-member LLCs with employees. If your LLC doesn’t have any employees or other members, you’re not required to obtain an EIN immediately.

Costs to set up an LLC in Mississippi

New Mexico is a cost-effective location to initiate a business. The established fee for forming an LLC in New Mexico is $50. Additional charges that a business owner could encounter include name reservation ($20), filing for a trademarked name ($50), and retaining a third-party commercial registered agent ($100/year). Notably, New Mexico refrains from imposing an annual filing fee, setting it apart as a cost differential in comparison to the majority of other states.

Last steps

Once you’ve completed all of the key steps previously mentioned, there are a few additional things you should consider doing. To maintain LLC protections, such as limited personal liability and personal asset protection, you need to open a separate bank account for your company.

Keeping your LLC’s finances separate from your personal finances is legally required. If you use your personal bank account for your LLC, you open yourself up to the possibility of a court finding you financially liable for any judgments against the LLC.

Additionally, you may also need to register with state government agencies. Registering your LLC with the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR) is necessary for state tax payments such as sales and use taxes. You can obtain your state ID number to report business taxes through the Mississippi Department of Revenue website

If your LLC has employees, you must register with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security for unemployment insurance. This registration can be done through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website.


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Last updated: Sep 2023
Ryan Duffy

Article by:

Ryan Duffy


Ryan Duffy is an attorney based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a litigator at heart, but also has experience with business law and incorporation, with a focus on small businesses. Ryan enjoys spending time with his family and going hiking in the North Carolina mountains.

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