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 post, you’ll learn how to form 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.
7 steps to form an LLC in Mississippi
- Step 1: Choose a business name for your Mississippi LLC
- Step 2: Designate a registered agent
- Step 3: File the Mississippi LLC articles of organization
- Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS
- Step 5: Register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue and Employment Security
- Step 6: Prepare an LLC operating agreement
- Step 7: Open a Mississippi business bank account
Step 1: Choose a business name for your Mississippi 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.
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.
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: Designate 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 alternative is to hire a 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
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.
Step 4: Obtain 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.
Step 5: Register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue and Employment Security
In addition to federal tax registration, 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 will have employees, you’ll need to register with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security for unemployment insurance. This registration can be done through the Mississippi Department of Employment Security website.
Step 6: Prepare 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 7: Open a Mississippi business bank account
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 a legal requirement. 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.
Mississippi has a host of attractive small business banking options:
- 1st Mississippi Federal Credit Union has free checking accounts for businesses
- Peoples Bank – Mississippi offers multiple business services and account choices, including free options
- Trustmark Bank also has free business checking accounts along with low-fee credit cards
- Regions Bank offers free checking accounts, along with company credit cards, payroll services, and more
Mississippi LLC taxes, costs, and fees
On a federal level, an LLC is viewed as a “disregarded entity.”
Unlike corporations, LLCs are not subject to corporate income taxes by default. Instead, the member(s) must report business income on personal tax returns and pay applicable taxes.
On a state level, Mississippi authorities also collect:
- Graduate personal income tax from residents
- Sales and use taxes from eligible businesses
- State withholding taxes from local employees
Soundly, LLCs in Mississippi are not required to pay the state’s franchise tax — unless your LLC reports federal taxes as an S-corporation or C-corporation.
When it comes to annual LLC costs, Mississippi LLCs don’t have to pay any maintenance or renewal fees.
However, you’re still required to file annual reports to the Secretary of State’s office.
The annual report for your LLC may be filed between the dates of January 1 and April 15 each year.
Mississippi business permits and licenses
Mississippi doesn’t require a general business license. But, depending on your type of business or the industry of your LLC, you may be required to obtain specific “specialist” licenses.
Regulated industries, such as many healthcare-related professions, cosmetic businesses, or therapy providers, require specific licensing.
Government-regulated specializations include, but are not limited to:
- Athletic trainers
- Speech therapists
- Respiratory care practitioners
- Medical radiation technicians
- Occupational therapists
- Tattoo operators
- And many others
Licensure for these specialist industries is handled through the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). License fees range from $75 to $150 for initial registration.
You can find more information regarding these types of licenses on the MSDH website.
Pros and cons of forming an LLC in Mississippi
You should consider both the advantages and disadvantages of any business formation when planning and making decisions.
Below is a quick overview of the main benefits and drawbacks of creating an LLC in Mississippi.
- Convenient, online company registration process
- No fees for filing annual reports
- No minimal annual franchise taxes for most LLCs
- Relatively low state sales tax
- Mississippi’s underdeveloped business infrastructure
- A smaller business market than some other states
- Franchise taxes apply to S-corps and C-corps
- Make sure your LLC name is available and meets all state naming requirements.
- Decide who should be appointed as your LLC’s registered agent.
- Mississippi LLC formation can cost as low as $50.
- An operating agreement is not required but is strongly advised.
- Know the details of how your LLC will be taxed and the licenses required.
Mississippi LLC FAQs
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about forming an LLC in Mississippi.