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Get a DBA Name for Your Mississippi Business Today

Are you a business owner in the state of Mississippi? If you’re looking for information on how to apply for a “doing business as” (DBA) name, we’ve got you covered. This guide is a comprehensive resource to help you understand DBA names, including why you might need one, how to register, and how to maintain it.

Mississippi DBA

A DBA name allows businesses to operate under a different name other than their legal business names. Read on to find out why it’s highly recommended that you register your DBA name even though it’s optional in the state of Mississippi.

What is a Mississippi “doing business as” (DBA) name?

To put it simply, a DBA name is an alias for a business. It does not form another business entity, nor does it affect how a business is taxed. But it allows business owners to create and register an assumed name for their businesses. A DBA name also does not replace the name of the business; instead, it acts as an additional name for it.

In Mississippi, a DBA name is referred to as a “fictitious name.” Unlike other states, Mississippi does not legally require businesses to register their DBA names. So, why should you voluntarily register your DBA name? Here are some reasons outlined in the Mississippi Fictitious Business Name Registration Act:

  • A DBA registration can serve as a notice to other businesses that the name is already in use. Generally, business owners want to avoid using a similar name for their business because it’s not good branding practice and can confuse customers.
  • A DBA registration allows owners to open a business bank account under the DBA name. It also complies with banks’ lending guidelines. Some banks require businesses to show their DBA name registration before applying for a loan to prevent fraudulent activities. 

Why would a business use a fictitious name? There are two categories of businesses that primarily use DBA names:

  • Sole proprietorships and partnerships: For sole proprietorships and partnerships, the name of the business is the legal name of the owners or partners. They use DBA names to have some privacy since it can replace the use of their legal names.
  • Corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs): DBA names enable corporations and LLCs to drop the entity designation, such as “Corp.” and LLC,” and establish a shorter, catchier version of their business names. 

Other benefits and advantages of registering a DBA name include: 

  • It gives businesses the ability to choose a name that resonates with customers: Business owners use a DBA name to promote branding. For example, Harry Smith and Ryan Murphy are two friends who want to start a moving business together. If they use their legal names as their business name, customers will have a difficult time understanding what they do or offer. But if they use a DBA name and advertise as “Moving Men,” customers will know what they offer right away and if their services are needed.
  • It protects the privacy of business owners: This benefits sole proprietors and partnerships specifically because, without a DBA name, their business name is their actual names. A DBA name allows them to use a different business name.
  • Helps owners open a business bank account: All businesses need to achieve a separation between the owners and business for legal and tax purposes. This is easier to accomplish for formal business structures, such as corporations and LLCs, but not so much for sole proprietors and partnerships. The best way to do this is to have an account exclusively for the use of the business. A DBA name will allow sole proprietors and partnerships to open a business bank account under a business name.
  • It’s an affordable and easy way to grow your business: A DBA name is an affordable and easy way for corporations and LLCs to launch new product lines with dedicated and specific branding. If a hair salon owner operating an LLC starts a hair care product line but wants a name that is more appropriate than “Wendy’s Hair Salon,” assigning a DBA name for the product line will be easier than forming a separate LLC. 

How do I choose a Mississippi DBA name?

Choose a Mississippi fictitious name that represents your business and how you want your brand to be perceived. It’s also advisable to keep it simple and easy to remember. If you need to explain your name to customers, it is not serving you well.

Even though the state of Mississippi will not refuse the registration of a fictitious name similar to another already in use, it is in your best interest as a business owner to make sure your brand stands out. You don’t want to share a name with a business with a bad reputation or share a name with a business offering the same products or services. Both scenarios will not help you establish your brand and grow your business.

You should also be aware of Mississippi naming requirements, such as:

  • Your DBA name should not include any business entity designation or a suffix, such as “LLC,” “Corporation,” “Ltd,” “Professional Corporation,” etc., unless your business is an LLC, a corporation, partnership, etc.
  • Your DBA name should not contain any terms given to financial institutions, such as “Bank,” “Savings,” “Business Trust,” “Credit Union,” or other similar words.
  • Your DBA name should not contain words not permitted to be used in any business name without governmental consent unless you can provide written evidence of the consent.

The Secretary of State may allow registration of a DBA name that includes a prohibited term if, in the Secretary of State’s sole discretion, the term is not misleading.

Before you register your preferred DBA name, search Mississippi’s online business database to check if it’s already in use. The state does not offer exclusive rights to own or use a DBA name. Also, a fictitious name registration does not override trademarks, service marks, or other name rights previously acquired by other business owners with the same name.

So, having learned all that, if you want exclusive rights to your name, your next stop should be the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Use the database to confirm that no other company has trademarked the name you want to use.

Decoration

You might also want to verify that your desired name is available as a domain name. A domain name is the address of your website online. There are currently 4.13 billion internet users in the world, and a portion of this number represents your target market. Establish an online presence for a stronger brand and meet your customers where they are.


Even if you’re not ready to launch a website yet, register your domain name with ZenBusiness now. Secure and own your brand name before someone else does.

How do I register a Mississippi DBA name?

The state of Mississippi requires all business documents to be filed through its online filing system. Below is a breakdown of the steps you will encounter online. 

  1. You will need to set up an account on Mississippi’s online portal. Click on “Register” and fill in your information. You will need an email address to receive correspondence regarding your filings. It will also be used as your username on your account. Once your account is created, you will receive a temporary password that you can reset. 
  2. To file business documents, log in with your username and password. On the “Business Filings” page, select “Register a Fictitious Business Name.” The system will take you to the document page. Fill out the required fields marked with asterisks.
  3. You’ll need the following information: the DBA name to be registered, the name(s) and address(es) of the owner(s), every location where your business will be operating, your NAICS code, and your Mississippi business identification number (for corporations and LLCs). A NAICS code is a six-digit number that describes business types. You can easily request this code on the document while filling it out. Choose the code that most closely matches your business activity. The NAICS code lets the public and other businesses know what products or services you offer. The system will also check the information as you input it. If there are errors, it will mark them for you to correct. 
  4. After filling out the form and making sure everything is correct, you can pay the filing fee of $25 and submit electronically. All major credit cards are accepted for payments. You can also pay through eChecks or an ACH account. If you are not ready to file your document, the system will save it, and you can finish at a later date.
  5. After your payment is processed, you will receive a confirmation email. If your application can be auto-approved, the email you’ll receive will contain a link to the filed document with a copy of the payment invoice. If your application needs to be reviewed by the office of the Secretary of State, you will receive an email when a decision is made. 

You can find more tutorials on how to navigate the online filing system here.

How do I manage ongoing DBA name compliance in Mississippi?

The state of Mississippi does not have publication requirements for DBA name registration, which means you can start using your fictitious name as soon as you receive approval. But to be able to continue using your DBA name, you still need to adhere to requirements, such as:

  • Renewal of a Fictitious Name Registration: Your DBA name expires on the 31st of December on the fifth anniversary of the registration. If you want to continue using the DBA name for your business, you can renew your registration beginning from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of the expiration year. The renewal fee is $25, and you can easily file online
  • Fictitious Business Name Amendment: You are required to file an amendment within 30 days of any changes in your business that could impact your DBA name registration. The filing fee for each amendment is $25. You can submit an amendment by logging into your Mississippi business account. The form you’ll need to fill out will be under “File an Amendment on an Existing Business.”
  • Withdrawal of Fictitious Business Name: You can withdraw your DBA name registration at any time for a filing fee of $25.

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More Mississippi DBA FAQs

How much does it cost to register a Mississippi DBA name?

The cost of DBA name registration in Mississippi is $25. And since the validity period of your DBA name is five years, you’ll have to renew it every five years for $25 (or any amount prescribed by the office of the Secretary of State at the time).

You are also required to file amendments if you make changes to your business structure that voids any information on your DBA name registration. The filing fee for each amendment is $25, as well.

What is the processing time to register a Mississippi DBA?

The state of Mississippi requires all business documents to be submitted through the online filing system. And since it’s all done digitally, your information is validated as you type. The errors will also be marked, and you can make corrections as you fill out the document. The system can auto-approve applications, which means you should receive an email notification the same day or maybe even within minutes of your submission. 

To make the process faster, ensure you double-check all the information provided. Do your due diligence and make sure your DBA name does not contain prohibited and misleading words. 

Do I need a DBA name for my Mississippi business?

If you are not planning to use a different name other than your legal business name, then no, you don’t have to register a DBA name. If you’re a sole proprietor or a partnership, your business name would be your legal name. For LLCs and corporations, their legal business names are recorded in their respective Articles of Organization and Articles of Incorporation.

However, DBA names can sometimes be necessary, such as if you’re a sole proprietor or a partnership needing a business bank account. DBA name registration authorizes you to open an account under your fictitious name without the need to form an LLC or corporation. LLCs and corporations use DBA names, as well, to drop the entity designation or launch new product lines.

If I register a DBA name in Mississippi, can another business use the same name?

Yes, the state of Mississippi does not refuse a DBA name registration on the basis that it’s already in use. So, there could be multiple businesses operating under similar DBA names. If you want to make sure you are the only one doing business under your name, you should consider getting it trademarked. It is the most effective way to protect your brand.

Can a business in Mississippi have multiple DBA names?

Yes, Mississippi allows businesses to have multiple DBA names. LLCs and corporations usually utilize DBA names to create distinct brands for separate divisions or product lines. For example, a flower shop owner might want to register another DBA name for their new line of accessories. Because it may confuse customers to market the accessories as “Ashley’s Flower Arrangements,” a DBA name that is more descriptive, such as “Ashley’s Jewelry,” will be a better choice for branding.

Is a DBA name the same thing as a fictitious business name in Mississippi?

Yes, a DBA name is the same as a fictitious business name in Mississippi. The other terms used for DBA names are “trade names” and “assumed names.”

Do I need a DBA name in Mississippi if I use my own name for a sole proprietorship?

No, if you plan on using your own name to conduct business as a sole proprietor, you don’t need a DBA name.

Will using a DBA name affect how my business is taxed in Mississippi?

A DBA name does not create a separate business entity. It won’t affect how your business is taxed at all levels: local, state, or federal. If you haven’t established any formal business structure, such as an LLC or a corporation, you will be taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership.

Are you in need of additional guidance on business formation in Mississippi? Contact ZenBusiness today. We can help you launch your own business faster. Our experts in business formation and compliance can take the stress out of running and growing your Mississippi small business.

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Most Popular States to Get a DBA Name

When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for filing a DBA.

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Florida

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