Start a LLC in Mississippi

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LLC Mississippi Experts and 5 Steps to Your MS LLC

Are you ready to formalize your business by starting a limited liability company (LLC)? Due to the low cost of living and its open market, Mississippi may be the right state for your LLC.  

You’ll need to take specific steps to start an LLC in Mississippi. To enjoy the liability limitation and other benefits of a Mississippi LLC, you can follow these steps to form your LLC. 

Understanding the detailed laws for starting an LLC in Mississippi can feel like navigating the Mississippi River. That’s why we’re here to help guide you through the process of starting an LLC in Mississippi.

How to Start an LLC in Mississippi

Mississippi LLC Formation

To start an LLC in Mississippi, you’ll have to file a Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State. You’ll also have to select a registered agent for your LLC in Mississippi. A registered agent accepts legal notices on behalf of your LLC.

There are additional steps for starting an LLC in Mississippi after you file your Certificate of Formation. You may draft an operating agreement that will help govern your LLC. You’ll also need to obtain an Employee Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal and state tax purposes.

Start your Mississippi LLC Today!

LLC in MS in 5 Steps

We’ll show you how to get an LLC in Mississippi in five steps. We’ll also show you where you can use our services to avoid unnecessary headaches caused by bureaucratic red tape.

These instructions are for a domestic LLC in Mississippi, not a foreign LLC. An LLC formed in its owner’s home state is a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC is formed in another state. Foreign LLCs follow a different process to register in Mississippi. These instructions do not apply to a Mississippi Professional LLC (PLLC). If you’d like to start a PLLC in Mississippi, you’ll have to consult the Mississippi Secretary of State.

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Step 1: Name your Mississippi LLC

The first step is to select your Mississippi LLC’s name. You can pick any name that you think would suit your LLC so long as the name complies with Mississippi’s LLC naming requirements. 

You’ll have to have a name for your LLC ready when filing your registration documents. You should have one or two backup names just in case the name you’d like is unavailable.

Official Naming Requirements

You may have a great LLC name idea. However, your name must comply with Mississippi’s LLC naming requirements:

Unfortunately, if you do not comply with these name requirements for your LLC, Mississippi’s Secretary of State will reject your LLC application. 

Reserve a Business Name

You can reserve your Mississippi LLC business name with the Mississippi Secretary of State. This way, no other business can take your LLC name when you compile the information you’ll need to form your LLC. 

You can use our name reservation service to reserve your LLC name online. This secures your name for 180 days. 

Get a Domain Name

In addition to ensuring that your LLC name is available and complies with Mississippi’s requirements, you may also want to check if your prospective name has a matching domain name. Do your research on domain names when you are considering LLC names. If, for example, you have several prospective names, but one name has a matching domain name, you may want to select that LLC name.

Is your Mississippi LLC name available as a web domain?

You’ll want to determine if your prospective LLC name has a matching and available domain name. It’s much easier for clients to remember your website if you use a business name also available as a URL. You’ll want to check if matching social media handles are available.

You can search available domain names with our domain search tool. If the domain you’d like is available, you may want to purchase it immediately so you don’t lose it. We offer a domain name registration service for you to find and buy a domain name. Plus, you can create a business website and get domain name privacy from us.

Trademark Your Mississippi LLC’s Name

You’ll also want to ensure that your prospective name is not the same as someone else’s trademarked name. Infringing on a registered trademark can open the door to a lawsuit before starting your business.

You can search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office online search engine to see if the name you’d like has already been trademarked at the federal level. To check whether it’s been trademarked in Mississippi, you can consult the Mississippi Secretary of State’s trademark search page. If your name is available, you can trademark it at the state or federal level.

File for a DBA in Mississippi

Some businesses use “doing business as” or DBA names to branch out into other types of business. Mississippi calls these “fictitious business names.” If you’d like to use a name other than your LLC’s official name to do business in Mississippi, you may consider registering a DBA name. You can register your DBA or fictitious business name with the Mississippi Secretary of State online.

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Mississippi

Next, you’ll select a registered agent for your LLC in MS. Registered agents accept legal documents on behalf of LLCs in addition to notices from the Secretary of State. Mississippi law requires that all LLCs have a registered agent in the state. 

A registered agent is your LLC’s representative when someone is serving legal papers on your LLC, or the Secretary of State needs to contact your business. Thus, your registered agent must have a physical address within the state of Mississippi and be available to accept legal documents during regular business hours. They will then forward you whatever documents they receive on behalf of the LLC.

Who can be a Registered Agent for your LLC in Mississippi?

A registered agent can be a person or a Mississippi commercial entity specifically registered to accept service of process on behalf of businesses. A registered agent must have a physical address within the state of Mississippi. A P.O. box address is not acceptable. 

Whoever you select as your registered agent must consent to the appointment. You cannot surprise someone with this task.

What if the state can’t find my Mississippi registered agent? 

There are repercussions if the state can’t find your LLC’s registered agent. The most serious of these is that you could lose your LLC through revocation. This is why it’s essential to keep your registered agent information up-to-date with the state.

Can I act as my own Registered Agent for my LLC Mississippi?

Many small business owners wonder if they can act as their own registered agents. If you have a physical address in Mississippi and are available to accept legal documents during regular business hours, you technically can serve as your LLC’s registered agent. 

However, there are some disadvantages to serving as your own registered agent. You will be tied to your physical address during regular business hours. Plus, it may be embarrassing to receive legal notices while trying to help customers. If you are sick or out on vacation, the last thing you want is for the state to discover that you are out of compliance because your registered agent is unavailable.

Consider using a Registered Agent Service for your LLC in MS.

Small business owners often turn to a commercial registered agent service so they can focus on running their business rather than being available to accept legal documents. We offer a Mississippi registered agent service that can help keep you in compliance.

ZenBusiness can help with your Mississippi registered agent.

By using our Registered Agent Service, you can eliminate worries about not fulfilling your registered agent obligations. We provide a registered agent who works with your business and legal needs. And using our Registered Agent and our Worry-Free Compliance Services helps you avoid failures to update your registered agent information. 

When you sign up for our service, we’ll scan and upload all of your LLC’s legal notices into your online dashboard. This way, all of your important information will be accessible and organized. You won’t have to worry about misplacing important documents.

Step 3: File a Mississippi Certificate of Formation

Next, you’ll file a Certificate of Formation for your Mississippi LLC. Filing your Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State is what creates your LLC. The Mississippi Certificate of Formation filing fee is $50.

You may feel overwhelmed thinking about filing legal documents with the government. Your filing may be rejected if you don’t get things right. We can handle the Mississippi LLC filing for you so you can avoid the unnecessary stress of figuring out Mississippi’s business laws. We also describe the process below.

Register an Online Account with the Mississippi Secretary of State

The Mississippi Secretary of State’s online portal is the only way to file your LLC Mississippi registration documents. You can’t submit paper applications.

You’ll need to create an account with a username and password and provide a business email address. You will need this information for filing your Certificate of Formation and other LLC filings down the road.  

Information Needed for Your LLC MS Certificate of Formation

You’ll need the following information for your Certificate of Formation:

You’ll only have to file your LLC Certificate of Formation once. However, if you need to make any changes, you’ll file an amendment to your LLC Mississippi Certificate of Formation online with a $50 fee. 

We offer an amendment filing service to make the amendment process more streamlined. Plus, our Worry-Free Compliance service includes two amendment filings each year.

Why would I delay my Mississippi LLC filing date?

Normally, your LLC effective date is when your LLC Certificate of Formation is filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State. 

There are some instances where an LLC would like to delay the filing date. For example, if you don’t want to worry about filing taxes for your LLC for only part of the year, you may want to delay your LLC filing date until January 1. Mississippi allows you to delay your filing date 90 days after you file your Certificate of Formation.

When you use our service to file your LLC Certificate of Formation, you can pay an additional fee to delay your LLC filing date by 90 days.

Store your LLC documents in a digital dashboard

Our digital dashboard will store your Certificate of Formation if you use our LLC formation service. This way, you’ll have trouble-free access to your essential LLC documents. 

Step 4: Draft a Mississippi Operating Agreement

Creating a Mississippi LLC operating agreement is the next step. Although not legally required in Mississippi, many LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement. An operating agreement sets forth the LLC’s internal rules and policies, which helps members make important decisions.

Benefits of MS LLC Operating Agreements

One of the primary benefits of creating an operating agreement is that your LLC’s policies, organization, and other internal issues will default to the LLC laws of Mississippi if you do not have one. If you want to stray from the default provisions or clarify things, you’ll need to create an operating agreement.

Manager-Managed LLC

If you want a manager-managed LLC in MS, you must specify this in your operating agreement. Otherwise, your LLC will default to a member-managed LLC, which means that all LLC members will manage the LLC. 

Member-Managed or Manager-Managed?

Mississippi LLCs can be either member-managed or manager-managed. A member-managed LLC is managed by all of the owners/members. This is the default under Mississippi law. 

You can instead elect to have a manager-managed LLC. In a manager-managed LLC, you can hire managers to take care of day-to-day operations. This is helpful if some members do not want to be responsible for LLC management. 

If you want a manager-managed LLC in Mississippi, you must draft an LLC operating agreement and specify this election. We offer a template to help create an LLC operating agreement.

What should I include in my LLC operating agreement?

Items typically addressed in an LLC operating agreement include:

If you’d like to create an operating agreement but are unsure where to start, we’ve got you covered with our LLC operating agreement template

Do I need an operating agreement even if I’m the only owner?

Even if you have a single-member LLC, you may want to consider creating an operating agreement for your LLC. Investors and lenders sometimes like to see an operating agreement before agreeing to fund your business.

In addition to setting policies and internal governance procedures for your LLC, an operating agreement also describes what happens when you die or become incapacitated. Plus, an operating agreement can demonstrate that you and the LLC are separate entities, reinforcing the limited personal liability.

LLC Operating Agreement Template

If you’re unsure as to how to begin creating an operating agreement for your LLC, we offer a customizable template to help get you started.

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

Your final step is to apply for an Employment Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service. An EIN, also called a federal EIN or tax identification number, is a number assigned to your LLC by the IRS. You’ll use this number to file taxes. Plus, many banks require an EIN to open a business bank account for your LLC. 

You can apply for an EIN online, by mail, or by fax with the IRS. We also offer an EIN service to obtain your LLC’s EIN. 

Can filing an S Corp lower my taxes?

Some LLC owners choose to give their business an S Corporation designation for the tax benefits. Specifically, S Corps allow pass-through taxation and have more flexible rules for self-employment taxes. Speak to your tax professional about whether this is the best option for you.

Mississippi State Tax Registration

All businesses in Mississippi should register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue for corporate income taxes, sales tax, or other applicable excise taxes. 

For Employers

If you are an employer, you’ll register for withholdings with the Department of Revenue. Mississippi also requires that you register and pay unemployment insurance and report all new hires to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. 

Open a business bank account with your EIN

Opening a business bank account can help keep your finances in order and help you avoid commingling personal and business funds. Most banks require you to provide an EIN when you open a business bank account.

Manage your MS LLC’s finances and payments

We offer discounted business bank accounts for your small business. Plus, with ZenBusiness Money, you can manage clients, create invoices, transfer payments, and more in one place.

We can help

The process for getting an LLC in Mississippi may seem complicated. Fortunately, we’re here to help with our LLC Formation service. We can take care of many aspects of starting and running your Mississippi LLC so that you can focus on what’s important to you.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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