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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart entity choice for many start-up businesses. The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Mississippi without an attorney.
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.
Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.
Forming an LLC in Mississippi can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own. That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more. There are companies like IncFile or ZenBusiness and others that do all of this for as little as $49.
To form a Limited Liability Company in Mississippi, file the Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State. The LLC filing fee is $50.
Approval for the LLC typically takes between 3-5 business days when filing by mail and immediately when filing online.
If you have questions, contact the Mississippi Secretary of State.
HOW TO FILE THE CERTIFICATE OF FORMATION AND FORM A MISSISSIPPI LLC
Step 1: Register with the Mississippi Secretary of State
- Begin by registering for an account at the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website.
- After registering, log in and select “Form a Mississippi Corporation, Non-Profit, LLC, Partnership or Cooperative”
Step 2: Business Information
Business Type – In this drop-down menu, select “Limited Liability Company” to form an LLC.
Business Name – Enter the name you want for the LLC. The name of the LLC also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Secretary of State. Check on available Mississippi LLC names before filing to be sure the one you want is available.
Additionally, the name of the LLC must include one of the following designators at the end of the business name:
- Limited Liability Company
- Professional Limited Liability Company
A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator. “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable.
A Professional Limited Liability Company is an LLC that provides services that require licensing in Mississippi. To see more about professional licensing, see our guide on Mississippi licenses and permits.
Enter the name you want to use, along with the desired designator at the end of the name. If the name you want isn’t registered, a message will show up saying it is available.
Business Email – Enter any email for the Secretary of State to communicate with you regarding any questions during the LLC formation.
Step 3: Future Effective Date
If you want the LLC to start on today’s date, leave the field blank. If you want to delay the start of the LLC to a date in the future, enter a date less than 90 days in the future to start.
Some will delay the LLC start date if they aren’t ready to go but want the filing out of the way or if they are close to the end of a calendar year and want to delay until the following year so they won’t have to file business taxes.
Step 4: Nature of Business
This section is asking for information regarding the activities of the business. To do that, there is a number called NAICS (North American Industry Grouping Code). This code is a six-digit number that classifies and categorize the different businesses. This information is used in reporting statistical data for each of the industries in the U.S. Remember this number as you will need it when filing annual tax returns. Find your NAICS number by clicking on the “Search for NAICS Codes” and enter the keyword(s) that most closely resemble what your business will do. Enter the code(s) in the boxes.
If the activities of your business aren’t specifically listed, choose one that is close. The filing allows for up to three codes to be entered. The first one is typically the code for the main business activity.
Step 5: Registered Agent
To have an LLC in Mississippi, a Registered Agent must be identified. The Registered Agent can either be a resident of Mississippi (Select “Individual” from the drop-down box) or a Resident Agent service (Select “Organization” from the drop-down box) who is registered with the Secretary of State. The Registered Agent must have a physical address in the state (PO Boxes are not allowed) and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.
Even though the business owner can be the registered agent, their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.
Step 6: Signature
At least one signature from someone authorized to sign on behalf of the LLC is needed. This can be a member, manager or non-members like an attorney or accountant, that the members give signing authority to. Enter the person’s title, name, and address.
Under title there are three options – Manager, Member and Organizer. The definitions of these are:
A Manager is someone the Members hired to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
A Member is an owner of the LLC.
An Organizer is someone who is assisting with the formation of the LLC. This is often a Registered Agent, Attorney or Accountant.
Enter all of the people / organizations signing on behalf of the LLC and click “Next” to proceed.
Step 7: Review
Review that all of the information is correct. If there are no corrections, click “Next”
Step 8: Acknowledgement
You are asked to acknowledge that “By clicking below, I acknowledge that all steps will be taken to register this company with the Mississippi Department of Revenue pursuant to their rules and guidelines.” If you agree, click “I Acknowledge”
Step 9: Upload Attachments
If there are additional rules for the LLC to file, they can be added here. Most filers will click “Next” and skip this step.
Step 10: Pay and File
Pay and file the Certificate of Formation.
If filing online, the LLC is approved immediately. If you choose to file by mail, you will print the Certificate and mail it in. Mail filings are approved in approximately 3-5 business days.
That concludes the basics of forming an LLC in Mississippi. Remember, even though you can do it yourself, there is more to an LLC than just the filing. If you have questions, work with an attorney or a specialized entity formation company such as IncFile or ZenBusiness to make sure everything is done correctly.
While not required, an Operating Agreement is recommended in many cases. An Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining the roles and responsibilities for the members of the LLC. Read more about when an LLC needs an Operating Agreement.
After filing the LLC, be sure to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The EIN is basically a social security number for a business and will be needed before opening a business bank account. There is no cost to apply and it takes about 5 minutes to get. See how to apply for an EIN.
Last, before starting a business in Mississippi, you may still need to apply for business licenses, sales tax permits, self-employment taxes and more in Mississippi. See the Guide to Starting a Business in Mississippi for more information.