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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Mississippi. 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.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

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 is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

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.
601-359-1633
800-256-3494

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”

How to form an LLC in Mississippi

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
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • PLLC
  • P.L.L.C.

A comma may be used after the business name and before the designator.  “Cowboy Cleaners LLC” and “Cowboy Cleaners, LLC” are both acceptable. 

Before finalizing on a name, you may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address.

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.

Mississippi LLC Business Information

 

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.

MS LLC Future Effective Date

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.

Mississippi LLC NAICS Code

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 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.

Mississippi LLC Registered Agent

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.

Mississippi LLC Organizer Signature

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.

Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Related: Mississippi operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, a Mississippi Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Mississippi Department of Revenue will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Mississippi?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Mississippi Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File a Mississippi LLC Annual Report