How to File a Mississippi Fictitious Business Name (DBA)
While it’s optional in Mississippi, a business operating under a fictitious name may want to register its name. Learn more about what a DBA is, why a business may want one, and how to register.
Related: How to start a business in Mississippi
What is a DBA?
A DBA, also known as “Doing Business As,” “Trade Name,” “Assumed Name,” or officially as “Fictitious Business Name,” is a name used by a business that is different from the legal name of the business.
Unlike most states, Mississippi does not require fictitious names to be registered. This registration is voluntary however, there are several reasons to consider, such as:
- Formally informing the public about the use of a business name
- Many banks will require the name to be registered before opening a business bank account
- Some vendors will request the filing to prove the business exists
Who needs to register for a Mississippi DBA?
The requirements and need to register for a Trade Name vary depending on the type of business entity.
Sole proprietorships and general partnerships are usually the most common entities to register for a DBA.
In most states, the legal name of a sole proprietor or partnership can be the owner’s full first and last name, which can be used without registering. For example, if John Smith starts a business repairing computers but doesn’t use a business name, he would simply use his name. If John decides to name his business John’s Computer Repair, then he may want to register.
Corporations and Limited Liability Companies won’t typically register a fictitious name since a unique entity name is created during the formation process. Some will file for a DBA if they have another business they want to operate under their corporate/LLC umbrella to keep the liability protection without forming another entity.
How much does it cost to get a DBA in Mississippi?
The filing fee for the Fictitious Business Name Registration is $25 in Mississippi.
What are the steps to file a DBA in Mississippi?
Step 1: Fill out the Form
Visit the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website to fill out the Fictitious Business Name registration form.
Information requested on the form includes:
– Business name
– Type of business entity
– Fictitious name being requested
– The Mississippi business identification number (if applicable)
– NAICS Code
– Business address
– Name of the business owner/officer(s)
Step 2: File the Form
Fill out the form and submit with payment.
If you have questions about the process, you can contact the Secretary of State at 604-359-1633 or through their Contact form
Are there any naming restrictions when filing a Mississippi DBA name?
A Fictitious Business Name can’t use a business entity suffix that is different from the type of entity. For example, a sole proprietorship can’t use LLC or corporation in its name.
Names can’t use similar words related to financial institutions such as bank, banker, savings, credit union, etc.
Can someone use my business name after registering a Mississippi DBA?
While registering your Trade Name will keep someone else from registering the exact same name in Mississippi, it does very little to stop someone else from operating a business under that name in other states.
If stopping others from using your business name is important, you can protect it through a federal trademark through the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Learn more about trademarking a business name.
Does a DBA need an EIN?
An EIN or Employer Identification Number (also referred to as a business tax ID number) is a unique nine-digit number that some businesses will register for through the Internal Revenue Department (IRS). An EIN is required for partnerships, corporations, multi-member LLCs, or any business that has employees.
Sole proprietorships and single-member LLCs without employees can use the owner’s social security number to identify the business.
There is no cost to get an EIN when registering directly from the IRS.
Does Mississippi require a business license?
The Fictitious Name registration isn’t a business license, so there may be additional requirements you have to complete before starting your business.
Most businesses will need some sort of license, but every business will have different requirements. Check out what business licenses and permits are needed in Mississippi.
How long is a Mississippi Fictitious Name good for?
The name registration needs to be renewed by December 31st of the fifth year the form was filed.