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What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

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What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

Starting a business in Mississippi will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Mississippi.

Before applying for any licenses, the business structure will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Corporations and LLCs will register with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

Learn more about forming an LLC in Mississippi

Also see: Steps to starting a business in Mississippi

General Business Licenses

There is no general state of Mississippi business license, however, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does. Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements.

Jackson – All businesses operating in the city will need to obtain a business license through the Department of Planning and Economic Development. Businesses located outside of the incorporated area are required to get a Privilege License through the Jackson County Tax Collector’s Office.

Gulfport – The City of Aurora requires a business license for liquor establishments, pawn shops, second hand stores, home-based day cares, and more.

Southaven – The City of Southaven requires business licenses for the zoning of commercial businesses as well as home-based businesses.

Hattiesburg – All businesses operating in the city will need to obtain a Privilege Tax License from the Hattiesburg Tax Department. Additional registrations will be required for businesses selling alcohol, contractors, pawn shops, and more.

The application fee for a business license will vary depending on the type of business and city.

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Building & Zoning Permits

Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit.

Building PermitA building permit may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.

Signage Permit Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.

Mississippi Business Tax Number

Any business selling tangible personal property that is subject to Mississippi sales tax must register for a sales tax permit with the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

Resale Certificate

Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Mississippi Resale Certificate (sometimes called a seller’s permit) in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License

A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require licensing in Mississippi include; contractors, foresters, tattoo artists, and many more. Additional information, filing fees, and licensing requirements for professions are available from the State of Mississippi.

In addition to professional licenses, there are a number of other licenses that may be needed:

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number). The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.

There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN

Assumed Name Registration

While not a business license, it’s common for Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a business name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) to register for an Assumed Name (also known as a Doing Business As, DBA), or Trade Name) with the County Clerk’s Office in the county where the business is located.

These are some of the most common business licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, be sure to check with the City Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Mississippi?

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I am a serial entrepreneur, educator, business advisor, and investor.

StartingYourBusiness.com is here because of the many clients I worked with who made decisions based on inaccurate and outdated information.

Starting a business is hard, but here you will find the practical tools, resources, and insider tips to help you successfully start a business.

If there is a question about starting a business or help finding a resource, I'm here to help!

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2 Responses

  1. As a construction contractor in Mississippi. Do you need to obtain a business license in each county you work in?

    1. Hi Russ

      For starters, a Contractor’s License is required by the Mississippi State Board of Contractors for contractors and subcontractors performing work on commercial jobs over $50,000 or any contract involving the construction, reconstruction, repair, or maintenance of fire sprinkler systems on public projects over $5,000 and private projects over $10,000.

      Residential contractors are required to get a license from the MSBOC if they are doing new residential construction over $50,000, residential remodeling or additions over $10,000, or residential roofing over $10,000. Contractor licensing also applies to subcontractors who are performing residential electrical, mechanical, HVAC, or plumbing work on a residential construction or residential improvement projects.

      Even if you fall under the state license requirements, most cities also require a contractor to register before they do work within city limits.

      The rules vary by city but for example, in Gulfport, the requirements to get a Contractor’s License includes obtaining 5 letters of reference, Certificate of Insurance, Business Privilege License (where your business is located), photo identification, and payment of the contractor’s licensing fee.

      So, you will need to check with the city, typically the building code department, to see what the rules are before starting work in that community.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.


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