Mississippi – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

It’s all about business, y’all! Familiar with the Secretary of State’s website messaging in the “Magnolia State?” Then, you know we’re talking about how to incorporate in Mississippi. This state gets its name from the Mississippi River and is home to the Choctaw, Natchez, and Chickasaw tribes. Mississippi was the top cotton producer in the United States throughout the 19th century. Today, the state is recognized for producing 60 percent of America’s farm-raised catfish.

If you’re ready to head down South and open up shop, here’s what you need know before you incorporate in Mississippi.

1. Decide which legal structure to incorporate in Mississippi as.

While we can’t legally advise you on which entity is ultimately the “best” for your particular business, we can certainly recommend commonly used entities. There are certain types of legal structures that are popular with entrepreneurs. Look into the options of incorporating as a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited partnership.

If you’re still unsure of which entity to incorporate in Mississippi as, consult a legal professional. Meeting with another professional can help answer any questions you may have about the incorporation process and the entity that best fits your needs.

2. File for and register trademarks.

If your company has a unique name, slogan, tagline, or design, you will want to protect its intellectual property. Therefore, you should file for and register a trademark. This ensures that you, the creator, have the rights to all your hard work. Remember to also conduct a name search before you begin the filing process. This ensures that the mark you’re searching for is available and not already in use or pending usage by another entrepreneur.

3. File for an EIN (Employer Identification Number).

Assigned by the IRS to your business, an EIN is a unique number used to identify tax accounts required to file business tax returns. If you plan to hire employees to work for your business, you will need to complete an EIN application.

What if you don’t plan to hire employees? Do you still need an EIN when you decide to incorporate in Mississippi? You may also want to file for an EIN because it is required if you plan to open a bank account under your business name. It also allows entrepreneurs to start establishing credit profiles for their business. This is kept separate from your own credit profile.

4. Designate a registered agent service.

A registered agent (RA) acts as your point of contact between the state and the small business. Typically a third party organization, they accept official documents on behalf of the business. Some of these documents may include renewal reminders, annual reports, and franchise tax forms. The paperwork is also organized and passed along to the small business owner.

Small business owners, if they don’t designate a third party to act on their behalf, may be their own registered agent, too. There are certain requirements that come with acting, or being, an RA if you incorporate in Mississippi. Registered agents must have a physical street address. Registered agents should also be available during general business hours to receive service of process. As a result, you may find it’s a bit easier to have a third party assist you because it can be tricky to navigate your schedule as an RA.

5. Now is the time to be your own boss.

Do you have even more questions about starting a business in Mississippi? The Mississippi Secretary of State certainly has you covered with their Business One Stop Shop. You’ll find a series of resources here that will help you become your own boss and above all, embrace entrepreneurship.

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