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How to Start a Mississippi LLC: Mississippi and its Many Business Benefits

There are many steps you need to take in order to get your Mississippi LLC up and running, some of which can be overwhelming for new business owners.

However, with the right support, you’ll be able to successfully form your Mississippi LLC so you can start doing business as a limited liability company. Below you will find an overview of each requirement in Mississippi.

 

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What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A limited liability company is a type of business entity that offers many benefits to business owners and members. One of the most well-known benefits is the limited liability protection.

When you form an LLC, your personal assets are protected in the case of debts or lawsuits against your LLC. This means that personal bank acco unts, vehicles, items, and real estate cannot be touched as long as your business is in good standing with the state of Mississippi.

If you’re looking to start an LLC in Mississippi, contact the professionals at LLC Formations. We’re here to help you get your business up and running.

The nine easy steps of the Mississippi LLC Formation Process:

1. Complete an LLC Name Search

2. Select a Registered Agent

3. Obtain a Certificate of Formation

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

5. Get an EIN Number

6. Open a Business Bank Account

7. Complete an Annual Report

8. Obtain a Business License

9. File Your LLC Taxes

Mississippi LLC

1. Choose a Name for Your Mississippi LLC

The very first step is to choose an LLC name for your Mississippi LLC. There are some basic ground rules you need to follow:
  • The name must contain the words “LLC” or “limited liability corporation.”
  • The name of an LLC in the state of Mississippi cannot be confused with that of a government agency, such as the Treasury.
  • Certain words, such as “Bank” or “Attorney,” can only be used under special legal circumstances.

Pick a Unique LLC Name for Your LLC in Mississippi

Choosing your business name is one of the most important steps of forming an LLC in Mississippi. You’ll want to pick a clever and unique name for your LLC for a few reasons.

Your LLC name is likely the first impression that customers and clients will have of your business, so it’s important to pick a name that is relevant to the services or products that your business offers. Additionally, your LLC name cannot be similar to the name of another LLC in the state of Mississippi, so be sure to have a few names in mind when you’re ready to start an LLC.

Conduct a Business Name Search

You’ll need to make sure that your ideal business name is available in Mississippi state before continuing to the next step of the LLC formation process. To check on the availability of your ideal name, you can conduct a name search.

The name search is accessible through the Mississippi Secretary of State website. The Mississippi Secretary of State website has a database of all of the LLCs within Mississippi state. Once you access the Mississippi Secretary of State website you will input your chosen name. The Mississippi Secretary of State website will tell you if your chosen name is available for use.

If the name is available, and once the filing fee has been paid to the Mississippi Secretary of State, you can move forward with forming an LLC in Mississippi. Payments can be made either by check, money order, or credit card paid directly to the Mississippi Secretary of State office. You must include the filing fee with the paperwork in order to receive your Certificate of Formation from the state.

Confirm that the Domain Name is Available

After submitting your payment to the Secretary of State you should secure your llcs website. Before selecting the name for your Mississippi business, you’ll want to make sure that the domain name is available. The domain name should match the name of your business. This way, your llcs can be easily searched for by future clients or customers who may be interested in your business services.

You’ll also want to obtain a business email address under the same business name. By having a business email address with the same business name, customers and clients will see your business as organized and professional.

If you need help with choosing a name for your LLC in Mississippi, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get your Mississippi LLC started.

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2. Select a Registered Agent for Your LLC

After choosing a business name and obtaining your Certificate of Formation, it’s time to choose a registered agent or registered agent service for your LLC Mississippi. A registered agent is someone who is authorized to receive legal documents for your business, such as lawsuits, subpoenas, and other important documents from the state of Mississippi regarding LLCs.

You’ll want to be sure that your registered agent is reliable and responsible so you don’t miss any important documents. By staying on top of your mail, you will be able to maintain your Certificate of Good Standing with Mississippi state.

Who Can Be an LLC Registered Agent?

Your registered agent can be anyone who is legally able to do business in the state of Mississippi. To qualify, you must be over the age of 18 and you must also be willing to list your name and address on the LLC formation documents. Your address must be a legitimate Mississippi street address. A PO box won’t suffice for the address of registered agents.

You can be your own registered agent, you can choose a member of your company to be the registered agent, or you might consider hiring a registered agent service for your LLC’s needs.

If you need help choosing a registered agent for your LLC in Mississippi, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you choose the right agent for your LLC / LLCs.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Registered Agent Service?

Many business owners prefer to hire a registered agent service for a few important reasons. When you form an LLC, the registered agent must include his or her information on the formation documents which are then made publicly available. For business owners who want to maintain their privacy, hiring a registered agent service is a great option when working to form a Mississippi LLC.

Registered agents must also be available during normal business hours. This is another reason why many business owners prefer to hire a registered agent service. If you don’t plan on being at the listed address during normal business hours, or if you live out of state, then you could miss important communications about your Mississippi LLC if you don’t hire a service to handle matters for you.

Additionally, a registered agent service knows how to handle this aspect of the business and can do so efficiently, leaving you with more time and energy to invest back into your business. Professional registered agents can handle the paperwork so you can work on growing your Mississippi state business (LLCs).

When you form an LLC, it is best to leave certain things to the professionals. Contact the team at LLC Formations so we can help you search for a registered agent so you can get your LLC up and running.

3. Obtain a Certificate of Formation

Your Certificate of Formation is like the birth certificate of your LLC in Mississippi. Filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State, your LLCs Certificate of Formation is a very important formation document for your limited liability company.

What is Included in the Certificate of Formation?

The Certificate of Formation specifies the formation date and approval of your Mississippi LLC as a legal entity. The LLCs Certificate of Formation will be approved by the Mississippi Secretary of State and you will then be on your way to doing business as a Mississippi LLC.

How Do I File the Certificate of Formation?

You can file your LLCs Certificate of Formation either online or by mail. In either event, you will pay a $50 state filing fee for the formation cost when you submit your Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

You will need an NAICS code when filing the Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. This is a 6-digit number used to officially classify the line of business you’re in. You can figure out your NAICS code through the Mississippi Secretary of State website.

If you need help with filing the Certification of Formation, contact the team at LLC Formations so we can guide you through the process.

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC Operating Agreement lists the basic structure of your LLC in Mississippi state. The Operating Agreement states, in writing, who owns the business and how it will be operated on a daily basis.

The Operating Agreement is a legally binding contract between you and your members if you have a multi member LLC. If you are a single member LLC, then the Operating Agreement serves as a legal document between you and the state of Mississippi.

Additionally, it is important to have an Operating Agreement when you form an LLC as it will distinguish your type of business as being different than a sole proprietorship. A sole proprietorship has a few significant differences than an LLC, and the Operating Agreement could come in handy if your LLC ever needs to refer to a legal document.

Who Needs an Operating Agreement?

Having an Operating Agreement isn’t legally required by the state, however, it’s a wise decision to have one when you start an LLC. Operating Agreements organize the LLC on paper so each member understands his or her responsibility, and just as importantly, Operating Agreements are considered a legal document once signed by the LLC members.

5. Get an EIN for Your LLC

An employer identification number (EIN) is a number that the government uses to identify your business. Also called a tax ID or business ID, your EIN is needed for tax purposes and other business purposes, such as opening a business bank account or hiring employees for your LLC.

Whether you have one member or a hundred members, all LLCs should obtain an EIN. Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to handle state taxes or other types of taxes for your Mississippi LLC. All of your important information will be organized under one tax ID, making it easier for you to stay organized before tax season begins.

How Do I Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)?

You’ll apply for your EIN with the IRS. You are able to apply for your EIN either by mail or online, and this part of the formation process is offered at no cost. Whether you’re a single member or multi member LLC, it’s important to get an EIN so you can open a business account for your LLC in Mississippi.

If you apply online, your EIN will be sent almost immediately to the email address you used on the application.

6. Open a Business Bank Account

An important part of running a successful Mississippi LLC is having a business account. Having a business account will allow you to keep employees on payroll, you will be able to easily keep track of your business expenses, and most importantly, you’re keeping your personal finances separate from your business finances.

Additionally, when you have a business account with a bank, you will be eligible to open lines of credit or take out loans so you can grow your LLC. You’ll need to bring your LLC documents with you when you go to open your business account. Each bank may have different requirements, so be sure to call ahead so you can come prepared.

If you need help with choosing the right bank for your LLC, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you get your LLC up and running.

7. Complete an Annual Report

After your Mississippi LLC gets approved by the Secretary of State, you will need to start filing an annual report. All LLCs must file an annual report with the state and pay the required filing fee. The report essentially updates the Secretary of State about the your LLC, such as profits and losses, and you will need to reverify your LLC’s registered agent.

The filing fee for your report can be paid by check, money order, or card if you plan to file online. Be sure to file your report before the deadline in order to maintain your Certificate of Good standing with the Secretary of State.

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8. Obtain a Business License or Permit

When you’re finally ready to launch your business, there may still be a few important bases to cover. Once your LLC is approved and you have received your LLC Certificate of Formation, you might also need to apply for business licenses and permits depending upon the services your LLC offers.

You may need to obtain the proper licenses or permits in order to be in compliance with federal, state, or local requirements. For instance, you may need to get health, building, signage, or other permits.

The filing fee for each permit type and the requirements vary by location and business type. Here is the State of Mississippi’s list of businesses for which permits are required. Obtaining necessary licenses can be a difficult and complicated process and you may want to hire a professional who can assist you with this important part of forming your LLC.

If you need help with applying for LLC licenses or permits, contact the professionals at LLC Formations. We can help you obtain everything you need in order to compliantly operate your LLC.

9. File Your LLC Taxes

Taxation can be a challenging reality for a Mississippi entrepreneur. Your business is liable for a number of state taxes, local taxes, and federal taxes. Remember, your LLC faces automatic dissolution if you miss any major tax filings, meaning the loss of your legal asset protection.

The first and most outstanding obligation is state and local sales tax. You’ll need to register for a seller’s permit with the State of Mississippi. You’ll also need to register for unemployment insurance tax and withholding tax.

If you need any tax advice, be sure to contact the professionals at LLC Formations.

Further Protect Your Assets

The main point of forming an LLC is to protect your business assets against legal issues. There are two steps you must be sure to take: opening a business bank account and obtaining a business credit or debit card so you can keep your finances organized.

Another important, though often overlooked step in protecting your personal assets, is to be very careful with how you sign your LLC’s legal documents. Make sure you’re signing as the business owner or representative and not as you yourself, and keep a copy of your Certificate of Formation and your Operating Agreement in a safe place in case they’re needed in the future.

Here is a simple formula to use when giving your signature on behalf of the business:

I- Formal business name

II- Your signature

III- Your printed name

IV- Your business title

Purchase Business Insurance

It’s a wise decision to protect your business’ assets through insurance. Most small business owners purchase general liability insurance for their LLCs. You may need to consider professional insurance and workers’ comp insurance, which are sometimes legally mandatory depending upon your specific business.

Beyond this, any insurance you purchase will reflect the specific needs of your enterprise. Depending on what type of business it is, who your clientele are, and what area of the state you live in, you may consider buying flood insurance, boiler and machinery insurance, product liability, business interruption insurance, overhead expense, or disability insurance.

If you need help to determine which insurances may be beneficial to your business, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can help you with the search.

Bookkeeping for Your LLC

Whether you’re making sure your expenses are covered, undertaking the pleasant task of counting your profits, or the unpleasant task of preparing for an audit, proper bookkeeping practices and software are both vital to keeping your Mississippi enterprise afloat.

It’s important to consider the merits of double-entry bookkeeping. Even for a small business, this method has important advantages. In single-entry bookkeeping, one record is made for each transaction, as in a checkbook. This might work for very small concerns.

Most businesses, however, even small businesses, use double-entry bookkeeping. In this system, two entries are made, a debit signifying the amount owed and a credit signifying the asset value gained. Double-entry has enormous advantages to businesses for keeping track of their own profits, as well as amounts owed to lenders, vendors, and the tax authorities.

Best Bookkeeping Software for Small Businesses

There are a wide number of software programs that can help entrepreneurs balance their books. These range from top-rated commercial software like QuickBooks to free, open-source programs such as GnuCash or Wave.

Most small businesses are started with money from a person’s own savings, with financial assistance from friends and family members, or with loans from a bank or other lending institution. If a bank turns down a loan application, the applicant might consider seeking an SBA loan or assistance from the Mississippi Small Business Administration. Whether one seeks a loan from a public or private institution, a well-formed business plan is essential for success and LLC Formations is here to help.

Hiring Employees for Your LLC

Hiring the right employees is essentially to the health of a growing business. Make sure you keep your hiring practices in accordance with the law by going through the following steps:

  • Verify that your employees are eligible to work in the U.S. with an I-9 form.
  • Report your employees as new hires to the State of Mississippi.
  • Make sure that your employees are covered by workers’ compensation.
  • Withhold payroll tax from your employees in accordance with the FICA provisions.
  • Pay your employees in accordance with the Mississippi minimum wage of $7.25. Remember that employees in MS must be paid bi-weekly. Specifics can be found here.
  • Finally, if you’re self-employed, you might want to take a look at the IRS’ self-employed individuals tax center.

A business is its people, and hiring the right people is key to the success of any growing concern. Make sure to clearly post signs around your premises explaining to your employees their rights and obligations under the law.

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

Starting a business can be a struggle. One must deal with any number of problems, costs, and bureaucratic complications. However, many Mississippians find it worth it to be their own employers and to build their own futures.

Remember to have a plan and a long-term goal for your business. Perhaps you may want to look at the next 10 years and then break it into smaller, achievable pieces. You should also have a 5-year goal, a 1-year goal, and then some quarterly goals. Think of the profits you need to get to and the steps you need to take to get there.

Most importantly, rely on your support network. Your friends and family — and the people they know — might be able to offer financial support in the form of loans and traffic to your business. At the end of the day, business really is about people. Check out our new Missouri LLC guide next!

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