Start a Corporation in Mississippi
To start a corporation in Mississippi, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s Business Services. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $50 to file. Once processed by the state, this document formally creates your Mississippi corporation. You can use our tool to fill out the Official Mississippi Corporation Articles of Incorporation. You’ll even be able to download, print, or save your progress, all for free.
The best part is you only need to enter your information once to create a free account and pre-populate your Articles of Incorporation, corporate bylaws, IRS filings, and ongoing annual filings to maintain your Mississippi corporation. You can use our free system to file with the state yourself or you can have us help you out along the way.
How to Start a Corporation in Mississippi
A Mississippi corporation is a business with a legal existence separate from its owners. If properly maintained, a corporation can conduct business in its own name and has many of the rights and obligations of a natural person, including the ability to enter into contracts, sue and be sued, hold assets, and pay taxes in its own name.
To start a corporation in Mississippi, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Incorporation with the Business Services Division. You can file this document online (the document above is only an example form), or by mail if you print the document created online. The articles cost $50 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Mississippi corporation.
Name Your Corporation
Can I reserve a business name in Mississippi?
Yes. If you’re not ready to file your Certificate of Formation, you can reserve your business name for up to 180 days by submitting a Name Reservations Filing online and paying the $25 filing fee.
What's the difference between my corporation's name and an assumed business name?
Your corporation’s legal name is the one written on your Certificate of Formation. Any other name your corporation uses is an assumed business name, also called a fictitious business name or doing business as name (DBA). To use an assumed business name in Mississippi, you’ll need to submit a Fictitious Business Name Registration on the Mississippi Secretary of State website and pay the $25 fee.
Considering using an assumed business name? Learn How to Get a Mississippi DBA.
Designate a Registered Agent
Your corporation needs a Mississippi registered agent. This is the person (or company) authorized to accept important legal mail on behalf of your business. You’ll include your registered agent’s name and address on your Certificate of Formation.
Learn why the pros use a registered agent service.
What does a registered agent do?
According to MS Code § 79-35-5, all Mississippi corporations are required to maintain a registered agent. Your registered agent must:
- Have a physical address (not a P.O. Box) in the state of Mississippi.
- Be present at their address during regular business hours.
- Accept important mail (including lawsuits) from the Mississippi Secretary of State and deliver it to you fast.
Can you be your own registered agent in Mississippi?
Yes. As long as you don’t mind having your name and address on the public record, you can be your own registered agent in Mississippi. You’ll need to maintain regular business hours at this address and be able to accept service of process in person.
Because of these requirements, many business owners opt to hire a registered agent service. That way, they don’t have to worry about listing their home address on the public record or missing important legal mail while on vacation.
Can I change my registered agent after I start a corporation?
Yes, you can change your registered agent in Mississippi anytime by filing a Change of Registered Agent form with the state and paying the $10 fee.
Submit Articles of Incorporation
Learn more about each Articles of Incorporation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Better yet, skip the form entirely and hire us to incorporate your Mississippi business. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private
- Account Creation: If filing yourself, you must first create a Mississippi Corporations Registered Filer account (even mailed forms must be completed online first, and you can’t access the online forms without an account). You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number and email to create an account. Tip: Skip these extra steps by hiring Northwest. Just answer a few questions and let us file everything correctly the first time.
- Business Name: Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation for one of these words. If you’re a professional corporation, you can use “Professional Corporation or “P.C.” as your designation. Tip: Most corporations keep it short with “Corp” or “Inc.”
- Business Email: This is where the Secretary of State will send any official notifications. Like everything in your Articles of Incorporation, the email you include here becomes part of the permanent public record of your corporation. Avoid spam and use our email when you hire Northwest.
- Effective Date: If you want your Mississippi corporation to begin right away, you can skip this section. If you’d prefer to begin on a specific day (for example, the beginning of a tax period), you can enter an effective date up to 90 days in the future. Tip: Most corporations skip this section.
- Duration: Want your business to continue indefinitely? Skip this section. Prefer to put a self-destruct timer on your business? List the number of the years you want your Mississippi corporation to exist. Tip: Most corporations skip this section as well.
- Authorized Shares: For each stock class, list the number of shares you’d like to create. You must have at least one share.
- Nature of Business: Select at least one NAICS code—these are 6-digit codes for nearly every sort of business activity you could think of. Pick the best match for your business (it’s okay if it’s not a perfect match).
- Registered Agent: For your Mississippi registered agent, you can list an noncommercial registered agent (a state resident, like someone in your Mississippi corporation) or a commercial registered agent (like Northwest). From the drop-down menu, choose either “organization” or “individual,” and list your agent’s name. Tip: For expert registered agent service, we recommend Northwest.
- Registered Agent Address: If you have a commercial registered agent, their information will already be in the system—just select your agent and the address will appear automatically. If you choose a noncommercial registered agent, you’ll have to enter the Mississippi street address where they will be available (and which will become a permanent part of the public record). Tip: We’re a commercial registered agent—search for “Northwest Registered Agent, LLC.”
- Mississippi Incorporator: Your incorporator electronically signs and submits your Articles of Incorporation. You incorporator must enter their name, address and title (it doesn’t have to be a director or officer; you can simply choose “incorporator”). Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.
How can I keep my personal information off the public record?
The answers on your Articles of Incorporation are considered public information. So you’re right to be concerned about sharing your own name and address on this form.
The best way to maintain your privacy is to use a registered agent service that will put its name and business address on this form instead of yours.
How do I file the Mississippi Articles of Incorporation?
In Mississippi, you are required to set up a Registered Filer account on the Secretary of State website before you can submit your Articles of Incorporation. When you create your account, you will need to provide your name, contact information, and the last four digits of your social security number. Once you’ve created an online account, you can either complete your filing online or print the form and mail it along with a check.
Business Services Portal
Secretary of State
Office of Business Services
PO Box 136
Jackson, MS, 39205-0136.
Start Your Mississippi Corporation Today!Get Started
Get an EIN
Your federal employer identification number (commonly known as an EIN or FEIN) is similar to a social security number for your business. The IRS assigns these numbers and uses them to easily identify individual corporations on tax filings, including federal corporate income tax returns.
Why does my Mississippi corporation need an EIN?
The IRS requires corporations to get an EIN for their federal tax filings, and the Mississippi Department of Revenue requires an EIN for business registration. You may also be asked for your EIN when opening a bank account, securing a loan, or applying for local business permits and licenses.
How do I get an EIN for my corporation?
You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service.
Write Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business. They put into writing how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. All the major organizational processes and procedures for your corporation will go in your bylaws.
For more on Mississippi Corporate Bylaws (including free Mississippi Corporate Bylaws templates), see our Mississippi Corporate Bylaws resource.
Do I need bylaws for my Mississippi corporation?
Yes.MS Code § 79-4-2.06 notes that initial bylaws shall be adopted either by the incorporators or board of directors.
You don’t have to submit bylaws to the state though. Corporate bylaws are internal documents you keep with your other corporate records, such as meeting minutes and resolutions.
What should bylaws include?
Corporate bylaws cover basic policies and procedures for issues such as company finances and management. Bylaws should cover a range of topics, answering key questions like those below:
Meetings: When and where will meetings for shareholders and directors be held? How many attendees are required to transact business? What are the procedures for voting or proxy voting? How do you call a special meeting? What actions can be taken without a meeting?
Stock: How are stock certificates issued and transferred? How is voting affected by issues such as corporate stock owners or fractional shares?
Directors and officers: How many directors must there be? Which officer positions are required? What powers do they have? How do you fill a vacancy or remove a director or officer?
Finances: What are the procedures for retaining profits, issuing dividends, and paying bills? Who can withdraw money from the corporate bank account or sign checks?
Records: Where is the corporate book to be kept? What information will be maintained? How are requests for review or access honored? Can records or copies be kept or distributed digitally?
Amendments and emergencies: Who can amend bylaws and how? Can emergency bylaws be adopted in the case of disaster?
Mississippi bylaws can make other provisions as well, assuming additions are in accordance with state law. For example, MS Code § 79-4-16.02 (2019) states that Mississippi bylaws cannot abolish or limit certain rights of shareholders to inspect and copy corporate records.
How do I write bylaws?
Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you start? Northwest can help. We give you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Mississippi corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We offer many other free corporate forms as well, including templates for resolutions and meeting minutes.
Hold an Organizational Meeting
An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of the corporation after the business is legally formed with the state. At this meeting, bylaws are adopted, officers are appointed, and any other initial business is conducted. The first meeting minutes should also be recorded and added to your corporate record book.
Are there any special rules for Mississippi organizational meetings?
If initial directors are not named in the Articles of Incorporation, a meeting must be held at the call of a majority of incorporators to elect directors (and, if they so choose, to complete the organization of the corporation). Incorporators can also give written consent to taking organizational actions without a meeting. An organizational meeting doesn’t have to be held in Mississippi.
Open a Corporate Bank Account
Businesses that mix personal and business finances together risk losing their liability protections, so your corporation will need its own bank account. In addition, a corporate bank account is essential for easily accepting payments, paying bills and holding funds.
How do I open a bank account for my Mississippi corporation?
To open a corporate bank account in Mississippi, you’ll need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Mississippi corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
The corporation’s bylaws
The corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account. The resolution would state that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation. At Northwest, we provide free corporate bank resolutions, along with many other free corporate forms, to help you get started fast.
File Mississippi Reports and Taxes
In Mississippi, corporations file an annual report each year. The state also requires a corporate net income tax, and a state franchise tax may also apply.
What is the Mississippi Annual Report?
The Mississippi Annual Report is a filing you must submit each year, and can only be filed online using the Mississippi filing portal. You will need to log in, select “Annual Report” under the heading “Business Filings,” and enter your your Mississippi business ID number. Your annual report—pre-filled with the information that you originally provided when filing your Mississippi Articles of Incorporation—can then be verified or updated.
How much is the Mississippi Annual Report?
The annual report has a flat fee of $25, plus a convenience fee. Because of factors like bank interchange rates, the convenience fee may fluctuate, but is usually under $5.
When is the Mississippi Annual Report due?
The filing and the associated fee is due by April 15th each year. There are no late fees, but if you fail to file a report within 4 months after the deadline, your corporation will be dissolved.
These filings can be easy to forget—which is why we send our clients automatic reminders for your Mississippi Annual Report filings. Or better yet, let us file for you. With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Mississippi corporate taxes?
Mississippi corporations have two major taxes to contend with: a corporate net income tax and a state franchise tax.
The state has a graduated corporate income tax rate, varying based on the amount of net income:
0%: $0 to $2,000
3%: $2,001 to $5,000
4%: $5,001 to $10,000
5%: $10,001 or more
Mississippi is in the process of phasing out the 3% bracket, so by 2022, the first $5,000 of taxable income will be exempt from corporate income tax.
The corporate franchise tax applies to C and S corporations. The tax is $2.25 per $1,000 of either the company’s capital employed in excess of $100,000, or assessed property value in Mississippi, whichever is greater. The minimum corporate franchise tax is $25.
Mississippi has a 7% sales tax. City and specialty sales taxes can be applied as well, making the average total sales tax 7.051%.
Do corporations have to register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue?
Yes, if you conduct business in Mississippi, you’re required to register with the Mississippi Department of Revenue. You can register via the Mississippi Tax Access Point. You’ll need your EIN before you can register.