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 ($54 including the card processing fee). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Mississippi corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Everything You Need to Know About Mississippi Corporations:
Mississippi Incorporation Options
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Download the Mississippi articles of incorporation. Fill out the form and submit it to the state.
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How to Incorporate in Mississippi
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.
Per MS Code § § 79-4-2.02 (2019), every Mississippi corporation must appoint a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your corporation. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the SOS’ Mississippi Business Name Search and browse until you find the perfect name for your corporation.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your corporation name is, you’re ready to file your Mississippi Articles of Incorporation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Mississippi 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.
1. 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.
2. 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.”
3. 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.
4. 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.
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.
6. Authorized Shares
For each stock class, list the number of shares you’d like to create. You must have at least one share.
7. 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).
8. 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.
9. 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.”
10. 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.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Mississippi Corporation?
Professionals in Mississippi hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent for incorporation—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. We are located in Ridgeland, MS. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Business Services Division.
As your registered agent, we list our Ridgeland registered office address on your corporation’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Biloxi, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding & Business Address
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your corporation in Mississippi. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Mississippi Corporation Is Formed?
After your Mississippi Articles of Incorporation are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting bylaws, holding your first meeting, opening a bank account, and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
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 tCorporate Guidesheir 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. Mississippi 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 & 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.
Mississippi Corporation FAQs
How can I submit the Mississippi Articles of Incorporation?
You can file Mississippi articles online or by mail—but even mailed filings must be printed out from the online portal. Mailed filings must be submitted to the following address:
Secretary of State
PO Box 136
Jackson, MS 39205-0136
How much does it cost to start a Mississippi corporation?
At least $50 for the base filing fee, plus a variable convenience fee – usually less than $5.
Hire us for a one-time fee of $279, including the state filing fees, initial report filing, a year of registered agent service, and more.
How long does it take to start a Mississippi corporation?
Processing takes 24 hours if filing online—but if you mail your form instead, postal delivery could take several business days.
Does a Mississippi corporation need a business license?
There’s no general, statewide business license required in Mississippi, but some cities and counties have local requirements. For instance, many cities, including Jackson and Tupelo, require business or “privilege” licenses. Fees vary (often depending on factors such as number of employees and inventory) but typically start out at $20.
For some license applications you may need an EIN or a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation. At Northwest, we can streamline the process and get these for you—simply add on these items during checkout.
What is a foreign Mississippi corporation?
A corporation formed outside of Mississippi—but which conducts business in the state—is considered a foreign Mississippi corporation. For example, if you incorporated in Louisiana but decide to open a storefront in Mississippi, you would be a foreign Mississippi corporation. This also means you would need to register with the state by filing a Certificate of Authority with the Mississippi Secretary of State. Foreign corporations are required to file the Mississippi Annual Report each year as well.
Can Northwest help me form a nonprofit corporation?
Absolutely! We’re happy to start a nonprofit corporation for you. Incorporating a Mississippi nonprofit costs the same as a for-profit corporation ($50). Nonprofits do not file annual reports, filing Nonprofit Status Reports (and a $25 fee) at the request of the Secretary of State instead. There is no set schedule for the report, but the Secretary of State can only request a report 5 years after the nonprofit was incorporated, and not more than once every 5 years after that.
How can I get a Mississippi phone number for my corporation?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your corporation, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order Mississippi Incorporation Service
Our Mississippi incorporation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
We’ll form your Mississippi corporation for $279 total and include one year of registered agent service, a secure online account filled with business maintenance tools and all the state forms you’ll need, and the lifetime support of our expert Corporate Guides. Just choose Hire Us below, answer a few easy questions about your business, and submit your payment.
Next, we’ll prepare and submit your Mississippi Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State, Business Services Division. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Mississippi Business Services Division has approved your filing, we notify you that your Mississippi corporation has been legally formed. You can now move on to next steps, like holding your organizational meeting and opening a bank account.