Many Mississippi entrepreneurs choose to form a limited liability company (LLC) because of the many benefits of this business entity type. An LLC provides liability protection, for instance, so your assets are not at risk if your business is sued or cannot pay debts.
An LLC is a “pass-through entity” for tax purposes, meaning that the LLC itself is not taxed. Instead, income passes through the business to the LLC owners or members, who report it on their tax returns. LLCs also offer flexibility in terms of management and taxation.
Creating an LLC is relatively straightforward, but ensuring it’s done correctly is crucial to getting your Mississippi business off on the right foot. The most critical step is a certificate of formation.
What Is a Certificate of Formation for an LLC?
The certificate of formation (also known as Articles of Organization in other states) is a legal document filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State to form an LLC officially. It will include your business name, address, registered agent information, and more, as detailed below.
First, Select a Registered Agent for Your Mississippi LLC
Mississippi requires LLCs to appoint a registered agent, a person or company authorized to accept and respond to official business correspondence, such as legal, tax, or financial documents.
The registered agent ensures all required notices and documents are received. In Mississippi, the registered agent can be an LLC member, individual, or entity that meets state requirements. In Mississippi, a registered agent must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Have a physical address in the state
- Be available during regular business hours
- Be registered to operate in the state, if it’s a business
Many business owners hire a registered agent service to ensure their LLC stays fully compliant and for convenience.
If you choose to be your registered agent, you must be at your registered agent’s address for all business hours. A registered agent service allows you to be wherever you need to be to run and grow your business.
How to Submit a Certificate of Formation in Mississippi
To start, visit the Mississippi Secretary of State website and create an account to access the certificate of formation online.
In Mississippi, the certificate of formation requires the following information:
- LLC name
- Principal office address
- Registered agent information
- Registered office address
- Nature of business and NAICS code
Once signed in, select “Form a Mississippi Corporation, Non-profit, LLC, Partnership, or Cooperative.” Then select limited liability company, and you’ll be taken to the certificate of formation form.
Once you fill in your information and electronically sign the form, you’ll submit the form and be taken to the payment screen.
The filing fee is $50. You should receive confirmation in one to two business days. You must file online; you cannot file by mail in Mississippi.
Some entrepreneurs hire an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness to handle this step, saving time and ensuring the process is done correctly.
Draft an Operating Agreement
Mississippi does not require an operating agreement, but it’s a crucial document that defines members’ ownership percentages and profit allocations. Those are the two key elements, but it should also include the following:
- Each member’s rights and responsibilities
- Management structure and roles
- Voting rights of each member
- Rules for meetings and voting
- What happens when a member sells their interest, becomes disabled, or dies
You can find operating agreement templates online, but it’s best to have them drawn up or reviewed by an attorney. The language of an operating agreement is crucial and can often help determine how member disputes will be resolved. Here you can obtain a free operating agreement template for your Mississippi LLC.
Contact Information for the Mississippi Secretary of State
Mississippi Secretary of State Website
Online Portal – Mississippi Business Services
401 Mississippi Street
Jackson, MS 39201
125 S. Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39201
1141 Bayview Avenue, Suite 120
Biloxi, MS 39530
There’s only one way to create an LLC in Mississippi: successfully filing a certificate of formation. If you make any mistakes, you’ll likely have to refile, so be sure to do it right the first time and set your business up for serious success!