Step 1) Name Your Mississippi Non-Profit 

Choose a Business NameWhen forming a Non-Profit in Mississippi, you must choose a business name. The Mississippi Non-Profit name should not be the same or closely similar to any other existing business entity registered with the Secretary of State.

To ensure that the name is valid, check the Mississippi business name search tool. 


Step 2) Elect Officers and Directors for Your Mississippi Non-Profit 

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsTo comply with the requirements for starting a Mississippi Non-Profit, you must elect officers and directors.

These Mississippi Non-Profit officers and directors should hold the organizational meeting within two years of the incorporation date. The state requires that one or more directors should be elected. 


Step 3) Hire a Mississippi Registered Agent 

Get a Registered AgentA Mississippi Registered Agent is required upon incorporation of a Non-Profit organization. The Registered Agent can be an individual resident of the state, a Mississippi business Corporation, or a foreign business Corporation legally authorized to operate in the state.

The Registered Agent in Mississippi should consent to accepting service of process on behalf of the Non-Profit prior to designation. A physical street address in Mississippi should also be provided.


Step 4) Prepare and File Your Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCThe formation of a Non-Profit organization can only be considered legal when a Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation is filed with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Information such as the organization’s name and address, specific number of years of duration, name and address of the Registered Agent, name, address, and signature of each incorporator.

A business login account is required to file the Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation. Aside from the standard form, you must include specific languages to qualify for IRS tax exemptions. The following languages should be included in your article:


Step 5) Schedule an Initial Meeting with Your Board of Directors 

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe initial meeting of the Non-Profit should be immediately scheduled within two years of the incorporation date to evade a charter void. This organizational meeting will tackle several key issues of the Non-Profit including:

Minutes of the meeting should be recorded and signed by all those who attended the initial meeting.


Step 6) Maintain a Corporate Records Binder

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsTo ensure that all documents including your Mississippi Non-Profit registration, copy of licenses and permits, tax report copies, and other important paperwork are in order and safe in one file, you can keep all these in a Corporate Records Binder.

A Corporate Records Binder can be purchased at the office supply store in your area or you can go to Amazon and order it directly.


Step 7) Get an EIN for Your Mississippi Non-Profit

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number will be your Non-Profit’s unique identification number for any transactions you will conduct with government agencies and even banks.

Basically, almost all of your transactions will make use of the Mississippi Non-Profit EIN. The easiest way to get an EIN is through an online application at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountAs a new business owner in Mississippi, you need to keep your business and personal finances separate by opening a separate bank account. This keeps everything simple and separate in the eyes of the law.

Another important thing to note is that opening a business account can help you keep finances on track. You should monitor the ins and outs, put the profits and assets where they belong.

There are many options available from Bank of America to Chase. For a quick outline of the best place to open a business bank account, see this quick review.


Step 9) Apply for Non-Profit Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesWhen you form a Non-Profit, you are not automatically exempted from registering for Non-Profit taxes. You have to complete some vital steps to obtain tax exemptions. To acquire exemptions for Mississippi Non-Profit tax registration, follow the steps outlined below:

1) File Form 1023 for Federal Tax Exemptions

The first step to obtain federal tax exemptions from the Internal Revenue Service is to file Form 1023, or the Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This form asks for a number of specifics involving your Non-Profit and its history, finances, operations, operating policies, etc.

As this is quite a lengthy and complicated form, it is advised that you carefully look into the instructions included in the form to avoid any incorrect entries. For smaller Non-Profits, that with an estimated annual total receipt of less than $50,000 and net assets of less than $250,000, Form 1023-EZ, or the Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3), can be used. This form is shorter and much less detailed than Form 1023.

2) Obtain Mississippi Tax Exemptions

As soon as you have finished filing federal tax exemptions, you are automatically exempted from Mississippi state income tax. For additional information on other requirements for state tax exemptions, you can contact the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

3) Additional Report and Registration Requirements

For fundraising activities, you may be required to submit additional reports and registration requirements depending on the size of your Non-Profit and nature of activities. You can contact the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office for more information on these requirements.


Step 10) Handle Your Mississippi Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesYour business licenses and regulations are part of the requirements for starting a business in Mississippi. To learn more about the business licenses and permits you will need visit the SBA website.

Note that to operate your business legally, adherence to all licenses and permits are a must. If you need help and would like professionals to do the research on your behalf, here is a reliable service.


To-Do After Starting a

Mississippi Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Mississippi. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Prepare Your Mississippi Non-Profit for Success

Write a Business PlanTo prepare your Mississippi Non-Profit for success, you must create a business plan. A strong business plan is the perfect tool to map out business goals and the strategies to achieve these. It also allows your business to anticipate possible challenges that you can immediately address.

Writing a solid business plan is not the easiest of tasks, but it is not rocket science either. To get you going on your own business plan, refer to the resources below.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteIf you want your business to be taken seriously and build trust with potential customers, build a website that explains what you offer. With a free tool like WordPress, you can build a professional and customizable website without the need to hire a professional.

Recommended Resource: Check out this free guide to learn more about WordPress and how to get started.

Please note that this is an informational guide only. Any questions about starting a Non-Profit organization in Mississippi or Mississippi Non-Profit organizations in general should be directed to a licensed business lawyer.

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