STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the Sec. of State, and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your brand name should contain words like ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, you can also file an Application to Register or Renew Trade and Service Marks.

Filing Fee: $50 resident, $60 non-resident

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered Agent

A Mississippi Registered Agent acts on your half to officially receive and help to process important documentation like state filings, tax forms, legal notices and so on. They must be a resident of the state or a corporation, either domestic or foreign with a physical street address, authorized by the Sec. of State.

You can hire an outside professional service and expect to pay up to $160/year, or get a Registered Agent free of charge when starting a corporation through services like IncFile or BizFilings. They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

Register an LLC

With a registered agent, once you’re ready to make your brand official, set up an account with the state to file Articles of Incorporation. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record including:

  • The name and address of the business
  • The number of shares authorized, the value they hold, and any transfer restrictions
  • The addresses and names of the president, initial directors, secretary, and treasurer
  • The type of business structure chosen

Filing fee: $50

STEP 4) GET A CORPORATE RECORDS BOOK

File Annual Reports & Publication Requirements

Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.

You can find them at nearby office supply stores or on Amazon, but we’re huge fans of Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books/binders you can brand for as little as $99.

STEP 5) ELECT DIRECTOR, MEET, DISCUSS BYLAWS

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Appoint at least 1 Director who among other things will oversee the corp until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:

  • Appoint officers & discuss/create Corporate Bylaws.
  • Choose a bank & approve the issuance of stock certificates.
  • Agree on corporate seal and adopt official stock certificate form.
  • Approve s-corp (opt.). Record Minutes of Meeting, have directors sign, then add to records book.

STEP 6) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank Account

When you start a Mississippi corporation, it’s very important to keep all personal and business assets/accounts completely separate. So don’t take this lightly. Where should you start building the financial foundation of your brand? Who is offering the best overall business services to corporate clients, relative to location and other conveniences?

If you think it’ll be helpful, look into this short breakdown of Business Checking Accounts to start brushing up if all this is unfamiliar territory. Where your corporation banks is an important move, which is why it should be discussed in your initial shareholder meeting.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXATION & LICENSING/PERMITS

Business LicensesAs a legally operating corporation in Mississippi, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally you should have an attorney or at least dedicate time to knocking this out yourself and doing the homework. That said, here are four resources to get started:

  1. Get a free EIN, or Employer Identification Number, quickly through the IRS website.
  2. Bookmark the Jackson Small Business Administration and the state’s Business Services.
  3. To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
  4. For help with this step, consider professional business license research packages that handle the legwork for you.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

If you’d like help forming a Corporation, here are two great options:

IncFile ($49 + state fees) is ideal if you’re on a budget but refuse to sacrifice quality. However if you’d like access to an attorney past incorporation Rocket Lawyer ($99 + state fees) is the best option.

Visit IncFile Or Visit Rocket Lawyer

Note that this article on how to form a corporation in Mississippi isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form a corporation in Mississippi or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.