A Mississippi business license should be obtained by anyone forming an LLC in the state of Mississippi, and requirements for city and county licensing will need to be followed.

Requirements might differ depending on the location and industry of the LLC.

An LLC could be subject to penalties or fines if they do not follow the proper requirements, or may even be unable to do business in the state.

The following types of professionals usually need to obtain a state license as well as follow specific license requirements within their city and county:

  • Contractors
  • Medical professionals
  • Real-estate agents

LLCs can check with the Mississippi Secretary of State to find out which state or county representatives need to be contacted for information regarding required licenses and permits.

Visit the BOSS website for more guidance and help with requirements for LLC compliance.

Types of Licenses and Permits in Mississippi

The different forms of permits and licensing needed in Mississippi include: 

  • Licenses and tax permits for city businesses
  • Licenses to distribute liquor
  • Permits for sales and use taxes
  • Permits for selling and reselling
  • Building permits
  • Health permits
  • Occupational permits
  • Signage permits
  • Alarm permits
  • Zoning permits
  • Tobacco and alcohol permits

Use of Sales Tax and How to Register for One

Any company must register with the Department of Revenue for a sales tax ID number or seller's certificate if they plan to sell or rent property, manufacture and distribute goods, or provide other types of services.

Companies can visit the website for the Mississippi Department of Revenue to obtain the forms needed, or call 601-923-7000 with any other questions or concerns.

Companies that resell products, like wholesalers or retailers, will not add on a sales tax but do need to include their sales tax ID number to obtain a certificate of resale. Customers who buy products out-of-state also do not get charged a Mississippi sales tax. 

Once a company is registered, even if they don't tax their sales, they need to report all sales to the Sales Tax Division on a regular basis.

Companies can find more information regarding corporate and franchise taxation on the Department of Revenue Sales website.

To make it easier for companies to get the information they need, offices for the State Tax Commission can be found throughout the districts of Mississippi.

State Tax Commission office locations include:

  • Senatobia
  • Tupelo
  • Columbus
  • Greenwood
  • Meridian
  • Brookhaven
  • Hattiesburg
  • Biloxi
  • Jackson (main office)

Is a Business License Needed?

Every business in Mississippi does not need a license, but local and state licensing and permit requirements depend on the type of company and their activities. 

It is best for every company to contact their local city or town clerk to be sure they are compliant with the particular requirements in their area.

Companies should get in touch with the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counselors to find out what all their licensing requirements may be.

They can also use the Business License Permit Search tool on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website to find more permit and license requirement information.

The list of licenses needed for different professionals can be found on the Mississippi website and includes:

  • Car dealership permits
  • Insurance departments and agent permits
  • Bail Bondsmen licensing
  • MDOT Commercial Vehicles permit
  • MSDH Health Facilities licensing (including child and elderly care facilities, private ambulance services)
  • Building contracting permits
  • Restaurant and catering permits and certifications
  • Mortgage lenders and brokers information
  • Engineering professionals and land surveyor licensing

How to Register a Small Business

Depending on what type of business an owner decides on and what types of activity the business plans to be a part of, the requirements for registration might differ. 

Businesses that define themselves as corporations or LLCs must register their company with the Secretary of State in the Business Services Group, by calling 1-800-256-3494 or 601-359-1633 or visiting the website.

If an individual owns and operates their business on their own (also defined as a sole proprietorship) or a business is run as a general partnership, they do not need to register with the Secretary of State.

Even though they don't need to register, such businesses may still need to obtain permits or licenses required by the state, city, and/or town in which they are located before being allowed to operate.

If you need help with obtaining a Mississippi Business License, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Stripe, and Twilio.