1. Name Search Guidelines for a Mississippi LLC
2. How to Search the Mississippi Name Database

A Mississippi LLC is a limited liability company that has the advantages of other business structures. You have the limited liability that a corporation enjoys, meaning your finances are kept separate from the business finances. You won't be personally liable for business debts. You also enjoy the easy operation that a partnership or sole proprietorship offers.

Mississippi took some cues from the business-friendly state of Delaware and incorporated some provisions that provide added advantages for individuals who want to form an LLC in the state.

Before registering your LLC, you should become very familiar with the rules governing the organization and operation of a business in Mississippi. In case your business is ever sued, an LLC is a legal structure that will protect your personal assets, such as a vehicle, your home, or personal bank account. LLCs can be used to operate a business or to hold assets like vehicles, real estate, watercraft, or aircraft.

Name Search Guidelines for a Mississippi LLC

When you decide to form an LLC in Mississippi, one of the first steps you should take is checking the availability of your desired business name. Business names must be unique and follow certain state requirements. You must include a designator such as LLC (this is most often used) or L.L.C. at the end of your business name.

Your LLC isn't a corporation, so you can't include words or designators in your business name that may mislead people into thinking it is. The words “Corporation” and “Incorporated,” and abbreviations of them, are prohibited.

The business name you choose must be distinguishable and unique from all other existing registered business names in the state. Differences in grammar, designators, and punctuation are not considered distinguishable, such as the following: 

  • LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
  • Singular, plural, and possessive forms 
  • Articles like “a,“ “an,“ or “the“ 
  • Hyphens, periods, commas, or slashes
  • Numerical forms such as four vs. 4

Examples of business names that are not unique enough to be distinguishable from one another include the following: 

  • Taylor Investment Company, LLC vs. Taylor Investment Company, Inc. 
  • Peachtree Grove, LLC vs. Peachtree Groves, LLC 
  • Martha Jean & Maggie Studios, LLC vs. Martha-Jean-Maggie Studios, Inc. 
  • Three Experts Consultations, LLC vs. 3 Experts Consultations, LLC

If your desired business name is available, you might want to reserve an internet domain name for it. Even if you're not planning to create a business website right away, you might still want the domain name to secure it.

How to Search the Mississippi Name Database

  1. Visit the Business Search page at the Mississippi Secretary of State website.
  2. Enter the name you want to use in the “Business Name” search box. Omit “LLC” from the end and all punctuation. You don't have to capitalize anything. 
  3. To get as many relevant results as possible, input only the first one or two words of your desired business name. Anything that's similar will show up. For example, if you'd like to use “Maple Tree Grove LLC” as your business name, simply enter “maple tree.”
  4. For even more thorough results, only enter a portion of the first word of your desired business name. For example, if you'd like to use the name “Inking Answers LLC,” only enter “ink.”
  5. Click “Search” to browse the list of existing businesses in the state.

If you get a message of “0, No Matches Found,” your desired business name is available and unique enough for you to use. If you get results for names that aren't too similar to your desired name, your name is distinguishable enough for you to use.

You won't be able to use your desired business name if it shows up in the results the exact way you wish to use it. Come up with a new name or get creative and change it to make it unique. You also can't use a name if results show an existing business name that's deceptively similar to the one you want to use. Again, you'll have to come up with a new name or be creative with your existing one.

Because LLCs are an easy and affordable business structure to form, many people are able to do this themselves. For more information on forming an LLC, visit the Secretary of State website.

If you need help with an LLC in Mississippi or another state, 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, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.