Limited liability companies (LLCs) in Mississippi have contact with the Mississippi Secretary of State Office at all stages during the formation and maintenance of the LLC. This includes filing for the formation of the LLC, obtaining Certificates of Good Standing, amending the LLC filings, and filing annual reports.

Filing an LLC in Mississippi

The first step to start an LLC in Mississippi is choosing a name. It is at this early stage of the company's life that you'll have the first contact with the Mississippi Secretary of State Office. You can easily find out if the name is available by searching online. You can then reserve the name with the secretary of state.

You are then required to choose a registered agent. The agent is an individual or a business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of the LLC. All LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent and to state the agent's name in the Certificate of Formation.

The next step in forming an LLC in Mississippi is to file the Articles of Organization. You can file online on the secretary of state's website at a cost of $50. A foreign LLC can be registered in Mississippi by appointing a registered agent and filing a Certificate of Registration. The filing fee is $250. When you successfully file the Articles of Organization or the Certificate of Registration, the LLC is legally formed. 

Other important steps that are needed to make the LLCs operational, but that do not involve the Mississippi Secretary of State Office include:

  • Creating an operating agreement. Although the agreement is not a legal requirement for LLCs in Mississippi, it is a useful document to have.
  • Obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The number acts as the Social Security Number for the LLC. You can apply for an EIN for free on the IRS website.
  • Opening a business bank account. An account or business credit card is necessary to separate business expenses from personal expenses. It is crucial for personal liability protection.
  • Registering for the Mississippi state tax. The law in Mississippi requires LLCs to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and Employee Withholding Tax if the business intends to have employees.
  • Obtaining business permits and licenses. The LLC also needs to get the appropriate business licenses and permits to comply with local, state, and federal government requirements. You can learn more about federal business licenses and permits on the SBA website and apply for Mississippi professional business licenses online. The local Chamber of Commerce can also help you to navigate issues related to business licenses and permits. 

Filing Annual Reports

The LLC needs to file an annual report to the Mississippi secretary of state. The report is due annually between January 1st and April 15th; filing is free. There are no extra fees for late filing, but the LLC will automatically be dissolved if you miss the deadline by four months. Having an effective registered agent can help your business to avoid penalties by filing all required reports and forwarding any legal notifications on time.

It is worth noting that LLCs in Mississippi are also required to file an annual statement with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and to report income annually to the IRS.

Getting a Certificate of Good Standing

It is important to get a Certificate of Good Standing regularly from the Mississippi secretary of state. The certificate is usually required to file certain business permits and licenses. Other states will also ask for the certificate to file the LLC as a foreign business in their state. The certificate will also come in handy when the LLC wants to get funding.

Dissolution of the LLC

If you no longer want to conduct business in Mississippi, it is important to dissolve the LLC officially. Dissolution is done by:

  1. Closing the LLC's business tax account.
  2. Filing the Articles of Dissolution with the Mississippi secretary of state. The filing fee for the dissolution is $25.

The Mississippi Secretary of State Office plays an indispensable role in forming and running LLCs in Mississippi. The office receives the initial filing documents and annual reports. The office is also involved in issuing LLCs with Certificates of Good Standing and dissolving LLCs when the need arises.

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