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How to Register a Business Name in Mississippi [2023]

    How to Register a Business Name in Mississippi
    (Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)

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    Mississippi welcomes your entrepreneurial spirit! To bring your business dreams to life in the Magnolia State, register your business name in Mississippi is essential. We’ll help you navigate the process smoothly, whether you choose an LLC, corporation, or a “doing business as” (DBA) name. For added convenience and peace of mind, consider enlisting the support of ZenBusiness, a trusted partner that can handle the intricacies of registration. 

    Let’s set the foundation for your success in Mississippi and make your mark on the bustling southern market!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Mississippi

    Registering your business name in Mississippi is a critical step in establishing your entrepreneurial presence in the state. Here are four simple steps to guide you through the registration process:

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Mississippi

    Starting a business in Mississippi requires careful consideration of the most suitable business structure to meet your enterprise’s needs and growth objectives. Understanding the various types of incorporated and unincorporated businesses available in the state is crucial to make an informed decision. Let’s delve into each option to explore their operational dynamics and implications.

    Sole Proprietorship

    A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure, where the owner and the business are legally indistinguishable entities. The owner assumes personal responsibility for the business’s debts and obligations. Registering with the state isn’t mandatory for sole proprietorships in Mississippi, though local permits or licenses might be required.

    General Partnership

    This structure involves two or more individuals who share both profits and losses. Each partner is personally liable for the business’s debts and legal commitments. While registration with the state isn’t compulsory, filing a “Mississippi Assumed Business Name Certificate” (DBA) in the county where the business operates might be necessary.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    A limited partnership comprises one or more general partners with unlimited personal liability and one or more limited partners with limited liability. To establish an LP in Mississippi, you must file a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” with the Mississippi Secretary of State.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC combines liability protection with the tax benefits and operational simplicity of a partnership. To establish an LLC in Mississippi, you must file a “Certificate of Formation – Limited Liability Company” with the Mississippi Secretary of State and create an Operating Agreement outlining the company’s management and ownership structure.


    A corporation is a separate legal entity from its shareholders, offering limited liability protection. In Mississippi, two types of corporations exist: 

    1. C-corporations 
    2. S-corporations

    Establishing a corporation requires filing either “Articles of Incorporation – For-Profit Corporation” or “Articles of Incorporation – Nonprofit Corporation” with the Mississippi Secretary of State, depending on your business type. Corporations must adhere to additional formalities, such as creating bylaws, issuing stocks, and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

    When deciding on the business structure in Mississippi, consider factors like liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. Seeking guidance from legal or business professionals can be beneficial in making this critical decision.

    By carefully selecting the appropriate business structure, you pave the way for a successful and legally compliant business venture in Mississippi.

    >> Register Your Mississippi Business Name with ZenBusiness >>

    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Mississippi

    When registering your business in Mississippi, choosing the right name is a crucial step. There are three primary naming methods to consider: selecting a unique legal entity name, registering a trademark, or operating under a different name with a legal name registration. Each method has its own set of rules and regulations specific to Mississippi, so it’s essential to be familiar with the naming requirements in the state.

    Similar to the incorporation process, the decision on how to name your business depends on your entity’s specific needs and circumstances. You can opt to pursue all three naming routes to ensure exclusivity, or you can choose the one that best suits your requirements. While not mandatory, using the same name consistently across all registration methods is advisable for consistency and brand recognition.

    Let’s explore each naming option available in Mississippi:

    Registering a legal entity name is a must for businesses in Mississippi. This name serves as the official identification for your company according to the state. It’s vital to choose a name that’s distinct and not used by any other business.

    Mississippi’s naming regulations also include guidelines for company suffixes (e.g., LLC, LP, or Corp) and require the name to accurately reflect the nature of the registered business.


    A trademark provides intellectual property protection for your business name or logo at the national level. To safeguard your name or logo, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough search in the USPTO database to ensure it’s not already registered.

    Once your trademark is successfully registered, it grants you the right to prevent others from using an identical or similar name or logo for similar goods or services, providing nationwide protection. However, it’s important to note that obtaining a trademark does not automatically grant unrestricted use of the name or logo in all circumstances.

    Doing Business As (DBA)

    The DBA option allows you to operate your business under a different name while maintaining one “official” name. To establish a DBA, you must file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located. Unlike other methods, there is no state-level requirement for a DBA to be unique, but it’s still subject to federal trademark laws.

    By fully understanding and considering these naming options, you can effectively register your business name in Mississippi while protecting your brand identity. Selecting the right name will set the foundation for your business’s success and recognition in the marketplace.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Mississippi

    Before registering your business, it’s essential to ensure that the desired name is available and not already in use. To conduct a comprehensive search, follow these three steps:

    The first step is to perform a federal trademark search to check if the name is already trademarked. Federal trademarks take precedence over state-level registrations. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and use the TESS Search tool to verify if your preferred business name is free from any existing trademarks. If the name is already trademarked, you will need to choose an alternative business name.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    Once you have confirmed that your chosen name isn’t trademarked, proceed to check its availability for use within Mississippi. Utilize the Mississippi Business Search tool to find out if the name is already being used by a registered business in the state. Additionally, ensure that there are no significantly similar business names in use to avoid potential conflicts.

    In addition to trademark and state business name searches, it’s prudent to check if the .com version of your business name is available for registration. While not every business may require a website, securing the .com domain of your business name can prevent future complications. Conduct a domain search to determine if the desired website address is accessible.

    Register the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness to safeguard it from being used by others. It’s an affordable and straightforward way to protect your brand and online presence.

    By following these three steps, you can ensure that your chosen business name is available for use and avoid any potential legal or branding issues down the road.

    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Mississippi

    Once you have decided on your business structure and chosen a name, the next crucial step is to officially register your business with the State of Mississippi. This process ensures that your business is recognized and operates legally within the state.

    For a Mississippi LLC, you will need to file the Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State. This can be done conveniently online. On the other hand, if you’re forming a Mississippi corporation, you’ll need to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Mississippi Department of State.

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    After confirming the availability of your chosen business name and securing it, you have the option to protect it further by applying for a trademark. Although this can be a more expensive option, ranging from $225 to $400, plus attorney fees and a renewal fee every 10 years, it offers valuable nationwide protection under federal law. 

    With a registered trademark, your business gains a legal advantage if others attempt to use a similar name for their ventures. However, for many small businesses staying local or regional, obtaining a trademark may not be necessary.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    How to File a Mississippi Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To file a Mississippi Fictitious Name, also known as “Doing Business As” (DBA), follow these steps:

    1. Choose a Name: Select the fictitious name you want to use for your business. Ensure it’s unique and not already in use by another business
    1. Search Availability: Conduct a name search through the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website to confirm that the name is available for use
    1. Complete the Form: Obtain the appropriate DBA registration form from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s website or office
    1. Provide Information: Fill out the form with your business details, including the legal name of your business, the chosen fictitious name, and your contact information
    1. Notarize the Form: Have the completed form notarized. This step might require you to visit a notary public
    1. File the Form: Submit the notarized form, along with the required filing fee, to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office
    1. Await Approval: Once submitted, the state authorities will process your DBA registration. After approval, your business can operate under the fictitious name

    A DBA name is generally only required for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. LLCs and corporations can also use a DBA, but they have the option to file for a formal name change if they prefer to operate under a different legal name.

    How to Change the Name of a Mississippi Business?

    If you find the need to change your business name in Mississippi, there are two methods to do so. The first is by filing for a fictitious name, also known as a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. This option is the simplest way to operate your business under a different name without altering its legal identity.

    For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA name is the only way to have a different business name. Additionally, LLCs and corporations can use this method to operate under brand names without the mandatory suffixes, such as LLC or Inc., required in their legal names.

    However, if you wish to change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, filing an amendment is the appropriate course of action. In Mississippi, you can submit this amendment online, accompanied by a $50 filing fee.

    >> Get Expert Assistance from ZenBusiness >>

    Business Name Registration Laws in Mississippi

    Business Name Registration Laws in Mississippi for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are as follows:

    • Choosing a Business Name: When choosing a business name, it’s important to ensure that it’s unique and does not infringe on any existing trademarks or business names in the state. You can search the Mississippi Secretary of State’s online database to check the availability of the name you wish to use.
    • Business Structure Selection: Select the type of business structure you wish to form (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, limited liability company). Each structure has different requirements and legal implications.
    • Registering the Business Name: If you’re forming a corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or limited partnership (LP), you will need to file formation documents with the Mississippi Secretary of State. These documents will include your chosen business name, the type of business entity, and other relevant information.
    • Trade Name Registration: If you plan to operate your business under a name different from your legal business name (often referred to as a “doing business as” or DBA name), you may need to register the trade name with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located.
    • Business Licenses and Permits: Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain specific licenses and permits from the state, county, or local authorities before you can legally operate.
    • Federal Trademark Registration: If you want to protect your business name at the national level, you can consider applying for a federal trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

    Remember, these are general guidelines, and the specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the type of business and the location. It’s highly recommended to consult with a business attorney or contact the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office for comprehensive and accurate information related to your specific situation.

    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Mississippi

    In conclusion, registering your business name in Mississippi is the essential first step toward a successful entrepreneurial venture. By choosing an original name and suitable business structure, completing all necessary registrations, and contemplating trademark protection or a DBA name, you establish a sturdy foundation. 

    The expertise and support of LLC services like ZenBusiness streamline the registration process, paving the way for your registered business name to leave a significant impression on Mississippi’s thriving business community.

    >> Use ZenBusiness To Register a Business Name in Mississippi >>

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