How to Set Up a DBA in Mississippi
A DBA (Doing Business As) allows individuals and businesses to operate under a different name or expand their brand presence while maintaining legal compliance. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up your DBA in Mississippi.
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What is a DBA?
A DBA is an acronym for “doing business as,” sometimes known as a fictitious name, trade name, or DBA name, depending on which state you are acquiring, and is a state-level name that your company can use to do business under. Or, in simpler terms, a DBA is just another name you can use for your business.
Sole proprietors can benefit a lot from using a DBA because instead of using their own name to run their business, they can use a DBA to operate under a different name, which makes your company look more legitimate and trustworthy to future consumers.
If you are thinking about a unique business name for your startup as a sole proprietor, the next step would be DBA filing to make sure the name of the business you thought about could be the legal name for your business. Where you are registering for LLCs, general partnerships, or any type of business entity, the acquisition of a DBA is a good way to start.
How to search DBA names in Mississippi
No two businesses in the state of Mississippi can have the same name. If you are trying to think of a good name for your business, you might want to make sure if the name is available before you register for a DBA. Here is how:
Go to the Secretary of State Website in Mississippi
On the Secretary of State website, you can use their simple business search tool, which enables users to search the entire business database and see if the trade name you want is taken.
Type the name you want and review the results
The name search tool is quite easy to use. All you need to do is type the name you want for your business and click on search to bring out the results. There may be results or none, but that doesn’t mean that the business name is taken. Just make sure they aren’t exact matches. If the name is only similar to the results, that means that you are free to use that name for your DBA.
Reserve the name (optional)
Many people reserve the business name before doing anything else, giving them time to prepare their business needs, such as business plans, creation of products, and application of permits. If that is the case, you can still reserve the name for future use. To reserve a name, you can visit the SOS portal and create an account, which you will also be using when you decide to register your business. The fee for reserving a name is $25.
Register your DBA
Now that you thought of a cool and appropriate name for your business and determined that it is free to use, the next step is registering your DBA to get your business up and running in no time.
Have a name in mind? Check on name availability first here.
Cost to get a DBA set up
The cost to get a DBA setup in Mississippi is quite affordable. It only costs $25, and you can pay using a credit card when you register online. If you are applying in person, you can pay with cash or check. If you need anything changed with your submitted application, you will need to file an amendment, which costs another $25 on top of the original filing.
How to register a DBA in Mississippi
Once you already have a name for your business and reserved the name for future filing of your DBA, the next step is to register that assumed name to receive an assumed name certificate from the secretary of state. Here are the easy steps to register your DBA:
Think of a name for your business
If you haven’t already, make sure you choose a name for your business and make sure it is up to the Mississippi state standards upon registering. The name of the business is better if it is relevant, so make sure you choose a name that is connected, easy to pronounce, and available for you to use. Check the steps in the first sections of the article to determine if a business name is up for grabs.
Visit the Secretary of State’s website to register your DBA online
You can register your DBA online through the business services portal without visiting your local county clerk’s office. You will need to create an account, which will make it easier for you to edit and make some changes to your filing before submission.
You can also pay with a credit card when you register online.
Wait for the trade name to be processed
Once you have registered and paid the $25 filing fee, all you need to do is wait until your trade name certificate is ready. It usually takes 5 to 10 business days, but you can always visit your account through the SOS portal to check up on your application status.
Ready to register your DBA? Fill out these forms.
What comes next
Now that you have your name certificate you might want to do these next steps first before starting your business, such as getting a website for your business, getting the necessary business permits and licenses, getting an EIN, or even opening a business bank account. Here is how:
Open a business website
If you live in a remote town in Mississippi or you are not convinced that your business will get discovered by the locals, you can always build an online presence. But having a Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter account may not be enough.
To look more like you are a serious entrepreneur, you can consider building a website. To build a website, you can start by searching for available domain names and get web hosting once you bought the domain name you want.
It is always better if your domain name is the same as your DBA name, but that cannot always be the case if the domain is not available.
Get the business licenses and permits you need
In the state of Mississippi, you are required to register your business. In addition to that, you also need to get business permits you need to operate, such as zoning permits, liquor licenses, tobacco licenses, and other professional licenses that vary depending on the nature of your business. Visit the Secretary of State’s website to learn more about what you need.
Get an EIN for your business
The IRS requires small businesses to get a Federal Employee Identification Number or FEIN for businesses that hire employees. It is easy to get one, and while you are at it, you also might want to get Worker’s Compensation Insurance and get your business insured, especially if you are hiring employees from the start.
Open a business bank account
With a DBA, you can now open a business bank account. Having one will allow you to separate the expenses and income that you get from your business from your personal bank account. Not only that, people you do business with will see your company as more legitimate with a separate account as it adds another layer of legitimacy for your business.
If you plan to get an EIN, you can do so on the IRS website.
Who is a DBA best for?
A DBA is best for a sole proprietorship that wants to operate or do business under a different name, other than its legal name. For sole proprietors, a DBA allows them to work under an assumed name of your business without having to file or open a separate LLC business structure.
Note that a DBA is different from an LLC or any other business entity. While your LLC is a formal business structure, a DBA is just another name your business can operate under. However, an LLC is a legal entity that can also benefit from having a DBA for business growth and creating separate entities within a growing small business.
For example, suppose you already own a small business that sells one thing. In that case, you can also expand and create a separate legal entity with a DBA to differentiate between these two businesses regarding legal protections and liability.
Why would entrepreneurs choose to set up a DBA in Mississippi?
There are many reasons to get a DBA instead of an LLC or any other business entity, especially when you are just starting. With that in mind, here are some of the benefits of starting a DBA in Mississippi:
- Having a DBA allows you to apply for an employee identification number or EIN, which allows you to hire employees or freelancers.
- Getting a DBA is the most affordable way to start a legitimate business as a sole proprietor.
- A DBA will allow you to do business using a different name other than your personal name, which also allows you to create a business bank account and start credit lines with an assumed name, other than your legal name.
- Acquiring a DBA is sometimes required by state laws to open a business.
- Existing companies can use a DBA to rebrand without changing their original name, whether an incorporation or LLC.
- A DBA offers privacy protection since you can do business under a different name.
- A fictitious business name will make your business more legitimate and trustworthy, which is essential for growing your client base.
- Having a separate company name or trade name is essential for small business owners to start a brand.
- It allows you to separate personal assets from business assets.
Do small businesses need to register in the state of Mississippi?
If you are a sole proprietor with a DBA, you don’t need to register your business in the state of Mississippi. However, other business entities need to be registered, especially businesses like LLCs with liability protection and general partnerships and corporations with more than one owner.
Can I get financing for my business in Mississippi?
You can get financing to create a business in Mississippi, because they believe in the saying, “it takes money to make money,” and potential entrepreneurs with a good business and financial plan are given the chance to apply for funds from lenders. You can visit the Mississippi Small Business Development Center website to learn more.
Is there crowdfunding in Mississippi?
Yes, crowdfunding is a popular way of getting funds for your small business in Mississippi. You can choose to get equity crowdfunding, which is accepting investments in exchange for shares in your company. Or you can choose to get donation crowdfunding from Kickstarter or GoFundMe, where business owners are not subject to give donors a share of the business.
What kind of business permits do I need in Mississippi?
The permits you need to start your business depends on its nature. Permits include building permits, tax permits, zoning permits, health permits, occupational permits, liquor license, tobacco license, etc. Depending on what services your business gives and the products it sells, you will need to get the necessary licenses.
Are there special registrations for businesses in Mississippi?
Yes, some types of businesses are required for filing additional registrations, pass examinations, and provide certificates. If you are an architect, you need to pass the board in order to start your own architecture firm. The same goes for lawyers, barbers, chiropractors, etc.
Find out how to set up your DBA
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