Mississippi Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)

Last updated: June 19th, 2024
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You may need to conduct a business name search for many reasons. One of the primary reasons to conduct a name search is to determine whether your desired name is available prior to business registration or name reservation.

Additionally, the entity search function allows you to familiarize yourself with the detailed business information and business filing history found on the Secretary of State’s website.

The following step-by-step guide will show you how to perform a Mississippi business entity search.

Mississippi search tips

When searching for a Mississippi-based business, the following tips and hints will help get you the most accurate results:

  • The search results are not affected by upper or lowercase letters
  • Punctuation marks, special characters, and spaces also do not affect your results
  • Singular and plural words do matter, so ensure that you enter the keywords accordingly
  • You may refine your search results by selecting one the following options after entering your keywords:
  1. Starting with
  2. All words
  3. Any words
  4. Sounds like
  5. Exact match
  • Designators do not affect the results, so there’s no need to add them
  • For the broadest results, enter just the first few letters of a keyword
  • Additionally, you may enter just the first word of a name if the name contains multiple words.

The Mississippi Secretary of State Business Sevices portal allows you to search for entities using the following search criteria:

  • Business name
  • Business ID
  • Officer name
  • Registered Agent

Business search by name

Refer to the Mississippi Secretary of State Business Sevices portal to begin searching for registered businesses in the state.

1
Enter the business name

Start your Mississippi name search by entering the partial or exact keyword you’re looking up.

Refine your search by selecting one of the following criteria:

  • Starting with or starts with
  • All words
  • Any words
  • Sounds like
  • Exact match

Then click on “Search.”

2
Review the results

If partial or exact matches are found, you’ll find them listed on this page.

The information you’ll have access to includes:

  • Business name
  • Business ID
  • Type
  • Status
  • Create date

3
Review additional business information

If you need access to further details on a business entity, simply click on the details button next to the entity name, and the business summary page will pop up.

On this page, you’ll have access to business information, including the name history, file documents, principal office address, etc.

Additional search options

While on the same search page, you can choose to search a business entity by various search types such as the business ID, officer name, and registered agent.

All you need to do is enter the relevant information and click “Search.”

If matching results are found, it will take you to the same business summary page, and you may click on the “details” button next to each entity name to access further business information on the relevant entity.

Mississippi search results

When conducting a Mississippi business search using any of the above-mentioned criteria, you will view the following business details:

  • Name history
  • Name type
  • Business Type
  • Business ID
  • Status
  • Effective date
  • State of incorporation
  • Principal office address
  • Registered agent details
  • Officer and director details

Additionally, at the top of the business summary page, you can view filing documents and print business details.

Copies of documents and certificates

After conducting your business entity search, you may want to request certified copies of business documents. Certified copies of business documents are copies of legal documentation that are issued by the Department of state’s office.

Additionally, you have the guarantee that these are true and exact copies of the original documents.

Furthermore, certified copies are accompanied by the state seal as well as the statement that the copies are true and correct copies of the documents kept on file.

Some of the reasons why you may want to access certified copies of business documents are that financial institutions and licensing boards made require these certified copies prior to allowing certain business transactions.

Additionally, certified copies must be requested from the Mississippi Secretary of State, and they will not automatically be issued to anyone.

Some of the certified copies that you may want to obtain include:

  • Certificate of Fact
  • Certified copies of business findings
  • Certificates of Existence and Good Standing
  • Articles of Amendment
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Mergers
  • Dissolutions and withdrawals

To order your certified copies of business documents in Mississippi, you’ll need to log on to the Secretary of State’s Business Filings Division and click on “Order documents” at the bottom of the page. Here you’ll find the instructions to order documents online.

Additionally, use the contact information below to access certified copies from the Mississippi Secretary of State:

Mississippi Secretary of State

Physical address:
700 North Street, P. O. Box 136
Jackson, MS 39205-0136

Mailing address:
700 North Street,
PO Box 136
Jackson, MS 39205-0136

Phone: 601-359-1633
Fax: 601-359-1499

Business name availability

It’s important to note that even if a specific name does not appear in the search results, the name may not necessarily be available for business registration. This is because it could most likely be trademarked by another entity either in the state of Mississippi or another state.

To find out whether a specific business entity name is trademarked, you should conduct a Mississippi Trademark Search on the Secretary of State’s website. You can search for registered trademarks by using keywords or the owner’s name. Alternatively, you may contact the Business Services Division by phone if you have any questions or queries about a specific organization name.

If the name has been trademarked federally, then you’ll need to conduct a trademark search on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website. Business names that are trademarked on the federal level have nationwide protection.

Next, if the name you’re searching for does not appear on the results, then it may still be available for business filing. However, if you’re not quite ready to initiate the business registration process, then you’re welcome to reserve the name.

The Name Reservation Form will need to be completed on the Secretary of State’s website electronically. You’ll need to create an account and log in. Thereafter, select “Reserve a Business Name” and complete the following information:

  • Business type
  • Name being reserved
  • Business’s email address
  • The applicant’s name and address
  • Name, address, and title of the authorized representative
  • The payment method you are using

After completing the necessary details, feel free to submit the form online or print it out and have it mailed to the following address:

Secretary of State
P.O. Box 136 Jackson
MS 39205

Mississippi names may be reserved for 180 days. If more time is needed, then you may extend your name reservation for an additional 180 days. Ultimately, you can reserve your name for up to six months which is much longer than other states allow. It will cost you $25 to reserve a name in Mississippi.

Additionally, when it comes to deciding on a unique and distinguishable name for your Mississippi business, you can use a name generator to spark your creativity.

However, whether you’re forming a limited liability company or corporation, the state does have naming rules that must be adhered to as follows:

  • Your name must be significantly different, unique, and distinguishable from other existing businesses registered in the state, including reserved names.
  • The name must also contain a designation such as company, corporation, limited, Inc., LLC, etc.
  • Additionally, the name must not imply that your business is being formed for an unlawful reason and must be in line with your company’s Articles of Incorporation.

The Mississippi State Statute contains complete naming rules for naming a Mississippi-based business.

Domain name availability

Once you’ve decided on the ideal name for your business, it’s time to start thinking of a domain name as well. Domain names are equally important as they establish your company’s online presence and brand.

If you’re lucky to find a business name that’s also available as a domain name, you should go ahead and register it immediately.

Alternatively, you may also choose to reserve a domain name. Lots of people are under the impression that a business name and domain name have to match. However, this is not necessarily the case. Business names and domain names do not need to match.

A business name is mainly for identification, legal purposes, and branding, while a domain name is used as a digital website address.

Essentially, business names and domain names serve two different purposes. While your business name is more for people to identify your company, a domain name is your online web address that allows potential customers to access your website.

So if your business name is not available as a domain name, it’s not a train smash. You can simply choose another name for your domain.

A domain name, as mentioned earlier, is also known as a website address and is accessible to Internet visitors.

There are many instances where your business name and domain name should not match, such as:

  • The name of the business is quite long and contains foreign words
  • The name of your business is easily confused with other companies
  • The name of your company is difficult to spell, pronounce and remember
  • You want to market specific products or promote topics keywords

The good news, however, is that even if you do register a domain name, it is possible to have it changed at a later date.

However, suppose your business name is not available as a domain name. In that case, you should go ahead and start compiling a list of preferred domain names by picking the essential words, adding keywords, considering different domain extensions, tagging your location, and adding memorable slang.

The good news is that professional domain checking services like Namechk.com are available to help you through this process. Namechk.com checks 36 different platforms and over 100 social media websites and online platforms.

Some of the most popular social media platforms that it checks domain names against include:

  • Tumblr
  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • PayPal
  • WordPress
  • Yelp

Fictitious business name search

Another important consideration is setting up a DBA in Mississippi. DBAs are often called assumed fictitious or trade names. Although the state does not require the use of an assumed name in order to transact business under that name, it’s often important to file for a DBA for practical reasons.

This is more so if you want to reassure other parties that you’re conducting business with, that your business is legitimate and that the party under which they are making an agreement is the same party registered with the state.

Registering a DBA is also useful in various instances, such as opening up a bank account under your assumed name. Additionally, it helps to avoid accusations of deceptive trade practices and fraud further down the line.

To begin the DBA registration process, you’ll need to search the Mississippi Business Services Portal to ensure that the name is indeed available to be registered.

Once you’ve established this, you can go ahead and complete the Mississippi DBA Registration Form. The form needs to contain some relevant business information such as:

  • Business name and ID
  • Name and address of the applicant
  • Fictitious name to be registered
  • The address of the business where the fictitious name will be used

Once you complete the relevant information, go ahead and file online with the Mississippi Secretary of State. Please note that the filing fee for registering a DBA in Mississippi is $25.

FAQs

When do I need a Certificate of Good Standing?

A certificate of good standing is generally only needed if another business you’re conducting business with makes a request for it. Financial institutions require a certificate of good standing prior to opening up a business bank account for you. Additionally, this certificate is required before applying for a loan or line of credit in your business’s name.

Do I need a registered agent for my business?

Registered agents, are often referred to as statutory, resident, or service of process agents, and are required for all businesses registered as an LLC or corporation. It is also the responsibility of the business owner to keep the registered agent information up-to-date with the state at all times. Alternatively, you can be your business’s own registered agent provided the state allows it.

What are the advantages of forming a nonprofit?

Aside from the gratification received from knowing that you are benefiting the community or doing something for the greater good of mankind, forming nonprofit corporations comes with various other advantages such as perpetual existence, access to grants, tax-exempt status, and limited liability protection.

How does the Uniform Commercial Code work?

The purpose of a Uniform Commercial Code, also known as UCC, is to regulate business activities and ensure that they are consistent across all states. The UCC applies to contracts for the sale of goods to a merchant and by a merchant.

What are the differences between a limited liability company (LLC) and a limited liability partnership(LLP)?

An LLC is an independent legal entity, and an LLP is owned by a minimum of two people who legally share the business’s responsibilities. Additionally, all owners of LLCs have the same amount of liability protection, while with LLPs, some owners may opt for passive ownership, lower liability, and no management responsibility.

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