Starting a business can be a daunting task for many entrepreneurs, especially for those that have made the decision to go alone for the first time in their career. Starting a business requires a lot of planning and preparation as well as understanding and complying with all the regulatory requirements. Putting a foot wrong in this process could lead to issues down the line. This is why it is important to know what is needed to register a business, what permits you need, which might be specific for your line of business, whether you need to apply for permits on local, county or state level. These are all things you should be aware of, and if necessary, consult with a lawyer or any other business or legal consultant.
People often spend years as employees, learning the tricks of the trade, figuring out the dynamics within a company, acquiring leadership skills and general skills needed to run a successful business. It is often the case that while they get to learn how the supply chain works, where the best supply sources are, what the market demand is and where the gaps are, rarely does anyone, other than the people who started the company, know what it takes to start one, and fulfil all the legal requirements.
This guide will point you to the addresses and give you directions to what is needed to register a business and apply for a sales tax in the state of Mississippi.
The registration of a new business in the state of Mississippi is done through the Secretary of State Office. Luckily, to make life easier, the office has created a guide to assist you when starting your business in the state. The steps largely resemble those of other states, but, in short, we will go over the main steps you would need to go through before officially opening the door to your new business.
The first step to take is to choose your business entity. The state enables you to conduct business using a variety of legal entities, most of which require registration with the Secretary of State. Before deciding, you should go through all the types of legal entities to decide which one suits your needs best. For example, if you are looking to start a small business run from your home, buying wholesale merchandise to resell online, you could opt for the Sole Proprietorship option as you would own and operate the business. This is the only option that does not require filing with the Secretary of State. However, you are responsible for all debts and obligations of the business and the business earning are taxed as your personal income.
If you plan on running the business with partners or growing it in the future, you should consider other options as General Partnership, Limited Partnership, Limited Liability Companies or Corporations.
Once you decide on your business entity, it is time to check whether your business requires any additional registration with other government agencies. Every business is required to get a federal employee identification number which can be applied for online through the Internal Revenue Service.
Following the acquisition of the EIN, you should contact the Mississippi Department of Revenue as the primary agency for collecting tax revenues.
Once your tax permit is ready, you can check whether your business requires filing for any other special permits within the state of Mississippi.
The state of Mississippi requires all sellers of tangible personal property within the state and that have a sales tax nexus to register for a sales tax permit. This can also be done online through the Mississippi Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) website. But there are a few steps to go through to establish whether you actually need to register for a sales tax.
In order to be required to apply for a sales tax permit in Mississippi, you must have a significant presence in the state, also known as a sales tax nexus. In order to have a sales tax nexus in Mississippi, you must own an office or a place of business within the state, have employees or agents who service customers in the state.
You must also establish whether the products or services you are selling are taxable. In general, services are tax exempt while selling tangible products in Mississippi is subject to sales tax. But there are some exemptions that include medical devices and prescription medicine as well as manufacturing items.
If you have established that you have a sales tax nexus in the state of Mississippi and the goods you are selling are taxable, it is time to register for a sales tax permit. You will be required to provide your business name and mailing address. If you opted to operate as a sole proprietorship you will have to provide your social security number while other business entities will have to provide their EIN. Applying for a sales tax permit in the state of Mississippi is free of charge, while some other business registration fees may apply. For more information, it is better to contact the Department of Revenue directly (contact details are provided at the end of this guide). After applying, your sales tax permit should arrive in your mail within two weeks, and the good thing is that unlike some states, you don’t have to renew your Mississippi sales tax permit. However, if any change in address, ownership, tax responsibilities or location changes occur, you have to update your sales tax permit.
The state of Mississippi provides some sales tax exemptions and, as noted above, these include not only prescription drugs but also gasoline, sales made to the federal government, the state of Mississippi and counties and cities within the state. Also, sales made directly to non-profit organizations and public schools are tax exempt, as well as wholesale sales, like sales for resale. However, wholesale sales of beer and alcohol are taxable.
If you are in the business of buying in bulk, purchasing wholesale merchandise to resell, in order to qualify for tax exemption, you should provide your merchandise supplier the business’ sales tax permit information. This acts as an equivalent of a sales tax exemption, or a resale permit that you would file in other states.
In case you are making a sale and the buyer presents you with the sales tax permit information, you can check the validity of the ID through the Mississippi Department of Revenues Taxpayer Access Point by clicking on the ‘Verify a Permit Number’ link and typing the Permit Type and ID information.
As this guide is a short version of the steps required to register and set up your business in Mississippi and register for sales tax permit, we urge you to contact your relevant local authorities or an advisor for clarification and help with the process.
401 Mississippi Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Phone: (601) 359-1350
125 S. Congress Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Phone: (601) 359-1633
1701 24th Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39501
Phone: (228) 864-0254
North Mississippi Offices
431 West Main Street, Suite 403
Tupelo, MS 38804
Phone: (662) 844-0194
316 West Commerce Street
Hernando, MS 38632
Phone: (662) 449-3362
For Agency Divisions contact details click here.
P.O. Box 1033 Jackson, MS 39215-1033
500 Clinton Center Drive Clinton, MS 39056
Phone: (601)923-7700 | Fax: (601)923-7714
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