If your business will be operating in the state of Mississippi, or you are expanding into Mississippi, you must register the business with the Office of the Secretary of State. This agency will allow you to conduct an online name search to ensure your chosen business name is not already in use or to reserve the name, if desired. The business name is legally registered with the state by filing the appropriate articles of incorporation, certificate of formation or certificate of limited partnership.
Navigate to the Mississippi Secretary of State website, Business Formation and Search page and select tab entitled, "Search Listings." Links will appear at the bottom of the page allowing you to search by business name as well as by registered agent, officer name and business identification number. Click on the link entitled, "By Business Name." A new page will open entitled, "Search for a Business Entity." Click your desired search parameter and enter the name of your business. You may not register a name that matches or is substantially similar to a name already in use.
Reserve your business name, if desired, by completing and filing a Reservation of Name form, available for download from the Secretary of State's website. You must list the type of business, name to be reserved, and your name and address. If you are registering a corporation name, the form must be signed by an officer of the corporation. The fee for a name reservation is $25 and the reservation is good for 120 days.
If you are ready to register a corporation in Mississippi, you may file articles of incorporation. If you are forming a limited liability company, you register by filing a certificate of formation; limited partnerships register by filing a certificate of limited partnership. Sole proprietorships do not need to register with the state, but may wish to file a "doing business as" registration to operate under a fictitious name. This filing officially registers -- and protects -- your business name with the state. An attorney or online legal document preparation service can be helpful in ensuring your name is registered properly.