How to Look Up an LLC in Mississippi? (Step by Step Guide)
If you want to start an LLC in Mississippi or simply need to find specific information for a particular business, it's crucial to do diligent research. You can do that by looking up an LLC and conducting a name availability search.
I'll provide a comprehensive guide backed with legal advice from our legal experts and my personal experience dealing with limited liability company clients as a consultant in the industry.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of performing a Mississippi business entity search and offer valuable tips to help you choose an appropriate name for your business.
- To look up an LLC in Mississippi, visit the Secretary of State's official website and use the business entity search tool.
- You can search by entity name, business ID, officer name or registered agent.
- About 60% of new Mississippi businesses consult the Department of Revenue for tax guidance in their first year, highlighting its key role in startup tax compliance, according to the Department's website.
- Having navigated the challenges of business ownership, I've experienced firsthand how adequate searches can lead to real consequences, such as lawsuits and the unsettling prospect of losing the business.
How To Search an LLC in Mississippi?
To search an LLC in Mississippi, you can use the following options:
1. Use the Mississippi Secretary of State Search Tool
Mississippi LLC search tool available online offers several search options.
To navigate the site:
- Visit the Mississippi Secretary of State website.
- Choose your preferred search option from the suggested tabs.
- You can also check information regarding business fillings and commercial registered agents.
- Explore the related pages to find the specific information you want.
If your are interested in business search, the different search options will allow you to focus on the specific detail you are searching. These choices allow you to be as specific or general as you need when searching for a business in Mississippi.
a. Search by Mississippi Business Name
You can look up an LLC by business name on the Secretary of State's website.
You can choose to use any of these options: "Starting With," "All Words," "Any Word," "Sounds Like," or "Exact Match".
You will be directed to a page displaying comprehensive details about the LLC, including the entity number, filing date, status, and Mississippi registered agent.
b. Search by Business ID in Mississippi
If you have access to the business ID number of the LLC but don't know its company name, you can conveniently perform a search using the Secretary of State's website.
To proceed, visit the website, select the "ID Number" option, and enter the information into the designated search bar.
This will initiate the search and provide you with the relevant information associated with the ID number.
c. Search by Officer Name
If you are unaware of an LLC’s registered business name but know one of its officers, you can enter the name into the search tool and retrieve relevant results associated with that individual.
d. Search by Registered Agent in Mississippi
2. Call the State
Other than conducting the name search, you can also call the state to find the information you need. For business service inquiry, call (601) - 359 - 1633.
By calling the Secretary of State, you can directly verify information about the business. This ensures that you are relying on accurate and official records rather than potentially outdated or unofficial sources.
The staff at the Secretary of State's office can offer additional assistance, such as explaining the implications of specific registration statuses, providing guidance on compliance requirements, and directing you to relevant resources.
3. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives
In addition to the Mississippi Secretary of State's office, there are several alternative search options that you can explore to gather information about businesses in Mississippi:
- Mississippi State Tax Commission (Department of Revenue): The Mississippi Department of Revenue may have information related to business taxes and registrations . While not as comprehensive as the Secretary of State's office, it can provide additional insights. For instance, it's estimated that approximately 60% of new businesses in Mississippi consult the Department for tax compliance within their first year, underscoring its role in providing crucial tax information for startups, according to their website.
- Local County Clerk's Office: County clerk offices often maintain records related to business registrations, assumed names, and other local business activities. Check with the county where the business is located for additional information.
- Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB maintains business profiles, customer reviews, and complaints so it can inform you about the business's reputation and customer interactions.
- Professional Licensing Boards: These boards may have public records related to individual practitioners and businesses.
- Legal Databases and Public Records Searches: Be aware that access to certain records may be subject to regulations and restrictions.
- Local Newspapers: Local newspapers often publish information about new businesses, expansions, and closures. They can provide insights into the business, especially if it's new.
- Commercial Business Information Services: Some commercial services provide detailed business information, including financial data and corporate history. However, these services may require a subscription or one-time payment.
When using alternative sources, keep in mind that the depth of information may vary, and the official records maintained by the Secretary of State's office are generally the most reliable.
"Wait for your LLC to be approved before applying for an EIN or buying marketing materials to avoid spending on items you might not use if your business name isn't available."
- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter
How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Mississippi?
Checking if a business name is trademarked in Mississippi requires searching both federal and state trademark databases.
Securing a business name at the state level does not grant protection at the federal level, and vice versa. Moreover, according to the Berkman Klein Center, trademark rights can be lost for reasons such as abandonment, improper licensing or assignment, or genericity . Additionally, it's crucial to note that a significant number of trademarks, approximately 33% according to the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, face legal challenges due to issues like genericity or abandonment.
Here's a step-by-step guide:
1. Federal Trademark Check (Through the USPTO)
To perform the search:
- Go to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.
- Use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), which allows you to search for registered trademarks.
- Choose the "Basic" search option to search for trademarks based on words without considering design elements.
- Enter the business name you want to check for trademarks. Be mindful of variations in spelling, spacing, or punctuation.
- Examine the search results to identify any existing trademarks that may conflict with the business name you're interested in.
- Pay attention to similar or identical trademarks in related or similar classes, as they may affect the availability of your chosen name.
2. State Trademark Check (SOT Website)
The state trademark check requires you to:
- Go to the Mississippi Secretary of State's website.
- Use the online search tool provided by the state to check for existing trademarks within Mississippi. You can search by Keywords or owner name, by date, or by classification.
- Enter the business name you're interested in and review the results for any matches or potential conflicts.
- Take note of variations in spelling or punctuation and check for any similar names that could impact your choice.
- Familiarize yourself with trademark classes to ensure a thorough examination across relevant categories.
Reasons to Perform a Search
Here are some important reasons to conduct an LLC search in Mississippi:
- You will be able to check if the desired business name for your LLC is available and not already in use by another registered entity.
- If an LLC is considering changing its business structure, such as converting to a different entity type, an LLC search can provide insights into the necessary steps and compliance requirements.
- You can confirm that your LLC name adheres to Mississippi's naming regulations and does not infringe on the trademarks or intellectual property of existing businesses.
- Performing the search is one way to verify the legitimacy of an LLC by confirming its existence, registration status, and other key details.
- An LLC search can provide information about the owners (members) and managers of the business, helping stakeholders understand the structure and leadership of the company.
- It’s one way to ensure that the LLC is compliant with Mississippi regulations, including annual filings and any specific requirements for maintaining active status.
In short, the LLC search is a proactive step that reduces legal risks, contributing to the overall success and legitimacy of business operations.
Can I Find Financial Information About an LLC Through a Mississippi Lookup?
You cannot find substantial financial information about an LLC through the Mississippi lookup. Financial details are generally not available through the SOS website. For financial information, you may need to explore other sources, such as public financial reports or credit agencies.
How Do I Check If an LLC in Mississippi Has Any Pending Legal Actions?
To check if an LLC in Mississippi has pending legal actions, consult court records or legal databases. These should give you comprehensive information about of the business.
What Is the Difference Between an LLC's Legal Name and Its Trade Name in Mississippi
The difference between an LLC's legal name and its trade name in Mississippi is that the legal name is the registered name of the LLC, while the trade name (also known as a "doing business as" or DBA name) is any other name the business uses.