Starting a Business in Mississippi

Mississippi is one of the fastest growing states for small businesses year after year. Much of this is attributed to existing businesses expanding their online presence. Online accessibility has given businesses in rural areas that would otherwise not be able to operate a chance to be successful. Mississippi has almost 200,000 small businesses with approximately 52,000 of those having employees. There are many incentive programs which are available in the form of tax credits, business grants and loans, and Sales Tax Exemptions. Once you are finished contemplating if Mississippi is the right place for starting a business, you can perform various activities. If you need to rent office space, a business license would most likely be need.


You could also search for a specific Mississippi sales tax rate, verify if you have an existing EIN number so you can open up a business bank account, apply for business credit, and research how to get a business license or occupational license. The Mississippi Secretary of State is where you go to incorporate a company or conduct a business name search. After finishing all compliance related activities you could look into the various benefit programs. If you are looking to expand your business, here are some of the incentive programs offered to qualified Mississippi businesses:
  • The National or Regional Tax Credit is available to companies that relocate their national or regional headquarters to Mississippi. Tax credits range from $500-$2000 for each new employee depending on percentage of average annual state wage (from 125%-200%). The incentive also comes in the form of a Sales and Use Tax Exemption. At least 20 new jobs must be created to qualify for the credit.
  • Mississippi provides incentives through its Industry Zone Program to qualified companies in the healthcare industry that are located in designated industry zones. Qualified businesses are those within the healthcare industry that are able to create at least 25 new jobs or invest at least $10 million. The program offers a Sales and Use Tax Exemption. Qualified businesses may also receive an exemption of property taxes (subject to local authority approval).
  • A Sales and Use Tax Exemption is offered to companies that have a qualified data center. A qualified data center is any newly built facility or existing facility that a minimum of $50,000,000 is invested into. Additionally, a company must create at least 50 new jobs paying at least 150% of the states average annual average wage. Apart from the actual building structure, Sales Tax Exemptions are given to any data center equipment that is used in building the new structure or expanding the existing one.
  • Mississippi also offers additional Sales and Use Tax Exemptions to companies that are in certain industries or situations. A qualified company that wants to build a new facility or upgrade an existing facility qualifies for Sales Tax Exemptions. They are given for equipment and machinery as well as building materials that are used in building the new structure or expanding the existing one. Companies that leverage Industrial Revenue Bonds may qualify for Sales and Use Tax Exemptions on equipment and machinery as well as for building materials. Certain industries qualify for Sales and Use Tax Exemptions which include aerospace businesses and renewable or alternative energy businesses.
  • Mississippi has workforce expansion programs designed to help a business with the creation of solid quality jobs. The two most well-known are the Advantage Jobs Program and the Job Tax Credit. The advantage program is a rebate incentive that is offered to employers that create at least 25 jobs that exceed the average annual wage for the state. The rebate is equivalent to 90% of payroll taxes withheld for a 10 year period. The Job Tax Credit is a corporate income tax credit offered to businesses that create new jobs. It can be taken as a direct credit against payroll tax (up to 10 % for each new job created) or as a job training grant for ongoing skills training and education to their current workforce. Funds can be used for materials and equipment as well as other training related expenses.