How to File Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation in Mississippi

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Mississippi is easy — and the first task is filing your Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through the nine steps required to file the Articles of Incorporation to officially start a nonprofit in Mississippi.


Or, simply use a professional service:

Northwest Nonprofit Northwest (Starting at $39 + State Fees)

And, read our best nonprofit formation services review on Startup Savant.


Getting Started

To start a domestic nonprofit corporation in Mississippi, you can only file the Articles of Incorporation via the Secretary of State’s online portal. This guide covers each step you must take to file this online document successfully and get on the right track to forming a Mississippi nonprofit.

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

Check the appropriate box to confirm your corporation is a nonprofit and then provide your organization’s email address.

Step 2: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

Next, list your nonprofit corporation’s name. If you haven’t gone through the process of establishing a name for your organization, here are the requirements for naming a nonprofit in Mississippi:

  • Your nonprofit’s name must be distinguishable from any other name on record within the state of Mississippi, including any reserved names.
  • Your nonprofit’s name can’t lead the public to believe the organization exists for a purpose other than what’s listed in its Articles of Incorporation.
The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: For a step-by-step guide to naming your nonprofit corporation in Mississippi, read our guide on How to Name a Nonprofit in Mississippi.

Search the Availability of Your Name

After selecting potential names — ideally, at least four or five — it’s important to search for their availability in your state. You can do this by conducting the four recommended searches outlined below.

Mississippi Business Name Search
To operate in Mississippi, a nonprofit corporation must have a unique name. You can easily check if your chosen name is available by performing a search using the Mississippi Business Search tool.

Domain Name Search
We strongly recommend that you also check to see if your business name is available as a web domain (URL). Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the web address to prevent others from acquiring that domain name. It’s a free search.

Find a Domain Now

Powered by GoDaddy.com

Federal Trademark Search
You can easily check if someone already trademarked your chosen nonprofit name by using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System. This is important even if you don’t plan to form your nonprofit right away.

Once you confirm that no one else already trademarked your chosen name, you can apply for a trademark for your nonprofit.

Web and Social Media Search
A strong social media presence will play a key role in expanding your reach to potential donors as well as clients that will use your services. That makes it important to search the web and popular social media platforms for your desired name before registering it to ensure it’s available on all the platforms where you plan to promote your organization.

Step 3: Choose an Effective Date for Your Filing

If you prefer an effective date after the time of your initial filing, disclose your preferred effective date in this section. But, leave this section blank if you want your formation documents to be effective upon their filing.

Step 4: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose and Duration

In this section, describe your nonprofit’s purpose and duration. The purpose you list must include one or more of the following characteristics for your nonprofit to be eligible for 501(c)(3) status:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

Most incorporators form their nonprofit corporations without an end date in mind. If your organization does have a specific end date, however, you must disclose that here. Otherwise, select the “perpetual” option.

Step 5: Skip the For-Profit Section

Because you plan to file as a nonprofit corporation, you can skip the for-profit corporation section.

Step 6: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Mississippi. Either an individual or a business with a physical address in Mississippi may fill this role. A registered agent’s responsibilities include accepting and forwarding service of process documents for the corporation as well as serving as a point of contact for the entity.

Requirements for this section include:

  • The name of your chosen registered agent
  • The physical address of your registered agent’s registered office (this can’t include a P.O. Box)
The Truic Flame Logo

Recommended: Using an affordable registered agent service offers many benefits. For more information on choosing a registered agent service, read our full guide.

Step 7: List Your Incorporator Information

An incorporator is any person who participates in the completion and submission of the Articles of Incorporation. List the name and address of each of your nonprofit’s incorporators in this section.

Step 8: Provide Any Additional Attachments

In order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must include some additional statements in your Articles of Incorporation. Because the Mississippi online formation document doesn’t include sections related to asset distribution upon dissolution or your initial board of directors, use attachments to provide details on each topic.

Outline the Distribution of Assets Upon Dissolution

Describe how your nonprofit corporation’s assets will be distributed upon its dissolution.

Distribution of assets upon dissolution must be for approved, tax-exempt purposes only. For more information about the requirements of dissolution and 501(c)(3) status, refer to the sixth section of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS’) suggested language for corporations and associations.

Name Your Initial Board of Directors

In addition, you must name at least three directors to serve on your initial board of directors in order to qualify for 501(c)(3) status.

When listing your nonprofit’s initial board of directors, follow these requirements:

  • Don’t include any prefixes, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.”
  • If applicable, use titles of lineage.
  • If applicable, use designations like “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”
  • Include a mailing address for each director.

For a complete guide to forming your nonprofit’s board of directors, read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Mississippi article.

Step 9: File Formation Documents

You can only file the Mississippi Articles of Incorporation online.

File the Mississippi Articles of Incorporation

File Online With the Mississippi Secretary of State

File Online

Fee: $50

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start a 501(c)(3) in Mississippi?

To start a 501(c)(3) organization in Mississippi, you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Mississippi Secretary of State following these IRS guidelines.

Once the state of Mississippi processes your formation documents, you may then complete the application process for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.

How much does it cost to start a nonprofit in Mississippi?

Filing the Articles of Incorporation for a domestic nonprofit corporation in Mississippi costs $50.

Mississippi Nonprofit Quick Links

Related Articles

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!