Mississippi Nonprofit Corporation
State registration and Federal 501c3 status
Starting a Mississippi nonprofit corporation? Great! We can help you get started—but
first, let's look at the difference between a basic nonprofit corporation in Mississippi
and a federally registered 501c3 nonprofit corporation.
Nonprofit corporation—state-level only
To register a nonprofit corporation, Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation must be
filed with the Secretary of State's office in Jackson, MS. Note that registering
at the state level does not grant your organization the ability to accept tax-deductible
donations. For more information about tax-exemption, see the section below on 501c3
(Some types of nonprofit organizations, such as churches, may not be required to
register with the Secretary of State in Jackson. Check with the Securities and Charities
Enforcement Division in Jackson if you're unsure what your requirements are.)
There are a few documents, filings, and requirements necessary to become a nonprofit
corporation in Mississippi:
Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation
The Articles of Incorporation template provided by the state is available to both
profit and nonprofit corporations; simply check the appropriate box to specify which
describes your organization.
In addition, the Articles should include:
- Your corporation's email address, for correspondence from the state
- Name of corporation (which must be
available for use)
- Period of duration (either "perpetual" or specific number of years)
- Planned activity of the nonprofit in Mississippi
- Name and address (which cannot be a PO box) of the Registered Agent
- Name and address of the incorporator(s)
- Any additional provisions, if necessary (see section on 501c3 nonprofit corporations
- Signature of Incorporator(s)
If the Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation specify that the organization has directors,
those directors must hold a meeting within 2 years of the incorporation date in
order to appoint officers and discuss other organizational issues.
If there are no directors, a similar meeting must be held with the incorporator
Mississippi State Tax Commission (MSTC)
In order to pay state taxes (remember, a Mississippi nonprofit corporation is not
tax-exempt simply by virtue of being nonprofit; federal tax exemption must be granted),
nonprofit corporations should check with the MSTC in Jackson to determine their
Corporate bylaws are required of any corporation, for-profit and nonprofit alike.
Nonprofit bylaws are especially crucial, as nonprofit corporations have such a specific
purpose and must have a plan for every contingency.
Your nonprofit bylaws should address management, corporate officers, and your organization's
nonprofit goals. It will specify what to do in various cases: the removal or replacement
of a corporate officer, marketing issues, and so on.
Because nonprofit bylaws are so specific, it's generally advisable to work with
a legal advisor to draft your bylaws so you can be sure you've included everything
501c3 nonprofit corporation—federal tax exemption
While there are many types of 501 organizations, we will look specifically at one
of the more common types of organizations for charitable organizations: the 501c3.
Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation
In order for an organization to be eligible for federal 501c3 status, certain 501c3-related
information must be present in the Articles of Incorporation filed with the state
(even though it is not required by the state itself). To that effect, it's best
to include that 501c3 language right away—although it is not problematic (though
perhaps time-consuming) to
amend your articles after the fact to include the required information,
if it was not present in the original filing.
IRS Form 1023—Tax Exemption Application
Once your organization has been officially registered with the Mississippi Secretary
of State's office in Jackson, it's time to apply for 501c3 status (if that is the
appropriate tax-exempt structure for you) from the IRS.
Form 1023 is an extremely comprehensive form that requires a great deal of information,
since tax-exemption is highly regulated and only available to organizations with
very specific activities). A sampling of the information your Form 1023 must include
is as follows:
- Financial Information, including several years of past data and future projections
- Details about your Mississippi nonprofit corporation registration
- Description of the nonprofit organization's assets
- Detailed description of your past, present, and future activities, which must be
consistent with the 501c3 Code in order to be eligible
- Compensation information for directors, corporate officers, and trustees
It is highly advisable to seek assistance when filling out your Form 1023, as it
is a complex document and filing can take up to 9 months.
ClickAndInc can help!
We offer two levels of services—the Mississippi nonprofit corporation registration,
and the federal 501c3 application—and we'll be sure to include the required
501c3 information in your Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation, if you let us know
you intend to apply for 501c3 tax exemption (whether with our help or on your own).
It's that simple!
Other Mississippi Businesses
If you'd like more information about some of the other types of businesses in Mississippi,
please explore the links below or contact