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 nonprofit corporations.

(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 below)
  • Signature of Incorporator(s)

Organizational Meeting

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 or incorporators.

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 requirements.

Nonprofit Bylaws

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 necessary.

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!

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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 us.