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Mississippi Business License

If you have incorporated a business in Mississippi or planning to form a small business in the state then it’s time to apply for a business license. In order to operate your business in Mississippi, business licenses, permit, and other professional licenses have to be obtained. Absence of license or permit to operate a specific business can lead to heavy penalties and in some cases, closure of the business.

There are several types of businesses that require a permit or business license in Mississippi to become operational and at the same time, all businesses don’t require licenses issued by the state. There are certain licenses or permits that are handled at the city, county, or town level. This guide will provide an insight into the process of licensing in the state of Mississippi.

How to Get a Business License in Mississippi

Where and how do you apply for Mississippi company license? Are permits required for your business entity? Does the business entity require a single license or multiple permits or licenses? Who is the issuing authority for these licenses or permits? The only way to answer these questions is by understanding the process of business licensing.

The following steps will help you to understand how to acquire a business license in the state of Mississippi and they are:

Step#1: The Industry and Business Operation

It is extremely important to identify the industry that your business is a part of. This will help you in narrowing down on the type of business license you require. It will also help you to determine if you require a single license, multiple licenses, permits etc. Let’s look at an example to understand how the process works.

Food Services

If you have been planning to start a business that focuses on food services then the type of Mississippi company license will depend on the type of food service you choose. In the state of Mississippi, food business can be further categorized as:

  • Retail: This type of food services includes Restaurants, Fast food, Caterers, Bakeries and doughnuts, and Coffee shops among others.
  • Manufactured: This type of food services includes Food processors, Food warehouses, Food vending companies, Re-packers, and Ice plants among others.
  • Cottage Food: This type of business operation focuses on specific types of foods that is made in the kitchen or your private home and sold to customers. The types of approved food include Baked goods, candy, Dry baking mixes, Chocolate-covered nonperishable food, Granola, cereal, and trail mixes among others.
  • Milk and Bottled Water (MBW): This business operation focuses on milk production, and the distribution of milk as well as milk products in the state of Mississippi.

Once you have identified the area or operation of your business, you can approach the right authorities for issuance of a business license or permit.

Step#2: Issuance of License

Who is responsible for issuance of Mississippi company license? What is the annual fee? Do I need to renew it? These are some of the important aspects to consider as licenses pertaining to different industries are issued by different government authorities. Let’s look at the above “Food Service” example to clearly understand this.

Business License Issuer – Mississippi State Department of Health

Type of License and Information

  • The license or permit depends on the type of food services.
  • If you plan to start retail or manufactured food service then you will not require a business license. You will be issued a permit.

License or Permit Fee

The fee for an annual food permit varies according to the risk level associated with your facility. This risk is calculated during the plan review, and the Division of Food Protection will evaluate it on a yearly basis during facility inspection. The existing fee according to risk category are:

  • Risk 1: $40.00
  • Risk 2: $132.25
  • Risk 3: $198.00
  • Risk 4: $264.50

Validity of business license in Mississippi

  • The Review of a completed application can take up to 30 days.
  • The licenses expire annually and the due date is different for each type of business.

At the same time, it is important to note that not all type of business license in Mississippi is issued by the state as some are issued by the city or county. If you were to establish an amusement park or place of amusement in Jackson, MS, you would be required to apply for a license with the “Signs and License Division” of the City of Jackson.

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