Mississippi Small Business Statistics

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Mississippi's economy relies on agriculture and forestry. The state is the second-biggest producer of catfish in the nation and a leading producer of cotton and sweet potatoes. Other industries backing the economic growth are tourism and gambling. Thus, at $2.25 billion, the Magnolia State is the 6th in the country in relation to gambling income.

Though not among the Top States for Business in the CNBC 2022 rating, Mississippi has quite a number of opportunities for small enterprises (SMEs) in the hospitality and tourism sectors as well as in food service, real estate, and consulting services.

Our overview of small business facts for Mississippi will help you get a more complete picture of its economy and business environment.

Key Mississippi Small Business Stats

  • In 2022, Mississippi's GDP stands at $104.7 billion showing a slight growth from the $104.01 billion mark in 2021 (Statista);
  • Though not the highest in the nation, GDP in MS is supported by a 0.7% growth rate over a five-year period as IBISWorld reports;
  • The biggest earners in the state are hospitals, petroleum, and meat processing industries with revenues at $14.0, $10.9, and $8.0 billion accordingly;
  • The biggest GDP supporters are manufacturing, real estate, and retail trade sectors generating 44% of the state GDP in aggregate;
  • In 2020, SME exporters generated $1.8 billion of the state exports which equates to 18.5% of the entire export worth $9.7 billion;
  • All in all, SME exporters account for nearly 75% of all exporter businesses in the state;
  • According to the American Innovators survey, Mississippi has the fastest-growing online business community leaving Nebraska and Maine behind;
  • Overall, MS has 270.534 small enterprises onboard ensuring 99.3% of entrepreneurial activity in the state;
  • The sectors with the highest SME count are Other Sevices and Construction with 40.889 and 33.950 companies engaged accordingly;
  • Company management sector is the least popular among SMEs, with only 108 small companies in it;
  • From March 2020 to March 2021, the net gain of new SME establishments in MS was 674 companies while a net job loss was 10.119 jobs;
  • SMEs in Mississippi maintain 46% of the total labor pool and employ 441.099 state residents;
  • The most active employers are observed in three major sectors:
    • Healthcare and social assistance: 71.068 workers;
    • Accommodation and food services: 66.743 workers;
    • Retail trade: 55.633 workers.
  • Employer businesses account for 15% of the total SME count;
  • Minimum hourly wage rates in the state are regulated by the federal minimum of $7.25;
  • Meanwhile, the average wage rate is around $23 per hour resulting in an annual income of $47.685;
  • The 2022 unemployment rate across the state is slightly higher than the federal average at 4.2%;
  • In 2021, nearly 61% of SMEs in the state claimed lower sales and 21% of small private firms verified reduced employment due to the pandemic crisis.

Top 10 Industries for Small Businesses in MS

Industry Company Count
Other services (excluding public administration)40.899
Administrative, support, and waste management32.122
Healthcare and social services27.486
Retail trade24.970
Professional, scientific, and technical services24.376
Real estate, rental, and leasing19.374
Transportation and warehousing17.146
Accommodation and food services9.129
Financial services8.815

MS Small Business Demographics

  • With a population of a bit over 2.9 million people (US Census Bureau), Mississippi ranks 44th out of 50 states;
  • An interesting fact is that 37.8% of the state population are Black/African Americans, and racial minorities overall account for 41% of the total resident count;
  • Ladies own 105.159 SMEs which make up 44.6% of businesses, and only 6% of those are employer SMEs;
  • Gents possess 141.943 SMEs, and about 18% of them have employees on their payrolls;
  • 8.898 small enterprises have ownership equally split between men and women, and over 50% of those firms use hired workforce;
  • Women represent 48.8% of the labor pool in the state;
  • 5.8% of MS workers are military veterans, and 8% of small private firms in the state are owned by veterans;
  • Ethnic groups own 33.7% of all SMEs and ensure 42.4% of the labor force across the state;
  • The three biggest ethnic groups of SME owners include:
    • Black Americans: 72.857;
    • Asians: 7.034;
    • Hispanics: 5.225.

MS Small Business Formation

  • To set up an LLC in Mississippi, register a Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State and pay a moderate $50 filing fee to the state;
  • Any registered legal entity in the state is required to get a registered agent in Mississippi with a valid physical address to receive your legal mail and process it for you;
  • To stay compliant with the state, LLCs and corporations should file state annual reports that are free for LLCs and come at a $25 filing fee for corporations;
  • Both personal and corporate tax rates in the state are graduated and are calculated as follows:
    • 0% on the first $3.000 of taxable income:
    • 3% on the next $2.000 of taxable income;
    • 4% on taxable income over $5.000;
    • 5% on taxable income above $10.000.
  • Starting from 2022, the first $5.000 of the taxable income is not taxed, and the lowest rate is 4% charged on the next $5.000;
  • In 2023, the first $10.000 of the taxable income won’t be taxed;
  • In 2024, the tax rate levied over income above $10.000 will be reduced to 4.7%;
  • Corporations in MS are exposed to a corporate franchise tax that can’t be lower than $25 and is levied at $2.50 per $1.000 of the capital used above $100.00 or the assessed property value, whichever is a bigger amount;
  • The state sales tax rate in MS is among the highest in the country at 7%. The highest local sales tax rate hits 1%, so the average combined commercial levy is about 7.07%.


  1. Mississippi Small Businesses Economic Profile 2022
  2. Mississippi Small Business Statistics (2022)
  3. Mississippi - State Economic Profile
  4. How Many Small Businesses Are There in Mississippi?