The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Successful Business in Hattiesburg, MS

As an expert in the field of entrepreneurship, I can confidently say that Hattiesburg, MS is an ideal location for starting and growing a business. With its strong economy, supportive community, and favorable business climate, this city offers endless opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Why Choose Hattiesburg for Your Business?

Hattiesburg is the fourth largest city in Mississippi and is strategically located between New Orleans and Jackson. It is also home to the University of Southern Mississippi, which brings a diverse and educated population to the city. These factors make Hattiesburg a prime location for businesses to thrive. The city's economy is thriving, with major industries such as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and retail.

In fact, Forbes named Hattiesburg one of the top 10 cities for job growth in 2018. This means that businesses have access to a skilled workforce and can tap into a growing market.

The Process of Starting a Business in Hattiesburg

Now that you know why Hattiesburg is a great place to start a business, let's dive into the process of actually getting your business up and running.

1.Develop Your Business Idea

The first step in starting any business is to have a solid idea. This could be something completely new or an improvement on an existing product or service. Take some time to research the market and identify any gaps or opportunities that your business idea can fill. It's also important to consider your target audience and how your business will meet their needs. This will help you create a unique selling proposition and stand out from competitors.

2.Create a Business Plan

A business plan is a crucial document that outlines your business goals, strategies, and financial projections.

It serves as a roadmap for your business and is essential for securing funding from investors or lenders. Your business plan should include an executive summary, market analysis, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and an overview of your products or services. There are many resources available online to help you create a comprehensive business plan.

3.Choose a Business Structure

Before registering your business, you'll need to decide on a legal structure. The most common options for small businesses are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).Each structure has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of taxes, liability, and management. It's important to consult with a lawyer or accountant to determine the best structure for your business.

4.Register Your Business

Once you have chosen a legal structure, you'll need to register your business with the state of Mississippi.

This can be done online through the Secretary of State's website or by mail. You'll also need to obtain any necessary permits or licenses for your specific industry. The City of Hattiesburg has a helpful guide on their website that outlines the different types of permits and licenses required for businesses in the city.

5.Secure Financing

Starting a business requires capital, whether it's for purchasing equipment, hiring employees, or marketing your products or services. There are several options for financing your business, including loans, grants, and crowdfunding. It's important to have a solid business plan and financial projections in order to secure funding from investors or lenders. You can also look into local resources such as the Mississippi Development Authority's Small Business Loan Program or the Hattiesburg Area Development Partnership's Revolving Loan Fund.

6.Find a Location

The location of your business can greatly impact its success.

Hattiesburg has a variety of commercial real estate options, from office spaces to retail storefronts. Consider factors such as foot traffic, accessibility, and competition when choosing a location for your business.

7.Hire Employees

If your business requires employees, you'll need to go through the hiring process. This includes creating job descriptions, conducting interviews, and completing necessary paperwork such as tax forms and employment agreements. Hattiesburg has a talented and diverse workforce, thanks in part to the presence of the University of Southern Mississippi. You can also reach out to local job fairs or post job listings on online platforms such as Indeed or LinkedIn.

8.Market Your Business

Marketing is essential for getting your business noticed and attracting customers.

This could include creating a website, utilizing social media, attending networking events, or advertising in local publications. Hattiesburg has a strong sense of community and supporting local businesses is highly valued. Take advantage of this by getting involved in community events and partnering with other businesses in the area.


Starting a business in Hattiesburg, MS may seem like a daunting task, but with the right resources and support, it can be a rewarding experience. By following these steps and doing your research, you can set your business up for success in this thriving city.

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22 Millbranch Rd.

Hattiesburg, MS 39402



Joe Fisette
Joe Fisette

Professional communicator. Incurable twitter advocate. General web practitioner. Incurable burrito junkie. Incurable web advocate.