Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research Through Business Act

(SMART Business Act)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Strengthening Mississippi Academic Research through Business Act (SMART Business Act)?

Passed during the 2013 legislative session, the SMART Business Act is a program that allows approved investors who incur qualified research costs as a result of having entered into a new research agreement with a Mississippi public university or research corporation to receive a rebate equal to twenty-five (25%) of the investor’s qualified research costs not to exceed $1,000,000. The total amount of rebates issued each fiscal year may not exceed $5,000,000.

Who can apply for the SMART Business Act?

Any natural person, partnership, limited liability company, association, corporation, business trust or other business entity not formed for the specific purpose of acquiring the rebate offered, and which is subject to Mississippi income or franchise tax is eligible to apply.

Why must I be subject to Mississippi income or franchise tax?

The SMART Business Act is intended to meet the following goals: stimulate private investment in research and development through partnerships with Mississippi public universities; increase the competitiveness of Mississippi companies; and improve the economy of the State of Mississippi.

How do I apply for the SMART Business Act?

Applications for the SMART Business Act must be submitted electronically. Please visit https://www.smartbusact.mississippi.edu to submit an online application.

What information will I need in order to complete an application?

To complete an application for the SMART Business Act rebate, you will need the following information and documents on hand:

  • Name and Contact Information of Applicant
  • Tax ID Number of Applicant
  • Letter from the Mississippi Department of Revenue certifying that Applicant is current in their tax filings
  • Signed Research Agreement with a Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning or the research corporation of a Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning
  • Description of qualified research to be conducted by university or university-affiliated research corporation
  • Budget approved by a State of Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning or University Research Corporation
I currently have a research agreement with a Mississippi Public University. Would it qualify for the SMART Business Act rebate?

No. Research agreements entered into with a Mississippi Public University that began prior to application and approval for the SMART Business Act are not eligible for the rebate. Only new research agreements submitted as a part of the SMART Business Act application packet will be considered eligible. All applications, including new research agreements, must be approved by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning in order for the investor/applicant to receive a SMART Business Act rebate.

When can I apply for the SMART Business Act?

Electronic applications are accepted at any time throughout the year.

Who evaluates and makes the final decision on my application?

The IHL Commissioner of Higher Education will make the final decision on behalf of the Board of Trustees based on a recommendation from the members of the Mississippi Research Consortium (MRC). To learn more about the MRC please visit http://www.mississippiresearch.org.

How will my application be evaluated?

Applications will be reviewed for compliance with the legislation by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education or his designee(s). Priority consideration will be given to applications in the areas of Healthcare, Energy and Advanced Manufacturing.

How and when will I know if I am approved for a rebate?

Within 30 days of the receipt of an application, the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning will notify each investor in writing as to approval or denial of their application. Investors with an approved application will receive a SMART Business Certificate that they will use at a later date to obtain their rebate.

How much will my rebate be?

Investors incurring qualified research costs subject to a research agreement are eligible to receive a rebate equal to twenty-five (25%) of the investor’s pre-approved qualified research costs not to exceed $1,000,000 in any fiscal year.

How and when will I receive my rebate?

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning will issue a SMART Business Certificate to an investor with an approved application within 15 days of the approval of an application. In order to obtain a rebate, the investor must submit a rebate allocation claim to the Mississippi Department of Revenue (DOR). The allocation claim submitted to the DOR must include the SMART Business Certificate and proof of payment to the college or research corporation for qualified research conducted according to the research agreement.

How can I learn more about the SMART Business Act?

To learn more, please visit our website at https://www.smartbusact.mississippi.edu. You may also contact the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning via email at smartbusact@mississippi.edu or by calling (601) 432-6264.