Start Your Rhode Island LLC in just a Few Minutes

For as little as $0 + State Fee

Included In All LLC Packages

  • Verify Company Name Availability
  • Preparation & Filing of Articles
  • Next Business Day Processing
  • Registered Agent Service (1st Year FREE)
  • Lifetime Company Alerts
  • Online Order Status Tracking
  • Free Business Tax Consultation
  • Lifetime Customer Support
  • Online Access to incorporation Documents
Getting Started is Easy

Having Your business up and running in 3 easy steps.

LLC Formations blog

Choose Your Rhode Island LLC

Using a professional can ensure you complete the process correctly in just minutes. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

LLC Formations website

Paperwork Completed By a Professional

Your documents will be prepared by an industry professional and filed directly with the Secretary of State. Follow the process with an Online Order Tracking System.

LLC Formations reviews

Launch Your Business

With next business day processing you will receive notification your LLC is active as soon as it is approved by the State.

How to Form an LLC in Rhode Island: Forming a Rhode Island LLC

There are many requirements that go into getting your Rhode Island LLC up and running, some of which can be overwhelming when starting a new business.

However, with the right support, you’ll be able to successfully form your Rhode Island LLC so you can start doing business as a Rhode Island limited liability company. Below you will find an overview of each step.

The Rhode Island LLC formation process has nine easy steps:

1. Choose a name for your Rhode Island LLC

2. Select a registered agent

3. File the Articles of Organization

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

5. Get an EIN

6. Complete an Annual Report

7. Obtain business licenses and permits

8. File your LLC taxes

9. Open a business bank account

What is a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

Running a business in Rhode Island can be rewarding and exciting. You are able to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and have unlimited income potential. Rhode Island is a great state to operate a limited liability company (LLC) within, but Rhode Island has a few requirements that you must follow as a business owner.

Like most states, Rhode Island requires you to register your business with the Rhode Island Secretary of State office as a legal entity. There are a few different types of entities your business can be registered as depending on what type of taxes you wish to be exposed to, what liabilities you desire to be shielded from, and other scenarios.

What are the Benefits of a Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

A limited liability company, also known as an LLC, is a business structure that you can open in order to legally do business within the state. When you form an LLC, you are granted the advantage of having your personal assets protected in the case of debts or lawsuits against your business.

This means that any personal bank accounts, real estate, or vehicles remain separate from your Rhode Island LLC and cannot be obtained.

The most common registration type is LLC. A Rhode Island LLC is easy to set up. There are a few steps you must follow, but with some careful guidance, you can set up your LLC in Rhode Island in no time. You can also hire firms that are highly skilled in new business development to do it for you as well.

Let’s get started on the simple steps on how to set up an LLC in Rhode Island.

1. Choose a Name for Your Rhode Island LLC

Rhode Island LLC

Choosing a business name is the first step in setting up a new business. Your business name can act as a trademark for the services you provide. For this reason, you should pick a name that is unique. The state of Rhode Island will not register your LLC if it is named the same as or too close to another business that’s already registered in the state of Rhode Island.

Of course, there are thousands upon thousands of LLCs in the state of Rhode Island. You will know how to differentiate your name by using Rhode Island’s name research tool on the Secretary of State Website.

All names that are similar or the same will populate when you enter the name you’ve selected in the tool. If you discover your name is unique, then you are on your way to set up your LLC in Rhode Island.

How to Perform a Rhode Island LLC Name Search

1. Visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

2. Type your desired name in the “Business Entities” search box. Do not include any endings or identifiers (such as “LLC” or “Inc”) in your search; simply input the desired name and click the search button.

3. The Rhode Island LLC search displays results as 25 business per page. Browse through to make sure that your business name is not already taken by another LLC in Rhode Island

How to Determine if Your Chosen Name is Available

1: If the search results page says that no results have been found, then your name does not match other names registered within Rhode Island. This means that the name is available and you can move forward with the LLC formation process using this name.

2: If the same name shows up in the search results, then it is not available for you to use for your business in Rhode Island. If you use this name on your Rhode Island LLC application, your application will be rejected and your application fee will not be refunded.

3: If your name is too similar to another Rhode Island LLC, then you also may not use this name for your LLC. The Secretary of State needs you to apply with a unique name so that nobody can confuse your business with another.

It is also important to know that changes in the designator, special characters, or grammar do not count make your LLC name distinguishable from other LLCs in Rhode Island.

Other Naming Requirements

The state of Rhode Island states that all LLCs must end with a designator. A designator informs the public of the type of business entity you have. You can use LLC, L.L.C., Limited Liability Company at the end of your name.

Reserve a Domain Name when You Form Your Rhode Island LLC

Before submitting your application to the Secretary of State, it’s important to make sure that a domain name is available for your company. When starting a business, it’s important to have an online presence to attract clients and customers. Although it’s not part of the LLC formation process, it’s important to keep in mind for the growth of your business.

The domain name of your website should be the same as your company name so your marketing material can remain consistent. If you need help with reserving a domain for your business, contact the professionals at LLC Formations so we can guide you through the business formation process.

2. Choose a Resident Agent for Your Rhode Island LLC

Another thing you will need before you can begin the Rhode Island LLC registration process is a resident agent. A resident agent also referred to as a registered agent, is an individual or entity that serves as the point of your communication of contact on record with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office.

The resident agent must have a valid Rhode Island mailing address or office address in order to be your registered agent. This is important because if there is any formal communication of importance to be sent to your business, such as a subpoena or lawsuit notices, it will be sent to the resident agent.

Additionally, your registered agent needs to be over the age of 18 years old in order to receive legal mail on behalf of your Rhode Island LLC.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent for Your LLC in Rhode Island?

1. You can be your own registered agent

You can be your own registered agent for your company. You will need to be at least 18 years old, have a physical street address in Rhode Island, and must be available during regular business hours.

2. You can ask a friend or family member

You can ask a friend or family member to be the registered agent for your Rhode Island LLC. This person meets the requirements listed above, and it’s especially important that you choose someone responsible to be your resident agent when you form your Rhode Island LLC because this person will have a lot of responsibilities.

3. You can hire a registered agent service

You can also hire a registered agent service to receive and organize documents on your behalf. Hiring a registered agent service is a great way to guarantee that your registered agent is available during normal business hours and will be organized during the LLC formation process.

The address of the company registered agent is a public record, so many business owners prefer to hire a service when they start an LLC just to maintain their privacy. Additionally, if you’re starting an LLC in Rhode Island as a foreign LLC, it’s wise to hire a registered agent service who can provide your company with an address in Rhode Island.

If you need help with choosing a registered agent when you start an LLC, contact the team at LLC Formations so we can help you get your business started.

Let Us Help You!

Let Us Help You!

3. File the Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization is a necessary requirement in setting your LLC up within the state of Rhode Island. This document is made up of sections that are called articles that register key information about your LLC in Rhode Island.

You will need to have at least one authorized person, called an organizing member, the business name and address, and the resident agent’s name and address. This part is pretty simple, but it can become complicated when there are a lot of members involved. Consider using a firm to assist with your Articles of Organization to make the process a lot easier for you.

What is the Filing Fee for an LLC in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island allows you to file your Articles of Organization in one of three ways. You can file by mail, online, or in person. The fee to file is $150. We will briefly discuss each process below.

File By Mail

Filing your LLC by mail is approved within 2-3 business days.

Follow these steps to complete the Articles of Organization by mail or online. To get started by mail, you must download Form 400 from the Rhode Island Secretary of State website. To get started online, you must create an online account on the Rhode Island Secretary of State Business Services Online Filing System.

  1. Enter the name of your business. The name must include LLC or some other limited liability designation.
  2. Enter your resident agent’s name and address. Remember, the agent must have a valid Rhode Island address.
  3. Designate the LLC’s tax designation. Consider which fits your situation:
  • Disregarded Entity – Single-Member LLC (Will be treated as a sole proprietor for tax purposes)
  • Partnership – Multi-Member LLC (Will be treated as a partnership for tax purposes)

If you are still unsure about your LLC’s future tax situation, please consult a tax accountant for guidance.

  • Your LLC’s main office address.
  • Statement of Perpetual Existence and General Purpose. This section gives a default designation about your LLC’s length of existence and its general purpose.
  • Additional Provisions – If you desire your LLC to have an automatic dissolution date, enter it as a provision.
  • Members or Managers – In this section, determine if your LLC will be member-managed or Manager-Managed. A member-managed LLC is where one member or more members of the LLC are engaged as the manager(s) of the LLC. A manager-managed LLC is where the members are not managing the LLC.
  • Effective Date – Here you will determine the start date of your LLC.
  • Organizer Signature –The organizer of the LLC must sign and date and include their address in this section. The organizer is simply the individual or business that is submitting the Articles of Organization on your behalf.

There will be a second section where the filer’s information must go again. Enter the filer’s name, today’s date, the name of your business, an email address, phone number, and mailing address.

  1. Prepare Payment – Issue a check or money order for $150 made out to Rhode Island Secretary of State. If filing online, you will pay using a credit or debit card. There will be a $6 electronic fee assessed.
  2. Mail Documents –Mail your completed documents along with your payment to:

Division of Business Services

148 W. River Street

Providence, RI 02904-2615

Your submission will take 2-3 business days to process upon receipt if filing by mail. If filing online, it will be reviewed on the same business day if filed on Monday through Friday.

Rhode Island will not send back confirmation of approval. You must visit the Rhode Island website to check the status:

  • Go to Rhode Island’s Corporate Database
  • Search for your LLC’s name
  • If it is found, click on the LLC and go to “All Filings”
  • There will be a copy of your completed Articles of Organization for download

Although you will not get back confirmation of approval, if your articles are rejected, you will receive a rejection notice by mail along with your payment method returned. There will be instructions on what needs to be corrected within your articles for approval so you can form an LLC.

File in Person

Filing your LLC as a walk-in will be approved in a few hours. You will be provided with Form 400 and you will fill out all the articles just the same as if you were filing online or by mail. It is best to download the form as if you were mailing it in and complete it before your arrival. Your filing will be reviewed and approved within the same visit if there are no problems with your submission.

To file in person, visit the Division of Business Services at:

Division of Business Services

148 West River Street

Providence, RI 02904-2615

You can visit on Monday – Friday between 8 pm – 4:30 pm. Your LLC will be approved within hours as you wait for the process to be completed. It’s best to arrive early and prepare to wait for the approval.

4. Create an Operating Agreement for Your Rhode Island LLC

After you form an LLC, you should create an LLC Operating Agreement. Although it’s not one of the required steps, it’s still a very important one. An Operating Agreement is another document that is crucial for businesses to have, especially if the businesses are multi-member LLCs. The Operating Agreement describes the roles of the members and how the LLC is supposed to run.

The Operating Agreement should include information about how members will conduct themselves in the business as well as the responsibility of each member. It should also govern how members will split votes on key issues as well as how the members will manage liability in the organization.

You can research online for Operating Agreement templates, however, it’s always best to create your own so it can be written specifically for the LLC’s needs. It’s also wise to keep a signed certified copy of your Operating Agreement if the need ever arises. Since the Operating Agreement doesn’t get filed with the Department of State, there is no filing fee required.

If you need help with creating an Operating Agreement for your LLC in Rhode Island, contact the professionals at LLC Formations.

5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

When you form an LLC, you will need to have an Employer Identification Number. The Employer Identification Number, also commonly referred to as the EIN, is a federally mandated number that you must-have for your business. The EIN is what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses to track your tax liability on the revenue you earn through your business.

Rhode Island LLCs can obtain an EIN from the IRS for their company. Any authorized person within the LLC can apply for the EIN from the IRS, and there are no state filing fees required in order to get an EIN from the IRS. Since it comes from a government agency, you will just need to apply through the website.

The process to secure an EIN is simple. Go to the IRS website for Employee ID Numbers and begin an online application or you can apply for an EIN by mail by downloading form SS-4 and the accompanying instructions.

6. File Your Annual Report

The Rhode Island Secretary of State office requires you to renew your LLC registration each year by filing an annual report. To file your annual report online, you will revisit the same site you visited to set up your Articles of Organization. To file by mail, download form 632 and mail it to the Division of Business Services.

Division of Business Services

148 W. River Street

Providence, RI 02904-2615

The filing fee for the annual report is $50. You can file an annual report by mail or online with Rhode Island and the pricing will be the same. The processing time will also be the same and the report will be processed on the same day it’s received by the Division of Business Services.

When is the Annual Report Filed?

The state filing must occur between September 1 and November 1 of each year. A new LLC will file its first annual report on the following year. After November 1, there is a 30 day grace period. If you file on December 1 or after, you will be accessed an additional $25 late penalty in addition to the state fees and will be accessed the same filing fee for each year the filing goes unreported to the state.

Rhode Island state holds the authority to dissolve your LLC if the filing is not filed timely. Be sure to complete each section when filing your annual report with the Secretary of State.

Let Us Help You!

Let Us Help You!

7. Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

You may require several different business licenses depending on the type of business you are operating within the state of Rhode Island. You must do extensive research when forming an LLC to ensure you are in full compliance with state and local requirements.

It is best to hire a business consulting firm to assist you. This way, you can ensure that you have all of the licenses and certifications that are required in order for your LLC to provide its services. Take a review of the resources below to get started on your research.

8. Understand Taxes for Your Rhode Island LLC

Business taxes are extremely important to maintain when forming an LLC. Failure to set up proper taxes can be expensive in the long term. This is one area where we highly recommend you to get assistance from services that handle taxes professionally.

It’s always beneficial to work with a tax accountant or a reputable business consulting firm to discuss your tax liability situation. Check these common resources below about taxes for businesses in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island requires an annual charge for each LLC. The charge is $400 and is due annually. There may be additional fees if you operate as a foreign LLC. For more information, visit Rhode Island Tax Obligations for LLCs.

9. Open a Business Bank Account

When forming an LLC, it’s important to keep in mind that you are not to mix your business funds with your personal funds. If you do, you could forfeit the limited liability protection offered by the LLC business structure.

As soon as you form an LLC and obtain your EIN, you should open a bank account for your Rhode Island LLC. Whether you have one member or many members, a business account is necessary for protecting your personal assets. It also allows for easier bookkeeping for your LLC.

It is best to sign up for a business account in person. Be sure to bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

  • Certified Articles of Organization
  • EIN
  • Name and address on photo ID

What are the Benefits of Opening a Bank Account for the LLC?

In addition to the guaranteed liability protection, having a business account allows you to pay employees from payroll, you can grow a line of credit for your business, and it makes it easier to organize your tax return.

If you have any questions about opening a business account for your LLC, contact the professionals at LLC Formations.

How Can LLC Formations Help You?

Starting a new business can be overwhelming, but with the right help, you can have your Rhode Island LLC started in no time.

Contact our professional team at LLC Formations if you need help with any part of the process. Our next Guide is available now on forming a South Carolina LLC.

Additional Resources