How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island: If you’re interested in setting up a Rhode Island LLC, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Rhode Island laws make it easy to establish your LLC in Rhode Island. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your Rhode Island LLC has been correctly established. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂
On this page, you’ll learn about the following:
- How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island
- After Starting Your Rhode Island LLC
- Rhode Island Foreign LLC
- Rhode Island LLC Formation Review
How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island
An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.
If you wish to start an LLC in Rhode Island, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $150. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Rhode Island. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in Rhode Island in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Rhode Island to set up your LLC.
Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Rhode Island LLC
The very first step while forming an LLC in Rhode Island is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.
Rhode Island LLC Naming Guidelines
There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Rhode Island have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:
- Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Rhode Island can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
- “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
- You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
- Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Rhode Island State Government are fulfilled.
- (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
|Important Links –||Submit Offline Form to –|
|Rhode Island Business Entity Search – Online Name Search|
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Rhode Island LLC Name Search – Instructions
|Office of the Secretary of State|
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615
Reserve Business Name for Future
If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $50 to reserve your name with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. An additional $2.50 fee should be paid for online filing.
Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name
Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Rhode Island Secretary of State by submitting an Application to Register a Trade Name in Rhode Island along with the filing fee of $10.
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TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
TailorBrands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.
It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.
Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Rhode Island
The second step to forming a Rhode Island LLC is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Rhode Island. Hence, hiring a competent Rhode Island Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary.
Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Rhode Island or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Rhode Island. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.
These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Rhode Island. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Rhode Island registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.
A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Rhode Island can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.
Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Rhode Island and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Rhode Island.
Registered Agent Consent Application
In Rhode Island, there is no separate Consent Letter to be produced to the Secretary of State. At the time of change of Registered Agent (or the name or address), the new Registered Agent has to sign the consent letter. It comes with the Application form to Change the Registered Agent. The filing fee of $10 should be paid for it. For more information on the same, read our guide on Rhode Island Registered Agent.
Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Rhode Island
The third and most important step in forming a Rhode Island LLC is to file the Articles of Organization. This Rhode Island Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $150 (by mail and $208 online) to file your formation certificate in Rhode Island. (Read more on LLC cost in Rhode Island).
The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Rhode Island LLC, one should know about the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Rhode Island then you need to register as a Rhode Island Foreign LLC.
How to File Online
Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber then click on the “log in to Subscribe Account” option and log in with your credentials. If you’re not subscribed, then you can directly start filing your LLC by clicking on the “Online Filing” button below. Read more about the Rhode Island Articles of Organization for online registration.
How to File by Mail
If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Rhode Island LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Formation Form. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address,
Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, RI 02904
Processing Time: It takes 5 to 7 business days to get a Rhode Island LLC if you file it online or by mail. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.
Recommended: Online LLC Formation service can provide all these documents in lesser days along with lifetime customer support and 100% accuracy. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 4: Create Your Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement
Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.
When it comes to filing a Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Rhode Island, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Rhode Island LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary but it is definitely ideal.
Recommended: You can get operating agreement templates at only $29 with TailorBrands. You don’t need to worry about drafting it as they will take care of it on your behalf. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Step 5: Filing a Rhode Island LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter.
EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Rhode Island LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Rhode Island foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.
To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.
Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free
Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –
TailorBrands – ($49 + State Fees) Online LLC Setup
Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.
Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your Rhode Island LLC. If you do it yourself it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.
However, if you use TailorBrands it should take fewer hours and you always have live chat with expert support for any help you need.
After Starting Your Rhode Island LLC
After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:
- Get a company business bank account
- File Rhode Island business permits & licenses
- Get general liability insurance and professional liability insurance with coverage for employees
- File a Rhode Island LLC annual report or biennial report
This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.
Cost of Rhode Island LLC
Forming an LLC in Rhode Island is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form a Rhode Island LLC. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your Rhode Island LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in Rhode Island,
|Fees/Tax||Amount to be Paid|
|Name Reservation Fee (online)||$50|
|Name Reservation Fee (By mail)||$52.50|
|Certificate of Formation Fee||$150 (by mail and online)|
|LLC Annual Fee||$50|
In Rhode Island, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 120 days without registering your LLC. It can be done by paying $50.
In Rhode Island, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $50. Also, the State of Rhode Island requires LLCs to pay a Sales Tax of 7% every year. Read our guide on LLC costs in Rhode Island for more information.
Rhode Island Foreign LLC
If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in Rhode Island then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Rhode Island Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Rhode Island SOS to form your foreign LLC in Rhode Island. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Rhode Island Foreign LLC.
Reasons to Start an LLC in Rhode Island
If you look at Rhode Island’s insights, it is one of the smallest states in the USA but has large opportunities for businesses. Industries are established in the state and are thriving well due to the business environment and incentives offered. So, if you are also willing to start a Rhode Island LLC, here are some of the benefits the state government offers to their LLC start-ups.
Incentives for Small Businesses
Any new Rhode Island LLC that is starting up as a small business will be eligible for plenty of incentives and tax benefits provided by various government entities. A glimpse of some of them is shown below.
- Any capital gained by the small business will be excluded from the taxation list for some time to invest more in strengthening their foundation. Also, many modifications are to be made in the company’s structuring, for which some amount is to be paid to the government. A business is also exempted from these taxes. Read more on Rhode Island’s classification of LLC tax.
- Some specific activities are listed by the Rhode Island state government and clarify that if the LLCs follow these activities, they will enjoy some tax credit.
Small Business Loan program
In Rhode Island, small businesses are liable for 98.9% of the state’s income. That is why the government started a special loan program named Small Business Loan Fund Program. It ensures that any small business looking to level up should not miss an opportunity due to a money crisis. The maximum capital one can derive from the loan is $500,000, which is more than sufficient for carrying forward any expansion-related activity.
Innovation Network Matching Grant
The INMG program is designed for LLCs in Rhode Island that is medium to small in size. The key industries to whom these grants are provided the healthcare, food and agriculture, life sciences, etc. These businesses are considered essential for running human life, and that is why the incentives are provided to such businesses on the tax they file with the state government.
Best Businesses in Rhode Island
To form an LLC in Rhode Island, you need to gain complete knowledge of the smallest state’s businesses. Several businesses are well flourishing in the state, but only a few have contributed hugely to its GDP. Here is the list of those top 3 businesses
One of Rhode Island’s most prominent players, tourism, provides jobs to 50,000 people of such a small state. The state’s total contribution to the country is around $5.75 billion, and the reason behind this is the top-class tourism spots in the state. There are many historical monuments in the state with a long 400 miles of seashore.
There is a place named Benefit Street, which is most popular in the state, and people love to stay around that place due to its artistic and intellectual centers.
The textile mills and jewelry businesses of the state are very famous around the country. For a very extended period of time, the jewelry businesses of the state are also known as the world’s jewelry capital. The jewelry is focused on the inexpensive yet beautiful stones that are procured from the seashore easily.
Other than jewelry, there are some production houses for electrical appliances also in the state. All of these businesses have combined contributed an amount of $4.65 billion to the state’s GDP.
Fishing and Agriculture
Due to the long seashore present in the state, the businesses related to fishing activities are thriving well. A vast mackerel market, cod, striped bass, etc., fishes due to its commercial demand. The state is also dependent on its agriculture sector for milk, sweet corn, and potato. The overall contribution of both these sectors is around $.12 billion.
Some small businesses that are working goof in the state are:-
- Special cultural food businesses
- Custom jewelry shop
- Fabricated metal products business
Rhode Island LLC Formation Review
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Rhode Island. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.
- Name your Rhode Island LLC
The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
- Choose a Registered Agent
In Rhode Island, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services to get things done hassle-free.
- File a Formation Certificate
Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC in Rhode Island. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
- Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Rhode Island but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
- Get an EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Rhode Island
Business filings like LLC in Rhode Island may take up to 5 to 7 business days, depending on the number of applications. Expedited fees may apply to speed up the process.
Whether you’re starting a new business or are looking to expand your existing company, forming an LLC in Rhode Island is an easy process that can help you avoid liability. The LLC allows you to protect your personal assets from lawsuits, but also gives you the flexibility of a partnership. As with any other business entity, there are a few things to consider before forming your LLC in Rhode Island. You’ll need to know about the registration process, the fees involved, and how to file the necessary documents.
Whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation, you’ll need to file an annual report with the Department of State. The report keeps you in good standing with the Secretary of State. However, if you accidentally miss a filing, you may have to pay a late fee.
You may need an Employee Identification Number (EIN), which is a social security number, to open a bank account. The IRS offers an online EIN application, which you can complete to get a new EIN immediately. A mail-in EIN application is available, as well. The IRS has guidance on EINs in Publication 1635.
Choosing an LLC name is important because it must be distinguishable from other registered Rhode Island business names. If your name is too similar to another name already in use, you’ll need a court order to change it. You’ll also need to make sure that the name is available in the state. The Rhode Island Secretary of State has a site for name searches.
Creating a LLC in Rhode Island is easy, but there are some important things to consider before forming it. You’ll need to file articles of organization with the Department of State, as well as a registered agent. A registered agent will act as your legal representative, receiving legal notices from government agencies, and serving as the legal appointee for your business. The registered agent must be available during regular business hours. The registered agent’s name is public record, and your agent can be subject to unwanted solicitations.
If you want to save money and time, you can form an LLC in Rhode Island without a registered agent. To do this, you’ll need to file articles of organization online with the Secretary of State’s Business Services Division. You’ll also need to pay a $50 filing fee. This fee will allow you to hold your LLC’s name for 120 days.
If you’re not comfortable forming your LLC online, you can also file in person with the Department of State’s Business Services Division. You’ll need to include your contact information, as well as your registered agent’s name and address. You’ll also need to provide an active email address. The Department of State will send you back approved documents by mail. You’ll receive your paperwork within three to four business days.
After filing articles of organization, you’ll need to form an operating agreement for your LLC. An operating agreement is a legal contract that outlines each member’s rights and responsibilities towards the company. It also helps to reduce future conflicts. The agreement outlines operating procedures and ensures that all owners are on the same page. The operating agreement is also important because it makes running the company easier.
If you are a resident of Rhode Island, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.
Apart from the formation fee of $150 (domestic LLC) and $150 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Rhode Island include $50 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are liable to pay sales tax of 7% every year.
It takes 5 to 7 business days to get a Rhode Island LLC if you file it online or by mail. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend TailorBrands which has impeccable turnaround time.
Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $50 to the Rhode Island Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.
Generally, for the LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you will obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Rhode Island Classification of LLC Tax.
LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups can easily start an LLC in Rhode Island at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.