Why Create a Rhode Island LLC?

The state of Rhode Island offers a variety of incentives, credits, and grants made available by Rhode Island, provided your LLC meets the specific criteria. For example, the Qualified Jobs Incentive Tax Credit is offered to businesses and enables them to receive annual, redeemable tax credits for up to 10 years.

For entrepreneurs wanting to start a business in Rhode Island, creating a Rhode Island limited liability company (LLC) is generally the fastest and easiest way. With more simplified rules and regulations, an LLC is an ideal business entity for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, granting you the advantages and protections that larger Rhode Island corporations benefit from.

Benefits of starting a Rhode Island LLC:

  • Create, manage, regulate, administer and stay in compliance easily

  • Easily file your taxes and discover potential advantages for tax treatment

  • Protect your personal assets from your business liability and debts

  • Low cost to file ($150)

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.

In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, Rhode Island business taxes and much more. We also cover your registration needs, filing your Rhode Island LLC and how you'll correspond with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS).

 

How to Form an LLC in Rhode Island Yourself in 6 Steps

1

Complete a Rhode Island LLC Search and Choose a Unique Business Name

To start the process, you’ll need a name for your LLC that’s unique and stands out, but you'll want to make sure that it's not being used by any other business or formed entity in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas. You'll also need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Rhode Island Business Names page.

Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Rhode Island. To find out whether another company in the state is already using your preferred business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a name search within the Rhode Island Secretary of State's website via their corporations business search.

We can search the state of Rhode Island business registry for you

2

Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC

Regardless of whether your business is in an office building, a home (if the company is run from a residence) or any other physical location, every Rhode Island LLC must have a designated street address. It can be located outside the state of Rhode Island, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.

3

Assign a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and is responsible for filing reports with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS). Every LLC in Rhode Island is required to have a Registered Agent.

This position can be filled by you, another manager in your business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. If your Rhode Island Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in Rhode Island and must be present during business hours to receive important documents on behalf of your business. In Rhode Island, you appoint your Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization and formally create your business.

All of Incfile’s packages include Registered Agent service. It’s free for the first year and just $119 per year after that. We also provide you with access to our dashboard where you can easily view any document we've received on your behalf.

4

File Your Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS)

Once you've gathered all the information for your Rhode Island LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

The certificate must include:

  • Name of your LLC
  • Name and contact information of the Registered Agent
  • How you wish your company to be treated for Federal income tax purposes
  • Principal address of the business
  • Whether the LLC is will be member-managed or manager-managed
  • Name(s) and signature(s) of authorized person(s)

Your Articles of Organization can be filed online, by mail, or in person with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. The Rhode Island LLC filing fee is $150.

File by Mail or In Person

Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island
02904-2615

You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, however all LLCs in Rhode Island must file an annual report once a year to remain compliant with the Secretary of State. The filing fee set by the RI Secretary of State is $50 and an additional $2.50 will be charged for filing online.

Let Incfile Handle the Paperwork for You for $0 + the Rhode Island State Fee

What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Rhode Island?

Once you've gathered all the information for your Rhode Island LLC, you’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$156 3 Weeks 1 Business Day
State Fee $156
State Filing Time 3 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 1 Business Day

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

September 1st

Filling Fee

$53*

*includes online service fee

5

Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service

You’ll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or you can have Incfile obtain one for you as part of the Rhode Island LLC formation process.

6

Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business. An LLC Operating Agreement will outline key components of your business - how decisions will be made, how the business is divided among members and what will happen if a member leaves the company.

Although some states require businesses to have this document in place, you're not legally required to have a Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement in place. We recommend having one for your business nonetheless.

Receive a personalized Operating Agreement when you select Incfile’s Gold package

Other Rhode Island LLC Types

Professional LLC

Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) are different from professional corporations in that they typically have licensing requirements applicable to certain fields, such as law and medicine. In order to form a PLLC, you may need a state license to practice.

Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one is right for your business.

Foreign LLC

If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Rhode Island—or vice versa—you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.

Learn more about Rhode Island Foreign LLC registration.

Helpful Resources from the State of Rhode Island

More Information in This Guide

You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:

How to Name Your Rhode Island LLC

How to search the Rhode Island business registry and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving a Rhode Island LLC name and more.

Rhode Island Registered Agents

How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.

Rhode Island LLC Fees and Requirements

How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the state and federal requirements you’ll need to meet. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.

Rhode Island Business Tax Rules

How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details of state taxes such as sales and income, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.

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