How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island | 2023 Guide

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Start a LLC in Rhode Island

How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island: If you’re looking to launch a business in Rhode Island, starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) may be the right choice for you. An LLC provides personal liability protection for its owners while giving them flexibility in managing and taxing the business. This guide provides a step-by-step process for starting an LLC in Rhode Island. From choosing a unique name to registering with the state and obtaining necessary licenses and permits, Webinarcare Editorial Team will walk you through setting up your new business entity. So grab a pen and paper, and let’s get started!

What is a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that combines a corporation’s limited liability protection with a partnership’s tax benefits. LLCs are popular among small business owners for their flexibility and ease of formation. In Rhode Island, an LLC must have a unique name and file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Depending on their business needs, LLCs may also elect to be taxed as a corporation or an S-corp. Owners of an LLC, called members, are not personally liable for the company’s debts and losses, and the company’s profits and losses are passed through to the member’s personal tax returns. This makes an LLC an attractive option for those seeking personal liability protection and simplified taxation.

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Steps on How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island

To form an LLC for your business, you must follow the guidelines that include naming your LLC, hiring a Resident Agent, filing your Articles of Organization, creating your LLC operating agreement, getting an employer identification number, opening a bank account and getting business licenses and permits.

Step 1: Name your LLC in Rhode Island

After you have decided on the idea to form an LLC in Rhode Island, deciding the name for your LLC is significant. There is a complete guide on LLC name guidelines for you to have a proper LLC business name. Here are some regulations you must follow while naming your LLC,

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Rhode Island, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in Rhode Island Secretary of State to keep the name. 

Recommended: We recommend a professional service that can offer you unlimited name search, trademark and copyright registration at a reasonable price. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fees for LLC Formation)

You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for filing Rhode Island DBA (doing business as). In this manner, you can choose any name you desire for your business. A DBA allows a company to operate under the name of the person or entity who owns it. If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in two methods, by mail and in person. However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA from up to Indefinite, which costs around $50.

Step 2: Hire a Resident Agent in Rhode Island

Hiring a Resident Agent in Rhode Island is a must since a Resident Agent is a person or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your Rhode Island LLC. Most states require you to designate a Resident Agent when forming your LLC. 

The qualifications of a Resident Agent vary depending on the jurisdiction. Still, generally, a Resident Agent must meet the following criteria:

  • Availability: A Resident Agent must be available during regular business hours to receive and process legal documents and official correspondence.
  • Physical Address: A Resident Agent must have a physical street address within the state where the LLC is registered. This address, known as the registered office, cannot be a P.O. Box.
  • Residency or Authorization: For individuals serving as Resident Agent, they must be residents of the Rhode Island where the LLC was formed. A business entity acting as a Resident Agent must be authorized to do business within that state.
  • Age: A Resident Agent must be at least 18 years old.
  • Good standing: A Resident Agent should not have any legal or financial issues that impede their ability to fulfill their duties.

Choosing a reliable and responsible Resident Agent is essential, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can seriously affect your business. Some businesses use professional Resident Agent services to ensure compliance and proper handling of legal matters.

However, if you would like to have an easier process in filing the necessary documents, you can get Rhode Island Resident Agent Services.

Step 3: File your Articles of Organization in Rhode Island

The Articles of Organization for an LLC is an important document to start your limited liability company (LLC). Rhode Island Articles of Organization is a simple document that contains the business name and address as well as the name and address of the person who received lawsuits on behalf of the organization. 

Here are the guidelines and specific requirements in filing your Articles of Organization in Rhode Island.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Rhode Island’s business filing office website, usually the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office, to download the required forms or file online. 

2. Provide the Required Information: Fill in the necessary details in the form, which typically include:

  • The name of your LLC (must include an LLC designator such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company”)
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general statement or specific business activities)
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your registered agent (the person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC)
  • The management structure of your LLC (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The duration of your LLC, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers or members

3. Sign and File the Form: Submit the completed form in the {state} state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Division of Business Services, 148 W. River Street, Providence, RI 02904.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $150. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

5. Receive Confirmation: After your Articles of Organization have been filed and processed, you’ll receive a confirmation from Rhode Island, typically a stamped and approved copy of the document or a Articles of Organization.

Recommended: Filing formation papers is easy and hassle-free if you hire a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee)

Once you have successfully filed your Articles of Organization and it has been approved, your Rhode Island LLC is officially formed. However, remember to complete additional steps, such as creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and registering for any required licenses and permits.

Step 4: Create Your Rhode Island Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that contains all of your company’s organizational details. Drafting an operating agreement in most states is not required. Yet, having one as an internal document is strongly advised. An operating agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

To understand how an operating agreement works, you should check out how to create an operating agreement in Rhode Island.

Recommended: Get oprating agreement drafts ready on your table with a help of a professional service. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 5: Get an EIN

After documenting the operating agreement, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Rhode Island. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. 

The application of an EIN in Rhode Island can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

In obtaining an EIN for your LLC, you should be aware to ensure that your LLC is eligible for an EIN. You need an EIN if you have employees, operate as a corporation or partnership, or meet other specific IRS criteria. Before applying, gather the required information, including your LLC’s name, mailing address, and the responsible party’s Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Also, you can apply for an EIN through various methods, including online, by fax, mail, or telephone (for international applicants).

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom – ($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Open a Bank Account and Prepare for Taxes

After you have filed for and received your Employer Identification Number, you should open a bank account because you will use this account for yourself, your clients, and your employees.

Your business dealings in Rhode Island might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Most banks demand an EIN to create a business bank account for firms other than sole proprietorships. Also, having an EIN makes tax preparation easier. You can anticipate paying employment and corporate taxes with Rhode Island LLC.

Opening a bank account is necessary for Rhode Island business. If you are still wondering where to open an account in your Rhode Island, you should check the Best Bank for Small Business in Rhode Island.

Step 7: Get a Business and License Permit

You must get a business license in Rhode Island before establishing your LLC. A business license is a legal document granted by a state government body that permits you to conduct business within the area under its jurisdiction. The price of business licenses and permits in Rhode Island ranges from $50 – $300. If there is a requirement for a specific license or city-based permit, you must inquire with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

Cost to Form an LLC in Rhode Island

Even if you have a business name and structure in mind, you should consider whether you can afford the costs of forming an LLC in Rhode Island. Articles of Organization costs around $150. The initial filing fee is $150 (by mail and online), and the annual fee is $50. 

If you forget to pay the annual fee for your Rhode Island LLC, you will have a penalty of $25. However, you can check the Rhode Island LLC Cost for additional information.

Advantages of Creating Rhode Island LLC

Even though some people decide on what to do with their businesses, some choose to put it in their own individual name, while others still choose to set it up via LLC in Rhode Island. Important benefits will help you set up an LLC in Rhode Island. 

  • Pass-Through Taxation: The pass-through structure will make the company not pay twice the tax. Most start-ups and entrepreneurs in Rhode Island apply for an LLC because of this structure. Pass-through taxation refers to how income and losses from an LLC (Limited Liability Company) are passed through to its members (owners) for tax purposes rather than being taxed at the business entity level. This means the LLC does not pay federal income taxes; the members’ profits and losses are allocated based on their interests. Each member then reports their share of the LLC’s income or losses on their personal tax returns and pays taxes at their individual tax rates.
  • Ownership Flexibility: If you need sole and primary control over your company’s operations, a sole proprietorship will allow you to do so. If you apply for an LLC in Rhode Island with flexibility, you will have default rules set by law and need an operating agreement.
  • Personal Liability Protection: Personal Liability Protection protects your business from damage, debts, or legal obligations. In personal liability protection, the company’s profits and earnings will stay as is even if your company is about to be sued. This protection of having an LLC in Rhode Island can also be extended to the company’s properties and assets. Many start-up companies will benefit from this since most are starting to build a company. Even if liability exists, the LLC in Rhode Island will protect its assets. 


What is an LLC?
An LLC is a Limited Liability Company.
What are the advantages of forming an LLC in Rhode Island?
Advantages of forming an LLC in Rhode Island include limited liability, flexibility in business management and ownership, and tax benefits.
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, the LLC formation fee is $150.
Is a business license required to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
Yes, LLC owners must obtain a Rhode Island State Business License.
Can a Non-Resident Start an LLC in Rhode Island?
Yes, a non-resident can start an LLC in Rhode Island.
What are the residency requirements to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
There are no residency requirements to form an LLC in Rhode Island.
What is the first step to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
The first step to start an LLC in Rhode Island is to choose a name for your LLC.
Can more than one LLC have the same name in Rhode Island?
No, only one LLC can have a specific name in Rhode Island.
How do I search for available company names when forming an LLC in Rhode Island?
You can search for available company names online through the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.
Is a registered agent necessary to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
Yes, an LLC in Rhode Island must have a registered agent.
Can I be my own registered Agent for my Rhode Island LLC?
Yes, LLC owners in Rhode Island can serve as their own registered agent.
Does my registered agent need to be located in Rhode Island?
Yes, the registered agent must have a physical address in Rhode Island.
What is an Operating Agreement, and is it required for an LLC in Rhode Island?
An Operating Agreement is not a requirement in Rhode Island, but it is a highly recommended document outlining the ownership and management structure of the LLC.
What is an EIN, and do I need one to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
An EIN (Employer Identification Number) is required for LLCs in Rhode Island with employees or any business that is registered for tax purposes.
Where can I get an EIN for my Rhode Island LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly through the IRS website.
How long does it take to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
It takes 7-10 days to fully process and approve an LLC formation in Rhode Island.
Can I change the name of my LLC after I form it in Rhode Island?
Yes, Rhode Island LLCs can change their name anytime by filing Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State.
After I form an LLC in Rhode Island, do I need to pay any annual fees to keep it active?
Yes, Rhode Island LLCs must pay an annual report fee of $50 to keep their LLC active and in good standing.
What is an Authorized Person, and do I need to list one for my LLC in Rhode Island?
The Authorized Person is a person authorized to manage LLC business in Rhode Island, and it is not required to list one in your LLC formation materials.
Do I need to file for anything besides an LLC formation to start an LLC in Rhode Island?
At minimum, Rhode Island LLCs must register for the State Business License.
How old do I need to be to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
The minimum age requirement to start an LLC in Rhode Island is 18.
Is it required to obtain liability insurance for an LLC in Rhode Island?
Although Required, Liability Insurance is not mandatory for LLC formation in Rhode Island.
How do I file LLC Formation paperwork in Rhode Island?
You can file LLC Formation paperwork either online or in-person with the Secretary of State’s Office in Rhode Island.
Do Rhode Island LLCs need to file taxes?
Rhode Island LLCs need to file State Income Tax Return if their income is over a certain limit or meets specific criteria from the IRS.
Can foreign-owned LLCs operate in Rhode Island?
Yes, foreign-owned LLCs can operate in Rhode Island if they obtain approval from the Rhode Island Secretary of State.
Can a Rhode Island LLC be member-managed?
Yes, Rhode Island LLCs can be member-managed.
Is an annual meeting required for Rhode Island LLCs?
No, but LLC owners should hold a meeting to discuss LLC events and finances, even a casual consultant.
Does Rhode Island require any particular document for LLCs?
Operating Agreement is recommended, but not required for every LLC in Rhode Island.
Why should I choose to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island allows single-member LLCs and has a straightforward filing process.
What are the first steps to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
Choose a name, appoint a registered agent, file Articles of Organization, and pay the filing fee.
Can I conduct business in other states if my LLC is registered in Rhode Island?
Yes, but you need to register in those states too.
How much does it cost to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $150.
What does the registered agent do?
They act as the point of contact between the LLC and the state, receive legal documents on behalf of the LLC, and forward them to the appropriate person.
Can I be my own registered agent in Rhode Island?
How do I choose a name for my LLC in Rhode Island?
The name must be available for use and must end with the words “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like LLC.
Do I need to reserve my LLC name in Rhode Island before filing?
How long does it take to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
It takes around 1-2 business days for online filings.
Can an LLC have more than one owner in Rhode Island?
How do I file Articles of Organization in Rhode Island?
By mailing it to the Secretary of State or filing online.
Does Rhode Island require an operating agreement?
No, but it is still a good idea to have one.
Does Rhode Island offer expedited processing?
Yes, for an additional fee.
Do I need a federal tax ID number to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
How do I obtain a federal tax ID number for my Rhode Island LLC?
You can apply for it online from the IRS website.
Does Rhode Island taxed LLCs?
Rhode Island taxes LLCs with income tax.
How often do I need to file an annual report for my LLC in Rhode Island?
Every year by November 1st.
What is the cost of filing an Annual Report in Rhode Island?
The fee for filing is $50.
What happens if I don’t file my Annual Report on time?
The state may revoke your LLC’s good standing status, which can lead to serious consequences.
How do I dissolve my LLC in Rhode Island?
By filing Articles of Dissolution with the Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to dissolve my LLC in Rhode Island?
The filing fee is $50.
Can I reinstate a dissolved LLC in Rhode Island?
Yes, by filing a Certificate of Reinstatement with the Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to reinstate a dissolved LLC in Rhode Island?
The fee is $25.
Does Rhode Island require membership certificates for LLCs?
No, but it is still a good practice to issue them.
Is an LLC a separate legal entity in Rhode Island?
Yes, an LLC has its own legal entity separate from its owners.
Are there any name restrictions for Rhode Island LLCs?
The name should not contain words that imply illegal activity or imply that the LLC provides professional services without being licensed.
What is the statute governing LLCs in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island Limited Liability Company Act.
Do I need an attorney to form an LLC in Rhode Island?
No, but getting legal advice is always a good idea.
What business activities require a state license in Rhode Island?
Certain regulated activities like cosmetology and adult entertainment require a license in Rhode Island.

Also Read

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Rhode Island

Establishing a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Rhode Island involves a series of crucial steps that entail careful consideration and execution. It is crucial to remember that these steps, their duration, and resulting timeline can vary significantly based on the nature of your business, compliance with the regulatory framework, and the complexity of required paperwork. Taking these factors into account can help prospective entrepreneurs get a clear idea of how fast they can expect to form an LLC.

The first step in forming an LLC in Rhode Island is choosing a suitable business name and verifying its availability through the Secretary of State’s database. This initial search is essential to ensure there are no conflicts with existing businesses or protected trademarks. While it might seem daunting to find a unique and appropriate name for your company, dedicating a sufficient amount of time and brainstorming creative solutions can expedite this process significantly.

After obtaining a name that aligns with your vision, ensuring compliance with state regulations is imperative. In Rhode Island, it is obligatory to appoint a statutory agent, which often represents the registered agent responsible for receiving important legal and tax documents on behalf of the business. Though there are various resources available for assistance in this process, conducting thorough online research or seeking professional advice is always advisable to ensure compliance and expedite the formation process.

The completion and submission of the Articles of Organization is another essential step of forming an LLC in Rhode Island. These articles contain vital information such as the company’s name, address, members’ details, and the nature of the business. Devoting ample time and attention to accurately completing this step will ultimately save valuable time by minimizing potential rejection or revision of the documents by the Secretary of State.

Once all these initial steps are carefully executed, aspiring entrepreneurs in Rhode Island should prepare themselves for a potentially varied turnaround time when it comes to obtaining the official LLC certificate. Due to unforeseen circumstances, administrative processing delays, or higher-than-usual application volumes, the exact duration cannot be determined. Nevertheless, being patient and maintaining contact and follow-up with the appropriate authorities can help ensure a swift resolution.

Forming an LLC is undoubtedly an exciting endeavor, full of enthusiasm for future business prospects. While it is difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe, entrepreneurs in Rhode Island can expedite the LLC formation process by dedicating adequate time, conducting thorough research, seeking professional assistance, and adhering to all relevant regulations and requirements. Your patience, persistence, and attention to detail will lead you down the path of forming your dream business sooner rather than later.


In conclusion, starting an LLC in Rhode Island is a strategic choice for entrepreneurs seeking a flexible, straightforward business structure with limited liability protection. By following the essential steps, including choosing a business name, filing Articles of Organization, appointing a Resident Agent, creating an Operating Agreement, obtaining an EIN, and securing the necessary licenses and permits, you can successfully establish your LLC. This business structure offers numerous advantages, such as pass-through taxation and ownership flexibility, making it an attractive option for small business owners looking to grow and protect their ventures. As always, consult legal and business professionals for guidance specific to your situation and state requirements.

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