How to start a Rhode Island LLC

By Bazal Razzaq

Chief Editor

Updated: September 27, 2023, 12:30pm

Editorial Note: We earn a commission if you use the services recommended on this page. Commissions do not affect our opinions or recommendations.

Rhode Island LLC

In the last couple of years, Rhode Island LLC has grown in huge numbers. The businessmen continue to set up new entities in the Ocean state and LLC is the most accessible and easy to set up. To form an LLC in Rhode Island, file the Articles of Organization from the Rhode Island Department of State, which is $150. It can be applied online or by mail.

You can read our step-by-step guide on “How to start an LLC in Rhode Island.”

#1 Name your Rhode Island LLC

Choose a company name before you plan to start an LLC in Rhode Island. The name of your company should comply with the naming criteria of Rhode Island Limited Liability Company. You can read the naming requirements below;

  • The chosen Company name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or its abbreviations LLC, L.L.C.

  • The chosen Company name should not include words that are the same as government agencies FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.

  • The company should avoid using Restricted words like Attorney, University, or Bank which will involve additional paperwork and a licensed person such as a doctor, or a lawyer to be a part of an LLC.

  • Your company name should not match the name of any Rhode Island LLC.

Before deciding on a name for your LLC, read the Secretary of State’s guidelines. Doing this beforehand will save a lot of your precious time. You can also reserve a name of your choice for 120 days with a fee of $50.

#2 Appoint a Registered Agent for your Rhode Island LLC

You will be required to nominate a Registered Agent for your Rhode Island LLC. The appointed registered agent will receive all legal documents and notices on behalf of the LLC.

A registered agent can be you or any employee of the company. You can also appoint an agent from a registered agent service to do the required job. A registered agent must fulfil the following criteria-

  • He/She must be 18+ in age.

  • He/She must have a physical address in the state.

  • He/She must be available during regular working hours.

#3 File for Certificate of Organization

To complete the registration of your LLC in Rhode Island, you have to file for a Certificate of Organization. The filing can be done either online or through mail. After that, you can determine if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed.

Apply Online-

Fill out the form online with the State of Rhode Island.

Apply through the mail-

You can download the form and send it through mail at the address mentioned below.

Mailing Address:

Division of Business Services

148 W. River Street

Providence, RI 02904

The State filing for Articles of Organization costs approximately $150, payable to the Rhode Island Secretary of State and is non-refundable. If you wish to expand your existing Limited Liability Company to Rhode Island, then you have to form a foreign LLC.

You will be required to provide the following information-

  • Name of your Limited Liability Company.

  • Name and Address of your Registered Agent.

  • Name of each Organizer in the LLC.

  • The duration or period till the LLC will exist.

  • Name and address of managers.

  • Signature of the person forming the LLC.

  • Note the effective date of the LLC if it is different from the filing date.

#4 Create an Operating Agreement for Rhode Island LLC

An Operating Agreement is not necessary for your LLC in Rhode Island, but it is a good practice to have one. The agreement is a legal document that highlights the ownership and working parameters of the LLC.

The agreement ensures that all the business owners are aware of their role and avoids future conflicts. The operating agreement includes the following-

  • LLC’s name and address.

  • Duration of Limited Liability Company.

  • Name and physical address of the Registered agent.

  • Business Purpose.

  • Members of the LLC and their contribution.

  • Profit and Loss Sharing.

  • Hiring and leaving procedure of the members.

  • Management process of the LLC.

  • Liability clauses and Indemnification.

#5 File for Employer Identification Number (EIN)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a nine-digit number to identify LLCs for taxes. The Employer Identification Number can be obtained online or through mail.

The EIN is required for the following reasons:

  • File and manage taxes at the Rhode Island state and federal levels.

  • Open a bank account for your business.

  • Hire employees.

The EIN is obtained from the IRS free of charge by the owner of the business.

Apply Online-

Get a 9-digit EIN from the IRS online.

Apply through Mail-

Download the form and send it to the address given below;

Mailing Address-

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

#6 File the Annual Report for Rhode Island LLC

The state requires the Limited Liability Company to file the annual report. It can be filed online or through the mail and costs a $50 fee. The annual report is usually due between September 1 and November 1 each year.

The LLCs that file before the said date, will not be processed and the fees will be refunded.

Late filing comes with a penalty of $25. Rhode Island can cancel an LLC’s certificate of formation if it fails to file an annual report.

#7 Keep your Rhode Island LLC compliant

The owners of LLCs in Rhode Island must comply with state, federal and local government regulations. The fees, licenses and permits will depend on the type of business license you need.

You will have to register for one or more than one tax depending upon the nature of your business. If you are selling a product, you will have to apply for a seller’s permit at the Rhode Island Division of Taxation website. If you are hiring employees for your LLC, register for employer taxes on the State of Rhode Island’s Taxation website.

You will be required to fulfill the hiring laws as well.

  • Check if New employees can work in the US.

  • Regard new employees as “New hires” to the Rhode Island state.

  • Deduct Employee’s taxes.

  • Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Employees.

  • Print and place workplace compliance posters in your workspace.

The formation of an LLC provides a legal right to run the business. Make sure you keep your LLC compliant and in an active state on the website. Rhode Island LLCs must file for an Annual Report. The filing can be done between Sept.1 and Nov. 1, one year after your LLC is formed. The LLC must also make its quarterly payments.

We hope these steps helped guide you to form your own Limited Liability Company in Rhode Island.

Frequently Asked Questions​

Make sure your LLC follows the naming requirements such as:

  • “Limited Liability Company” Phrase or its attributes LLC or L.L.C.

  • Doesn’t include restricted words like FBI, State Department etc.

  • Receive licensing while using words like doctor or lawyer.

A Domestic LLC completes Articles of Organization while a foreign LLC submits an Application for Registration.

You or anyone from your company can be a Registered Agent.

It costs $150 to form a Rhode Island LLC.

A Social Security Number is not necessary for EIN. One can fill out the form and call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete an EIN application.

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