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How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island

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Learn how to form an LLC in Rhode Island yourself

Read our DIY guide to forming an LLC in Rhode Island, with information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses and more.

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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 aspiring business owners aiming to initiate operations in Rhode Island, establishing a Rhode Island limited liability company (LLC) typically offers the most expeditious and straightforward route. With streamlined guidelines, an LLC serves as an optimal business structure for startups and mid-sized enterprises, affording them the privileges and safeguards akin to those enjoyed by larger corporations in Rhode Island.

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

Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure.

Within this comprehensive manual, you will discover valuable insights about naming your LLC, securing a Registered Agent, managing necessary fees, comprehending Rhode Island business taxes, and a plethora of other essential topics. We also delve into your registration requirements, the process of filing your Rhode Island LLC, and effectively engaging with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS).

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

Start an LLC

Step 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 Bizee’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.

After selecting a name, it's essential to verify its availability in Rhode Island. To determine if your desired business name is already in use by another company in the state, you can utilize our tool for a business name search. Additionally, you can perform a name search through the Rhode Island Secretary of State's corporations business search feature on their website.

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Business Name Search

Step 2: Provide an Official Business Address for your LLC

Irrespective of whether your business operates within an office complex, a residence (in the case of a home-based business), or any other physical site, each Rhode Island LLC is required to possess a designated street address. While this address can be situated outside of Rhode Island, it is imperative that it is not a P.O. Box.

Step 3: Assign a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent 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.

Your Rhode Island Registered Agent 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’re required to appoint a Registered Agent when you file your Articles of Organization and formally create your business. Generally, an LLC owner appoint himself or another LLC member to be the Registered Agent but it’s not recommended.

You could choose a reputed Registered Agent service or have Bizee handle it for you. Did you know that all of Bizee’s business formation packages include Registered Agent service? In fact, 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.

Step 4: File Your Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State (SOS)

Now that you have 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 articles 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


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.

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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 Filling Time

3 Weeks

Expedited Filing Time

2 Business Days

Annual Report



Due Date

September 1st

Filing Fee


*includes online service fee

Step 5: Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service

Your business needs an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. This unique number is required when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. If you need a business bank account (which we highly recommend you do), then an EIN would be required too. You can obtain one directly from the IRS or have Bizee obtain one for you as part of the Rhode Island LLC formation process.

Step 6: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement serves as a type of "guidebook" elucidating the operational framework of your enterprise. Within an LLC Operating Agreement, crucial elements of your business structure are delineated, encompassing the process for decision-making, the distribution of business interests among members, and the protocols to be followed in the event of a member's departure from the company.

While certain states make it mandatory for businesses to possess such a document, there is no legal compulsion to possess a Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement. However, it is advisable to still consider having one for your business.

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Other Rhode Island LLC Types

Professional LLC

Distinguishing themselves from professional corporations, Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) generally entail specific licensing prerequisites that pertain to particular fields like law and medicine. If you intend to establish a PLLC, it's possible that obtaining a state license to practice is a prerequisite.

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

Foreign LLC

Should your business be currently functional in a different state and is now extending its operations to Rhode Island, or the other way around, it will be necessary to establish 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

Exploring the Rhode Island business registry to identify an appropriate name is explained, covering aspects such as naming regulations, fictitious names, reserving a name for your Rhode Island LLC, and related details.


Rhode Island Registered Agents

Guidance on designating, altering, and exploring Registered Agents is provided, along with an overview of the regulations they must adhere to. This encompasses the process of selecting, modifying, and locating Registered Agents, along with an understanding of the obligations they are mandated to uphold.


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 additional considerations.


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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