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Frequently Asked
Questions About
Starting a Rhode 

Island LLC

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Considered the sailing capital of the world, Rhode Island is not only known for sailing endeavors, but also for making silverware and fine jewelry. But don't worry, if you're considering forming a business in Rhode Island, it doesn't have to involve jewelry. Regardless of which industry you're forming an LLC in, however, there's no doubt that you'll have a lot of questions. We've gathered many of the most frequently asked questions to help you the boat sailing with your Rhode Island LLC. From registering your company with the state of Rhode Island, to business licenses and corporate franchise taxes, we’ve got you covered. We’ve answered these questions below and linked extensively to our guides, tools and other services, which makes everything simple and easy to understand.

How Do I Decide What the Best Legal Structure Is for My Business?

There are a few different options when it comes to starting a business in Rhode Island. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of Rhode Island for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. Bizee believes an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration for many entrepreneurs.

What Do I Need to Start a Business in Rhode Island?

In order to form an LLC in the state of Rhode Island, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These include a completed set of Articles of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the Rhode Island Secretary of State. We also recommend taking some additional steps before formally creating your LLC:

After you’ve created your Rhode Island LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.

How Do I Register a Company in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, you register a business by completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. You will need to gather information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Secretary of State with your filing fee. This will officially form your LLC in Rhode Island.

You can file your Articles of Organization on the Secretary of State website or mail it in. Alternatively, Bizee can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the Rhode Island state filing fee.

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How Much Does It Cost to Form a Rhode Island LLC?

At the time of writing the fee charged by the Rhode Island Secretary of State is $150. You can always check the latest Rhode Island filing fees here. In some states, you can also pay an additional fee for expedited filing through Bizee, which will create your LLC faster. The amount of the expedited fee is dependent on how quickly you want your filing processed. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Bizee, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.

How Long Does It Take to Form an LLC in Rhode Island?

Once you’ve gathered all of your information together and filed your Articles of Organization (or had Bizee do it for you), it can take 1-2 business days for the Rhode Island Secretary of State to legally create your LLC. Since the processing time is already so short, the RI Secretary of State doesn't offer an expedited filing option.

How Do I Perform a Rhode Island Business Search?

The name of your Rhode Island LLC needs to be unique, so you’ll need to check if your desired name is already being used by another business. You can do that via the Rhode Island Secretary of State website, or by using our fast and simple Business Name Search tool.

Is Your Business Name Available in Your State?

Find out using Bizee’s Business Name Search Tool.

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Trying to Come Up With a Creative Business Name?

Try Bizee’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas.

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How Do I Register a Business Name in Rhode Island?

There are a few ways to register your Rhode Island LLC name.

  • If you’re forming a new business and your business name is unique in Rhode Island and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Articles of Organization.
  • If you want to change the legal name of your business, file an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
  • If you just want to do business under a different name, file an LLC Fictitious Business Name Statement with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, or have Bizee do that on your behalf.

If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name. We can help.

What Are Rhode Island Articles of Incorporation?

In other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In Rhode Island, this document is called your Articles of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.

Note: Rhode Island uses the term Articles of Incorporation specifically for the formation of a corporation.

Does Rhode Island Have Series LLCs?

No, the State of Rhode Island does not have a Series LLC offering. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.

Do I Need a Registered Agent for My Rhode Island LLC?

Yes, all legal business entities in Rhode Island, including LLCs, are required to have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Bizee, we provide a free Rhode Island Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.

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How Do I Change a Registered Agent in Rhode Island?

If you wish to change your Rhode Island Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State. Here at Bizee, we provide a free Rhode Island Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.

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How Do I Perform a Rhode Island Registered Agent Search?

If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific Rhode Island business, you can perform a Rhode Island Registered Agent search within the state's business database.

What Rhode Island Business Taxes Do I Need to Pay?

As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:

  • Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
  • Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
  • Sales tax for selling taxable products and services

What Businesses Need to Pay Rhode Island Sales Tax?

Rhode Island charges a 7% state sales and use tax on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods. You will also need to pay sales tax if you provide a taxable service. You can find a full list of taxable services here.

How Do I Get a Rhode Island Sales Tax ID?

You will need to register as a sales tax vendor with the Rhode Island Division of Taxation. You can complete this process online via the taxpayer portal provided by the Division of Taxation.

How Do I Calculate Rhode Island Sales Tax?

The base rate for Rhode Island sales tax is 7%, however there may be additional sales tax depending on your region, county or city. Once you know your overall sales tax amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products and services. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.

When Is Rhode Island Sales Tax Due?

Once your LLC’s sales tax registration is complete, you will receive a notice with instructions on how often you must file a sales tax return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.

What Do I Need to Know About Rhode Island Franchise Tax?

Some businesses will need to pay a corporate franchise tax in Rhode Island, however it does not apply to LLCs unless your LLC is treated as a C Corporation for tax purposes.

Do I Need a License to Do Business in Rhode Island?

If you've formed a business in Rhode Island and are planning to begin operation or continue operating within the state, you'll likely need a business license of some kind. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.

We hope you’ve found this Rhode Island LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.

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