How to Register an LLC in Rhode Island: A Step-by-Step Guide

Avatar photo
By: Michaela Dale Updated on: June 13, 2024

Forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Rhode Island grants you tax flexibility and personal liability protection. Not to mention, it only requires six straightforward steps. Get started on your business today with this guide on how to register an LLC in Rhode Island. 

Don't want to deal with all the boring paperwork? Let Northwest handle it for you! Start your business with Northwest for just $29 + state fees and get back to the fun stuff!
  • Formation and FREE registered agent services for your first year
  • Best privacy protection and customer service
Do It For Me

Rhode Island LLC Quick Facts

  • To form an LLC in Rhode Island, you must submit Articles of Organization. 
  • The filing fee to register an LLC is $150. 
  • All Rhode Island LLCs must have a resident agent. 
  • To maintain your LLC, you must file an Annual Report. 

6 Steps to Registering an LLC in Rhode Island

Registering an LLC in Rhode Island is as simple as a few steps. 

Starting an LLC in Rhode Island? Here are the six steps you need to follow: 

  1. Name Your Rhode Island LLC
  2. Appoint a Resident Agent
  3. Submit Your Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Rhode Island LLC

To start, you need to decide on a name for your Rhode Island LLC. 

Rhode Island business names must adhere to the following criteria:

  • The name must include Limited Liability Company, LLC, or Limited Company.
  • The name must be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity in the state.
  • Terms implying government affiliation or falsifying your business’s purpose are not allowed.

For the full list of naming requirements for Rhode Island LLCs, it is recommended to review the state’s statutes

To ensure that your business name is unique, you will need to conduct a business name search on the Secretary of State’s website

Don’t let your perfect domain name slip away. Get a URL with GoDaddy today.

Step 2: Appoint a Resident Agent

To register an LLC in Rhode Island, you are required to appoint a resident agent, commonly known as a registered agent. 

A registered agent is an individual or business entity that is responsible for receiving important information and documents on behalf of your company, such as tax forms or notice of lawsuits.

In Rhode Island, registered agents must: 

  • Be a business or full-time resident of the state with a physical address 
  • Not be the LLC itself but can be an LLC owner or employee
  • Be present at the designated address during normal business hours 

Who is Eligible to Serve as a Registered Agent in Rhode Island?

The registered agent can be the LLC owner, an employee of the company, a friend, a family member, or a registered agent service. 

Step 3: Submit Your Articles of Organization

To register an LLC in Rhode Island, you must submit your Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. This can be done online or by submitting this form by mail or in person. 

The filing fee is $150.

When submitting your Articles of Organization, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Your LLC’s name and address
  • Your registered agent’s name and address
  • Your LLC tax status 
  • The date your LLC formation will take effect 
  • Management structure (member-managed vs. manager-managed)

Quick Note: If your LLC is already registered in another state, you will need to register as a foreign LLC in Rhode Island. This can be done online or by submitting this form by mail or online along with a $150 filing fee. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not required by the state, creating an operating agreement is an essential step when starting an LLC in Rhode Island. This document outlines the internal procedures and ownership details of your company, ensuring that all members are in alignment and helping to prevent future conflicts. 

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes

The next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This unique number is essential for tax reporting purposes, as well as for hiring employees and opening a business bank account.

You can obtain your EIN for free by visiting the IRS website

Once you have your EIN, it is important to ensure that you fulfill all tax obligations for your LLC by identifying any additional requirements specific to your business. You can find more information on tax obligations by visiting the Rhode Island Division of Taxation website

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report 

LLCs are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) within the following time frames: 

  • Newly formed LLCs must file within 90 days of formation 
  • Existing LLCs must file before January 1st 2025 

Failure to file a BOI report can result in a $500 per day fine. 

You can complete this filing for free on the FinCEN website

Next Steps 

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

  • Obtain any necessary licenses and permits at both the federal and state levels. You can find more information on licenses and permits on the Division of Taxation website.
  • File an Annual Report with the Secretary of State online or by mail to maintain your LLC’s good standing. 
  • Secure appropriate insurance coverage for your business, including general liability, workers’ compensation, and personal liability insurance. We recommend NEXT Insurance for fast, affordable coverage.

Additional Tips for Success

  • Build a strong network: Connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry leaders to expand your business opportunities and receive valuable support.
  • Keep track of your compliance requirements: Stay informed of Rhode Island’s reporting and fee obligations to maintain compliance and avoid potential penalties.
  • Plan for the future: Set clear goals and milestones for your LLC to ensure long-term success and growth. Consider creating a business plan to guide your strategic decisions.

Conclusion

Rhode Island provides a straightforward process for registering an LLC. By following these steps diligently, you can ensure a smooth formation and set your business up for success in the state. From choosing an ideal business name to designating a resident agent, each step is a key component to a strong start to a new venture. By following these steps and ensuring that all legal requirements are met, you can successfully register an LLC in Rhode Island and start your business on the right foot.