Start Your Rhode Island Business


According to R.I. Gen. Laws, most business structures need to register with the RI Department of State. Follow the steps below to register your business.


STEP 1

Name of Company
All businesses need to register with a unique business name. Check name availability by using the RI Department of State Corporate Database. For more information on name availability, please visit the RI Department of State Name Availability Guidelines.

Registered Agent
A registered agent is an individual or entity that receives official and legal documents on behalf of a business. The agent must be a Rhode Island resident or an entity qualified to do business in this state.

Registered Agent Address
A registered agent must have a Rhode Island street address and must be available at the given address during normal business hours to accept service of process. P.O. Boxes or shipping/postal company addresses (including virtual business addresses) do not meet this standard and are not allowed.

Business Structure
Your business structure is the legal definition of how your business is organized.  Refer to our Business Structures chart to learn more.

Proof of Insurance/Board Approval
Professional Service Corporations and Professional Service Benefit Corporations are required to show proof of liability insurance upon registration. State law sets certain insurance exclusions and limits. See R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-5.1. If you intend to register your business online, be sure to have a scanned PDF of your proof of liability insurance (policy declaration page) ready for upload.

If the entity is offering engineering services, prior approval from the Board of Registration for Professional Engineers is required. If you intend to register your business online, be sure to have a scanned PDF of your approval letter ready for upload.

STEP 2

Use the chart below to access the form required to register your business with the RI Department of State. You can learn more about these structures by reviewing our Business Structures chart.

If you are looking to start a General Partnership or Sole Proprietorship, please contact the city or town where you wish to do business. General Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships do not register with the RI Department of State.


Business Structure

Online Filing

Paper Filing

Fee

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-16
File Online PDF $150

Business Corporation

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-1.2
File Online PDF $230

Limited Partnership (LP)

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-13.1
N/A PDF $100

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-12.1
N/A PDF $150

Benefit Corporation

R.I. Gen. Laws § 7-5.1-2
File Online PDF $230

Professional Service Corporation

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-5.1
File Online PDF $230

Professional Service Benefit Corporation

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-5.3 
File Online PDF $230

Low-Profit Limited Liability Company (L3C)

R.I. Gen. Laws § 7-16-76
File Online PDF $150

Workers' Cooperative


R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-6.2

File Online PDF $230

Producers' Cooperative

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-7
N/A PDF $230

Consumers' Cooperative

R.I. Gen. Laws Chapter 7-8
N/A PDF $230
STEP 3

Stop
Before proceeding to Step 4, be sure to confirm your registration filing was accepted. Your filing may take between one to three business days to process.


Confirm your registration


STEP 4

Your EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business.


Get Federal EIN
STEP 5

Remember, all businesses registered with the RI Department of State are responsible for paying at least the state’s minimum corporate tax ($400) to the RI Division of Taxation each tax year. This tax is not pro-rated and is owed even if no business was conducted and/or no profit was made.

The RI Division of Taxation’s Taxpayer Portal is an easy way for your business to pay taxes, apply for a Letter of Good Standing, or renew a tax license. Depending on the nature of your business, you can register in one of two ways.


If you do NOT have employees or make retail sales, an account will be created for you when you file your first business tax return on paper or using tax preparation software.


If you have employees or make retail sales, complete the RI Division of Taxation’s Business Application and Registration (BAR) form online to create your sales and/or unemployment tax accounts.


Visit the Taxpayer Portal

Are you ready to start your business?

Be sure to review our Business Basics before starting this important legal process.

Virtual office appointments are available to help you to get started. Click here to book yours!

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