Step 1) Name Your Rhode Island Corporation

Choose a Business NameThe first step to forming a Corporation is naming it. A few naming conventions should be observed as statutory requirements mandate. The actual name of the Rhode Island Corporation should have any of the following words: ‘Corporation’, ‘Incorporated’, ‘Company’, or ‘Limited’.

Its corresponding abbreviation can also be used. The name also has to be distinguishably unique from any other business entity legally registered with the Secretary of State Corporations Division. A quick search using the Rhode Island business name database should validate if the name is unique.

If the name is available, a Reservation of Entity Name should be filed to the Secretary of State Corporations Division valid for 120 days. This form can be submitted through postal mail with a $50 filing fee.


Step 2) File Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCFiling an Articles of Incorporation legally registers your Rhode Island Corporation. This form is filed with the Secretary of State, and the following information is required:

Submit the Articles of Incorporation form through postal mail or online.

Filing Fee: $230 for below 75,000,000 shares of stocks authorized for issuance.


Step 3) Hire a Rhode Island Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentA Rhode Island Registered Agent can be an individual who is a certified resident of the state or a business entity legally registered with the Secretary of State. A physical street address must also be provided by the Registered Agent since this will be used when forwarding service of process for your business.

Hiring a Registered Agent costs about $160 per year, but if you’re starting a Rhode Island Corporation with IncFile, you can get Registered Agent services free of charge.


Step 4) Maintain a Corporate Records Book

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsA Corporate Records Book is an important binder where all pertinent Corporation documents are properly stored for safekeeping in one single file.

It can hold corporate paperwork including copies of business registration, licenses, and permits, in-house documents like Corporation bylaws and Operating Agreement and other pertinent papers.

A Corporate Records Book is usually available for purchase at the local office and school supply shop or you can also order one and have it shipped directly through Amazon.


Step 5) Hire Corporate Initial Directors

Choose the Initial DirectorsIt is the responsibility of the incorporator to hire an initial set of directors to help set up the basic operations of the Rhode Island Corporation. These directors will serve the Corporation until the first shareholder’s meeting.

As soon as the directors are elected, the incorporator should make an Incorporator’s Statement, listing down the complete name and address of each of the initial directors. The incorporator should affix his signature on the document, and a copy of the Incorporator’s Statement should be filed in the Corporate Records Book.


Step 6) Schedule an Initial Meeting with the Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe next order of things should then be to set an initial meeting with the board of directors. This organizational meeting should discuss the following agenda:

Each of the agenda discussed in this organizational meeting should be recorded on the minutes of the meeting.


Step 7) Keep Track of Rhode Island Business Tax and License Requirements

Business LicensesWhen starting a Rhode Island Corporation, there are several obligations that you have to fulfill. Foremost of these are your business taxes and licenses. To complete the requirements for these, follow these steps:


Step 8) Open a Bank Account for your Business

Best Business Bank AccountOpening a business bank account is a best practice that should be implemented in your Rhode Island Corporation.

As soon as the business is incorporated, it is a big no-no to use personal accounts for transacting operations. More importantly, a business bank account is a vital tool that can help lessen tax headaches come tax season.

Recommended Resource: Refer to this business bank account roundup resource to help decide which option is the best for your business.


To-Do After Starting a

Rhode Island Corporation

The three steps below are by no means mandatory when starting a Rhode Island Corporation, but doing it can greatly improve the business’ chances of growth and success.

1) Write a Business Plan

Write a Business PlanA business plan is a compass that guides a business in the right direction. A solid plan can bring a business to the right direction, achieving goals, accomplishing objectives, and averting possible issues from becoming full-blown problems that could seriously hurt a business.

The links below are some valuable resource to help you get started writing on a solid business plan.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Create a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteA business website is your brand’s online representation, a marketing tool, and a sales funnel all rolled into one.

This is why regardless if your business is a small scale one, you must still create a professional-looking customized website. Bluehost helps set up a WordPress website through its one-click installation feature.

Resource for Getting Started: This walkthrough guide will help you through each step of the process of setting up a website.


3) Create Corporate Bylaws

Prepare Corporate BylawsCorporate bylaws serve as a guidebook to the internal operations of a business. The corporate bylaws summarizes the rules and responsibilities of each of the directors, managers, and shareholders of the organization.

Most states do not require corporate bylaws, but making this document is highly recommended because it also proves business legitimacy and exempts your business from state default rules.

Please be advised that this guide is only intended to give out information on how to form a Rhode Island Corporation. It is not a legal document nor should it be treated as such. For details and legalities on forming a RI Corporation, talk to a business lawyer. Also, please take note that a Profit Corporation Annual Report should also be filed every year to maintain good standing with the state.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

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