Step 1) Name your Rhode Island LLC

Choose a Business NameIn the first order of things when it comes to establishing a Rhode Island LLC is naming the business. There are some state-specific naming convention requirements that you should observe. Your LLC should contain any of the word or abbreviations at the end of its name: ‘Limited Liability Company’, ‘LLC’ or ‘L.L.C.’.

The abbreviation can be rendered lowercase or uppercase. Then, the LLC name should also be unique and different from any prevailing business entity listed with the Secretary of State. To ensure that the name is unique and valid, use the Rhode Island business name search database.

If valid, a Reservation of Entity Name can be filed to the Rhode Island Secretary of State Corporations Divisions effective for 120 days. The form can be submitted through postal mail or through online application with a $50 filing fee.


Step 2) choose a Rhode Island Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentThe services of a Rhode Island Registered Agent is required when operating an LLC. There are a few criteria that need to be observed when retaining the services of a Registered Agent.

For a Registered Agent to qualify for the position, he can be an individual who is a resident of Rhode Island or another business entity that is legally registered with the state. Upon designation, the Registered Agent should also provide a physical street address from where the service of process will be sent.

All in all, a Registered Agent Service would cost up to $160/year. However, starting your LLC with IncFile entitles you to a free Registered Agent.


Step 3) File the Articles of Organization

Register an LLCYour Rhode Island LLC can be legally formed by registering it with the RI Secretary of State. You must file an Articles of Organization. The following information is required when filing this form:

The form should be filed with the Secretary of State through postal mail or via online application.

Filing Fee: $150


Step 4) Obtain an Employer Identification Number

Get an EIN for Your LLCA federal Employer Identification Number is required for all Rhode Island LLC if there is more than one member even if there are no employees. Similarly, you must also get an EIN even if you’re a one-member LLC if you are hiring employees in the future. Basically, this EIN uniquely identifies your Rhode Island LLC.

The federal EIN can be easily obtained by applying online through the IRS website for free.


Step 5) Create a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountA business bank account helps organize your business effectively and efficiently. It is so much easier to track the flow of cash in and out of your business, and it is also much simpler to complete requirements for tax returns when you maintain a separate bank account for business purposes.

Recommended Resource: This roundup of business bank accounts helps in choosing the right business account for your business.


To-Do After Starting a Rhode Island LLC

The following steps are just as important as the steps above as these help your business thrive and grow over the years.

1) Make a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanGoing into business, you must have a solid plan of action, and it is through an effective business plan that you can have this. A business plan provides a clear path to achieving goals, forecasting financial conditions, and curtailing issues and challenges.

Writing a business plan may not be easy, but it is still doable. With the help of the resources below, it’s time you get started on a solid plan of action.

How to Write a Business Plan


2) Take Care of your Business Taxes and Finances

Small Business TaxesIt is your responsibility to pay for Rhode Island business taxes. There are a number of business taxes involved based on the kind of business operated and its legal structure, among other considerations. To begin completing the requirements for business taxes, register online at the RI Division of Tax Online Registration Service.

Recommended Resource: For stress-free completion of business taxes and taking care of business finances, Xero is a highly recommended small business accounting software. This application has a host of features to make business operations more efficient. Try Xero’s 30-day trial now for free!


3) Obtain the Required Business Licenses and Permits

Business LicensesThere are several Rhode Island business licenses and permits that need to be submitted before you can fully operate as a legal business entity. Licenses and permits vary per state and the local government so it is practical to look into these state and local requirements carefully.

Recommended Resource: With the number of requirements necessary, you can hire the services of a professional to gather all the requisites for you, this is a great starter package to help you. Alternatively, you can use SBA’s resource guide.


4) Draft an LLC Operating Agreement

Create an Operating AgreementAn LLC Operating Agreement is an important document for your organization. In this operating agreement, the percentage of ownership of each owner of the LLC is determined as well as each of their duties and responsibilities.

Aside from all these, Operating Agreement also determines the course of action when a member decides to leave the LLC. A fully customizable Operating Agreement is available to base your own document on.


5) Create a Professional Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteA professional business website is the online storefront of your business. Not only does it impact your online presence, but it helps reach a wider market beyond the targeted audience.

This also enables you to reach customers faster. Bluehost, a web hosting service, through its one-click WordPress installation can get you started on a website now.

Resource for Getting Started: This step-by-step guide should walk you through the basic process of building a website.

This article is only an informational guide on how to form an LLC in Rhode Island. It does not, in any way, represent a legal document or advice. For the legal complexities involved in starting a Rhode LLC, talk to a business lawyer. Also, do not forget to regularly file an Annual Report.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing 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!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom