Thu 26 May 2016 | By:

46 Best Resources For Starting a Business in Rhode Island

Resources for Starting a Business

To date, the government of Rhode Island has posted a number of improvement in terms of the business climate in the state. These improvements include restructuring the state income tax, correcting regulatory conditions, expanding new industries, and more.

With all these changes being implemented, Rhode Island will now become more competitive with other states in terms of providing more opportunities for individuals who want to start a business in the state.

To further boost the chances of an even more successful startup, this guide provides comprehensive lists on various resources required to start a Rhode Island business.


Top Rhode Island Small Business Resources


The Rhode Island government website is the primary source of everything related to starting a business in the state. It provides a comprehensive number of information regarding various aspects of starting a Rhode Island business from resources, incentives and financing, taxation, business filings, licenses and regulations and more.


The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a business publication that contains a vast amount of information related to business. This business journal is an ideal local resource for first time and experienced aspiring entrepreneurs in the Rhode Island area.

3) East Bay Chamber of Commerce

The East Bay Chamber of Commerce is focused on helping small businesses succeed. Through its partnership with several local and national groups and organizations, this Non-Profit organization has hundreds of members that foster activities that can help improve the business climate in the East Bay area.

4) Bristol Rhode Island Official Website

The Bristol Rhode Island Official Website provides invaluable help for startup entrepreneurs who are looking for concrete information on how to start a business. The official website of the government of Bristol includes a special section on business licenses and permits and other vital information.

5) Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2016

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition 2016 is a premier community-supported business plan contest in Rhode Island. Established in 2000, the RI Business Plan Competition has encouraged numerous startups and early-stage companies to plan for new businesses, increasing local employment in the process.

6) Cherrystone Angel Group

The Cherrystone Angel Group is the first ever organized angel investment company in Rhode Island. As such, the group’s members are dedicated to helping startups and early-stage companies obtain the funding they need while at the same time, actively working with the entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

7) Experian

Experian helps entrepreneurs by providing them with information about everything related to marketing resources. Aside from this, Experian also offers information on how to start a business, social media, direct mail, corporate credit and more.


How-To Guides for Starting a Business in Rhode Island 2

1) How to Start a Business in Rhode Island

This guide on how to start a business in Rhode Island enumerates the ten steps necessary to form a business. From the process of validating a business idea up to marketing your business, the guide walks you through each of the steps. For some of the steps, there are recommended resource that can be used to make the task easier, more cost-effective, and more convenient.

2) How to Form an LLC in Rhode Island

A Limited Liability Company is one business structure used to legally register a business, and this guide enumerates the five basic steps on how to do it successfully. In several of the steps, there are agency links and government resources you can directly go to jumpstart the process immediately. A few to-do items are also included in the guide that helps in the successful operations of your startup.

3) How to File a DBA in Rhode Island

A ‘doing business as’ name registration is a must for businesses looking to conduct transactions under a fictitious or assumed name. This guide will then take you through each of the basic steps involved in filing a Rhode Island DBA. In the guide, a few resources as well as the specific address where you can mail the Fictitious Business Name Statement form.

4) How to Get a Rhode Island Registered Agent

A Rhode Island Registered Agent is required for incorporating in the state. It is also one of the compliance requirements for maintaining good standing with the state while your business is in operations. This guide will orient you with the process of how to hire a reliable Registered Agent, from Rhode Island statutory requirements for a Registered Agent to the reasons why you need to hire the services of one to how to find a reliable agent in the state.

5) How to Form a Corporation in Rhode Island

In eight simple, easy-to-follow steps, this guide walks you through forming a Rhode Island Corporation from naming your business to opening a business bank account. In several of the steps to forming a RI Corporation, there is a recommended resource section where a vital resource is provided to help accomplish the task faster and easier. These resources are by no means mandatory though, so the final choice is yours, whether to use it or not.

6) How to Incorporate in Rhode Island

The steps to incorporating in Rhode Island is basically composed of two tasks. Although this is the case, the entire process requires a lot of paperwork and other deliverables. This guide walks you through each of the tasks involved in incorporating a Rhode Island business. A to-do list is also included to jumpstart a successful business after you have incorporated.


Top Rhode Island Startup Communities and Working Spaces

1) URI Research Foundation

The University of Rhode Island (URI) Research Foundation is dubbed as the hub for the economy of Rhode Island. The URI Research Foundation’s goal is to foster university and industry collaborations with new technology ventures for the creation of jobs and the overall economic improvement of the state of Rhode Island.

2) Founders League

The Founders League is Rhode Island’s premier startup community that makes great things happen with their support services and resources. The Founders League provides a conducive co-working space for making things happen complete with events and programming in all stages of business development to achieve maximum results.

3) Hatch Entrepreneurial Center

The Hatch Entrepreneurial Center provides the perfect co-working space for curious innovators, passionate professionals, and future entrepreneurial leaders in Rhode Island. Hatch Entrepreneurial Center also provides legal, marketing, and consulting assistance to entrepreneurs.

4) The Box Office

The Box Office is a co-working community composed of 12 small office spaces and studios using up-cycled shipping containers. This startup community caters to startups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in Providence, Rhode Island.

5) RevUp by Betaspring

RevUp by Betaspring is an accelerator program, the first of its kind for revenue first companies. Aside from receiving financial support, companies enrolled in the RevUp program also go through an intensive three-month program to help them grow and acquire the customers needed.

6) The Link

The Link boasts of being the hottest startup community with an abundance of land and resources to make things happen. The Link has one of the most comprehensive talent bases in the state, and therefore, it can also assist you with collaborations. More importantly, The Link also has financial programs to help startups.

7) The Hive

The Hive is a co-working facility located in the Southern Rhode Island. As a collaborative and community-based co-working space, The Hive features a convenient and conducive workspace from fixed desks, private offices, group tables, conference rooms, and other ideal spaces to develop and create new businesses.

8) Sprout

Sprout is a co-working community that offers work, meet, and play hand-in-hand to help its members become successful entrepreneurs. The Sprout features a number of hotdesk solutions and dedicated workspaces and private office, plus it also has meeting and conference rooms.

9) Social Enterprise Greenhouse

Social Enterprise Greenhouse supports various enterprises and social entrepreneurs with the right tools and networks so they can thrive in the competitive world of business. The organization takes on the ecosystem approach to achieve all these, from accessing capital, accelerating enterprise, expanding market to leveraging policy.

10) MILL at Lafayette

The MILL at Lafayette is a working mill community for professionals featuring fully furnished and unfurnished office spaces, executive suites, corporate offices, and co-working space steps. The MILL offers a variety of co-working spaces fit for any budget.


Small Business Professional Services in Rhode Island

1) Steve Bienenfeld

Steve Bienenfeld offers pro-active small business and personal tax solutions. Steve provides personalized service through his vast professional experience and solid reputation. Steve provides a number of tax solutions for small businesses like complying with various federal and state income tax laws and regulations.

2) Lori A. Carlino Certified Public Accountant

Lori A. Carlino caters to accounting services through a hands-on approach, ensuring that the services provided are adapted to fit the business’ specific requirements. From bookkeeping services, analysis, to projection, it is Lori’s main goal to help entrepreneurs so they can fully focus on running their business.

3) Stephen T. Gentile

Stephen T. Gentile offers full service accounting, auditing, and tax services in Rhode Island. With Stephen’s friendly, approachable team, local businesses receive impeccable accounting, tax preparation, auditing, IRS help services, QuickBooks accounting services, and more.

4) Andrew M. Cagen Attorney at Law

Andrew M. Cagen Attorney at Law provides numerous legal services for small businesses and investors in Rhode Island. Andrew has significant expertise and experience in various legal matters including, but not limited to, tax sales, zoning relief, business sales, business contracts, and more.

5) Marinello Law

At Marinello Law, Attorney Marinello is always available to assist businesses in various legal questions before they become an actual legal problem. From litigation, mediation, liability, contract disputes and negotiations, lease disputes and negotiations, and non-compete agreement, Attorney Marinello encourages her clients to seek legal assistance when the need arises.

6) The Law Offices of Richard P. D’addario

The Law Offices of Richard P. D’addario provides a number of legal services in Newport including legal business assistance. For small businesses, the firm provides assistance in drafting contracts, business structure selection, and business formation for retail stores, restaurants, and small manufacturers.

7) Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum Attorneys at Law

Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum Attorneys at Law helps small businesses take care of all their legal matters related to business law. The firm offers experienced help in a number of business issues including preparation of operation agreements, bylaws and governing rules, contract preparation as well as negotiation, partnership formation, and many more.

8) Slepkow & Slepkow Associates Inc.

Slepkow & Slepkow Associates Inc. offers a number of legal services for small businesses. With substantial experience and expertise, the firm provides business and corporate law services such as incorporating companies, organizing LLCs, taking care of contract disputes, and Secretary of State research and filings.

9) Parmelee, Poirier & Associates

Parmelee, Poirier & Associates provides a range of services for startup companies and reputable corporations. PP&A caters to excellent and reliable business accounting services, efficient tax planning services, solid financial counseling, management consulting, bookkeeping and payroll services, corporate filings and more.

10) Gilligan & Bianco, LLC

Gilligan & Bianco, LLC caters to more than just the usual accounting and tax services. G&B caters to comprehensive business consulting support and services. Their business consultancy services are personalized, getting to know clients before coming up with the perfect customized solution that gets things done.

11) KLR

KLR is one of the leading firms that provides excellent accounting and business consulting services. KLR caters to a number of business solutions for both individuals and businesses. As a full service firm, KLR offers personalized assurance, business consulting, tax services, and wealth management to their clients.

12) Lucier Small Business Solutions

Lucier Small Business Solutions that has a pool of expert professionals with a thorough understanding of the intricate business environment to provide small business solutions that meet customer satisfaction 100%. From tax services, bookkeeping, payroll services to business consulting solutions, Lucier is ready to assist you.

13) Padgett

Padgett primarily offers accounting services for small businesses. Friendly, professional and with your business needs primarily in mind, Padgett caters business and accounting services that include bookkeeping, payroll, tax preparation, and more.




The American SCORE Association is dubbed as the Counselors to America’s Small Business, providing comprehensive business mentoring services to small business all across the country. As a Non-Profit organization, SCORE provides its services free of charge. In addition, SCORE also schedules regular seminars and workshops for a very nominal fee. The SCORE mentoring is provided by active and retired entrepreneurs and business experts who volunteer their time and energy for the development of small businesses.

2) SBA

The Small Business Administration is a US government initiative created in 1953 to help sustain the country’s economy with the creation of small businesses. The agency lives by its 3Cs principles – capital, contracts, counselling. The Small Business Administration administers several loan programs to provide capital assistance to small businesses. It also features a number of entrepreneurial development programs to help in the area of business counselling. In the aspect of contracting, the SBA has several business development programs and federal contracting.

3) Startup Savant

Startup Savant is a free business online magazine that offers insights, resources, and tools for the aspiring entrepreneur. Startup Savant has a comprehensive number of how-to guides that range from forming a business with different structures, finding the right Registered Agent, completing business tax requirements, getting the necessary business licenses and permits, and other important topics required to jumpstart a business. Startup Savant also gives back to children education through online charity organization,

4) is the online counterpart of leading business magazine, Entrepreneur. This comprehensive online magazine and blog helps aspiring and established entrepreneurs around the world by providing the necessary resources, guides, insight, and valuable advice. The online magazine features a plethora of topics related to business. It has top 50 story features, a section dedicated to the latest business ideas, information on franchises, and more.

5) AllBusiness

AllBusiness is an online source of a vast number of information and resources relating to business. AllBusiness intends to cater to small businesses with less than 500 employees, as it provides all the necessities of business creation and building. AllBusiness publishes not just articles, but also original feature stories about how experts and experienced entrepreneurs deal with business issues and challenges. This online portal also hosts a business library, a business dictionary, and a personal finance directory. In addition to this, AllBusiness also performs research to help gauge the small business industry’s health and direction.

6) is the number inspirational blog on the web for individuals to make their lives better. This inspirational blog is dedicated not just for individuals who want to start a business, but also for those who struggle with their emotions and especially those on the brink of giving up hope for the fulfilment of their dreams. features inspirational quotes, motivational stories, self-improvement articles, a collection of success advice and more.


Rhode Island Startup Toolkit to Get Started on a Budget

1) Business Planning

The most successful corporations and businesses use a business plan to implement various policies and strategies to achieve business goals. This is the very reason why business experts insist on a solid business plan no matter the size of your business or organization.

A business plan fuels business operations in the right direction, serving as a blueprint in almost all facets of business operations. Formal business plans are composed of hundreds of pages, while smaller organizations opt for less pages. Regardless of the type of business plan you’re making, LivePlan can help make things easier for you.

As a business plan software, LivePlan takes you through the entire process of writing a business plan for various purposes. It also features over 500 business plan samples and templates from real-world industries to help you get started.

2) Online Incorporation Service

Business incorporation is the process of legally registering a business as a separate entity independent of its owner/s. Incorporating means that you will adhere to the rules and guidelines stipulated by the state. Incorporating also requires that you submit numerous paperwork and deliverables as per statutory requirements.

When all these is taken into consideration, it could mean so much work for you, not to mention that it can be quite intimidating and stressful. However, with the help of online incorporation services, you can still manage to incorporate without having to go through all the stress of doing so.

Companies such as IncFile and MyCorporation can do the task for a very nominal fee. Usually, providers such as these prepare a questionnaire or a brief interview to get all the necessary information from you and take care of the entire process thereafter.

3) Building a Business Website

A website is an all-in-one tool that serves multifaceted purposes in any business. More than just establishing an online presence for your business or a representation of your organization, a business website if done right could bring about an increase in sales, attract prospective customers, become a sales funnel, and an effective tool as part of your marketing campaign.

Today with far advanced applications that allows you DIY stuff, you can now easily create a professional-looking website as well. Bluehost is a web hosting service that features a one-click installation tool to install WordPress. With its user-friendly dashboard, you can then begin with a website. Bluehost also has excellent round-the-clock customer support.

4) Accounting Software

There are some tasks in running a business that take up time and are repetitive. Of these, accounting and bookkeeping tasks pose a challenge for business owners as it takes up a good amount of time, and if not done carefully, could also lead to errors.

However, thanks to the innovation of small business application and tools, things are now easier and much more systematic than what was the usual practice. Small business software such as QuickBooksFreshBooks, and Xero can now perform accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Also included in these applications are additional features and tools that can help in fast tracking several tasks of running a business.


Wrapping Up on Starting a Business in Rhode Island

Wrapping Up and Starting a BusinessIt’s true that there many challenges to starting a business in Rhode Island. It may be stressful, intimidating and nerve wracking at times, but if you look beyond these challenges, you can see a better future ahead with financial freedom within your grasp.

With the help of the resources above, you can now get started on your way to a Rhode Island business.

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via