Want to Start a Business in Rhode Island?
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in Rhode Island.
Learn more about how to start a business in Rhode Island.
Or simply use a professional service and start your business today:
Business Resources in Rhode Island
Find the best resources to help create your informal business structure (sole proprietorship or partnership), corporation (S corp or C corp), limited liability company (single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or how to file a DBA in Rhode Island.
Use the following business resources in Rhode Island to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Articles of Incorporation, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.
Becoming an Entrepreneur in Rhode Island
Just Starting Out
Every Rhode Island business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.
Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:
Coming Up With a Name
One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in Rhode Island. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your Rhode Island startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.
Different Types of Business Formation
A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.
Forming Your Rhode Island Business
Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your Rhode Island business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.
This Rhode Island Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.
Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in Rhode Island.
Highly Recommended Services for Your Business
Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your Rhode Island startup:
A Rhode Island registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.
Rhode Island requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be a Rhode Island resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that Rhode Island.
We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.
Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as a fictitious business name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of Rhode Island.
You can probably think of a dozen different companies in Rhode Island whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.
Financing Your Rhode Island Business
Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.
When planning your Rhode Island business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.
Setting Up a Bank Account
Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.
Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.
Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.
Getting a Business Credit Card
Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.
Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.
Finding Small Business Loans
Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.
A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.
Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs
Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.
Maintaining Your Small Business
Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your Rhode Island business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.
Make Sure Your Business is Compliant
When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.
Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping
Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your Rhode Island business a lot of money in taxes each year.
Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.
Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.
Set Up a Business Phone
Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate.
There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your Rhode Island business set up phone services.
Build a Business Website
With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times.
So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.
Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your Rhode Island business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.
Business Resources for Women
Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.
Rhode Island 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 the first time and experienced aspiring entrepreneurs in the Rhode Island area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Hive is a co-working facility located in 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.
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 the market to leveraging policy.
SCORE is dubbed as the Counselors to America’s Small Business, providing comprehensive business mentoring services to small businesses 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.
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, counseling. 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 counseling. In the aspect of contracting, the SBA has several business development programs and federal contracting.