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Form a Limited Liability Company in Rhode Island

SunDoc's Rhode Island filings provide the best value: fast and economical.

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    No one is faster than SunDoc. We hand deliver documents to the Secretary of State in Rhode Island.

    • Routine: 2-4 days returned to you filed.
    • Rush: 1-2 Days returned to you filed
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How to Form a Rhode Island LLC in 10 Steps

The creation of an LLC (Limited Liability Company) is not a difficult process. 


LLCs are unique business structures wherein more than one individual can be a member, liability exposure is reduced, separate taxes needn’t be filed separately, and all profits earned are passed through to each individual member. 


When you’re ready to form your own Limited Liability Company, we recommend that you follow the 10 steps outlined below.


1. Choose Your Company Name.


You need a company name that no other business has the rights to use. See our SunDoc article Is My Business Name Available? for help conducting your own name search, or SunDoc can run your name search for a reasonable fee. At a minimum, your preferred name must be available in the State of Rhode Island. It is also wise to check for a registered trademark on your preferred name as well.


2. Understand the LLC Organizer Requirement.


You can choose anyone to be the organizer of your LLC. This individual or firm will be the one who prepares and files your Articles of Organization. 


By default, the organizer will be you if you prepare your Articles. But your organizer could be an attorney or a filing service like SunDoc. At SunDoc, for a reasonable fee, we can prepare and file your Articles of Organization.


3. Designate a Registered Agent.


The third step on your way to a new LLC is choosing a registered agent. Registered agents are required to be named on your Articles of Organization form (learn more about the Articles of Organization form in step six).


Your registered agent can be an individual or a firm. We recommend checking out the following SunDoc article for more information on this role: Registered Agent Service.


4. Decide Your Ownership and Management Structure.


The Articles of Organization form asks whether your Rhode Island LLC will be managed by one manager, multiple managers, or all the members. You must decide whether you want to be a member-managed or a manager-managed LLC. To help you decide, we have created guides for each method: the Member-Managed LLC or the Manager-Managed LLC.


5. Create an Operating Agreement.


An operating agreement is a crucial document when creating any new LLC in Rhode Island. This document:

  • Lays out financial and functional decisions on your business's behalf
  • Outlines business provisions, rules, and regulations
  • Pays out profits 
  • Manages voting, liability, and fiduciary constraints
  • Manages working capital
  • Drives your business in a legal sense


Most of all, the role of an operating agreement is to govern internal operations, all of which should meet the overall needs of your LLC owners. 


Questions about operating agreements? Check out the SunDoc guides Member-Managed LLC and Manager-Managed LLC. These are an excellent source of information, but you may also wish to consult an attorney for advice. 


6. File the Articles of Organization.


Step six will be to file your Articles of Organization. You can also ask SunDoc to file your Articles of Organization on your behalf. This is often done when time is an issue for new LLCs.


The Articles of Organization simply outline essential information for the state. This means the form will need to include:

  • Your new LLC’s name and address
  • Your registered agent and LLC organizer
  • The management method you've chosen
  • The member names for your LLC (sometimes required)


After your Articles of Organization have been accepted by the state of Rhode Island, this will be the moment of your company's official creation.


7. Obtain an EIN and Open a Business Bank Account.


Congrats! You are on step seven and you should officially have an LLC registered with Rhode Island state by now.


Your next step is to obtain an Employer Identification Number. This is also known as an EIN, and it must be obtained from the IRS. You need an EIN whether you have employees are not. All LLCs with more than one member need this.


You can file with the IRS yourself, or SunDoc can file for you.


Once you have an Employer Identification Number, now is a good time to open a bank account that will be primarily for your business. With this bank account, you can pay for all business-related expenses, including any reimbursements that need to be made to yourself or other members. 


Reimbursements like these can be made at any time, but always remember to keep your receipts.


At this point, some business owners like to hire an accountant. This can be useful for assisting with business matters as you are just starting out with your new LLC.


8. Pay Rhode Island State Taxes.


Each year your LLC may be required to pay necessary fees and taxes to your state, possibly including in your first year of operation. If you sell goods in Rhode Island, you may be required to collect sales tax. You can find more state tax information on the State of Rhode Island’s tax web site.


9. Determine Necessary Licenses and Permits.


Remember that you'll need select business licenses or permits so that your business can legally operate on the county and city levels in Rhode Island. If you don't have the proper permits or licenses, you will likely be charged hefty fines. 


Always go to the state of Rhode Island’ business website to see what your specific requirements will be. You should check it even if you are assuming you don't meet the permit and license requirements. Most companies are surprised at what they find.


10. File an Annual Report (Biennial Report or Initial List).


Usually you must file an Annual Report, Biennial Report, or other such document soon after forming an LLC in Rhode Island, and thereafter an updated report every year or two years depending on your state’s requirement. The Annual Report is a simple form that keeps the state up to date on your company information. And down the road when you make changes to your company, it will invariably be one of the forms you’ll need to file with the state.


It is very important to file within the required time. It can cost you as much as ten times the normal filing fee if you file late! If you prefer, SunDoc can file your Annual Report/Biennial Report and other routine filings for you, reliably and on time. All LLC forms, including the report form, can be found on the Rhode Island business web site.


Important Notice: It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss your potential insurance needs, or matters relating to employees. You should consult an attorney or accountant with any questions about legal or financial matters. Please note that nothing in this article can be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.


For additional learning, please visit our LLC FAQs.

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  • 1 Check Name Availability

    Choose three names in order of preference and we will check availability.

  • 2 Prepare or Upload your Articles

    Our online form describes all required information.

  • 3 Specify Service Level and Options

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I initially ordered with LegalZoom for their expedited package but they said there is going to be a delay for a month! They kept giving me excuses about the backlog, blah blah blah. I had to get this LLC set up ASAP so I contacted SunDoc and they got it done for me in 24 hours! What a difference. I am very happy and will never go back to LegalZoom again. Great job SunDoc!

Chris W.
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I've been forming entities with SunDoc Filings for years. They are incredible! Mainly because of their personal touch and customer service. They actually have a human answer the phone lol. In a world of automation and AI this company remains personal and human. They get the job done quickly and effectively every single time. I will never use another company when registering my companies.

Dion McIntosh Founder DearAmyBand.com
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Kylene, Tressa & Sheila ROCK !!! We sent a name reservation last week and within 10 minutes the name reservation was completed. The next day we sent in a rush order and within 24 hours the entity was created !! Wow !! Thank You & you gals ROCK !!

Marc Vigil - Enrolled Agent - CEO - Budget Bookkeeping & Income Tax Services
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