Welcome to the LLC and L3C Start a Business tutorial for the State or Rhode Island.  This particular page is meant to be an overview of both the domestic as well as the foreign filing processes and we urge you to take the time to peruse the other tutorials linked throughout this one in order to get a more complete understanding of exactly what is required of you as a business representative. For domestic entities, an online filing procedure will be made available to you through which you will be able to submit all necessary documents to the Department of State through their easy to use portal. Foreign businesses will be required to file through the mail using the PDFs found within our pages. Filers must pay the fee of $150 regardless of their entity type or initial state of formation. For more information on this and more, scroll down to get started.

How to File

Step 1- The first step that we always recommend that filers take is the cross check of the Department of State name database to ensure that the name they plan on using has not already been registered. This can be easily accomplished through a simple Business Entity Search. The option of a Name Reservation is also available for filers, this will cost a total of $50 and last for no more than 120 days after submission.

Step 2- Now that you’re name has been secured to the best of your ability, you will be able to either download the forms or enter into the online portal. A detailed look at both of those can be found in the tutorials linked below. Click on the guide that matches your entity type.

Step 3- When the forms have been completed filled out, printed and signed (if applicable), you must then attach to them two remaining items, the filing fee and the certificate of good standing. The filing fee can be paid by credit card online or by check made out to the R.I. Department of State if filing through the mail. Regardless it should amount to $150. A certificate of good standing is only required of foreign LLCs and L3Cs. Send the filing package to the below location to finish the filing procedure.

Department of State: Business Services Division

148 W. River Street

Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615


EIN– The Internal Revenue Service uses the EIN, or the Employer Identification Number, as a way of keep track of all legitimate, tax withholding entities in the United States. For this reason, if you are creating a new LLC, you will be required to apply for this number immediately after receiving correspondence from the Department of State that your filing has been approved. This will allow you to legally hire employees, open checking and savings accounts, register for credit cards and otherwise conduct all financial transactions using the company name. For information regarding the application process, please review our tutorial found linked in the heading of this paragraph. You will find that there is both an Online and a PDF application process available to employers.

Operating Agreement– An operating agreement is a binding contract amongst the managing members of an LLC that relays the relationship between the officials and the company. This is not a State requirement, and for this reason you needn’t file it with the Department of State. Instead, this should be used as an internal document and as a way to delineate the various logistical and financial bylaws under which the employees of your entity will be required to operate. For more information, simply click on the heading of this paragraph and review our free template available in both MS Word and Adobe PDF.

Renewal– In the State of Rhode Island, it is necessary that all LLCs renew each year with the Department of State. This renewal process can be accomplished through the submission of an annual report, a document which will allow the operators of the LLC to update the Secretary of State of all major logistical changes which may have occurred over the course of the previous year. There is a renewal option online, which will require an account with the government website but will allow you to submit the documentation immediately to the authorities. Otherwise, filers will be able to submit their annual report through the mail (address found below) using this PDF. Your renewal should take place between the first of September and the first of November, the cost of which will amount to $50.

Department of State

Business Services Division

148 W. River Street

Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615

How to (Video)