How Much Does an LLC Cost in Rhode Island

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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The minimum Rhode Island LLC cost is $150, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation documents, known as the Articles of Organization.

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Rhode Island LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Rhode Island Article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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Rhode Island LLC Cost

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Rhode Island limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

                                                         
RequirementFee
Articles of Organization$150
Operating Agreement$0+
Registered Agent$0-$200
LLC Name$0-$100+

Rhode Island LLC Filing Fee ($150)

In order to form an LLC in Rhode Island, you will need to submit certain formation documents with the Secretary of State — known as the Articles of Organization.

To do this, you will be required to pay a $150 filing fee, which is applicable regardless of whether you register a domestic LLC (operating within Rhode Island) or a foreign LLC (operating from outside of Rhode Island).

Having said that, keep in mind that foreign LLCs need to submit an Application for Registration for a Foreign Limited Liability Company form instead.

If you choose to use an LLC formation service, the cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to Rhode Island’s state filing fee.

The fees for an LLC formation service can range significantly, but can start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more information, you can have a look at our Rhode Island LLC Formation guide.

Rhode Island Registered Agent ($0-$200)

As part of completing your Articles of Organization, you will need to appoint a registered agent — also known as a resident agent in other states.

This is an individual or a business entity that you must assign in order to receive tax, legal, and governmental correspondence on behalf of your LLC — such as service of process.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no extra cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service so you avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

The cost of a professional service begins at just $50 a year for providers that offer simple features like online portals, same-day document scans, and mail forwarding.

For some of the more premium services — such as compliance management tools, enhanced privacy protections, personalized business advice, and multi-state registration assistance — the price can rise to between $100 and $200 annually.

Note: Should your registered agent change, it will be necessary to notify the Rhode Island Department of State by submitting Form 642: Change of Resident Agent.

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Naming Your Rhode Island LLC ($0 – $100)

When forming your Rhode Island LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

While registering a name in itself has no cost, there are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you’re not ready to register your business immediately, Rhode Island allows you to reserve a name online for a period of 120 days.

This comes at a cost of $50.

It’s important to understand that if a name is already registered in Rhode Island, you will not be able to use it, or any variations of it.

For instance, if “Acme Enterprises, Inc.” exists, the state will not approve names too similar to it, such as:

  • Acme Enterprises Corporation
  • Acme’s Enterprises, LLC
  • Acme Enterprises!
  • Acm3 Enterprise
  • The Acme Enterprise

To gain a deeper understanding of the criteria for name availability, you can refer to Rhode Island’s official Name Availability Guidelines.

Note: Before starting the registration process, you should check whether your desired business name is available via the Rhode Island Department of State’s Corporate Database.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you intend to conduct business in Rhode Island under a name that’s different from your LLC’s registered entity name, you will need to register a Doing Business As (DBA) name.

To do this, you will need to either file a Fictitious Business Name Statement online through the Rhode Island Business Services Online Filing System, or download this form and submit it via mail.

The processing fee for this is $50.

Note: It’s important to note that, in Rhode Island, fictitious business names do not have an expiration date and do not require renewal.

Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for limited liability companies to have an operating agreement.

This document defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Rhode Island LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of additional formation costs that LLCs in Rhode Island may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Rhode Island Local Business Licenses

In order to comply with the local-level regulations of your city and county, your business may be required to obtain one — or several — local business licenses.

While very few municipalities impose a general licensing requirement for businesses operating within their limits, your LLC might need a municipal license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For instance, if your LLC is operating as a vendor in North Providence, Rhode Island, you must apply for a vendor license at a cost of $100.

This application is managed by the Town Clerk’s Office and requires approval from the Town Council.

Certificate of Good Standing

A Rhode Island Certificate of Good Standing is a document often required to open a business bank account; it can also be requested by lenders in order to check that your LLC is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business in the state.

To obtain a Certificate of Good Standing for your LLC, the following options are available:

  • Online: Access it via the Rhode Island Corporate Database
  • In Person: Visit the Business Services Division at 148 West River Street, Providence
  • By Phone: Call the Business Services Division at 401-222-3040
  • By Mail: Address your request to the Business Services Division, 148 W. River St., Providence, RI 02904-2615

Keep in mind that a $20 fee will need to be paid.

Certified Copies of Business Documents

You may need certified copies of your business documents if you’re dealing with financial institutions, regulatory bodies, or are involved in legal proceedings.

You can obtain certified copies of your business documents from the Rhode Island Business Services Division via mail, phone, or in person.

The cost for LLCs is $10 plus $0.15 per page, with all fees being non-refundable.

Processing times vary, ranging from two business days for phone and in-person requests or five to seven business days for orders submitted via mail.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Rhode Island

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Rhode Island, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Rhode Island LLC below.

Annual Report Fee

All LLCs in Rhode Island will be required to file an Annual Report in order to maintain their good standing with the state.

This can be submitted online or via mail, and comes with a $50 processing fee.

You will be required to file your LLC’s annual report between September 1 and November 1 in order to avoid incurring a late penalty fee of $25.

Note: All records kept on file by the Department of State are considered to be public records unless exempt from disclosure in accordance with RIGL 38-2 Access to Public Records.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended.

Taxes

In addition to the federal taxes your LLC is required to pay regardless of the state it’s based in, there are a variety of state-specific taxes in Rhode Island you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Rhode Island vs Other States

Rhode Island’s initial formation costs for LLCs are on the middle to high end when compared to most other states.

Having said that, the annual maintenance costs are modestly competitive, which makes Rhode Island an attractive option for prospective LLC owners.

Even so, it’s important to understand that the best state to form your LLC in will almost always be the one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This is because this makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, as you’ll only need to deal with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Rhode Island FAQ

How much does it cost to make an LLC in Rhode Island?

Forming an LLC requires a minimum cost of $150 for filing the Articles of Organization with the Rhode Island Secretary of State. Keep in mind that the overall cost may vary depending on whether you purchase additional services, such as business insurance or a formation service. If you’re interested in getting started, you can check out our How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC guide.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Rhode Island?

The processing time for forming an LLC in Rhode Island varies depending on the method chosen. Online filings are typically processed within a few business days, while mail submissions can take longer.

What is the most expensive state to form an LLC?

The cost of forming an LLC varies significantly across states, with California and New York frequently mentioned as the most expensive due to their high filing fees and annual taxes. Rhode Island LLCs, in contrast, are generally considered more affordable.

How do I start an LLC in Rhode Island by myself?

To start an LLC in Rhode Island by yourself, you will need to begin by filling the Rhode Island LLC Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State and paying a $150 filing fee. For more information, you can refer to our How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island article.

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