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Rhode Island Business License

Do you already have a stand-out business idea and want to turn it into reality? Are you looking for accurate information about launching your business successfully in Rhode Island? We can help you with that as here we covered topics such as: how to obtain an RI business license, how to form a legal business entity in the state, local, federal, and state requirements of licensing jurisdictions and registration of your business, the expenses you will likely spend when forming your business, etc.

How do I get a business license in RI?

Rhode Island doesn’t offer a general license that would apply to every business operating in the state. Instead, the licensing regulations are issued by the state, local, and federal jurisdictions depending on the location and the nature of your business. In Rhode Island, there are certain categories of state licensure based on the nature of your business:

  • Rhode Island Department of Health
  • Department of Business Regulations
  • Public Utilities Commission and Division of Public Utilities and Carriers
  • RI Department of Labor and Training
  • Department of Environmental Management
  • Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board

According to your profession, you may acquire you may apply to the certain department that handles the licensing process. For instance, if you are a social worker or cosmetologist you will apply for a business license to the Department of Health. However, auto mechanics or architects should obtain a professional license from the Department of Business Regulations. To learn more about professional licensing reach out to the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

How do I start an LLC in Rhode Island?

Prior to the business license application, you should first register your business with the Department of State. Here we will discuss the process of forming an LLC business in Rhode Island.

As soon as you have a solid business plan it’s time to form the legal entity of your business.  If you select your business structure as LLC you will be lucky enough to deal with less paperwork. Here are the main steps you need to go through to register your LLC business in Rhode Island:

  • Choose a unique business name. You can search to see the uniqueness of your desired business name by visiting the RI Secretary of State website
  • Assign a resident agent. A resident agent or commonly known registered agent is an individual or registered agent business that will receive tax and legal documents on behalf of your company.
  • File the Articles of Organization with the Department of State. You can file the LLC online or download the form, fill out and either bring it in person or mail it to the following address along with the filing fee: Division of Business Services, 148 W. River Street, Providence, RI 02904
  • Create an Operating Agreement (optional)
  • Obtain EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). A 9-digit Employer Identification Number is basically the social security number for your business
  • Purchase proper insurance. To start your business in the state you must obtain a proper insurance policy. Most small businesses must have general liability insurance and worker’s compensation (if you hire employees)

How do I start a sole proprietorship in RI?

A sole proprietorship is an informal business that is not separated from its owner which means all the profits from the business will be transferred to the owner. The owner is personally accountable for all the risks and debts that occur to the business. Sole proprietorship entities in Rhode Island can file a DBA and conduct their business under an assumed name. You can also apply for EIN if you decide to hire employees.

How much does a license cost in Rhode Island?

As the regulations of licensing are handled by local, state, and federal jurisdictions the costs of licenses will greatly vary. Along with the licensing fees, you should also consider paying the filing fees. To form an LLC, e.g. you will pay a $150 filing fee while for registration of the filing fee would be $230.

Mary H

Being a skilled creative writer and SEO content writer, with 2+ years of experience I can't imagine any other profession to fulfill my life as much as writing does. As a proud member of geek culture, I enjoy reading, writing, watching Sci-Fi gems, while also advocating the involvement of young, bright-minded girls and women in STEM research. Latter was largely the result of working at UNESCO Chair, Life Sciences International Postgraduate Educational Center as an editor of scientific journals.

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