Rhode Island Business Licenses and Permits

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Rhode Island LLC
Business Licenses and Permits

How to form an LLC in Rhode Island
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Rhode Island.

Detailed Lessons:

5. EIN Number
6. Annual Report
7. Business License ← you are here
8. Taxes


Rhode Island LLC costs:
LLC formation: $150 (one-time fee)
Annual report: $50 (every year)

Need help?
Hire a company to form your Rhode Island LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

After you form a Rhode Island LLC, you need to comply with any county and city license and permit requirements.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Rhode Island LLC is located.

Not complying with license and permit requirements is risky and can result in penalties and fines, or worse, not being able to conduct business in Rhode Island.

Types of licenses & permits you may need in Rhode Island

Below are some license and permit examples your Rhode Island LLC may need:

  • City business licenses/tax permits
  • Building permit
  • Health permit
  • Occupational permit
  • Signage permit
  • Alarm permit
  • Zoning permit
  • Alcohol & tobacco permit
  • Liquor license
  • Sales and use tax permit
  • Seller/reseller permit
Need Help? If you don’t want to make phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend using IncFile.

Do it yourself in Rhode Island

No State Business License in Rhode Island
The State of Rhode Island does not have a general, state-level business license. Instead, business licenses are issued at the local level and depend on the type of business your RI LLC engages in.

Rhode Island State Government Business Licenses
For help figuring out which licenses your Rhode Island LLC needs, visit this page (http://www.ri.gov/business/business2015.php) to see the list of business licenses and permits, as well as the different agencies you may need to contact. You can also access these other pages (http://www.dbr.ri.gov/licenses/lookup.php) and (https://www.ri.gov/business/?tags=licenses) to find out your LLC’s business permits and licensing needs.

Contact Your Local Officials
Since licenses and permits for Rhode Island LLCs are controlled at the local level, we recommend contacting the county where you do business. You can find the contact details of your local officials here: http://www.municipalfinance.ri.gov/resources/directory/. We also recommend contacting the city where you do business as well.

Occupational Licenses are not Business Licenses
Rhode Island requires occupational licenses for certain trades and professionals; those which require a state license to practice (medical, legal, accounting, etc.). These occupational licenses are a requirement to practice these professions, but are not to be confused with a local license to conduct business. If you are required to hold an occupational license in Rhode Island, you may also be required to obtain a local business license as well.

Next Step

After you’ve researched and obtained the proper licenses and permits for your Rhode Island LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Rhode Island LLC Taxes.

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.

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