Business License in Rhode Island

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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 hiring 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 Doing Business in Rhode Island to see the list of business licenses and permits, as well as the different agencies you may need to contact. You can also access the Rhode Island Business License Lookup and the Rhode Island Business License Registration page 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: Rhode Island Secretary of State: Directory Of City & Town Officials. We 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

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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