Starting an LLC in Rhode Island comes with more costs than just filing the initial paperwork. But it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.
We explain all of the initial and ongoing Rhode Island LLC cost details below, as well as give you tips on how to save money.
How much does an LLC cost in Rhode Island?
It costs $150 to form an LLC in Rhode Island. This is a fee paid for the Articles of Organization.
You’ll file this form with the Rhode Island Department of State. And once approved, your LLC will go into existence.
In addition to this LLC filing fee, there are other costs to be aware of when forming a Rhode Island LLC (Limited Liability Company).
Costs to forming a Rhode Island LLC
There is a $150 one-time state filing fee to form a Rhode Island LLC.
There are also ongoing fees (like a $50 Annual Report fee), which we discuss below.
LLC Costs in Rhode Island
|Registered Agent||$0 or $125 per year|
|Articles of Organization||$150|
|Operating Agreement||$0 (free on our site)|
|EIN Number||$0 (free through IRS)|
|Annual Report||$50 (every year)|
|Taxes||varies (filed and/or paid every year)|
Rhode Island LLC Articles of Organization Filing Fee ($150)
Starting an LLC costs $150 in Rhode Island. This is the state filing fee for a document called the Rhode Island Articles of Organization.
The Articles of Organization are filed with the Rhode Island Department of State. And once approved, this is what creates your LLC.
The $150 fee is a one-time fee. You don’t have to pay any monthly (or annual) fees to start your Rhode Island LLC.
Note: LLCs are the most common business structure used in Rhode Island. They are the most popular business entity because they offer liability protection for the LLC owners.
Depending on the state, the Articles of Organization form is sometimes called a Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation. Articles of Organization is the most common name – but they all mean the same thing: the form used to create your LLC.
Rhode Island business name cost ($0)
Naming your Limited Liability Company doesn’t cost anything. Your Rhode Island LLC Name is approved (at no extra cost) when your Articles of Organization filing is approved by the Rhode Island Division of Business Services.
You may have read online that LLC Name Reservations are required. However, this is not true in most states. Most states don’t require a Name Reservation to form a Limited Liability Company.
How much does a DBA cost? ($50)
A DBA is filed with the state or the county. In Rhode Island, a DBA for an LLC costs $50.
Note: A DBA is sometimes called a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, Assumed Name or Fictitious Business Name. They all mean the same thing.
Tip: You aren’t required to get a DBA for your LLC. It’s optional. For more information, read our article: Do I need a DBA?
Rhode Island Registered Agent Fee ($0 or $125/year)
Rhode Island law requires that you designate a Registered Agent when forming your LLC.
A Rhode Island Registered Agent is a person or company who receives legal documents and state notices for your LLC. A Registered Agent (aka a Rhode Island Resident Agent) needs a street address in the state and should generally be available during normal business hours.
There is no additional cost if you will be your own Registered Agent, or have someone you know be your LLC’s Resident Agent.
However, you have the option of hiring a Registered Agent service. This will cost you between $100 to $300 per year. But Registered Agent service companies offer other helpful business services and can protect your privacy.
Hiring a Registered Agent service is a good idea if:
- You don’t have an address in the state (Rhode Island law requires a Resident Agent to have a physical address in the state)
- You want to keep your address off public record (depending on which company you hire, you may be able to use their address to keep your address private)
LLC Operating Agreement Fee ($0)
A Rhode Island LLC Operating Agreement is a written contract between the LLC Members. Operating Agreements include detailed information about LLC ownership, how the LLC is managed, and how profits are distributed.
Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs should draft an Operating Agreement, keep it with their business records, and give a copy to each Member.
Most websites charge $50 to $200 for LLC Operating Agreements.
Here at LLC University®, we offer free LLC Operating Agreement templates for all types of LLCs.
LLC EIN Number Fee ($0)
An EIN Number is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
This number is used to file income taxes, to open an LLC bank account, and to hire employees (if applicable).
Although many websites charge a service fee to get an EIN for your LLC, it can actually be done for free.
You can obtain an EIN for your LLC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. The online filing can be completed in a few minutes.
Rhode Island LLC Annual Report Fee ($50/year)
Rhode Island requires you to keep your LLC’s information up to date by filing an Annual Report.
This keeps your Rhode Island LLC in good standing and in compliance with state law so it can continue operating. You simply confirm the information on the Annual Report, file it with the Rhode Island Department of State, and pay the Annual Report fee.
The Rhode Island LLC Annual Report costs $50 per year. This fee is paid every year for the life of your LLC.
Rhode Island Business License and Permit Fees (varies)
Depending on where your LLC does business in Rhode Island and the industry you’re in, you may need to obtain additional Business Licenses or Permits. For example, you may need to get a City Business Permit.
The costs for these other business licenses or permits will vary depending on location and industry, but usually the fees are not very high. Some licenses and permits are issued at the state level, and others are issued by a municipality (the town, city, or county).
LLC Taxes (varies)
There are many different types of Rhode Island LLC taxes that owners must pay, so this annual cost varies widely.
Some of the taxes LLC owners pay include:
- Federal taxes
- State income tax
- Local income tax
- Business taxes
- Minimum annual tax
- Self-employment taxes
- Unemployment insurance tax
- Sales and use tax
- Payroll tax (if you have employees)
- Property tax (if the LLC owns property)
Your Rhode Island LLC taxes depend on your industry and amount of business activity, so we’re not able to provide an estimate. Every business is different, and your specific circumstances determine what employer taxes and annual taxes apply to your LLC.
Hiring an Accountant
How much your small business pays in taxes is best determined by working with a qualified accountant in Rhode Island.
The amount you’ll pay your accountant will vary. However, most accountants will charge $300 per year for a simple tax return, or up to $900 for more detailed filings.
Note: We recommend speaking with a few accountants in Rhode Island to make sure they can help you meet all of your federal, state, and local tax obligations. We offer detailed tips on How to Find an Accountant.
Rhode Island Department of State
If you have any questions about the cost of opening a Rhode Island LLC, you can contact the Business Services Division of the Rhode Island Department of State (aka the Rhode Island Secretary of State).
Rhode Island LLC Cost FAQs
Some LLCs may need a business license in Rhode Island. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. The cost of local business permits varies. And depending on what your company does, your LLC might need to obtain business insurance.
If you hired a company to be your Resident Agent, you’ll have an annual subscription fee to pay each year. This is usually about $125 per year.
Some LLCs may need a business license in Rhode Island. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. You’ll need to check with your municipality to see if there are any annual renewal fees for the business permit.
However, if you want to save time and make sure your LLC is filed correctly, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent has excellent customer service and they include Resident Agent services free for the 1st year. They also offer other services, like an Operating Agreement and filing your Annual Report.
Check out Best LLC Services for more suggestions.
However, some people may want to hire an attorney if their LLC has a complex ownership or management structure, has investors, or requires industry-specific documentation.
A business attorney usually charges between $800 and $2,500 to form an LLC.
- Choose an LLC business name and make sure it’s available
- Choose who will be your Rhode Island Resident Agent
- File the Rhode Island Articles of Organization
- Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
- Open an LLC bank account
- Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Rhode Island
By forming your LLC yourself, being your own Registered Agent, and using our Operating Agreement template you can save over $400.
You can get an LLC in Rhode Island approved in 1-2 business days if you file online. On the other hand, filing by mail takes about 2-3 business days (plus mail time).
And you might be able to find a bank that doesn’t charge any monthly fees.
Before you open your LLC business bank account, we recommend calling and asking if there are ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fees.
The Rhode Island Foreign LLC cost is $150.
If you form an LLC in Rhode Island, it is called a “Domestic LLC”. If you formed your LLC in another state, it would be a Foreign LLC once you register it in Rhode Island.
However, the most important factors in deciding where to start a business are where you live and where you’re doing business.
Meaning, if you live in or do business in Rhode Island, then you should start your business in Rhode Island. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business. And just because a certain state has cheaper LLC fees doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to form your LLC there.
For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in Rhode Island, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in Rhode Island (and pay fees). And you’ll end up paying Rhode Island taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.
In summary, if you are a Rhode Island resident, then yes, Rhode Island is the best state to form an LLC. If you don’t live in and do business in Rhode Island, then no, Rhode Island probably isn’t a good state to start an LLC.