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How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

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How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

If you’re starting your business and want to form a Limited Liability Company in Rhode Island, you are in the right place!

Here, I’ll go through each of the steps to fill out the paperwork to start a Rhode Island LLC with the Secretary of State.

Anyone can learn how to form their own LLC, but using an entity formation service like Zenbusiness, Northwest, and IncFile guide you through the LLC formation process, so you will save time and know everything was done right.

Zenbusiness and IncFile are running a special where you only pay state fees for your LLC formation!

Steps To Fill Out The Rhode Island LLC Articles Of Organization

Rhode Island Artcles of Organiation Form 400

The Rhode Island Articles of Organization is the official business formation document filed with the Rhode Island Secretary of State to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC). After the filing is approved by the state, the business can officially begin operating and register for the necessary business licenses and permits.
To file the Rhode Island Articles of Organization, you can either download and submit the completed BCA5.5 LLC Articles of Organization form or be filed online with the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

In this overview, I’ll show how to file a Domestic Limited Liability Company online. There is an option to to file another LLC called a Foreign Limited Liability Company. A foreign LLC is an LLC from another state wanting to physically do business in Rhode Island.

So to get started with the Domestic LLC creation, visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website and create an account.

Step 1: Pick a Name for the LLC

The first step in filling out the Rhode Island Operating Agreement is to pick a business name.

There are a couple of requirements when choosing a Rhode Island LLC name.

1. The name of your LLC must not be too similar to the name of another business entity already registered with the state of Rhode Island. You can verify name availability by doing a Rhode Island LLC name search with the Rhode Island Secretary of State to be sure the LLC name is available.

2. The name of the LLC must include one of the following entity identifiers at the end of the business name:
Limited Liability Company

Enter the LLC name including the identifier to continue. If you choose a name that is taken, the Secretary of State will return your application.

Step 2: Appoint a Resident Agent

One requirement to have an LLC in Rhode Island is to appoint a Rhode Island Resident Agent (called a Registered Agent in many states). The Resident Agent is a party that is located in the state of Rhode Island that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC. The address of the registered office must be a physical street address, as a PO Box isn’t allowed.

Provided the LLC member lives in the state of Rhode Island and is generally available during business hours, they may act as the Resident Agent. Additionally, any adult resident of the state, attorney or accountant in the state, or Resident Agent service can also act as the Resident Agent.

Related: Should you be the Resident Agent?

Step 3: Choose the LLC’s Tax Status

In this section, you will declare the federal tax status of the LLC. 

You have the options for partnership, corporation, or disregarded, and can be confusing to answer.  One of the great benefits of having an LLC is the tax flexibility. You can elect to have the LLC taxed like a partnership, corporation, or disregarded entity (sole proprietorship) and you are able to change it.  You are still filing as an LLC but electing how the entity is taxed.

This section doesn’t actually make the election.  That will be done when filing the EIN with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  We have a guide to filing an EIN for a Rhode Island LLC.  It only takes about 5 minutes and doesn’t cost you anything.

Note that the IRS will automatically select the disregarded entity status for single-member LLCs, and a multi-member LLC will automatically be taxed as a partnership.

If you aren’t sure which one to pick, be sure to talk first with an accountant or entity formation service.

Step 4: Enter the Principal Office of the LLC

The address of the principal place of business may be, but is not required to be, the actual place of the business. It can also be the main location where the business records are kept.

A physical address in the state of Rhode Island must be used for the principal place of business as P.O. Boxes are not acceptable.

Step 5: Business Purpose Statement

There is nothing to do in this step as the state has provided the business purpose statement (what the business will do) as “The limited liability company has the purpose of engaging in any lawful business, unless a more limited purpose is set forth in Article VI of these Articles of Organization.”

Next, you are able to choose whether the LLC will have a perpetual existence or will close on a certain date. In this section, you can indicate how long the LLC will remain in existence.  Most LLCs will choose a perpetual (indefinite) existence; however, some businesses (usually investment-related) will have a specific closure date in mind.

Step 6: Include Any Additional Provisions

This is an optional section. Should there be any additional information regarding the governance of the LLC (such as the business purpose from above), include those statements in this section.

Step 7: Select the Management Structure

The next step provides information regarding whether the LLC is Manager-Managed or Member-Managed.

Member-Managed LLC is involved with the day-to-day operations of the business. Many LLCs are operated and run by the owner, in which case would be Member-Managed.

Manager-Managed LLC refers to a Limited Liability Company that hires a manager to run the business, similar to hiring a CEO of a corporation.

If the LLC is Member-Managed do not enter any names in the fields. Otherwise, include the names of the LLC Managers.

Step 8: Choose the Effective Date

The effective date for an LLC is the first day of the entity’s existence. You have the option to choose an effective date (starting date) up to 90 days in the future. Some will delay the effective date (starting date) of the LLC if they aren’t ready to start the business, but want the filing out of the way. Others will delay the start date if the filing is being done at the end of a calendar year and don’t expect there to be any business activity, which eliminates filing a tax return.

By default, the effective date is the day the Secretary of State files the formation paperwork. Otherwise, enter a different start date.

Step 9: Include the Filer’s Contact Information

On the last page, the filer will need to complete their name, address, email address, and phone number.

Be sure to use an email address that is checked frequently as the Secretary of State will send reminders such as the annual report to that address.

Step 10: Sign & File the Articles of Organization

The name, address, and signature of an authorized person is needed to file the Articles of Organization.

Send the state filing fee and Articles of Organization to:
Rhode Island Secretary of State – Business Services Division
148 W. River Street, Ste. 1
Providence, RI 02904

Step 11: Review the Articles of Organization

Review the information you provided and if all looks good, click “Accept.”

Step 12: Submit the Articles of Organization

Last, enter your payment information and submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State.

This material is property of StartingYourBusiness.com

Rhode Island LLC FAQs

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

To start to form an LLC in Rhode Island is $150.

How long does it take to get a Rhode Island LLC approved?

Submitting the Articles of Organization will normally take 1-3 days when submitted online and 5-10 business days when filing by mail.

How much does it cost to file an annual report in Rhode Island?

Each year there is an annual report to file, along with the state fee of $50.

What is an operating agreement, and do you need one?

Under Rhode Island law, Statute § 7-16-22, an LLC Operating Agreement is optional.  Despite the Operating Agreement not being required, it is recommended to have one as it can help to prevent disputes among members and protect the LLC’s legal status.

Related: How to Create a Rhode Island Operating Agreement

Should I use an LLC formation service or do it myself?
The right answer for everyone is different. If after reading our guide, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of the process, and if so using an LLC formation service may be the best option. Formation services break down the process and make sure that all of the legal paperwork is properly filled out and submitted.

Two of my top formation companies have a special offer where you can get your LLC formed without paying any additional fees (state fees still apply). Check out Zenbusiness and IncFile to learn more.
What business licenses are needed in Rhode Island?

The requirements for business licenses and registrations in Rhode Island vary depending on what the business does and where it’s located.

Here is a list of common business licenses in Rhode Island.

How do you get an EIN in Rhode Island?

Only Rhode Island LLCs that either have more than one member, will hire employees, or elect to be taxed as a partnership or corporation are required to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number that is assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If the LLC isn’t required to get an EIN (though you can still get one), the LLC will use the social security number of the business owner.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Do you need a registered agent for your LLC in Rhode Island?

All corporations and LLCs in Rhode Island are required to have and maintain a registered agent.

The registered agent is a party that is physically located in the state of Rhode Island that will receive important notices and service of process (which means to accept papers that start a lawsuit) on behalf of the LLC.

Related: Who can be a Rhode Island registered agent?

How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

How To Fill Out The Rhode Island Articles of Organization

Greg Bouhl

Greg Bouhl

Welcome! My name is Greg Bouhl, and I am a serial entrepreneur, educator, business advisor, and investor.

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