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Start Your Rhode Island Business

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State Processing Fees and Times

Wondering what the processing times and fees are for starting a Rhode Island corporation? Rhode Island can give you a pretty accurate estimate of the average wait times for both expedited and standard filings in all states.
Rhode Island charges a filing fee for corporate formations. Visit "compare pricing" in our incorporation center to check all Rhode Island's state fees.

Deciding Between a Rhode Island C-Corp or S-Corp Tax Designation

Because limits on liability, structure, management and compliance documents are the same, deciding between an S Corp and a C Corp in Rhode Island comes down to the following differences:
  • Ownership Rules: A C Corp can have unlimited shareholders and unlimited stock classes. An S Corp is limited to a maximum number of shareholders, usually 100, and only one stock class.
  • Taxes: A C Corp is taxed separately. It files taxes at the corporate level, and shareholders may also be taxed on the individual dividends paid to them. S Corps are "pass-through" tax entities. No taxes are paid at the corporate level. Taxes are paid individually by the owners.
  • Documents: An S Corp must file IRS Form 2553 to elect S Corp status.

Personnel Requirements

Your corporate personnel must meet the following requirements in Rhode Island:
  • At least one incorporator.
  • No age or residency requirements.

Other Requirements for Your Articles of Incorporation

You must also include the following in your Articles of Incorporation in Rhode Island:
  • The period of duration of the corporation must be listed, and it may be perpetual
  • The name and street address of the corporation, and its registered agent
  • The number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue, as well as their class and par value, if any
  • A statement of any rights, preferences or powers allowed to any particular class of stock
  • The name and address of each incorporator
  • The date the Articles of Incorporation are to become effective, if not immediately upon filing
Every corporation needs a registered agent. In Rhode Island, your agent must be named in your Articles of Incorporation. A registered agent is the person or business responsible for receiving tax, legal and government documents for your corporation during regular business hours. Your registered agent must have an address in the state. We'll help you designate your registered agent when you incorporate with us.

Guidelines for Your Name

Your corporation's name is how it will be known to the world. Rhode Island has a few requirements:
  • Your corporate name must contain the one of the words "Corporation," "Company," "Incorporated," "Limited," or an abbreviation of one of these terms.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from all other business entities in the records of the Rhode Island Secretary of State.

Rhode Island Corporate Taxes and Reports

Rhode Island requires that corporations file an annual report between Jan. 1 and March 1.
Although it's not the most enjoyable part of owning a business, you'll have to pay taxes for your new corporation. Before you start doing business, you must apply to the IRS for an employer identification number, or EIN. An EIN is the equivalent of your company's Social Security number. We have more information about the tax structures of S corporations and C corporations.

Corporate Record Keeping and Filing Requirements

Rhode Island also requires that corporations create records such as bylaws and meeting minutes to maintain corporate status. Requirements for bylaws and corporate meeting minutes can differ by state. You should keep these documents regardless of whether your state requires them, because they help protect the legality of your corporate status. We can help you prepare corporate bylaws and corporate minutes.
Starting a new corporation in Rhode Island can be exciting and challenging. We wish you success and prosperity, and we're always here when you need us.

This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.

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