A Rhode Island Registered Agent or Rhode Island Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Rhode Island. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Rhode Island and be available during regular business hours.
In my Rhode Island Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Rhode Island business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Rhode Island LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup a Rhode Island LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.
Best Rhode Island Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Rhode Island. They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!
The best option for a Rhode Island registered agent is going to be ZenBusiness. They have the best customer service, pricing and help 1000s of other business owners in their pursuit to find the best LLC formation service and registered agent service. If you go with ZenBusiness you will not be sorry. If you’re looking for an alternative you can always go with Northwest Registered Agent who also has similar volume and success with business owners. The other important piece to keep in mind as you’re choosing your registered agent service is the connection of the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office. By having a Rhode Island registered agent that is closely aligned to the Secretary of State’s office, you’re going to make sure that the business you’re forming is in compliance.
What is a Rhode Island Registered Agent?
A Rhode Island registered agent is no different than any other type of registered agent in another state. A registered agent or registered agent service is going to be responsible for the same things and those are:
- Have a physical street address for your business in Rhode Island
- Be available during normal business hours
- Accept service of process documentation on behalf of the business entity
- File annual reports and keep the business in compliance
There are going to be some states that have additional requirements so make sure you’re following what your Secretary of State’s office is telling you but for the most part – those are going to be the pieces that are required for your business in Rhode Island.
If you think going to the UPS store in Rhode Island or finding a PO Box at the USPS store is going to solve your registered agent requirement, you’ll be mistaken and it will cause more issues by potentially dissolving your business entity. It’s important to realize that the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office recognizes that you’re going to need to have a physical street address and by using a virtual mailbox or some type of UPS Store solution – you’ll get a dissolved business.
Why do I need a Rhode Island Registered Agent?
The purpose of a registered agent is to make your life easier in Rhode Island – not more difficult. The entire purpose of getting a registered agent for your business is to provide some legal coverage and protection. It’s legally required to have a registered agent inform you of any legal documents that have been served to you.
If you’re going to act as your own registered agent, it will be important that you’re connected with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office and following the law they lay out.
Another big reason why I recommend NOT being your own registered agent in Rhode Island is because if someone was to go to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s business name search portal – they would be able to find your registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address. Think about that for a minute. If you’re going to be your own registered agent – do you really want to have your home address and name showing up on the public record?
Besides the fact that it’s legally required to have a registered agent – it’s the search portal that I would highly recommend you stay away from with your personal info.
When should I obtain a Rhode Island Registered Agent?
The best time to get a registered agent is when you’re forming your LLC or Limited Liability Company. It will be required to have a registered agent for any business entity that you are forming and if you don’t do this at the beginning of your business entity journey – you may never get it off the ground in the first place.
If you just use a national provider like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent as your registered agent service – your life will be much easier long term as a business owner.
I would highly recommend doing this from the beginning and if you don’t – you will most likely not have a business entity with a registered agent service associated. You can also try and be your own registered agent in Rhode Island but like we’ve talked about – I don’t recommend that. There isn’t a good reason for you to do this with all the services out there to make your life easier at a pretty minimum cost in comparison to what it would cost you long term doing on your own.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Rhode Island?
It is possible to be your own registered agent in Rhode Island but like we’ve talked about – it’s not the best use of your time and energy. There are services that can do this. The items that you’ll be responsible for as your own registered agent are:
- Have a physical street address in Rhode Island
- Be available during normal business hours
- Accept service of process (legal documents) on behalf of your business entity
- File the annual reports required by Rhode Island’s Secretary of State’s office.
You can do this on your own but I just think it’s a bad idea with everything else you could be doing. You’d have to find a physical location that is not your home or a virtual mailbox like a UPS Store or USPS PO Box. This means that you’ll need to find a location and make sure that it’s worth your time. The annual cost of doing this is just an added expense but it’s better than doing this on your own with the added expense of your time and energy.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
The cost of a registered agent service ranges quite substantially depending on whether you decide to do this on your own or find some type of solution in between.
If you wanted to do this on your own, the cost is $0 on the surface but like we’ve talked about there are going to be costs with getting a physical street address if you don’t have one, always being available during normal business hours and filing all the right paperwork.
The options for the registered agent services are:
- Be your own registered agent (not recommended)
- Find a law firm in Rhode Island that offers registered agent services
- Use ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent (recommended)
By using a law firm it may be a lower cost ($50-100/year) but you won’t get the added benefit of what a national provider has like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. It’s important to understand they have helped 1000s of business owners make sure they get their business formed and have the registered agent service included too. I always recommend that anybody looking to start a business does so with ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Rhode Island?
To elect a registered agent in Rhode Island, you’re going to need to find their Articles of Organization. By doing this, you’re going to get the LLC formation documents needed in Rhode Island to setup your business entity the right way.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent Online in Rhode Island?
If you want to elect your registered agent online, you can do so with the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s web portal where you’ll need $150 for a filing fee and include your registered agent’s name and contact information. On that portal you’ll be able to find the link to registered online for the type of business entity you want to form from a Corporation, LLC, Benefit Corp or anything else.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent by Mail, Fax or In Person in Rhode Island?
If you want to file your registered agent details by mail or in person, you can do that too with the same link here but download the PDF and follow the address that’s on the paperwork to make sure it gets filed correctly.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Rhode Island?
If you want to change your registered agent for whatever reason, you can do so by filling out the Statement of Change of Registered Agent and get it submitted back to the Rhode Island Department of State. There is going to be a filling fee which I believe is $20 but check before submitting it based on the type of business entity that you’re changing your registered agent on.
If you need to find any other type of business form – use the Rhode Island Document Library to do a search and pull it up.
Rhode Island Registered Agent FAQ
Does Rhode Island require a registered agent?
Yes, Rhode Island requires that every LLC or corporation have a registered agent on file with the state. The purpose of having a registered agent is so that your business has somebody that can receive important legal documents on behalf of the company.
Does registered agent mean owner?
No, a registered agent is not the same thing as an owner. A registered agent is somebody who has been designated to receive important legal documents on behalf of the company.
What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a company that will act as your LLC or corporation’s registered agent. This is a service that you can use to make sure that somebody is always available during normal business hours to receive important legal documents on behalf of your company.
Best Registered Agent
The best option for your registered agent service