Is there a state business license that I need to have?
There is no universal license that all businesses
in Rhode Island must have but many businesses will
need to be licensed by the state based on their occupational
and business activities. In Rhode Island, this is
primarily done by the Department of Business Regulation
but your business may need approvals from other state
agencies as well. For example, if your business will
conduct any retail sales, then you must obtain a Retail
Sales Permit from the Department of Revenue. Rhode
Island has a First Stop Business Information Center
online that can help you figure out what licenses
and permits your business may need.
Do I need to register my business?
If your business is a corporation, professional service
corporation, limited liability company, limited partnership,
limited liability partnership, non-profit organization,
producers' cooperative, or consumers' cooperative,
then you must register your business with the Business
Section of the Rhode Island Secretary of State. If
your business hires employees, then you will also
need to register with the Department of Revenue for
tax withholding purposes.
|CLICK THE LINKS TO YOUR CITY BELOW TO APPLY FOR A BUSINESS LICENSE
Are there any other licensing requirements
that my business must meet?
Many municipalities have their own licensing requirements
for local businesses. These requirements can vary
widely throughout the state. Providence, for example,
with a few exceptions requires all local businesses
to obtain a license from the city. They also require
that all local corporations register with the city.
On the other hand, Cranston only requires certain
types of businesses to be licensed based on the nature
of their business activities. Because local licensing
is determined by city ordinance, it is best to always
check with your local city government to find out
what licenses or permits your business may need.
What type of information will I need to provide on
my license application?
The information needed will depend on the license
you are applying for, but generally you will need
to at least provide:
- Full business name
- Business address and contact information
- Owner's name and contact information, or in the
case of corporations and partnerships, the names of
the officer or partners
- Type of business
- Nature of business
- Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), available
from the IRS or the owner's social security number
- Sales tax number, if applicable
You will usually need to also provide documentation
showing that you have already met all federal and
state licensing and registration requirements, if
Apply for a business
license now by visiting your city's website using
the links above.
Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.