Rhode Island Registered Agent
As the owner of a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation, you will be required to appoint a Rhode Island registered agent — also known in the state as a resident agent — in order to receive legal documents on behalf of your business.
Even though you can be your own agent, most small businesses tend to hire a commercial registered agent service instead. This is because it offers:
- Improved privacy
- More flexibility on a day-to-day basis
- Online storage capabilities
- Affordable pricing
We’ll help you make the best choice for your business.
Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers free registered agent services with LLC or corporation formation ($29 plus state fees).
Choosing a Registered Agent in Rhode Island
A registered agent serves as your business’s primary point of contact with the Rhode Island Department of State (e.g., annual reports, important notifications, etc.), as well as with other entities that might wish to deliver notice of a lawsuit against you (ie. deliver service of process).
In Rhode Island, you will be legally required to appoint a registered agent as an LLC or corporation owner. This can be a registered agent service or an individual, so long as they:
- Are at least 18 years old.
- Have a physical street address in Rhode Island.
- Are always available during normal business hours at their specified address.
Registered Agent Services
- Convenience: Hiring a third-party service will ensure that you will not need to be present at your registered office address during all regular business hours.
- Privacy: All Rhode Island registered agents’ names and addresses become publicly available; if you want to keep your information private, you will likely want to go with a third-party service instead.
- Compliance and Online Storage: Most premium third-party services automatically scan your documents and upload them online in PDF form, averting a situation in which you end up losing an important document that you will need later on.
Let’s Find the Right Registered Agent for Your Business
We’ve tested and reviewed the most popular registered agent services.
Can You Be Your Own Registered Agent?
Yes, you can.
Being your own agent can actually be a great idea if you are operating on an extremely strict budget. This is because it can be done at no cost.
Having said that, this approach is generally not recommended due to the fact that it’s relatively time inefficient while not saving you a significant amount of capital.
For example, you can hire a premium third-party service for around $10 per month instead.
If you are forming a new LLC, it makes sense to hire an LLC formation service that comes with a free year of registered agent services. Reputable services can charge as little as $29 per formation (excluding state fees).
If you are forming an LLC but prefer to file the paperwork yourself and act as your own registered agent, take a look at our How to Start an LLC in Rhode Island guide.
Best Rhode Island Registered Agent Service
Northwest is our best registered agent service based on overall quality and transparent pricing. Northwest offers a seamless user experience and best-in-industry customer service and privacy protection.
When you choose Northwest as your registered agent service, you'll get an online account to access essential documents, mail forwarding, and business address services.
Northwest’s virtual mailbox service will scan your mail and forward it to you electronically. This means that you can keep track of your mail no matter where you are in the world.
Registered Agent Standard
LLC Formation + 1 yr Free Registered Agent Service
One Year Free Registered Agent with LLC Formation $29 (Plus State Fees)
Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service
Many businesses choose to use a professional registered agent service when they form an LLC. This is because it can offer a number of benefits, including:
- Legal compliance: A third-party service will ensure that you don’t miss an important legal document or notification (e.g., accept service of process, etc.) as a result of not being in your office (or as a result of a human error).
- Improved privacy: If you act as your own agent, your name and address will become public record on the Rhode Island Business Search website. Using a resident agent service will help keep your information private.
- Discretion: When it comes to legal disputes, you will want to avoid receiving lawsuit-related documents in front of your clients and/or some employees.
- Better storage: Your service will generally scan all documents received and upload them online in PDF form. This means that you will always be able to access them online, and won’t have to worry about losing an important document.
A third-party service can also be beneficial if you plan to expand into other states as a foreign LLC. This is because, otherwise, you would need to find an individual or business entity that is a resident — or is allowed to transact business — in each state that you want to register in.
How to Elect a Registered Agent in Rhode Island
For your LLC in Rhode Island, you will be required to elect your resident agent when you complete your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
This is the formation document that you will need to file with the Rhode Island Department of State in order to officially form your LLC.
A $150 filing fee will need to be paid.
Electing a Registered Agent Online
You can form your LLC online on the Rhode Island Department of State website ($150 filing fee required). Your registered agent’s name and contact information will be requested when you file your LLC’s Articles of Organization online under Article II:
Electing a Registered Agent by Mail
To form your LLC by mail, download the Articles of Organization form ($150 filing fee required), fill out the required fields, and submit a physical copy to the Rhode Island Secretary of State. You’ll be asked to provide your registered agent on section 2:
How to Change Your Registered Agent in Rhode Island
To change your Rhode Island resident agent for your LLC, simply fill out the Statement of Change of Resident Agent form and file it with the Rhode Island Department of State alongside the $20 filing fee.
If your business is not registered as an LLC, you will need to use a different form:
This can be done online, by mail, or in person.
Mail or In Person:
Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, RI 02904-2615
Check out our full guide on how to change registered agents in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Registered Agent FAQs
Can I be My Own Registered agent in Rhode Island?
Yes you can, although this is generally not recommended unless you are operating on an exceptionally strict budget.
This is because you can hire a third-party service for as little as $10 per month, and being your own resident agent (also known as a statutory agent) is relatively inefficient from a time management point of view.
For more information, we recommend having a look at our Rhode Island Registered Agent article.
Who can be a registered agent in Rhode Island?
All prospective Rhode Island resident agents need to satisfy the following requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a physical address in Rhode Island
- Must be available during regular business hours at their office address
Have a look at our Can I Be My Own Registered Agent article for more information.
What is registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a third-party service that acts as your business’s resident agent in exchange for a fee.
These types of services generally cost between $90 and $300 per annum, and can offer a variety of extra benefits (e.g., annual report filings, online storage, etc.).
See our What is a Registered Agent Service article for more information.
What does a registered agent do?
A resident agent acts as the primary point of contact for your business. This is in relation to the Department of State, as well as to all other private businesses that may wish to file a lawsuit against you.
If you are planning to start an LLC in Rhode Island, you will need to elect a resident agent while completing your Articles of Organization.
How much is a registered agent in Rhode Island?
This will depend on who your resident agent is.
If it is yourself or a partner, you will likely not be required to pay anything.
On the other hand, if you choose to hire a third-party service, you will likely need to pay anywhere between $90 and $300 per annum.
See our How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost article for more information.