How to Form a C Corporation in Rhode Island


If you’re a business owner looking to form a corporation in Rhode Island, it’s important that you know how to do so properly and legally. There are many different types of corporations in Rhode Island, as well as many different ways to form one. However, the most common type of corporation is the C corporation. This article will discuss what steps you need to take if you want to form a C corporation in this state.

Go to the Rhode Island Division of Corporations Website.

Now that you’ve decided to form a C Corporation in Rhode Island, it’s time to get started.

  • Go to the Rhode Island Division of Corporations website.
  • Click on “Corporations.”
  • Click on “Form a Corporation.”
  • Click on “C Corporation.”
  • Continue through the rest of the process until you have filled out all required fields and paid all fees using an eCheck (electronic check).

Choose a Business Name.

The next step is to choose a business name. You should make sure that your chosen business name is available for use, i.e., that no one else has already registered it with the state of Rhode Island.

The first place to check is the Division of Corporations website. Once you enter your state, county and zip code information in the search box at this link, click on “Corporation Search” under “Other Online Services” on the left side of the page. The search results will show all active corporations within your state’s borders, including those with similar names to yours or trademarks that may be infringed upon by its use as a company name (e.g., Coca-Cola).

If you do find another corporation registered as C Corporation Incorporated or something similar—or if you find an existing trademark for something similar—you’ll need to come up with an alternative name for your company before proceeding further with its formation process (see below).

Select and Appoint Directors, Officers, and Stockholders.

The first step in forming a C corporation is selecting and appointing directors, officers, and stockholders. The best way to do this is through the formation of an initial board of directors. The Rhode Island secretary of state requires that you appoint five members to your initial board of directors. You should select these individuals carefully because they will play an important role in guiding your company as it grows and evolves over time.

As part of your incorporation process, you must also select a corporate secretary and treasurer for your new business entity. This can easily be done by choosing two additional people from among those elected as members onto the initial board of directors (for example: if there are five total members on the combined boards). In addition to being responsible for recording meetings minutes and keeping track of important documents such as resolutions or contracts approved by shareholders or stakeholders alike; these individuals must also maintain accurate financial records at all times within order keep things running smoothly within both internal operations as well as external interactions outside parties with whom agreements need be reached upon occasion – including customers., vendors., suppliers., etc..

Prepare Articles of Incorporation.

The first thing you will need to do is prepare your articles of incorporation. In Rhode Island, all corporations must have articles of incorporation filed with the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will not accept a document as your articles of incorporation unless each item on the form has been completed in full and all signatures have been verified.

The following is required:

  • The name of the corporation
  • Its address (and any additional addresses)
  • Names and addresses for directors, officers and shareholders
  • Signature lines for directors and shareholders

File the Articles of Incorporation with the State.

After the articles of incorporation have been filed with the state, you will be issued a certificate. At that point, your corporation will be legally formed and will have all of the legal rights and responsibilities of a traditional business entity. Your company can begin conducting business immediately after receiving its certificate from the state.

Adopt a Corporate Bylaws.

A corporation’s bylaws are a set of rules that govern the internal functioning of a corporation. They should be adopted at the same time as the articles of incorporation and should state how they will be amended, who can amend them and what types of amendments require majority or unanimous approval from shareholders.

They typically contain provisions for:

  • Selecting directors
  • Establishing officers (such as president and secretary) and their duties
  • Determining whether or not meetings will be held in person or by conference call (if appropriate)
  • Creating committees such as an audit committee to oversee financial matters

Prepare for an Initial Meeting of the Board of Directors.

The corporation will hold an initial meeting of its board of directors. All directors must be present at that meeting, and a majority of them must be shareholders.

Your corporation also needs to adopt corporate bylaws and elect officers and directors. You can do this in an informal way by adopting your own rules or guidelines for the operation of your business. Or, you may wish to obtain legal advice about creating formal bylaws, which are more detailed than informal rules but not as cumbersome as incorporating documents such as articles of incorporation (which most companies do not use anymore). If you decide to create formal bylaws, they should include provisions on how many members serve on the board; how much time they devote to their duties; when they meet; what they discuss at their meetings; how often they can meet; etc.

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits.

  • Apply for Business Licenses and Permits.

In addition to the C Corporation filing, you’ll need to get the following licenses and permits:

  • Business license from your city or town clerk’s office. Each municipality has its own set of requirements for issuing a business license, so be sure to check with your local government before applying. The state also requires that any corporation doing business in Rhode Island pay a $50 fee for an initial corporate filing with the Secretary of State’s office as well as an annual maintenance fee of $25 per year (renewable).
  • Business tax ID number from DOLT if you’re going to employ people. You’ll also need this ID number if you’re going to use employee payroll services like ADP or Paychex; these companies will ask for it when setting up your new company account.
  • Workman’s compensation insurance through DOH if any employees will be working under your supervision in Rhode Island (for example, landscapers). This coverage is mandatory in order to protect both workers and employers against workplace injuries or accidents on-site at any worksite owned by either party involved in this agreement(ies); additionally, some municipalities may require such coverage even if no employees are involved at all times throughout operation hours/days/weeks etc., depending upon where exactly those sites are located geographically within each municipality’s jurisdiction limits!

If you are interested in forming a C corporation in Rhode Island, there are several steps you can take to make sure you do so properly and legally.

If you are interested in forming a C corporation in Rhode Island, there are several steps you can take to make sure you do so properly and legally.

First, the process of forming a C corporation is slightly different than the process of forming an S corporation or LLC. With this type of business organization, the owner is responsible for paying taxes on income generated by the company’s activities. The benefits of this structure include limited liability and tax advantages over other forms of business structures.

Before filing any paperwork with your state government agency involved with corporate filings (Rhode Island Secretary of State Corporation Division), it is important that you understand what exactly constitutes a C corporation: This type of legal entity represents one hundred percent ownership over all assets purchased by its shareholders and debt incurred through loans taken out by its officers (president/CEO). In addition to meeting certain requirements outlined by federal law including having twenty-five shareholders who each own at least four percent worth equity interest within their shares combined value; no more than fifteen individuals may be employed full time across all offices where employees work together regularly–each employee being either salaried or hourly paid worker; no more than five individuals may occupy separate offices located inside one building only if those offices contain fewer than two thousand square feet total space combined between them–all other workplaces must remain outside city limits unless exempted from doing so under certain conditions…etcetera…


Once you’ve completed the steps to form a C corporation, you can start your business. The Rhode Island Division of Corporations website has all of the information you need about how to do this, including obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number and opening a bank account for your new company.

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