How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Rhode Island

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Are you in search of the best registered agent in Rhode Island? A registered agent, which is also called a resident agent, is a person or company that accepts official documents for the company. This person could receive a tax notice that’s delivered by certified mail, for example, or could be given service of process papers that are served when a company is sued. 

A registered agent has an important role to play in the business landscape, so much so that it’s part of setting up an LLC in Rhode Island. To legally establish a Rhode Island LLC, a registered agent must be listed on the LLC formation documents that are filed with the state. 

To help new entrepreneurs understand how to set up an LLC and how a registered agent fits in the picture, we’ve created this guide. It should answer many of the questions that new business owners have. 

What is a Rhode Island registered agent?

A Rhode Island registered agent, or a resident agent, is a person or company that receives documents for the company. The person could be the owner or an employee, but it can also be a Rhode Island company, as a registered agent service. 

How does an owner select a registered agent in Rhode Island?

A Rhode Island LLC selects a registered agent and lists the contact information on the Articles of Organization. LLC formation documents that are turned into the state without this information will be rejected. 

Who can be a registered agent in Rhode Island? 

In Rhode Island, a registered agent can be any adult citizen or company in good standing with the state. The person or company must: 

  • Have a physical address in Rhode Island, not a P.O. box
  • Be available during regular business hours to accept documents as needed

Can I be my own registered agent in Rhode Island?

Yes. The business owner can be the company’s registered agent and usually is. Owners that work from the company office are especially inclined to serve as the company’s registered agent since they’re in one location to receive documents as needed. 

However, there are other people who can serve in this role. 

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

A registered agent service is a company that serves as a registered agent for your business. For a fee, the company will accept documents and notify you of their arrival. The company will usually scan the documents and send the originals in the mail. 

Some business owners prefer to use a registered service agent, for these reasons: 

  • Availability. A registered agent must be available during regular business hours. For owners who don’t work in the office each day, this kind of availability could be problematic. A registered agent service always has daytime availability, which can be appealing to on-the-go owners.
  • Peace of mind. A registered agent service handles documents for dozens of companies and is experienced in document management. The company will notify a list of contacts if a document is delivered. This kind of service provides great peace of mind for many owners.
  • Privacy. Documents handled by registered agents are usually sensitive in nature, which is why having such information delivered off-site is ideal for privacy’s sake.

How much does a registered agent service cost in Rhode Island?

Startups want to keep an eye on cost; it only makes sense. Entrepreneurs might be surprised to learn that hiring a registered agent service is affordable. For $50 a year, a company can work with a service that offers an online portal, same-day document scans, mail forwarding, and notifications. 

Of course, there are companies that offer more advanced features and charge more. On the high end, costs can hit $100-200 a year. 

List of Rhode Island registered agent services 

Interested in learning more about registered agents in the state? There are many to choose from in Rhode Island. To get an idea of what’s out there and what kind of pricing is common, here’s a list of possible choices: 

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Northwest is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness: ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but they’ve grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company offers worry-free compliance too, to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Incfile: Incfile is another trusted name for business services, including its registered agent services. Business owners can get a registered agent free for a year. That’s right, free. After the first year, the price kicks in at $119. An online dashboard, automatic mail forwarding, and tailored notifications also come with the service.

Rhode Island registered agent FAQs

Yes. Every state in the country requires LLCs to have a registered agent. 

Yes. A registered agent can be changed. Maybe the employee who fills this role is taking another job or perhaps the owner wants to switch to a registered agent service. No matter what the reason, the state has a change form that can be filled out to alter the name on file. The cost to file the Statement of Change form with the Rhode Island Secretary of State is $20.

Not all states use the term registered agent, although it is common. Some states use resident agent, statutory agent, or service of process agent. All of the titles mean the same thing and maintain the same responsibilities. 

If an owner decides to hire a registered agent service, the company has a commercial registered agent. If the company doesn’t hire a service and appoints the owner or an employee, the company has a non-commercial agent. In some states, business owners may be asked which kind of registered agent is on file with the state.

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