Choosing the best LLC formation service for your business entity is crucial.
The right LLC service will pave the way for you to launch your business in just a few days by filing all the necessary paperwork with the Rhode Island Secretary of State and the Rhode Island Department of State’s Business Services Division.
The wrong LLC service will hold up your business launch indefinitely and keep you from performing normal business operations because it doesn’t file the right paperwork, like your Rhode Island Articles of Organization, with the Rhode Island Secretary of State or other relevant authorities.
So that you can find the best LLC service for your business, I researched and reviewed the 11 best limited liability company (LLC) services in Rhode Island using a four-stage, five-factor evaluation. These are the results of my research on the best LLC service in Rhode Island.
Table of Contents
1. Northwest Registered Agent — 9.45/10 (Best Overall LLC Service)
Northwest Registered Agent is sitting pretty at the top of my list because it offers all the services Rhode Island small business owners need, it has a great price, and it’s the only LLC formation service in Rhode Island to offer small business advice with its formation package.
Northwest Registered Agent has a lot to offer.
It takes care of everything you need to set up your limited liability company and get your business up and running.
Northwest handles all the formation paperwork (like your Rhode Island Articles of Organization), and provides free registered agent service for the first year. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept service of process and mail on behalf of your business during regular business hours and provide a physical street address in Rhode Island. Northwest also notifies you of any approaching compliance dates (for things like annual report filing) and provides you with a straightforward online dashboard to monitor and manage your business documents.
Northwest also provides a free consultation with an accountant to make sure your payment processing system is properly set up, an operating agreement template, and a 90-day free trial of its VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service. You can also buy extras like a federal tax identification number or employer identification number (EIN), state certified copies of your Rhode Island LLC formation documents, or a Certificate of Good Standing, as needed.
But it’s Northwest Registered Agent’s Corporate Guides that really set it apart from the competition.
Instead of a standard customer service department that can barely walk you through resetting your password or provide you with filing submission updates, Northwest has a US-based team of former accountants, lawyers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who can answer any questions you have about the LLC formation process in Rhode Island, as well as running and managing your new Rhode Island limited liability company.
Each member of this team of experts has either completed the LLC formation process in Rhode Island themselves or worked for years as LLC advisors to help hundreds of other Rhode Island business owners get through the process.
Northwest is the only Rhode Island LLC formation service that provides this kind of small business advice, which is a significant plus given that other small business advising companies can cost up to $5,000 per day for the same services.
The last reason Northwest is at the top of my list is the pricing.
BoostSuite readers will receive a discount on Northwest’s usual $225 fee through a unique offer I negotiated for you (sending thousands of recommendations gives me some leverage not available to the average customer). To earn an 82% discount, simply sign up using my special sign-up link, and the total cost of your LLC formation services will be $39 (plus the state filing fee).
At $225, Northwest’s a great value, but an 82% discount down to $39 makes it a no-brainer for first place.
The only disadvantage of Northwest Registered Agent is that it doesn’t provide any assistance in establishing the online presence of your limited liability company. Other LLC formation companies provide website setup tools as part of their premium service packages (often $299 or more), such as a free year of business domain name registration, web hosting, Google advertising credits, and even free website builders. Northwest does not provide any of these services.
But when you take into account that Google offers a $500 advertising credit to any new business entity, that registering a domain name costs less than $12, and that premium website builders like Squarespace cost as little as $15 per month, you can afford to buy those add-ons with the money you save with Northwest Registered Agent and still have money left over.
The reason Northwest Registered Agent is my choice for the best LLC service in Rhode Island is that in addition to offering the basics needed to set up your LLC in Rhode Island, it also has a US-based customer support team made up of experts who have launched a Rhode Island LLC and can guide you through the inevitable difficulties you’ll encounter as a new business owner.
Visit Northwest Registered Agent right now for an 82% discount on the best LLC formation service that goes above and beyond to help your company’s growth.
2. Harbor Compliance — 7.45/10 (Best Premium LLC Service)
Harbor Compliance is ranked #2 on my list because it offers a personal account manager to make sure all your inquiries and issues are addressed. However, you’ll pay extra for this service.
Harbor Compliance offers every essential feature and service you want for your Rhode Island LLC formation.
It checks to make sure that your business name is available, prepares and files your Rhode Island Articles of Organization, gives you an operating agreement template, assists you in getting an EIN, and even gives you a year of free registered agent service (which includes someone to accept service of process and mail on behalf of your business during normal business hours and a physical address in Rhode Island), which ordinarily costs $99/year.
But the real benefit of Harbor Compliance is that you are assigned a personal guide to help you on your Rhode Island LLC formation journey.
There’s no need to email or phone customer service. Instead, you can talk to your personal Harbor Compliance representative, who is familiar with your circumstances and difficulties, and is able to provide pertinent guidance tailored to meet the particular needs of your Rhode Island business.
This personal support comes at one disadvantage: it’s expensive.
Harbor Compliance charges $399 for its formation package and an incredible $799 for its “compliance” package (which notifies you about annual report filing). This means Harbor Compliance costs 10 times as much as the special offer I was able to get with Northwest, and it's almost twice as expensive as Northwest Registered Agent’s standard rates.
It’s fantastic to have a personal guide to help you through the Rhode Island LLC formation process, but is it really worth the extra $360? You’re the only person that can make that decision.
Although Harbor Compliance may not be the best LLC service available in Rhode Island, it covers all the basics and distinguishes itself from the competition by being the only one to provide a dedicated account manager.
Harbor Compliance is still one of the best LLC service providers, even if its $399 pricing is ten times more than my exclusive offer from Northwest Registered Agent.
If you’d like the assistance of a personal account manager and are willing to pay for it, visit the Harbor Compliance website here.
3. Rocket Lawyer — 7.15/10 (Best for Additional Services)
Considering how large and well-known Rocket Lawyer is, many people are aware of its online legal services. You may not realize that it also offers a variety of fantastic LLC formation services for big and small businesses in Rhode Island.
Rocket Lawyer offers online legal services, which is a service that many other LLC services in Rhode Island do not.
Along with your LLC formation services, you’ll receive a seven-day free trial of Rocket Lawyer’s legal services (normally $99). If you sign up permanently for its legal services, you’ll get access to a large library of customizable legal documents, a 30-minute legal consultation with a lawyer on any topic, your legal documents checked by a lawyer, and attorney protection if your documents are challenged in court.
Rocket Lawyer’s customer service staff includes actual lawyers, which is a significant benefit since they have the expertise to address any questions you have about not just the Rhode Island LLC formation process, but also any legal concerns your Rhode Island LLC may run into.
Rocket Lawyers services have a few drawbacks.
Rocket lawyer doesn’t provide any of the additional services that Northwest provides. Unless you’re prepared to pay an extra $149 per year for registered agent service, your company won’t have registered agent services (i.e., you won’t have a Rhode Island registered agent service to accept mail and legal documents on behalf of your Rhode Island LLC during normal business hours, or a physical address in Rhode Island). Additionally, Rocket Lawyer doesn’t provide VoIP services or compliance notifications to help you remember to submit annual reports.
It’s not necessary to buy Rocket Lawyer’s expensive LLC services in order to use its online legal services. To use Rocket Lawyer’s online legal services, all you have to do is visit the website and register for a free account and subscription. This means you can sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s LLC formation services and still use Rocket Lawyer’s online legal services.
For Rhode Island small businesses that need ongoing legal services, Rocket Lawyer is a good choice. Any Rhode Island business owner who is unsure on how to start a Rhode Island LLC can also benefit from Rocket Lawyer’s services. But if you’re more interested in receiving a variety of LLC services that Rocket Lawyer doesn’t provide (like Rhode Island registered agent service and compliance notifications to remind you to file annual reports), Northwest is a superior alternative.
To find out more about the services offered by Rocket Lawyer, check out my Rocket Lawyer review here.
With a fantastic upfront cost of $0 (plus state fees), IncFile is #4 on my list and my recommended service for Rhode Island LLC formation on a tight budget. Yes, you read that correctly: $0. But there are a few things you should know before signing up.
The first and most apparent advantage of IncFile is that starting a new business doesn’t cost you anything (except the filing fees). IncFile helps complete and submit the necessary legal documentation (like your Articles of Organization) with the Rhode Island Secretary of State on your behalf.
Additionally, it provides you with free registered agent service for your first year (which means that during regular business hours a Rhode Island registered agent will accept mail and service of process on behalf of your business and provide you with a business address in the state of Rhode Island), saving you at least $99 in fees. At $0 (plus state filing fees), this is almost too good to be true.
There are restrictions, however, as there always are with things that seem almost too good to be true.
IncFile will file your necessary legal documents, but if you want any of the other fundamental services that Northwest offers in its $39 basic package (like compliance alerts to let you know about annual report deadlines), you must buy IncFile’s $149 “gold” package.
I’m not a math wizard, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea to me to spend an additional $110 for no additional benefit.
As a result of its unbeatable price of $0, IncFile is my top pick for budget Rhode Island LLC formation services.
Although you’ll need to upgrade to its $149 gold package to access some of the main benefits available in Northwest Registered Agent’s $39 basic formation package, IncFile’s a great choice if you only need your paperwork filed and are willing to put in a few hours doing the rest of the work yourself.
If money is limited and you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn how to set up the best LLC services you can on a shoestring budget, you can read more about IncFile here.
Now onto ZenBusiness. It was my top pick when I initially started writing this post, but once it dropped a crucial component from its packages, it fell down to #5.
The price of ZenBusiness is the first thing you notice. It’s got a pretty affordable price at $49 (plus state fees) and its basic package offers everything you need to get started.
ZenBusiness helps you with completing and submitting your required paperwork (like your Articles of Organization), ensures that the name you want for your Rhode Island business is available, notifies you of any upcoming compliance deadlines (for things like your annual report), keeps all your documents on an online portal that you can access with an online account, and provides phone and email support.
ZenBusiness also throws in a complimentary session with its in-house accounting experts to make sure your payment systems are set up properly, as well as an operating agreement template and a virtual business setup guide.
Its $199 “pro” package includes a banking resolution, help applying for an EIN, and professional assistance if you miss any compliance deadlines. Its $299 “premium” option comes with a company domain name, email address, and website.
But as I’ve stated, ZenBusiness has eliminated a key feature from its packages.
All of its packages formerly included a year of free registered agent services, worth $149. That free year was later adjusted to a 25% discount instead. This makes its actual packages cost $150.75, $310.75, and $410.75, so ZenBusiness has fallen down the list.
Despite the fact that they provide a variety of extras, I don’t advise using them unless you want registered agent services and you’re willing to spend three times as much as Northwest Registered Agent to get them, for some reason.
For a more thorough review of its services, you can read my ZenBusiness review here.
6. Swyft Filings
Swyft Filings, founded in 2012, is a relative newcomer to the Rhode Island LLC formation industry.
It provides a lot with its basic package and charges an affordable price of $49 (plus state filing fee). It’ll help you prepare and file your Articles of Organization to get your business entity established with the state of Rhode Island, store your documents on an online portal that you can access with an online account, provide you with a 30-minute business tax consultation, and even provide you with a free year of business domain name registration.
But unlike Northwest Registered Agent Swyft Filings doesn’t provide a complimentary year of Rhode Island registered agent services. It charges $149 per year for registered agent service, which means it will only cost you more in the long run.
You can get a more complete analysis of Swyft Filings’ services in my Swyft Filings review.
MyCompanyWorks is a bit inconsistent with the quality of its services.
It drafts and submits your Articles of Organization for $79 (plus state fees), assists you with your operating agreement, gives you an online portal to access your important documents, and notifies you about any compliance filing deadlines (like your annual report).
But there is a drawback.
MyCompanyWorks does provide a year of free Rhode Island registered agent services as part of its premium package, but it costs a whopping $279. MyCompanyWorks isn’t a good option when Northwest Registered Agent is only $39 and includes a year of Rhode Island registered agent services for free.
8. Inc Authority
Inc Authority is another Rhode Island LLC service that purports to be “cheap” but upon closer inspection is anything but.
It’ll assist you with preparing and filing your formation documents for free, but anything else will cost you dearly.
Inc Authority’s basic package is $399 (plus state filing fees), and it includes an operating agreement, help applying for an EIN, and a company seal. Only its $799 premium package includes a free year of Rhode Island registered agent service.
IncFile is a far better alternative if you have no money and just need your formation documents filed.
9. Incorporate Fast
Incorporate Fast specializes in LLC formation and costs $99 (plus state fees) for its basic package.
This package includes the filing of your formation documents, a free year of Rhode Island registered agent service, help with your operating agreement, and a few sample documents you may need to get your LLC in Rhode Island established.
Incorporate Fast does not provide any further services, such as business tax assessments or online document storage, but if you buy its $199 basic package, it will assist you with obtaining an EIN.
Incorporate Fast’s key distinction is that it processes every new business filing the day it’s received, which is a significant benefit not offered by other providers. So, if you’re in a hurry to form your LLC in Rhode Island and want to pay more (without the extra services available) for less, then check it out.
But if you want outstanding pricing and a plethora of extra services, Northwest Registered Agent is the way to go.
BizFilings is another Rhode Island LLC formation service with a $99 basic package.
The basic package includes filing the formation documents for your Rhode Island business with the Rhode Island Department of State, a year of free registered agent services (which provides you with a business address in the state of Rhode Island, as well as someone to accept mail and service of process for your business), and compliance alerts (to remind you to file your annual report).
But you won’t get any additional services, like business tax assessment, an online portal for document storage, or help with your operating agreement, so you’re really paying more than it’s worth for these services.
LegalZoom is another competitor in the Rhode Island LLC formation service market that has a $99 basic package with limited features. For this price, LegalZoom will file your formation paperwork and offer you a banking resolution (so that you can open a business bank account), but that’s it.
If you’re already using some of LegalZoom’s other services for your business, like its online legal services or registered agent services (which can provide you with someone to accept mail and legal documents for your company, as well as a business address in the state of Rhode Island), then it may make sense to use one company to cover all the business needs of your LLC in Rhode Island. But I don’t think it’s worth it to use LegalZoom’s LLC formation services alone.
If you’d like to know more about the products and services LegalZoom offers, read my detailed LegalZoom review here.
Other Rhode Island LLC Services
I researched seven other Rhode Island LLC formation services during my investigation, but they were so mediocre I didn’t feel they deserved detailed reviews. Here they are in no particular order.
Incorporate.com is another Rhode Island LLC formation service to offer an underwhelming $99 basic package. For this price it’ll file your formation documents and provide you with an online portal to access your documents.
You won’t get Rhode Island registered agent services, compliance alerts to remind you to file your annual report, assistance with the operating agreement for your LLC in Rhode Island, or any of the other extras that Northwest Registered Agent provides, so it’s really not worth it.
CorpNet’s basic formation package costs $108, and it covers filing the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island and issuing compliance alerts so you’ll know when to file your annual report. But you won’t get Rhode Island registered agent services or assistance with your operating agreement, so you’re ultimately paying too much for too little with CorpNet.
MyCorporation has a $133 formation package. For that price, it’ll file the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island with the Rhode Island Department of State Business Services Division and help you draft your operating agreement. But if you need any other services for your Rhode Island LLC, (like registered agent service, a Certificate of Good Standing for your LLC in Rhode Island, or compliance alerts), then you’ll pay through the teeth for them.
15. Direct Incorporation
Direct Incorporation has the same services as MyCorporation (filing the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island and assistance with your operating agreement), and it also provides a banking resolution (so that you can open a business bank account for your Rhode Island business) and help applying for an employer identification number. However, it charges $147 (plus state filing fees), which is pretty steep compared to Northwest’s $39.
InCorp has a $117 Rhode Island LLC formation package, and it’ll file the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island, as well as help draft the operating agreement for your new Rhode Island LLC. But if you require any additional services (like Rhode Island registered agent service, compliance alerts, or a Certificate of Good Standing), you’ll have to pay expensive fees for them.
17. Nationwide Incorporations
Nationwide Incorporations is a Rhode Island LLC formation service that offers the same minimal services that MyCorporation offers. It’ll file the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island and draft an operating agreement for your new business entity, but if you need any other services, like Rhode Island registered agent service or compliance alerts, you’ll have to pay $200 (plus state fees) for them.
18. SunDoc Filings
SunDoc Filings has a $79 basic package, and it covers filing the formation documents for your LLC in Rhode Island. With its $99 “key” package, SunDoc Filings will draft an operating agreement for your business, and with its $279 “premier” package, it’ll help you obtain an EIN for your Rhode Island LLC. But with these high prices and minimal services, SunDoc Filings really doesn’t hold a candle to the best LLC services in Rhode Island.
The Best LLC Service Review Summary
Out of the 20 best Rhode Island LLC formation services, Northwest Registered Agent is the best option for most business entities.
At $39, its basic package is quite affordably priced and provides all the basic services that small business owners need, as well as outstanding customer support and business advice with its Corporate Guides, which ordinarily costs as much as $5,000/day with consulting firms.
If you’re ready to start your LLC in Rhode Island and want the best possible LLC formation service for your business, as well as expert advice from a team of Corporate Guides that can help you with any challenge your business faces, then head over to Northwest Registered Agent today.
Best LLC Service Review Methodology
This is how I chose the best LLC services.
Why You Should Trust Me
You should trust me when I make a Rhode Island LLC formation service recommendation because I have more experience and knowledge about the LLC service industry than just about anyone else.
My experience began when I had to use three different Rhode Island LLC formation services to serve my three Rhode Island businesses. Yeah, I actually had to use three different services because I found that two didn’t cover all the services I needed. I’m not going to name them by name here because they’ve greatly improved their services since then and I don’t think you should base your opinions on these companies on outdated information.
I used the third service to start this website, and since then it has provided me with far more than I ever expected from an LLC formation service, and definitely provided me more in terms of services than what I paid for them. That’s why Northwest Registered Agent is my top recommendation for the best LLC formation service in Rhode Island.
But that’s not the only experience I have with formation services in Rhode Island. I’ve also got extensive experience helping other people find the right formation service for their LLCs in Rhode Island. Since I started this site, I’ve helped over 1,000 business owners find the right LLC formation service to suit their needs, which required me to extensively learn about the industry to make quality recommendations.
How I Selected the Best LLC Service
I used a four-stage investigative process to choose the best LLC formation service in Rhode Island.
Stage 1: Reviews
The first stage in this process was a deep dive into the online reviews of the Rhode Island formation service companies on my list. Many of the most popular formation service companies encourage their customers to leave online reviews, and it pays off. Now some of these companies have more than 4,500 online reviews!
Reading these reviews allowed me to get a general understanding of each formation service, and it allowed me to weed out companies that didn’t live up to industry standards.
Stage 2: Website Analysis
After I weeded out the inadequate Rhode Island formation service companies from my list, I checked out the websites of the remaining competitors. I navigated to their pages, read headers and titles, and learned about each company based on the claims and statements it made about its services and the company overall.
The website analysis stage allowed me to not only find out about each company’s service offerings, but it also gave me a good understanding about its position in the market.
Stage 3: Speaking With Real Customers
After I learned how the Rhode Island LLC formation companies positioned themselves in the market, the next stage was to find out if they could actually live up to all the claims and hype. Sometimes you can get this information through online reviews, but more often than not customers won’t leave an online review unless they’ve had either an overly positive or an extremely bad experience with a company, so online reviews can be polarizing and misleading.
Because of that, I reached out to real-life customers who could tell me about their experiences working with these companies. This gave me a more balanced view of each company.
I talked to friends whom I’d known to use formation services, customers I’d given recommendations, and visitors to my website who told me all about their experiences—good and bad.
This gave me a more detailed picture of each business and furthered my investigative process.
Stage 4: Speaking With Their Sales Teams
During the last stage of my investigation, I called up each Rhode Island LLC formation company’s sales or customer support teams and pushed them for answers.
I gathered up all the information and feedback I’d received during the previous stages of my investigation and presented it to them in a straightforward way, asking them about it.
This stage allowed me to determine how well each company handles negative feedback and consumer complaints.
After completing my four-stage investigation process, I used a five-factor rating system.
Factor 1: Offerings
The first rating factor was based on the service offerings of each Rhode Island company.
Some formation services will only assist you in filing your formation documents for your Rhode Island LLC, and then expect you to pay for each additional service you require after that (like Rhode Island registered agent service). Others will offer you business tax consultation, online document storage, assistance with an operating agreement, and even a free year of Rhode Island registered agent service.
The major differences in the types of services offered by each formation service is why I began my rating process here.
Factor 2: Price
Next, I considered the price of each Rhode Island formation service. Rhode Island LLC services cost $0, while others won’t even consider doing business with you for less than $399.
When you factor this along with the wide disparity in services, then you get a better idea of the cost per service that each company charges, which is what I chose as my second rating factor.
Factor 3: Ease of Sign-Up
The third factor I considered was how easily customers can sign up.
Some Rhode Island LLC service companies provide you with forms that are pre-filled with all the necessary information and all you have to do is sign them in a few places. Other Rhode Island LLC services require you to fill in standard forms with necessary information (even though you’ve already provided the company with the information and it’s on file), repeatedly entering the same information on several sections of the form.
Because of this, I chose to rate each company on how easy it is to sign up so that you’re not wasting your time with an LLC formation service that has an unnecessarily complicated sign-up process.
Factor 4: Ease of Use
The fourth factor I considered was the ease of use of each system.
Some companies have complicated, glitchy, and antique relic systems that look like they’ve been created in the late 90s by a high school coding class. Others have user-friendly interfaces that are sleek and easy to learn because they’ve spent millions of dollars and lots of time creating a system that focuses on the user experience.
So, I rated each company based on how easy its systems are to use so that you don’t wind up with an outdated, frustrating system.
Factor 5: Customer Service
The last rating factor I considered was customer service. I found a wide range in the quality of customer support offered by different LLC formation services in Rhode Island.
Some companies set up their customer service operations in foreign countries and staff them with poorly trained locals with no business experience in the United States. And then you have companies like Northwest Registered Agent who provide a team of US-based agents who are all former accountants, lawyers, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. This means they’ve learned a lot through their experience with owning a business, as well as with advising other business owners, and they’re uniquely qualified to answer questions regarding how your business operates and how to handle any challenges you may face.
Because of the major differences in customer service quality that I observed from different LLC service companies, I chose to rate each company based on the quality of the customer service it provides.
I looked at 18 different LLC formation companies in Rhode Island and used my four-stage investigation and five-factor ratings process to identify Northwest Registered Agent as the best LLC service.
Northwest Registered Agent provides all the basic services you need to get your company up and running, like filing your formation documents, providing you with an online document storage portal, and a year of free registered agent service.
It throws in a lot of extras too, like a free consultation with its accountants to set up your payment processing system, an operating agreement template, and a 90-day trial of its VoIP service.
If you need any other services, you have the option to choose them and pay additional fees for them at checkout. Some of these include things like a Certificate of Good Standing, an EIN, or state-certified copies of your business documents.
But Northwest’s standout service is its Corporate Guides.
This US-based team of guides will answer any questions you have about the formation process. But since the Corporate Guide team is made up of former lawyers, accountants, small business owners, and entrepreneurs, they’ll answer any questions you may have about your business and they ‘ve got the experience to help guide you through any challenge you may face along your business journey.
Northwest may not offer any premium services to help you create your business’s online presence, but with the 82% discount I’ve worked out for BoostSuite readers (which makes its LLC formation services a mere $39), you’ll be able to afford premium website builders with the money you’ll save.
If you’re ready to start your LLC in Rhode Island and want help with everything from operating agreements to registered agent service, check out Northwest Registered Agent today.
While you’re here learning about LLC formation services, it’s a good time to choose the best registered agent service for your company as well. A registered agent service, or resident agent or statutory agent, is a person or business entity that will accept mail, legal documents, and service of process on behalf of your business during regular business hours. For more information about what a registered agent or resident agent can do for you, check out my article about the best registered agent services.