Rhode Island Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

Nonprofit articles of incorporation is the document filed to create a Rhode Island nonprofit corporation.

Preparing and filing your articles of incorporation is the first step in starting your nonprofit corporation. Approval of this document secures your corporate name and creates the legal entity of the nonprofit. Only after this approval can you apply for 501c, apply for fundraising licenses, open a bank account, and otherwise conduct business.


Incorporating provides many important benefits:

  • Limits the liability of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • Fulfills statutory requirements to register your organization's name
  • Is a prerequisite for applying for 501(c) tax exemption
  • Provides governance and adds credibility to the business or organization

Fast Facts

Agency:Rhode Island Secretary of State

Form 200: Articles of Incorporation

Filing Method:

Mail, in-person, or online

Agency Fee:

$35 + $2.50 enhanced processing fee


~7 business days by mail or online. Same day for in-person filings.


Rhode Island Nonprofit Corporation Act


A certificate of incorporation is issued upon approval.

Other Helpful Rhode Island Facts

As you are preparing to incorporate, keep in mind the following requirements specific to Rhode Island, keep in mind:

Rhode Island Directors

  • Number: minimum 3
  • Qualifications: None. No residency requirement. No membership requirement.
  • Term: default is 1 year, 3 year maximum
  • Quorum: majority
  • Committee: minimum 2 directors

Rhode Island Officers

  • A president, a secretary, and a treasurer are required.
  • Term: 1 year unless otherwise specified in the articles or bylaws, 3 year maximum
  • Two or more offices may be held by the same individual, except the offices of president and secretary.

Rhode Island Members

  • Members: optional
  • Regular meeting: required annually
  • Quorum: 1/10th votes

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