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Rhode Island Registered Agent (Resident Agent)

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Your business must appoint a Rhode Island registered agent to receive documents in legal matters, including notice of lawsuit. Our reliable registered agent service fulfills this requirement. You get:

  • Same-day documents from our local office in Barrington
  • Immediate online access to state forms with our address and, where required, our signature
  • Annual fees from $89Multi-Year Discount to $99 per state with no additional charges
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Rhode Island Registered Agent—Complete Guide

Meeting Rhode Island’s legal requirements is crucial to creating an organization in the state or expanding into it. Appointing a Rhode Island registered agent with the secretary of state is among the key boxes you’ll need to check, as every legal entity needs an agent.

A registered agent is responsible for receiving and forwarding service of process and other legal or government notices you don’t want to miss. You need to choose a reliable, efficient registered agent that will facilitate uninterrupted operations and help you stay in good standing with the state of Rhode Island.

This guide will help you make the right decision by explaining everything you should know about registered agents in Rhode Island. You’ll learn the following:

  • What a registered agent does
  • How to choose and appoint one
  • Why Harbor Compliance is an excellent choice

What Does a Registered Agent in Rhode Island Do?

A registered agent’s key responsibility is to >receive service of process and related correspondence on behalf of your organization. They sign the receipt and forward such documentation to your Rhode Island organization, ensuring you don’t miss:

  • Official government notices
  • Subpoenas
  • Lawsuits

According to Section 7-1.​​2-501 of the Rhode Island Business Corporation Act, you must appoint and maintain your Rhode Island registered agent to form your organization and ensure it remains in good standing with the state (i.e., meets its filing obligations).

The same section of the Rhode Island Business Corporation Act requires every organization to maintain a registered address—the location where the registered agent will accept the aforementioned notices. The office must be open during regular business hours so that the agent can receive service of process.

Rhode Island Registered Agent Requirements and Qualifications

According to the aforementioned section of the Rhode Island Business Corporation Act, you have three options when choosing a registered agent:

  1. An individual resident of Rhode Island (yourself, an employee, a friend, or a family member)
  2. A domestic organization (corporation, LP, LLP, or LLC—in most cases, this will be a commercial provider like Harbor Compliance)
  3. A foreign organization authorized to operate in Rhode Island

If you opt for a foreign organization, keep in mind that its business address has to be identical to the registered address listed in the secretary of state’s official records, according to Rhode Island’s law. The only exception is if your registered agent is an attorney, in which case the registered and business offices don’t need to be identical.

Note that appointing a registered agent without their consent/authority is a misdemeanor in Rhode Island, and it can result in three types of sentences:

  1. A fine of up to $1,000
  2. Up to one year of imprisonment
  3. A combination of both

Appointing and Changing Your Rhode Island Registered Agent

You’ll appoint your registered agent when submitting appropriate formation filings to the Business Services Division of the Rhode Island secretary of state, depending on your business structure:

Your forms will contain a section where you should list your registered agent and registered office. You can’t leave this section blank, so appointing a registered agent is an unavoidable step toward forming your legal entity.

You’ll also need to maintain your registered agent and office, which means keeping all contact information updated.

If you’ve already formed your organization and wish to change your agent, you must notify the secretary of state through the appropriate form. The form differs depending on your business structure, as shown in the table below:

Business Structure Form
Corporation Form 640
LLC/L3C (Low-Profit Limited Liability Company) Form 642
Limited Partnership (LP) Form 643
Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Letter from Partnership

Harbor Compliance—Rhode Island Registered Agent Service

Harbor Compliance provides a nationwide Registered Agent Service to organizations of all structures and sizes, helping their leaders save time and energy.

By partnering with us, you can leverage our efficient service paired with an intuitive software solution that makes it easy to manage your notices. You get a dedicated Client Portal containing pre-filled state forms, which can save a significant amount of time you’d spend completing and filing different documents.

Our local office in Barrington ensures same-day electronic delivery of all time-sensitive notices and documents, so you can rest assured that no important correspondence goes unnoticed. You’ll get an email alert as soon as the notice is received, allowing you to prepare and act accordingly. And in the case of lawsuit notices, our representatives will promptly reach out by phone and notify the main point of contact associated with your account.

Harbor Compliance goes beyond offering registered agent services to help ensure your Rhode Island organization can operate without regulatory or legal issues. Our most notable services include the following:

Service Overview
Nonprofit formation We handle the nonprofit incorporation process from start to finish and secure your 501(c) tax exemption.
Entity lifecycle management Whether obtaining an EIN, establishing payroll tax accounts, filing initial or annual reports, or making amendments to your formation documents, Harbor Compliance makes the process a breeze.
Business licensing We help your organization obtain general business licenses, as well as specific licenses for industries like construction, engineering, and pharmacy.
Document retrieval Harbor Compliance obtains certified copies or important documents and can retrieve your certificate of good standing, certificate of authority, and other documents you need to operate in Rhode Island and beyond.

Appointing an Individual Rhode Island Registered Agent vs. Partnering With Harbor Compliance

When deciding between an individual registered agent and a reliable commercial provider like Harbor Compliance, you should consider the five benefits you get with the latter:

  1. Simplicity—Working with an individual might seem simpler initially because you don’t need to sign up for a full-fledged service. Still, a commercial provider leaves you virtually no work when it comes to ensuring all notices are received and forwarded timely, helping streamline your operations.
  2. Reliability—Like any individual, your registered agent might take time off, missing important notices like lawsuits and exposing you to a higher risk of legal consequences. If you fail to appear in court in case of a lawsuit, the verdict, also known as a default judgment, most likely won’t go in your favor. In contrast, our Barrington office is open whenever government offices work, ensuring someone is always there to receive your documents and forward them immediately so that you can avoid worst-case scenarios.
  3. Security—When working with an individual, you might not be aware of how your sensitive documents and information are handled and stored. With Harbor Compliance, you can rest assured knowing that your data is protected by industry-standard security measures.
  4. Cost-efficiency—Commercial registered agents can save you the fees you’d pay for situations like the change of registered address. While you’d face such costs if an individual moves, we’ll cover all the expenses and handle the paperwork if we relocate to a new address.
  5. Privacy—If you appoint yourself as a registered agent and provide your personal address, your private information will enter the public record. And if you list your place of work as a registered address, you risk receiving service of process in front of employees or clients. This won’t happen if you enlist Harbor Compliance, as our details will be listed and used to deliver all notices.

The Process of Appointing Harbor Compliance as Your Rhode Island Registered Agent

With Harbor Compliance, you can choose precisely how much work you’re comfortable with and how much you want to outsource in the following three scenarios:

  1. Forming a new entity in Rhode Island
  2. Changing your registered agent
  3. Expanding your operation to Rhode Island through foreign qualification

Entity Formation

If you want to establish a new organization in Rhode Island, Harbor Compliance can take over the formation process from start to finish. Whether forming a corporation, nonprofit, or LLC, we can submit all the filings on your behalf so that you don’t need to tackle the process alone.

As we file the necessary forms, we’ll appoint ourselves as your Rhode Island registered agent, allowing you to meet this requirement effortlessly.

If you wish to go through the formation process independently, you can appoint Harbor Compliance as your registered agent in three easy steps:

  1. Order our Registered Agent Service
  2. Access your Client Portal and find our Barrington address alongside pre-filled forms
  3. Submit your filings to the Rhode Island secretary of state

Registered Agent Change

If your organization is already operating in Rhode Island, but you wish to change your registered agent, you can file the appropriate forms depending on your business structure. Note that there’s a fee you’ll need to pay, which you can see next to the form in the secretary of state’s document library.

There’s a simpler alternative for changing your agent if you partner with us. Once you order our service, you’ll see an option to add the Change of Registered Agent service right before checkout. Check this box and complete the purchase, and we’ll make the change for you.

Foreign Entity Qualification

Organizations formed outside of Rhode Island must qualify to operate in the state. Our foreign qualification service speeds up the expansion by filing everything on your behalf and obtaining a Rhode Island certificate of authority for your organization.

Once you go through the foreign qualification wizard, we’ll handle the submission process and name Harbor Compliance your registered agent in Rhode Island.

Located in nearby Barrington, RI!

How to Appoint Us as Your Rhode Island Registered Agent


Appoint us as your Rhode Island registered agent when you incorporate your business or form your LLC. Sign up for registered agent service and file using the state forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Foreign Qualification

Appoint us as your agent when you apply for a certificate of authority to transact business in Rhode Island. Sign up for Rhode Island registered agent service and file using the forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Change Agent

Changing your registered agent to us is easy. Sign up for Rhode Island registered agent service and file using the forms and instructions in your Client Portal. The forms are pre-filled and signed as required by the state.

Book of Business

Harbor Compliance is a provider of nationwide registered agent service. We can help you consolidate your agent representation and achieve cost savings. Our specialists manage the process to change registered agents so that virtually no work is required on your part. We will complete the state filings to appoint us as your registered agent. Additionally, we can extend your subscription term so that you avoid double payment for any portion of your current contract. There’s no reason to wait. Simply contact us for consolidation and we’ll take care of the rest. If you have registered agent appointments spanning multiple states or entities, contact us today.

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Rhode Island Registered Agent FAQs

Here you’ll find some common questions decision-makers have when appointing a Rhode Island registered agent. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, make sure to visit our extensive information center.

All entities—regardless of their business structure—are legally obligated to have a registered agent and registered office in Rhode Island. Not appointing one prevents you from operating in the state.

In most cases, your formation filing won’t be accepted unless you name a registered agent. This means you must choose your registered agent before submitting the formation documents to the Rhode Island secretary of state.

After your organization is formed, you can change your agent (appoint a new one) by submitting the appropriate forms to the secretary of state and paying a $20 filing fee.

While it’s technically possible to be your own registered agent, appointing a commercial registered agent service provider is considered a superior option. Not only do you get expert services, but you can enjoy more privacy because the agent’s information will be listed in the secretary of state’s registry instead of yours.

To change your registered agent or registered office, you must submit the appropriate form to the Rhode Island secretary of state. You can file the change in paper form or online from the document library.

Enjoy Peace of Mind With Harbor Compliance as Your Rhode Island Registered Agent

The right registered agent ensures you don’t have to worry about missed notices and their consequences. With Harbor Compliance, you’ll always be on top of all important correspondence. Thanks to our nationwide coverage, you can keep growing without disruptions to your operations.

If you’re ready to get started, order our Registered Agent Service or inquire about the additional ways we can help your organization. Our experts will assess your needs and suggest the most appropriate solutions.

We also offer a convenient way to determine if your organization is currently meeting all the necessary state requirements—a free Harbor Compliance Score™. After getting your score, you can leverage our comprehensive compliance platform to resolve any issues swiftly. Schedule a demonstration to see it in action

We have offices all around the U.S., so if you’re thinking about expanding beyond Rhode Island, check out our Registered Agent Service in all states:

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