How to Look Up an LLC in Rhode Island? (Simple Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 20, 2024
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Looking up an LLC in Rhode Island is one of the vital steps business owners take when checking name availability for their new Rhode Island LLC.

Over the years, I have developed expertise as a business consultant specializing in LLCs across various states and addressed numerous client concerns related to limited liability companies.

Leveraging my experience, I worked closely with a team of skilled legal advisors to create a comprehensive guide specifically focused on conducting a Rhode Island business entity search.

Quick Summary

  • To search for an LLC in Rhode Island, you can visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website for a business entity search.
  • The website offers various search options: name, identification number, filing number, agent, business address, purpose, and NAICS code.
  • With 105,320 small businesses making up 98.9% of Rhode Island's business environment, ensuring your LLC stands out through a comprehensive entity search is more important than ever for maintaining competitiveness and uniqueness.
  • Working in the LLC sector, I have learned that conducting an LLC search in Rhode Island is crucial for verifying business legitimacy and ensuring unique business naming to enhance business transparency and reliability.

How to Search for an LLC in Rhode Island?

A woman looking up an LLC in Rhode Island

The most effective way to search for an LLC in Rhode Island is by conducting a business entity search by name on the Rhode Island Secretary of State's website.

It offers a free online corporation search tool to locate a Rhode Island business using specific criteria.

The Rhode Island Secretary of State website is the primary resource for LLC searches.

To search for an LLC in Rhode Island, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.
  2. Enter the Rhode Island LLC details in accordance with the option you name in the search box provided.
  3. Click on the "Search" button to generate the search process.
  4. Once the entity appears, you can view all available information about the company.

The website offers a user-friendly interface and multiple search options, including:

a. Name Search

This is the most common method. When using the name search, it's important to try different business name variations for a comprehensive search.

"Users can refine their search using filters like "Begins with," "Exact match," "Full text," or "Soundex" to find the exact entity they're looking for."

-Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

b. Search by Identification Number

For those who have the 9-digit identification number of the business, this search method provides a direct way to access the entity's information.

c. Search by Filing Number

This method requires a 12-digit filing number, typically found on business documents, and allows users to find specific filings or documents related to an entity.

d. Search by Agent

This search can be particularly useful if you know the name of the Rhode Island registered agent for the business.

It offers "Begins with" and "Contains" as search type options.

e. Search by Business Address

This method allows users to search for businesses based on their physical address, which can be useful for local searches or when other details are unknown.

f. Search by Purpose

For those looking for businesses serving a specific purpose or mission, this search method can filter entities based on their stated purpose.

g. Search by NAICS Code

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code search is useful for finding businesses within specific industry sectors [1]. This requires a 2 to 6-digit NAICS code.

2. Call the State

Busy man talking to his phone while working on laptop

Direct communication with the Rhode Island Department of State at 401-222-3040 can be invaluable, especially for complex queries or when online search results are inconclusive.

This method allows for personalized assistance and may provide additional insights not readily available online.

3. Send an Email

Emailing is an effective way to get detailed responses to specific questions.

This method is particularly useful for obtaining official statements or documentation that may not be accessible through the website.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

Apart from the official state website, consider these alternatives:

a. Social Media Platforms

Many businesses maintain active social media profiles that offer insights into their operations, customer engagement, and brand image.

b. Search Engines

A broader internet search can yield news articles, press releases, and other publications that provide context about the LLC's activities and reputation.

c. Business Directories

Platforms like Yelp or the Better Business Bureau list businesses and include customer reviews and ratings, which can indicate the company's service quality and reliability.

d. Local Chamber of Commerce

Local business chambers often have records of their members and can provide community-based insights.

e. Industry-specific databases

For specialized industries, these databases can offer detailed information relevant to the sector in which the LLC operates.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Rhode Island?

To check if a business name is trademarked in Rhode Island, use the trademark search tool on the Rhode Island Secretary of State website.

With the US Chamber of Commerce reporting a record number of business applications in 2022, doubling to over 5 million, checking if a business name is trademarked in Rhode Island through the Secretary of State's website has become a vital step for entrepreneurs to secure a unique and unclaimed business identity [2].

Here are the steps you can follow:

  • Go to Rhode Island Trademark Search.
  • Select from options like Registration No., Trademark/Servicemark, Mark description, or Registrant.
  • Enter the specific details based on your chosen criteria (e.g., part of the trademark or registrant's name).
  • Choose between "Contains anywhere" or "Begins with" for how the search term is matched.
  • Enter a date or date range for when the trademark was registered if known.
  • Select "All" or a specific transaction type like Registration, Renewal, etc., if needed.
  • Decide how many items you want to view per page (All, 25, 50, 100).
  • Click on the 'Search' button to start the search process.
  • Examine the search results for any trademarks that match your query.

Searching for a business entity can provide crucial insights and is essential in various business and legal processes.

These reasons include:

  • Verify the legal existence of an LLC.
  • Check the standing and compliance status of a business.
  • Research potential business partners or competitors.
  • Due diligence before investments or acquisitions.
  • Confirm the legitimacy of a company for consumer purposes.
  • Investigate the history and background of a business.
  • Ensure a business name is unique before forming your own LLC.
  • "Checking a business before completing a deal with them" - to ensure reliability and credibility.


Can I Find Out Who Owns an LLC in Rhode Island?

You can find who owns an LLC in Rhode Island depending on the level of detail provided in the entity's registration documents.

How Up-To-Date Is the Information in the LLC Search Database in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Secretary of State's office regularly updates its database, but for the most current information, contacting them directly is recommended.



About The Author

Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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