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State-By-State Initial Compliance - Rhode Island

Initial Filings for Rhode Island Nonprofit Organizations

For a general discussion on starting a nonprofit organization, please refer to our article, Starting a Nonprofit Organization.

To view annual filing requirements for Rhode Island nonprofit organizations, refer to our annual filings

  1. To Incorporate in Rhode Island

    Submit Articles of Incorporation (Form 200) to:

    Office of the Secretary of State
    Corporations Division
    148 W. River Street
    Providence, RI 02904-2615
    Information: (401) 222-3040
    Fax: (401) 222-1309
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $35
    Note: The Articles of Incorporation may also be filed online.
  2. To Obtain 501(c) Tax-Exempt Status

    a. Submit Form 1023 (501(c)(3) organizations) or 1024 (other 501(c) organizations), Application for Recognition of Exemption to:

    Note new address:
    Internal Revenue Service
    P.O. Box 12192
    Covington, KY 41012-0192
    Information: (800) 829-1040
    Forms: (800) 829-3676
    Web Site:
    Form 1023 Filing Fee: $850 ($275 for IRS Form 1023-EZ)
    Form 1024 Filing Fee: $850 ($400 if annual receipts will average not more than $10,000 in the first 4 years)
    Note: Certain 501(c)(3) organizations, including those with gross revenues at or below $50,000 annually, may qualify to file the online Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption. For more information and to determine if you are eligible for this form, refer to our Form 1023-EZ FAQ.

    b. 501(c)(4) organizations formed after July 8, 2016 must file Form 8976, Notice of Intent to Operate Under Section 501(c)(4), electronically within 60 days of formation:

    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $50 (This fee must be paid through the website)
    Notes: This filing must be completed by all 501(c)(4) organizations - including "self-declaring" organizations that do not file IRS Form 1024.
    For more information about this filing, refer to the IRS website.
  3. To Obtain Rhode Island Income Tax and Sales & Use Tax Exemptions

    Submit Application for Certificate of Exemption along with a copy of the bylaws, articles of incorporation, EIN letter and 501(c)(3) Determination Letter from the IRS to:

    Rhode Island Department of Revenue
    Division of Taxation, Field Audit Section
    One Capitol Hill
    Providence, RI 02908
    Information: (401) 574-8935
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $25
    Note: Income tax exemption is automatic for organizations that have received their 501(c)(3) status from the IRS and file IRS Form 990 or 990EZ.
  4. To Register with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation Securities Division

    Note: Registration is required prior to soliciting for contributions in Rhode Island and must be completed online:

    State of Rhode Island
    Department of Business Regulation Securities Division
    Charitable Organization Section
    1511 Pontiac Ave., Building 69-1
    Cranston, RI 02920
    Information: (401) 462-9527
    Fax: (401) 462-9645
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $90
  5. To Register with the Rhode Island Attorney General

    Note: Registration is only required for charitable trusts. Those organizations should submit the Attorney General's registration form to:

    Department of the Attorney General
    150 South Main Street
    Providence, RI 02903
    Information: (401) 274-4400
    Fax: (401) 222-1331
    Web Site:
    Filing Fee: $50

Rhode Island Employment Filings

If the organization will have employees, the following filing is also required:

  • To Register with the Division of Taxation - Employer Tax Section

    Apply for an income tax holding account and an unemployment insurance account by completing the combined online registration.

    Rhode Island Division of Taxation
    45 South Fruit Street
    Concord, NH 03301-4857
    Registration: 401-574-8829
    Employer Tax Section: 401-574-8700
    Web Site:
    Note: For more information, refer to the Rhode Island Employer Handbook.
  • Important note about unemployment insurance: Many states allow nonprofit organizations to fund unemployment insurance benefits on a reimbursable basis. This method of funding unemployment insurance may require additional filings not listed here. Furthermore, electing this method may require the organization to register and file in paper format. Organizations contemplating this method of funding their unemployment insurance obligations should check with the appropriate state office administering the unemployment insurance in that state.

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