1. Rhode Island Business Search
2. Different Ways to Search for Businesses
3. Choosing a Name for Your Rhode Island Business

You can conduct a Rhode Island Business Search at the UCC Rhode Island website. The Rhode Island Secretary of State is responsible for maintaining all business records for companies operating in the state of Rhode Island. This includes corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and non-profit organizations.

Different Ways to Search for Businesses

You can run a search in several ways, depending on what type of information you know about the business. These include:

  • Business name. When searching via the company’s actual name, you’ll want to leave the type of business designator out of the search field, e.g., LLC, LP, Inc, etc. If you want to be more thorough, then you can enter the full company name; however, if you are unsure of the company’s full name, you can enter just one word in to find the company. Keep in mind that your search will return with results of all businesses utilizing that specific keyword in their business name. This search is important, particularly for those wanting to start their own business, because they will need to run a thorough search for businesses with similar names to the name they wish to use to operate their business. You cannot use a name that is already taken.
  • Entity ID number. Searching by this number is the quickest way to find the information you need, simply because each business is given a unique identification number, so you’ll know that if you utilize this search method, the result will be the correct one.
  • Filing number. Searching by the filing number can also identify the information you need quickly. An example of this type of search would be searching on the actual filing number of the business’s annual tax report or any other periodic filing that is required of that business.
  • Registered agent’s name. If you know the agent’s name, you can search using that person’s name. Keep in mind that even if you don’t know the registered agent’s name, once you run a search for the business (whether it be the actual business name search, entity ID number, NAISC, or filing number), you’ll still be able to find the registered agent’s contact information, along with all other information on the entity.
  • Company address. If you know the address, you can also use this method to perform your search.
  • NAICS code. This code is affiliated with the type of industry in which the business operates.

Choosing a Name for Your Rhode Island Business

If the entire purpose of running your Rhode Island business search is because you want to create a business within the state, you’ll need to keep in mind several rules that must be adhered to when selecting a name for your business. Some of these requirements include the following:

  • If you are operating a Limited Liability Company, you must include these designated terms in your company name somehow, either listed out or abbreviated as L.L.C. or LLC.
  • If you are operating an LLC, you cannot include terms like “Corp” or “Inc.” in the name of your business.
  • The name of your business must be “distinguishable.” This means that it must be unique to any other name currently being used by businesses in the state of Rhode Island. This is why it is important for you to run a business search to find out if the name you want is available for use.
  • Another important key factor in the uniqueness of your business name is that it cannot be similar in any way to another business name. For example, simply changing terms like “A,” “An,” “The,” or even changing numbers from “five” to “5,” does not distinguish it from the similarly named company. Therefore, it’s best that you find a name that is not being used at all, in any way, by other Rhode Island businesses.
  • Some examples of companies that would not be considered unique from one another include “ABC Cleaning & Disinfecting Services” vs. “ABC Cleaning and Disinfecting Services,” “Five Teamers” vs. “5 Teamers,” and “Old Antiques LLC” vs. “Old Antique LLC.”

If you need help with your Rhode Island business search needs, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.