How to Dissolve an LLC in Rhode Island

Failing to dissolve your LLC properly may lead you into uncomfortable situations like lawsuits, penalties, and tax liabilities. As an LLC owner, you have the responsibility to officially terminate your LLC. and take necessary actions before it is too lait.

How to Dissolve an LLC in Rhode Island

Why Dissolve an LLC

No one wants to deal with business issues that no longer exist. We are sure, you also do not want to be held back by anything related to your LLC, that you do not want to continue.

Therefore, formally dissolving an LLC online is important for the following reasons:

  • No More Obligations to Pay LLC Annual Fees and Taxes
  • You Will Not be a Defaulter of any State or Fedral Agency
  • No Surprises With Lawsuits for Unpaid Debts

How to Dissolve an LLC in Rhode Island | Step by Step Guide

We know wrapping things up is more difficult than starting a new venture. Your level of enthusiasm is not the same while terminating your Limited Liability Company (LLC) compared to the energy you once had when you conceptualized an innovative business idea and materialized in the form of your LLC.

But, some things in life are inevitable. Even terminating your LLC is your voluntary decision, it still feels heavier to carry out the last few duties. Well, we can relate to your feeling.

This is why, in this LLC dissolution guide, we tried to make things simpler and easy for you in 5 simple steps. 

  1. Decide to Dissolve your LLC
  2. Get an Expert Advice
  3. Resolve Your Financial Obligation
  4. File Rhode Island Article od Dissolution
  5. Some Important Closings Related to Rhode Island LLC

Keep on reading to learn the whole process of LLC termination in simple and concise steps.

Step #1

Decide to Dissolve your LLC

If your LLC dissolution is voluntary, the LLC owners must make the decision to dissolve their LLC according to the guidelines drafted in the LLC articles of organization

Remember to document the final decision with a written agreement. To do so:

  • Hold a meeting of LLC members
  • Take a vote with LLC members to terminate the LLC
  • Determining the formal date of dissolution
  • Through the LLC's meeting minutes, record the LLC dissolution vote 

Follow Your LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is the document that contains the information from an LLC's day-to-day operation to the termination of an LLC. Most Rhode Island LLCs outline all the steps for LLC dissolution. While terminating your LLC, follow the guidelines stated in your Rhode Island LLC operating agreement.

In case you had not defined the LLC dissolution process in your Rhode Island LLC operating agreement, you must consult the Rhode Island Secretary of state for further instructions.

Step #2

Get an Expert Advice

Terminating an LLC is a delicate and multi-step process. It is highly recommended that you seek professional help. Depending on your LLC's personalized needs, expert advice may come from accountants, bankers, lawyers, the IRS, business brokers, tax experts, auctioneers, etc.

If you have been running your business in a compliant manner, you may not need all the professionals to dissolve your LLC. Hiring any of the famous LLC services online will suffice you. 

LLC services such as IncFile or LegalZoom take care of everything related to closing your business. You can pick a package satisfying your LLC needs, and there you go.  

Step #3

Resolve financial obligations

Although the state of Rhode Island does not require you to obtain tax clearance before dissolving your LLC, it is important to resolve any outstanding tax and other financial obligations before filing the Certificate of Dissolution with your state.

Failure to resolve these issues will result in penalties and interest assessed by state and federal tax agencies. If your LLC owes back taxes to the IRS or any other state agency, you will receive a Notice of Federal Tax Lien or a Notice of State Tax Lien. 

Once the IRS places a tax lien on your LLC's property, it can be very difficult to get the tax lien released. To avoid all such stress and headache, you should resolve all the financial obligations on your Rhode Island LLC. Some common Rhode Island LLC financial obligations are listed below:

Rhode Island LLC Taxes

While filing income tax returns, check the box that indicates the document is a final return. Many state revenue agencies in Rhode Island require additional filings for sales tax.

If your LLC has employees, you may risk personal liability if you fail to obligate your payroll tax responsibilities. Inform your Rhode Island state and federal tax agencies that your business is closing. Moreover, notify them that you will cease to file an employer's quarterly tax form and unemployment returns.

Business Debts

Notify all creditors and lenders of your LLC of your dissolution and settle the remaining debt. Moreover, contact the business associates who owe payment to you or to whom you owe a payment.

In case you can not pay your debts, you should consider filing for bankruptcy. It's recommended to discuss with your attorney, accountant, and insurers to ensure that everything is accounted for. 

Step #4

File Rhode Island Articles of Dissolution

Rhode Island Articles of Dissolution are the legal documents that you file with the Rhode Island Department of State to dissolve your LLC voluntarily. 

Important Note: Before your Rhode Island LLC Dissolution, you must satisfy all filing obligations with both the RI Department of State and the RI Division of Taxation. Email at corporations@sos.ri.gov to verify your status.

Once the LLC Articles of Dissolution have been filed and processed by the concerned authority, your LLC will be officially dissolved and no longer legally exist.

Dissolve a Domestic LLC in Rhode Island

You can file the Rhode Island Domestic LLC Articles of Dissolution with the Rhode Island Department of State online or by downloading the form.

Complete the Articles of Dissolution form, sign the document, and send it to the Rhode Island Department of State at the address given below:

Mailing or In-Person Filing Address:
Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615

Cost of Domestic LLC DissolutionIn Rhode Island

Rhode Island Domestic LLC Articles of Dissolution Fee is $50. This fee is payable to the Department of State and can be paid through cash, credit card, check, or money order.

Dissolve a Foreign LLC in Rhode Island

File Rhode Island Foreign LLC Certificate of Cancellation with the Rhode Island Department of State online or by downloading the form given below:

Complete the Certificate of Cancellation, sign the document, and send it to the Rhode Island Department of State at the address given below:

Mailing or In-Person Filing Address:
Division of Business Services
148 W. River Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02904-2615

Cost of Foreign LLC DissolutionIn Rhode Island

Rhode Island Foreign LLC Certificate of Cancellation Fee is $75. This fee is payable to the Department of State and can be paid through cash, credit card, check, or money order.

Step #5

Step 5: Some Important Closings Related to Rhode Island LLC

Close your EIN

LLCs are required to contact the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to close their Employer Identification Number (EIN) account. The IRS cannot cancel your EIN account, but you notify the agency that you no longer plan to use that EIN in the future by closing your EIN account.

When closing a business as an LLC, the IRS provides a checklist of typical tax actions to take. Make sure you fulfill all the requirements. 

Close Your Business and Tax Accounts

While operating as Rhode Island LLC, you would have various tax accounts maintained by different departments within the state of Rhode Island. Some of the common taxes that an LLC may owe are:

  • Sales & Use Tax
  • Employee Withholding Tax
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax
  • State Income Tax
  • Local Taxes

Simply filing a final return to the concerned tax agency usually means closing your tax accounts. However, you may need other official paperwork to close some accounts. Contact the concerned tax agency to close your tax account.

It is also important to close your business bank account and cancel your credit cards to avoid any financial or legal trouble in the future. 

Cancel Licenses, Permits, Professional Registrations, and Business Names

After terminating your Rhode Island LLC, it is crucial to cancel all licenses and permits that you will no longer need. Doing this will protect your reputation and finances.

Trade name, Assumed Name, or Doing Business As (DBA) is a business name other than your own name that you registered with the state or local government for rebranding, branching out into new services, products, or brands, or franchising purposes, etc. 

If you have registered a Rhode Island assumed name, you must cancel that business name registration with your local government.

Winding Up | Things to Do After Dissolving your Rhode Island LLC

After the dissolution, your LLC continues to exist to take care of certain final matters. These matters are known as “winding up” the business. To handle winding up your LLC, you are required to designate one or more LLC members or LLC managers.

Rhode Island's LLC Act outlines the following key winding up tasks:

  • As a going concern for a reasonable time, preserving the LLC's business or property
  • Prosecuting and defending all civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings and actions 
  • Discharging LLC liabilities
  • Settling all LLC disputes by arbitration or mediation 
  • Transferring and disposing of LLC property
  • Paying off debts to creditors and lenders
  • Distribution of the remaining LLC assets among LLC members.

Involuntary Rhode Island LLC Dissolutions

The state of Rhode Island can cause an LLC LLC to be involuntarily dissolved. There are several reasons for involuntary LLC dissolution and mostly revolve around significant mistakes made by LLC members. Some of the reasons are:

  • If LLC is fraudulently formed in the first place 
  • LLC did not appoint a registered agent let the registered agent lapse
  • If LLC failed to file the proper forms to change the registered agent
  • If LLC abused the privilege to operate a business in Rhode Island
  • If LLC did not pay taxes, annual reports
  • If LLC fails to operate in Rhode Island state-compliant manner  

It is advisable not to operate your LLC in a manner leading to the state dissolving it against your will. The penalties and legal consequences are steeper than you might imagine. 

For instance, your LLC cannot operate in Rhode Island ever again after the involuntary dissolution. You would need to create an LLC again from the start, which would cost you time, money, and mental peace.

If you continue to operate a non-compliant LLC in Rhode Island, you could open yourself up to all sorts of legal issues. Therefore, when it comes to following the state rules and regulations, be mindful and stay compliant.

FAQs on How to Dissolve an LLC in Rhode Island

How do I dissolve my LLC in Rhode Island?

To dissolve your LLC in Rhode Island, you are required to file signed Articles of dissolution form with the Rhode Island Department of state. Meanwhile, you can proceed with the winding-up process of your LLC.

How do I close a business in Rhode Island?

To dissolve a business in Rhode Island you need to follow the following steps:

  1. Hold a meeting of business owners and record a resolution to Dissolve the Rhode Island business.
  2. Resolve all the finacial obligations
  3. File cancelation certificates with the state
  4. Clear up any business debts
  5. Distribute the remaining assets among business owners
  6. Close all business bank accounts
  7. Cancell all the business licences and certificates that you no longer wish to use

How long does it take to dissolve a business in Rhode Island?

Processing of articles of dissolution usually takes approximately 7-10 business days for filing through the mail. Online filings can take 1-2 business days while in-person filings may get processed the same day.

The form will not be processed until you satisfy all filing obligations with both the RI Division of Taxation and the RI Department of State.

Is it hard to dissolve an LLC?

Dissolving a business seems hard at the start. However, this is the best practice to avoid future penalties, liabilities, and lawsuits which are harder to deal with. How to dissolve an LLC guide made the LLC dissolution simple and straightforward. Follow the guide and shut the doors of lawsuits or penalties forever.

Why would you dissolve an LLC?

No one wants to deal with business issues that no longer exist. Therefore, formally dissolving an LLC is important for the following reasons:

  • No More Obligations to Pay LLC Annual Fees and Taxes
  • You Will Not be a Defaulter of any State or Fedral Agency
  • No Surprises With Lawsuits for Unpaid Debts

What is the difference between dissolution and termination?

The terms LLC termination and LLC dissolution are often used interchangeably but have distinct legal meanings. When an entity ceases to legally exist, it is called termination of the entity. On the other hand, dissolution is the winding up of the affairs of the entity before the termination of the entity.

How much does it cost to dissolve an LLC?

Rhode Island Foreign LLC Certificate of Cancelation Fee is $75 and domestic LLC Articles of Dissolution fee is $50. This fee is payable to the Department of State and can be paid through cash, credit card, check, or money order.

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