Business License Information

Business Services Division at the RI Department of State

The Business Services Division at the RI Department of State website features many resources that support the goal of educating the state’s business owners and make starting a business easier for entrepreneurs.  These resources include step-by-step instructions to register a business or non-profit, tools to explore necessary professional licenses, and access to relevant regulations and resources provided by other state agencies.

Below are the main resources with direct links, as well as a brief explanation of each one: 

  • Business Assistant: 
    The Business Assistant is our main tool to help new business owners to get started. After answering questions about their proposed business, the user will receive a customized task list with registration instructions, professional licensing applications, state laws and regulations, additional guidance, and more. This helps entrepreneurs compile all of the state-level requirements for their particular business in one, easy-to-use place. 

Trade Name Certificates

All businesses are required by Rhode Island State Law to register their trade name in the Town Clerk’s Office. Forms are available in the office during regular business hours. Applications must be filled out and brought in person to the Tax Collectors Office for approval. The applicant must then obtain a copy of the field card for the property from the Tax Assessor’s Office and get approval from the Zoning Official and Fire Marshall before a license can be issued. The Fire Marshall can be reached at (401) 231-8505 for inspection appointments. Trade Names Certificates are renewed annually.

Fees are as follows:

Trade Name Certificates (store front) – $25.00 Initial Fee ($25.00 renewal fee annually)

Home Occupancy – $125.00 Initial fee ($50.00 renewable fee annually)

For additional information on starting a business in the State of Rhode Island, consult the RI Secretary of State’s Business Information Center on-line or by phone: The Business Information Center is located at 148 W. River Street, Providence, RI 02904-2615, phone: 401-222-2185 Fax: 401-222-3890 E-mail: .

A Guide To Starting A Business In North Providence (.pdf)

The Business Information Center was established to help cut through the red tape and to give you the information needed to get your business started. Since its creation in August of 1995, the Center has helped more than 5,000 Rhode Islanders realize their dream of starting their own businesses. For the first time, information was brought together in a single location, which was previously available, only by contacting numerous federal, state and local agencies. The Center works with individual clients to put together a business-specific package with all the forms and applications needed to launch a business.


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North Providence Town Hall
2000 Smith St. • North Providence, Rhode Island 02911
Phone (401) 232-0900 • Fax (401) 232-3434
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