Tens of Thousands of companies doing business in Rhode Island must file
PROVIDENCE, RI -- The New Year is fast approaching, and Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is reminding over thirty thousand companies doing business in Rhode Island, that they must file annual reports with the office of Secretary of State.
State law requires for-profit corporations to file annual reports between January 1 and March 1. More than thirty thousand companies, ranging from auto dealers to mortgage companies, to restaurants, are subject to this requirement.
Corporations may conveniently file on-line. Every corporation has been assigned its own unique Customer Identification Number and Personal Identification Number in order to ensure security.
"Last year, more than half of the annual reports filed were online, which is a testament to how user-friendly our database is. Our customers really take advantage of the technological advances our office has made to improve filing efficiency, while making it easier for companies to do business in Rhode Island," said Mollis.
Corporations may also file by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State's Business Services Division at 148 West River Street in Providence, during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
State law mandates corporations to file annual reports. Failure to file an annual report can result in the revocation of a corporation's Certificate of Incorporation or Certificate of Authority. These certifications provide corporations with the legal basis for conducting a variety of business-related activities in Rhode Island such as direct sales. In addition, state law includes fines for late filing.
At other times of the year, non-profit and limited liability companies are also required to file annual reports with the Secretary of State's office.
"My office is responsible for corporate record-keeping, and I am committed to giving Rhode Islanders 24/7 access to up-to-date and accurate information. The business community is my partner in this effort," Mollis said.
Reports are posted on the Secretary of State's website. The public can search the database by the corporation's name, location, and type of business, among other topics. There is also contact information for every company's key contact.
"This transparency is consumer-friendly and ensures that the public has a place to turn for information about businesses," said Mollis. "Filing annual reports shows their commitment to openness, and that can make consumers feel more confident about doing business with them."
The Secretary of State's office works with every corporate entity registered to do business in Rhode Island, which totals over 60,000. Secretary Mollis' office also oversees recording commercial liens and protecting corporate trademarks and provides advice to start-up businesses.
Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis is committed to making it easier for Rhode Islanders to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island and making government more open and accessible. For more information about the programs and services the Secretary of State offers Rhode Islanders, please visit www.sos.ri.gov.