Registering Your Business

Choose A Business Structure


The Town of Bristol recommends consulting with an accountant, lawyer or advisory board in order to determine your specific needs. An overview of the different type of business structures can be seen below.
Business Structure Chart

Select A Business Name and Register It

Depending on the business structure and nature of your business, it may be necessary to register with the State of Rhode Island and/or the Town of Bristol.

Town of Bristol

Individuals interested in starting a Sole-Proprietorship or General Partnership can register through the Bristol Town Clerk's Office at 10 Court St. Bristol, RI 02809.

If you plan on doing business under an assumed name, you will need to apply for a Trade Name Certificate. 

A Trade Name Certificate will help you open a bank account and receive financing. Please contact the Town Clerk's office for more information.

State of Rhode Island 

Individuals are required to register with the State of Rhode Island for the following business structures:

  • Corporation    
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)    
  • Non-Profit    
  • Limited Partnership    
  • Limited-Liability Partnership

It is important to note that your preferred business name may be taken. Please review the name availability database and guidelines.

Click here to find out the forms required for new businesses or non-profits.

Get An Employer Identification Number (EIN) and DUNS Number

An EIN is required under US Internal Revenue Code for businesses with more than one employee. An EIN may be applied for online.

A DUNS Number is required if grants or contracts will be applied for. This number is extremely useful for non-profit organizations. Apply for a DUNS number online

Register for State and Local Taxes

Visit the RI Division of Taxation website to register your business for retail sales, income tax withholding, workers’ compensation, and RI Unemployment Insurance.

The Town of Bristol assesses tangible taxes on the physical assets and inventory of businesses.  You are also responsible for property taxes on any property you own. Contact the Tax Assessor to find out what your business will be responsible for.

Learn more about Bristol's tax incentive programs here.