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Your New Business Portal at the RI Department of State

Secrtary of State - Your New Business Portal at the RI Department of State Picture

by Secretary Of State Nellie M. Gorbea 

During the redesign of the Rhode Island Department of State website, we strived to create a Business Portal that would serve as an easy-to-use hub for businesses. Our mission is to engage and empower all Rhode Islanders, so we made sure we spoke with many of you in the business community about the sorts of tools and resources that you need to manage or start your business in our state. Those conversations have resulted in the Business Portal you see today at

The Business Portal is a great place to find out what deadlines are coming up and what forms need to be completed for your business. One of the more useful tools within the Business Portal is the online filing system. Online forms and accounts make it easy for you to renew your paperwork. We want Rhode Island business owners to spend less time worried about paperwork and more time managing a successful business.

Every year after your first year of incorporation, business corporations must file an annual report with our Business Services Division. The annual report filing period for Business Corporations is from January 1 to March 1. Filing fees are $50 by person or by mail and $52.50 if filing online. The additional $2.50 for filing online is for payment to the state’s private vendor for online services – RI.Gov or Interactive Rhode Island. This is not revenue for the Department of State or the state’s General Fund. Instead, the fee covers the cost of creating and maintaining the state’s online services. My office is in conversation with the Governor’s Office to address this fee disparity. All filings recorded on or after April 1 are subject to a late fee of $25.

Of the 30,224 Business Corporations on file last year, nearly two-thirds (19,133) filed electronically. Online filing is safe, easy, and available 24-hours a day. It has the same requirements as paper filings, but can save you valuable time because the forms are pre-filled on the screen with the data we already have on record for your corporation. Last year, our staff and summer fellowship intern, worked on simplifying and redesigning all of our business forms so that they are easier to use.

We also understand that managing a business takes time, and there may be many deadlines and important calendar dates to keep track of. We encourage business owners to use our Business Portal to verify whether or not they have filed their annual report. If your entity name contains the words Limited Liability Company or LLC, your annual report filing period is September 1 to November 1.

As Secretary of State I am continuously looking for ways to connect Rhode Islanders and their government. Working alongside the talented team in our Business Services and eGovernment & IT Divisions, we are dedicated to working with Rhode Island business owners to move business forward in our state.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur or an established small business, the Department of State’s Business Services Division is here to help. You can reach us by calling (401) 222-3040, emailing us at or visiting our office at 148 West River Street. Please feel free to contact me directly with any thoughts or suggestions at or visit our newly redesigned website We look forward to working with you to grow your business in Rhode Island.

Upgrading Democracy’s Infrastructure


by Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Last month, Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law legislation authorizing the Secretary of State to lead efforts to acquire new voting equipment. Our voting equipment is democracy’s infrastructure. Voters, election administrators and candidates alike depend on modern and reliable voting equipment to deliver fair, fast and accurate elections.
Our current voting equipment is nearly twenty years old and quickly becoming obsolete. Furthermore, today’s available technology makes voting more secure and convenient than ever. It also helps municipalities save taxpayer dollars by streamlining processes.
To ensure that Rhode Islanders have the best, most cost effective equipment it was important to involve a diverse group of stakeholders in the process. That’s why I convened a Voting Equipment Task Force which met on four occasions to help inform our procurement process. Many of the task force’s recommendations were included in our Request for Proposals (RFP), which the RI Department of Administration will be releasing soon.
Thanks to the leadership of the General Assembly and the Governor, we now have a unique opportunity to modernize our democratic infrastructure and replace some of the oldest working voting equipment in the country with the latest available technology. I am proud to be leading this effort to upgrade democracy’s infrastructure and, ultimately, get more Rhode Islanders to participate and vote.
Task force members include: Bob Cooper, Executive Secretary, Governor’s Commission on Disabilities; Bob Rapoza, Director of Elections, RI Board of Elections; Brandon Bell, Chairman, RI Republican Party; Channavy Chhay, Executive Director, Center for Southeast Asians; Dale Holberton, Town Clerk, Town of South Kingstown; Drew Milligan, Member, Millennial Professionals of RI; Jane Koster, President, League of Women Voters of RI; Janet Ruggiero, Member, US Elections Assistance Commission Standards Board and Assistant Clerk, North Providence Board of Canvassers; John Marion, Executive Director, Common Cause RI; José Batista, President, RI Latino Civic Fund; Joseph McNamara, Chairman, RI Democratic Party; Kathleen Connell, Executive Director, AARP RI; Kenneth McGill, Registrar, City of Pawtucket; Louise Phaneuf, Town Clerk, Town of Burrillville; Pilar McCloud, Executive Committee Member, NAACP Providence; Renay Brooks Omisore, Commissioner, Providence Board of Canvassers; Richard O’Neill, Clerk, City of Newport Canvassing Authority; Steven Sepe, Registrar, City of Cranston; Travis Escobar, President, Millennial Professionals of RI; and William Gilbert, Chairman, Moderate Party of RI.

Secretary of State Gorbea to honor five RI Civic Leaders

PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea will present four individuals and one institution with the 2015 NASS Medallion Award during a ceremony on Thursday, September 17 at 3:30PM in the State House.

The NASS Medallion award was created to recognize outstanding public service and civic engagement. Each Secretary of State is given the opportunity to award up to five NASS Medallions each year to individuals and organizations who have demonstrated remarkable civic leadership in their state.

This year’s honorees are: State Senator Hanna M. Gallo; Nicholas Capobianco of the St. Mary’s Feast Society; the Center for Southeast Asians in Providence; Pilar McCloud of the NAACP Providence; and Jan Ruggiero, Assistant Clerk at the North Providence Board of Canvassers.

The event will take place in the State Room and will begin promptly at 3:30PM.


WHO:         Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

State Senator Hanna M. Gallo

Nicholas Capobianco

Center for Southeast Asians in Providence

Pilar McCloud

Jan Ruggiero

WHAT:              Secretary Gorbea to honor Rhode Island civic leaders 

WHEN:             Thursday, September 17, 2015 3:30 PM
WHERE:           Rhode Island State House, State Room – 82 Smith St, Providence RI

Strengthening Rhode Island’s Civic Pride Through Education

By Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea

Over the course of nearly four centuries, Rhode Island has played a critical role in the formation of our country and shaping the American experience. From serving as a global beacon for religious freedom and tolerance to ushering in the American Industrial Revolution, we have a lot to be proud of as Rhode Islanders. It’s important that we celebrate, educate and capitalize our state’s history to boost civic pride and support the growth of Rhode Island’s tourism sector.

As Secretary of State, I am dedicated to empowering and engaging all Rhode Islanders. An important part of this goal is to build and strengthen Rhode Island civic pride. The Rhode Island State Archives, a division of the Department of State, is the bridge that connects our state’s rich history to the present day. The State Archives also oversees the preservation of our state government documents, which makes transparent government possible.

The State Archives is home to millions of historically significant documents, images and past records dating back to 1638. Our State Archives has the potential to make Rhode Island a national leader in U.S. archives and to help create valuable opportunities in civics education and tourism. It is located at   337 Westminster Street in downtown Providence and offers two hours of free validated parking as a way to encourage Rhode Islanders to visit our treasures in person.

We have already started to increase Rhode Islanders’ engagement with the State Archives through a combination of outreach, education and improved accessibility. In February, the State Archives hosted an exhibit of documents and materials that told the fascinating story of Rhode Island’s contributions during the Civil War. I was honored to host a roundtable discussion at the State Archives on the role that African Americans played in the formation of the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery regiment during the war. The discussion included Civil War scholars, local high school students and leaders from the state’s African American community.

This month, we are offering a new exhibit titled “Historic Odds, Ends and Other Curiosities” that runs through the end of August. The exhibit provides the public a unique opportunity to view remarkable and curious items spanning hundreds of years of our state’s history. These items range from examples of colonial money, both authentic and counterfeit, to records of piracy trials, drawings of the Independent Woman, and even H.P. Lovecraft’s death certificate.

Looking forward, we plan to expand the State Archives’ role as an educational resource to increase access and opportunities for Rhode Islanders to reconnect with our state’s wonderful history. The Department of State is developing interactive educational tools and will also be expanding its virtual exhibit collections to ensure that everyone can learn about Rhode Island history.

I look forward to providing these opportunities for all Rhode Islanders to experience and enjoy the State Archives. Ensuring greater access to our State Archives can help make civic education relevant, contribute to local tourism and bolster Rhode Island state pride.

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