Step #6 Plan for Compliance & Success
You did it! You now own a restaurant. While you’re accepting accolades from your customers, family and friends don’t neglect your business obligations. You’ve got to pay your taxes, renew your licenses and permits and field reports. And you can expect the Health Department to drop by unannounced from time to time.
Some licenses and permits expire after a set period. Keep close track of when you need to renew them — it's often easier to renew than it is to apply for a new one. Here are some of the items you’ll need to keep track of:
Ongoing Reporting, Filing & Inspections
- Reports on Employees
State Unemployment Insurance
State Workers' Compensation Insurance
Federal Income Tax, Social Security & Medicare
Federal Income Tax (W-2/W-3)
- Business Taxes
Local Tangible Taxes - including annual return
State Retail Sales Tax Permit
State Use Tax
Federal and State Business Income Taxes
Federal Business Taxes – click here
- License and Permit Renewals and Inspections
Corporation and Limited Liability Corporations - Annual Reports
State and Municipal Business License(s)
RI Health Dept. Food Service Business Permit
RI Health Dept. Manager Certified in Food Safety
- Maintaining Business Structure
Once a corporate entity is up and running, there are a couple of important annual requirements necessary to keep the business in good standing with the Rhode Island Department of State, Secretary of State. Both corporations and limited liability companies are required to file annual reports with the Rhode Island Department of State, Secretary of State and to pay a filing fee of fifty ($50.00) dollars to the Secretary of State. Deadlines for filing depend on the type of entity chosen, and late fees are assessed for late filings. A continuing failure to file will result in the Secretary of State revoking the corporate entity’s good standing. Entities registered with the Department of State must also maintain a registered agent with a valid Rhode Island address. Failure to maintain a registered agent will result in the Secretary of State revoking the entity’s good standing.
As noted above, all businesses are also required to file corporate tax returns with the Rhode Island Division of Taxation on an annual bases.
A. Employees Benefits
Healthcare and other benefits play a significant role in hiring and retaining employees. Some employee benefits are required by law, but others are optional.
Required employee benefits
- Social Security taxes: Employers must pay Social Security taxes at the same rate as their employees
- Workers’ Compensation: Required through a commercial carrier
- Disability Insurance: Disability pay is required in Rhode Island
- Leave benefits: Most leave benefits are optional outside those stipulated in the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Unemployment insurance: you may need to register with the RI Department of Labor & Training.
RI Department of Labor & Training Employer Handbook
B. Employee Training
- RI Department of Health - Manager Certified in Food Safety
A person in charge of a food establishment needs to complete a food safety course and pass a test in order to obtain a State certification as a Manager Certified in Food Safety. For a list of approved courses, go to RI DOH, then go to the topic on “Continuing Education/Training/Exams”, then under the heading “Approved Food Safety Manager Training Programs” review the lists of classroom and online courses available for Food Safety Manager Training.
- Mandatory Alcohol Server Training(Training for Intervention Procedures) (if serving alcohol) –
If you have a liquor license, mandatory alcohol server training is required for everyone who serves or supervises the sale of alcohol. This includes bartenders, managers and even valet parking staff.
The law requires these employees to obtain their alcohol server training within sixty (60) days of their first day of employment, with a score of 75 or above. The certificate is valid for 3 years. For a list of certified alcohol server training programs visit the RI Department of Business Regulation.
- Crowd Management Training (if applicable)
A certified crowd manager or crowd manager supervisor is needed only in places where fifty (50) or more individuals could legally assemble. Crowd manager training and certification is offered free of charge through the RI State Fire Marshal’s Office. Click here for information.
C. Consider joining a business association, local chamber of commerce
D. Small Business Resources & Support
- U.S. Small Business Administration Business
U.S. Small Business Administration Business (SBA) Guide: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide
U.S. Small Business Administration Business (SBA) – 10 Steps to start Your Business https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/10-steps-start-your-business/
- RI SCORE - https://ri.score.org/
- Center for Women and Enterprise (RI) - https://www.cweonline.org/About-CWE/CWE-Rhode-Island
- RI Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - https://web.uri.edu/risbdc/
Know your target market
A marketing plan is one of the best ways to stay on schedule and on budget, especially if you are serious about your restaurant. For guidance on how to create a marketing plan, explore the marketing and sales section of the SBA Business Guide at https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/manage-your-business/marketing-sales#section-header-0
Consider Including These Sections In Your Marketing Plan:
- Target your market
- Competitive advantage
- Sales plan
- Marketing and sales goals
- Marketing action plan
Congratulations! You are ready to cut the ribbon and open your business. Good luck and stay focused on managing and growing your business.