Entities that provide small business owners with services, counseling, training and resources.
SCORE RI: https://ri.score.org/
SCORE, a source of free, confidential small business advise, is a nonprofit resource organization and partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. SCORE provides expert mentoring and education to thousands of startup and existing businesses. Their goal is to provide you with the help you need to be successful in your business. This should be one of your first stop resources!
RI Small Business Development Center (RISBDC):https://web.uri.edu/risbdc/
RISBDC, at the University of Rhode Island, provides RI small business owners with services and expertise they need to succeed: no cost expert counseling, relevant training, and access to important resources. One of your first stop resources!
Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) (RI): https://www.cweonline.org/About-CWE/CWE-Rhode-Island
CWE provides opportunities for entrepreneurs and women in business to increase professional success, personal growth, and financial independence through education, training, and technical assistance.
RI Commerce Corporation: https://commerceri.com/
Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is a quasi-state agency that offers a broad portfolio of client services and financing programs to help businesses develop and grow. Services offered: resource network, locate resources and financing, creating a productive timeline, discuss applicable incentive programs.
Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA): https://www.rihospitality.org/
RIHA is an association that represents foodservices, hotels, vendors and hospitality members in the state of Rhode Island and is the voice of Rhode Island's lodging, restaurant and tourism industry. Visit their website for membership information and to find out more about the association.
RI Department of Health, Center for Food Protections: http://health.ri.gov/programs/detail.php?pgm_id=134
The RIDOH Center for Food Protection regulates retail food establishments through licensing, inspections and plan reviews. Visit their website to find out more about what they do and information that can assist you.
RI Department of Health - Food Safety Resource Library: http://www.health.ri.gov/food/about/resourcelibrary/
The RIDOH Center for Food Protection has put together a Food Safety Resource Library to make it easier to find guidance documents to help retail food establishments comply with the food code and serve safe food.
RI Department of Environmental Management, Office of Water Resources - Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS): http://www.dem.ri.gov/septic
For more information on certification/conformance of OWTS.
RI Department of State, Secretary of State – Business Information: http://www.sos.ri.gov/divisions/business-portal
Use the Rhode Island Business Portal as a gateway to help you access the tools you will need to plan, start, and maintain your business. Use the “Starting a Business in Rhode Island” portal for guidance and assistance to review business basics such as your business plan, business name, business structure, and let it walk you through what you need to start your business.
Rhode Island Division of Taxation: http://www.tax.ri.gov/
Visit and search this website to find out about tax payer obligations you may have as a business owner in Rhode Island.
- The Restaurant Industry & Rhode Island Tax Guide for Businesses: This guide provides an overview of tax rules and laws for restaurants in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Office of the State Fire Marshal – Crowd Management Training: http://fire-marshal.ri.gov/fireacademy/crowdmanagement.php
All places of assembly (where 50 or more individuals could legally assemble) need to have at least one certified crowd manager or crowd manager supervisor. This applies to restaurants as well. If your food establishment falls in this category, visit this website to find out how to get crowd manager training through the RI Office of the State Fire Marshal.
State of Rhode Island General Laws: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/
Use this link to look up state laws.
State of Rhode Island Rules and Regulations: http://www.sos.ri.gov/divisions/open-government/state/rules-and-regulations
Use this link to look up rules and regulations.
U.S. Small Business Administration Business (SBA) - Business 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/
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed
IRS Small Business – Check list for Starting a Business: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/checklist-for-starting-a-business
Rhode Island State E-Permitting Portal:
To obtain Rhode Island Fire & Municipal Building Permits online - http://permits.ri.gov/
Did you know you can now use online E-Permitting to apply for local building and fire permits in some municipalities? Check out this website to find out if your municipality is online!
Link to a list of municipality websites: http://www.ri.gov/towns/
Wastewater Treatment Facilities
Link to a List of Wastewater Treatment Facilities and their Officials:
If you need to connect to a sewer or if you are a new owner of an establishment using a sewer system you will probably need to contact your wastewater treatment facilities to change over the billing information or speak to someone about pretreatment of wastewater. Here is a list to find your wastewater treatment facility, contact the facility that your business is connected to.
Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC) – Pretreatment Permits: http://www.narrabay.com/customer-service/pretreatment/pretreatment-applications/
The NBC operates two wastewater treatment facilities that serve the following cities and towns; Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence (Rumford section), Lincoln, Pawtucket, Johnston, North Providence, and Providence. This link will provide pretreatment information for customers of the NBC wastewater treatment system.
Chambers of Commerce
Chambers of Commerce are associations designed to promot and protect the interests of the business community. Chambers monitor important issues, legislation and business trends within your specific community. They also offer networking opportunities. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce for membership information.
Central Rhode Island
RI Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Northern Rhode Island
Southern Rhode Island