Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Regulated Investment Company (RIC): Definition, Examples, Taxes


A Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is a type of company, established under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, that allows the generation of income from assets they manage without paying corporate income tax, as long as they distribute the majority of those earnings to shareholders. Mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), and closed-end funds are typical examples of RICs. The RIC structure helps avoid the double taxation issue that typical corporations face because shareholders are taxed on these distributed earnings, not the RIC itself.


The phonetics of “Regulated Investment Company (RIC)” would be:Regulated: /ˈrɛg.jəˌleɪt.ɪd/Investment: /ɪnˈvɛst.mənt/Company: /ˈkʌmp(ə)ni/(RIC): /ɑːr aɪ siː/Definition: /ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃ(ə)n/Examples: /ɪgˈzamplz/Taxes: /ˈtæksɪz/

Key Takeaways

<ol> <li>Definition: A Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is a company or trust that utilizes income received from investments to pay off shareholders. It can distribute almost all of its income without having to pay corporate tax. </li> <li>Examples: Mutual Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts, or Exchange-Traded Funds, are some examples of RICs. These financial structures are arranged to allow earnings to pass to the investors without double taxation. Therefore, their income is taxed only at the shareholder level if the companies pass along a high percentage of the profits. </li> <li>Taxes: A significant tax advantage of RICs is their ability to deduct dividends paid to shareholders from their corporate taxable income. Thus, the burden of taxation is moved from the company to the shareholders. However, to qualify for this, the RIC must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders annually. </li></ol>


Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is a significant term in business and finance as it refers to any company or entity, such as a mutual fund or exchange-traded fund (ETF), which manages portfolios of securities. The importance of this term lies in its taxation aspect. RICs are allowed to deduct dividends paid to investors from their corporate taxable income, which effectively eliminates the phenomenon of “double taxation”. For an entity to qualify as a RIC, it must fulfill several requirements under the Internal Revenue Code. These include the need to distribute at least 90% of taxable annual income, have a diversified portfolio, and be a domestic company. Knowing and understanding RICs are essential for investors and financial professionals alike because they offer tax-efficient investment vehicles.


A Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is a vehicle designed to allow investors to pool their resources together to participate in a wide array of investments. This arrangement enables individual investors to achieve a level of diversification that would normally be out of their reach. RICs can be used to invest in anything from stocks, bonds, and money market instruments to real estate and commodities. They are commonly utilized by mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and real estate investment trusts. But aside from diversification, one of the key purposes of a RIC is to offer its investors significant tax advantages. The U.S. Internal Revenue Code permits a qualifying RIC to pass income to its shareholders without getting taxed at the company level, which basically eliminates double taxation. In normal cases, a company is taxed on its profits, and if it in turn passes a share of these profits to its shareholders as dividends, these are also taxed. But with a RIC, corporate taxes are bypassed. It is important to note, however, that to qualify for this RIC treatment, an investment company must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. With this benefit, a RIC provides an efficient structure for investors who want to collectively invest and draw returns while mitigating associated tax expenses.


1) Vanguard Group: The Vanguard Group, a renowned American investment management company based in Malvern, Pennsylvania, can be seen as a prime example of a Regulated Investment Company. Known for its low-cost mutual funds and ETFs, Vanguard follows the stipulations set by the RIC structure. The company has to distribute at least 90% of their taxable income among its shareholders and adhere to other regulatory measures to meet the RIC criteria.2) BlackRock Inc.: BlackRock Inc, a globally recognized investment management company based in New York City, follows the RIC stipulations. This enables BlackRock to avoid paying corporate income tax on the income that it further distributes to its investors. Following the roll of RIC, the firm pays at least 90% of income to investors as dividends.3) Fidelity Investments: Fidelity Investments, an international investment firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, offers financial services and investment resources such as mutual funds. Operating as a regulated investment company, it abides by the tax conditions implying that to avoid being taxed at a corporate level, it must distribute minimum 90% of income to the shareholders. RICs help these organizations to avoid double-taxation, meaning income gets taxed at corporate level and then again when it is distributed to the shareholders. By taking benefit from RIC, these firms only tax their investors directly on the dividends they receive.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Regulated Investment Company (RIC)?

A Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is a company or corporation as per the U.S. Internal Revenue Code’s conduit principle, which invests the income of shareholders in several securities and other financial instruments. These companies are entitled to eliminate tax liabilities related to the income earned, given they distribute a significant amount of their income to their investors.

Can you give examples of Regulated Investment Companies (RICs)?

RIC is essentially a broad term encompassing a number of types of investment companies. Mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), unit investment trusts (UITs), and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are all classified under RIC.

How are RICs taxed?

A RIC itself is not liable to pay taxes on its income and profits if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income as dividends to shareholders. However, the shareholders are responsible for paying individual income taxes on those dividends.

What are the benefits of investing in a Regulated Investment Company?

The primary benefit of investing in a RIC is the potential for a high rate of return on investment due to their diversified investment strategy. In addition, by distributing most of their income to the shareholders, these companies provide the shareholders with regular income.

What are the risks associated with investing in a Regulated Investment Company?

As with any type of investment, there are risks involved. The money invested in a RIC may not yield a profitable return. Additionally, market conditions can greatly affect the value of the securities that a RIC holds. Lastly, if a RIC does not distribute at least 90% of its taxable income as dividends to shareholders, it will be subjected to corporate tax.

How can someone invest in a RIC?

Investing in a RIC typically involves purchasing shares of the company, similar to buying stock in any company. The specific process may vary depending on the type of RIC, and it’s recommended to consult with a financial advisor or broker to guide you in the process.

Are all mutual funds and REITs considered as RICs?

Not necessarily. While many mutual funds and REITs qualify as RICs, they must meet the 90% distribution requirement and comply with other regulations under the Internal Revenue Code to maintain their RIC status. Failure to do so can result in the loss of RIC status and associated tax advantages.

What factors should be considered before investing in a RIC?

Before investing in a RIC, one should consider factors such as financial goals, risk tolerance, the RIC’s performance history, management credentials, associated fees, and the overall financial health of the company. It’s advised to thoroughly research and potentially seek advice from a financial planner or investment advisor before investing.

Related Finance Terms

  • Definition: Regulated Investment Company (RIC) is generally a company that manages portfolios of securities. The company is allowed to pass the taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest distributions to its shareholders. This entity must distribute at least 90% of its taxable annual income to avoid corporate-level income tax.
  • Examples: Some common examples of a Regulated Investment Company include Mutual Funds, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).
  • Taxes: RICs are not subject to double taxation like regular corporations. The income they generate is taxable directly to the shareholders when distributed. They must distribute certain types of earnings – such as dividends, interest, and short-term capital gains – to the shareholders as income in the year earned.
  • Investor Benefits: The investors in RICs often have the flexibility to buy or sell shares at their discretion with a variety of investment choices. Also, due to the pass-through structure, they only pay personal income tax on their portion of the company’s earnings, avoiding the double taxation associated with regular corporations.
  • Dividend Distribution Requirement: To qualify as an RIC, the company must distribute at least 90% of its taxable income to shareholders annually. This requirement ensures that the company’s profits are passed through to the shareholders, allowing the company to avoid corporate tax.

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More