How to Register an LLC in Hawaii: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By: Michaela Dale Updated on: June 13, 2024

Hawaii is a great state to form a business. If you’re looking for a breakdown on the steps to form an LLC in Hawaii, you’re in the right place. This guide covers the six steps you need to take to register your LLC in Hawaii and launch your business.

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Hawaii LLC Quick Facts

  • Registering an LLC in Hawaii offers tax flexibility and personal asset protection. 
  • To register an LLC in Hawaii, you must file Articles of Organization.
  • The filing fee to start an LLC in Hawaii is $50.
  • All LLCs in Hawaii are required to file an Annual Report yearly. 

6 Steps to Starting an LLC in Hawaii

Starting an LLC in Hawaii is a straightforward process. Follow these six steps to register your LLC in the Aloha State. 

Ready to start a Hawaii LLC? Let’s dive in! 

  1. Name Your Hawaii LLC
  2. Appoint a Registered Agent
  3. File Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes 
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Hawaii LLC 

To register an LLC in Hawaii, you first need to name your business

There are a few basic rules to keep in mind when naming your Hawaii LLC: 

  • Your name must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation
  • Your name cannot be “substantially identical” to other business entities in the state
  • It cannot include terms that imply government affiliation or misrepresent the purpose of your business

For a comprehensive list of naming requirements for Hawaii LLCs, refer to the state’s LLC naming guidelines.

To ensure that your chosen business name is unique, conduct a thorough business name search on the Hawaii Business Express website.

Decided on a business name? Don’t forget to get the matching domain name. Secure the perfect URL today with GoDaddy. 

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent

In Hawaii, you are required to appoint a registered agent when registering an LLC. A registered agent is responsible for receiving important information and documents on behalf of your company such as legal notices or tax forms. 

Registered agents in Hawaii must:

  • Have a physical address in Hawaii
  • Be available during regular business hours to receive documents
  • Not be the LLC itself, but can be a member, manager, or a third-party entity.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization

To register an LLC in Hawaii, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. You can file these formation documents online or by mail, fax, in person, or email using this form

The filing fee is $50 plus a $1 archiving fee

We recommend that you compile the following information first: 

  • Your LLC’s name and principal office address 
  • The name and address of your registered agent 
  • Management structure (manager-managed vs. member-managed) 
  • The LLC’s duration 

Quick Note: If your LLC is already formed in another state, you will need to register as a Hawaii Foreign LLC. This can be done online, by mail, email, fax, or in person by submitting an Application for a Certificate of Authority. The filing fee is $50. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

While not required by the state, every LLC should consider drafting an operating agreement for their LLC. 

An operating agreement outlines the internal procedures, ownership details, and member responsibilities of the company. While it is an internal document, it is an important tool to ensure LLC members have a clear understanding of their roles and expectations. 

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Handle Taxes

The next step in registering an LLC in Hawaii is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This unique number is essential for tax reporting purposes, as well as for hiring employees and opening a business bank account. 

You can easily obtain your EIN for free on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.

In addition to obtaining an EIN, it is crucial to manage your tax obligations in Hawaii. Make sure to identify any additional tax requirements for your business by visiting the State of Hawaii website

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

After you have obtained your EIN from the IRS, registered with the State of Hawaii, and obtained any necessary business licenses, the next step is to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report.

New LLCs that have been formed must submit this report within 90 days, while existing LLCs must complete the filing between the designated time frame of January 1st, 2024, and January 1st, 2025. 

Failure to file the report on time will result in a daily fine of $500.

To submit the Beneficial Ownership Information Report, you can do so online for free on the FinCEN website

Next Steps

  • Separate your personal and business assets by opening a business bank account. With Lili Banking and Accounting Services, you can do so in just minutes while gaining access to additional financial tools.

Lili is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Sunrise Banks N.A., Member FDIC.

  • Obtain business insurance such as general liability, workers’ compensation, and personal liability insurance. NEXT Insurance offers fast, affordable coverage for new businesses.
  • File an annual report with the Department of Commerce along with a $15 filing fee. You can do so online, in person, or by mail, fax, or email. 
  • Obtain any licenses and permits your business needs on a federal or state level. You can learn more about these obligations on the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website.

Additional Tips for Success

  • Build a strong network to connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry leaders for support and opportunities.
  • Keep track of your compliance requirements to meet all reporting and fee obligations necessary for your Hawaii LLC registration.
  • Plan for the future by setting goals and milestones to help guide the growth and success of your LLC.

Conclusion

To successfully register an LLC in Hawaii, it is important to understand the necessary steps and requirements. Hawaii is a great state for starting a business, but it’s crucial to follow the correct procedures to ensure your LLC is established properly. By following the steps outlined in this guide diligently and meeting all the necessary requirements, you can successfully register an LLC in Hawaii and start your business with a solid foundation.