How To Start a Hawaii LLC

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Last Updated: August 17, 2022

Overview

Welcome to my wonderful guide on how to start an LLC in Hawaii. Before we jump into the steps to build a Limited Liability Company – you can hit the easy button.

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Use Northwest Registered Agent and they will also give you the first year of their registered agent service included too. Go check it out and you’ll appreciate that you did.

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You should also consider what Hawaii is known for and the business ideas that come from it. The top business ideas I would consider if I was building a Limited Liability Company in Hawaii are:

  1. Start a Hulu Dancing Company
  2. Start a Volcano Touring Company
  3. Start a Touring Business
  4. Start a Whaling Touring Business

There are so many options for you if you’re going to be starting an amazing Limited Liability Company that you should be excited if this is your home state.

Once you know what type of business you’re going to start you’ll need to spend time on what your business name should be as the first step.

Name Your Hawaii LLC

The first thing you’re going to need to do is consider the Hawaii LLC naming guidelines and make sure you’re following what the Hawaii Secretary of State’s office thinks about your name.

In order to figure out if you can registered that name, you’ll need to go to the Hawaii Secretary of State’s search portal and lookup the business name here:

https://hbe.ehawaii.gov/documents/search.html

If your name is open and available, you should do your best to lock in your business entity name. Whether it’s a Foreign LLC, individual or business entity, have multiple LLC member or it’s just your single LLC member company – you need to lock in your business name. All your LLC members and LLC owners will really need to be comfortable with the business name.

After you’ve done this with the business registration division for your Hawaii LLC – you’ll need to lock in your digital footprint.

I would also recommend you stay on top of what the Hawaii Business Registration Division (BREG) thinks about the items that are going on.

Get a Website Domain for Your Hawaii Limited Liability Company

The first way of doing this is going to GoDaddy to have them help you get your website domain and use their website builder too. You don’t need to use the business registration division to help you with the digital version of this.

Your website doesn’t necessarily effect your business structure or business hours but it will be powerful to have a digital version of your business.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to work on finding your registered agent.

Choose your registered agent for your Hawaii LLC

The first thing you’ll need to do is decide who your LLC’s registered agent service will be in the state of Hawaii. The BREG (business registration division) offers a really good article on what exactly a registered agent service does for all businesses in general, but here are the basics for an LLC:

“A registered agent is responsible for receiving and delivering important legal documents on behalf of your business. The registered agent is also the point of contact for the state government regarding your LLC.

The registered agent must have a physical address in Hawaii and be available during normal business hours to accept service of process, such as tax notices or summonses.” – source: https://hidoe.hawaii.gov/dbedt/business-registration/choose-a-registered-agent/

  • There are a few things to consider when you’re thinking about who your LLC’s registered agent will be:
  • The first is that you’ll need to make sure they have a physical address in the state of Hawaii.
  • The second is that they’ll need to be available during normal business hours in order to accept any legal documents.
  • The third is that you’ll want to make sure they’re someone you trust and are comfortable with handling important legal documents on behalf of your company.

You can find a list of registered agents here: https://hidoe.hawaii.gov/dbedt/business-registration/choose-a-registered-agent/

The other thing you could consider (but is not recommended) is being your own registered agent. That will cause more problems than it’s worth in my opinion but it is something you could do if you wanted to consider it.

Prepare and File Articles of Organization

As you file your Hawaii LLC articles of organizations, you’ll also want to be aware there are things going on that are not related to the state but are acting like it or phishing for information.

Check this out:

While you are going to be submitting this, there are some rules which you’ll need to follow.

For example, if you’re going to be changing the name or address of your LLC in the articles of organization you’ll need to file an Amended Articles of Organization. The filing fee for this would be $50.

You can submit this by mail, email, or in person and the turnaround time is generally quick – around 2-3 days.

Create an operating agreement

An operating agreement is one of the most powerful legal documents that you’ll need for your LLC. It’s something that allows you to write down (up front) on what personal assets and anything else you need to document about your business before you jump into it.

Operating agreements are there for personal asset protection and help you make the right decisions for your LLC members no matter if it’s an LLC member managed business or a manager member LLC.

The items you’ll typically see in an LLC operating agreement are:

  • The name and address of the LLC
  • The names of the initial members or managers
  • The business purpose of the LLC
  • The voting rules for members
  • Rules around adding or removing members
  • How profits and losses will be distributed among members
  • What happens if the LLC is dissolved

There are plenty of other items the initial managers can put into this but as one of the business documents you’ll need – I’d recommend you build this and you can always come back to it when needed.

After you’ve built out your operating agreement, you’ll need to go get your Federal Tax Identification Number.

Get an EIN

After you’ve built your LLC in Hawaii, the next step is to get an EIN for your business. The EIN is also known as a Tax Identification Number and it’s something that the IRS uses to identify businesses.

You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail.

If you’re applying online, you can expect to get your EIN immediately.

If you’re applying by fax or mail, it will take around 4 weeks to get your EIN.

The filing fee for an EIN is $0.

There are a few different ways that you can use your EIN:

  • To open a business bank account
  • To pay business taxes
  • To hire employees
  • To file for business permits and licenses

You’ll be able to start to track other items of your business like:

  • Company Debts
  • Income Tax
  • General Excise Tax
  • Federal Income Taxes

Things that should not be associated to your EIN:

  • Personal Tax Returns

Open A Business Bank Account

The next thing you’ll want to do after you’ve got your EIN is open up a business bank account. Doing this will help you keep your personal and business finances separate.

I would highly recommend you go get your Lili business bank account to make sure you’ve setup the right way.

If you aren’t going to setup an online business bank account, there are local banks you can consider too.

Some of the best business banks in Hawaii are:

First Hawaiian Bank

Central Pacific Bank

American Savings Bank

Bank of Hawaii

Now that you’ve got your business bank account, it’s time to get your business license.

Get Small Business Insurance

You should consider getting business insurance and I highly recommend you go take a look at Commercial Insurance.

The types of business insurance you should consider are:

General Liability Insurance

Product Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

Property Insurance

Workers Compensation Insurance

There are a few things you should consider when you’re shopping for business insurance.

Some of the things you’ll want to take into account are:

The type of business you have

The amount of coverage you need

Your business location

The industry you’re in

Once you have done this, it’s time to get a business license.

Get a Business License

The final step in setting up your LLC is to get your business license. Depending on the type of business you have, you may need to get a general business license or a special license for your industry.

Some businesses that usually need a special license are:

Restaurants

Construction

Child care

Health care

If you’re not sure what type of license you need, you can contact the Hawaii Business Services Division or the city or county where your business will be located.

And that’s it! You’ve now successfully setup your LLC in Hawaii.

File an Annual Report

Once you’ve setup your Hawaii LLC, you will need to make sure you follow Hawaii law which requites you to file an annual report for your Domestic LLC.

Some of the rules around your Hawaii annual report are:

Annual Report Filing Fee: $15

Due Date: 4/1

Penalty for Late Filing: $50

And that’s it! You’ve now successfully setup your LLC in Hawaii.

Pay Annual Taxes

The final step is to pay your annual taxes. Depending on the type of business you have, you may need to pay federal, state, and/or local taxes.

If you’re not sure what types of taxes you need to pay, you can contact the Hawaii Department of Taxation or the IRS.

Make sure you go to the IRS website to submit the right way with your business address.

FAQs

Do I need a business license to start an LLC in Hawaii?

No, you do not need a business license to start an LLC in Hawaii. However, you may need a special license if you’re in a regulated industry, such as healthcare or construction.

What is the filing fee for an LLC in Hawaii?

The filing fee for an LLC in Hawaii is $50.

Is there a minimum amount of money required to start an LLC in Hawaii?

No, there is no minimum amount of money required to start an LLC in Hawaii.

When is the annual report due for an LLC in Hawaii?

The annual report for an LLC in Hawaii is due on 4/1.

What are the annual taxes for an LLC in Hawaii?

The annual taxes for an LLC in Hawaii vary depending on the type of business you have. You may need to pay federal, state, and/or local taxes.