Hawaii Registered Agent

Andrew C. McGuire

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A Hawaii Registered Agent or Hawaii Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Hawaii. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Hawaii and be available during regular business hours.

In my Hawaii Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Hawaii business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Hawaii LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup a Hawaii LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.

Best Hawaii Registered Agent Service

ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Hawaii.  They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!

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When evaluating the best options out there for your registered agent service, it’s important to recognize ZenBusiness and Northwest Registered Agent as the two best options. Typically I’m recommending them in Hawaii and every other state because they do a fantastic job when you’re forming your LLC with them. It’s required to have a registered agent and typically when you form your LLC with one of these services they are going to include that first year of the registered agent service with your LLC formation.

It is possible to use a law firm in Hawaii that has services like this but national providers just have a better way of pulling together the customer service and experience you’d expect when looking for a registered agent service.

Whether you’re thinking of changing your Hawaii registered agent service from an existing provider or you need a new registered agent service for your domestic LLC, foreign LLC, C-Corp, S-Corp or any other type – I would go with Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.

What is a Hawaii Registered Agent?

A Hawaii registered agent is no different than a Wyoming registered agent or any other state out there. All states in the United States are going to be responsible for having a registered agent associated to the LLC they are forming. All business owners should know this and it’s legally required to have one. The typical things a registered agent or registered agent service is going to need to help you with in Hawaii are:

  1. Collect and securely store important legal documents for your business
  2. Be available during regular business hours in case somebody needs to serve you with lawsuit papers or other important legal documents
  3. Forward any and all legal documents they receive on your behalf to you in a timely manner so you can take appropriate action
  4. Help you keep track of annual compliance and reporting

You’re going to need to do this whether it’s on your own as your own registered agent, find a law firm in Hawaii that will cover this for you or use a national provider like ZenBusiness.

This is not something you can pull together with a virtual mailbox service in Hawaii or some type of UPS Store PO box hacked together solution. That is something you can get for your mail but this is not for that. If you do that the Hawaii Secretary of State’s office will most likely dissolve your business and you’ll have to go through the entire LLC formation process over again.

Why do I need a Hawaii Registered Agent?

The short answer is that it’s legally required for you to do this. It doesn’t matter if it’s a domestic LLC, foreign LLC, Limited Liability Corporation, S-Corp, C-Corp or some type of nonprofit. A registered agent is going to need to be associated with your individual or business entity to be valid in Hawaii.

One of the other things that happens with a registered agent is that the Hawaii Secretary of State’s office has a business name search portal where anybody in the world can look up your business and find the registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address.

The implications of what this means are pretty big because anyone can look up your business name and go find your home address if you decide to use a registered agent that is yourself with your home address.

Think about what this would mean for your life long term. First you’d have to be at the address you provide during normal business hours and accept legal documents if anyone shows up to your house. It’s also just feels like it completely defeats the purpose of the law which is for legal protection against this exact issue. Use one of the registered agent services like ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent.

When should I obtain a Hawaii Registered Agent?

The best time for you to obtain a Hawaii registered agent is when you’re forming your business. It’s required by law to do so when you form a business and if you don’t – it will be dissolved or you won’t be able to form it at all.

It will violate the Hawaii Secretary of State’s laws around this and you’ll have to start the process all over again to make sure you have the right registered agent in place.

The other thing you’d have to do on your own if you don’t get a registered agent service is keeping track of annual compliance and reporting. As a business owner, you’ll have plenty of reporting and tracking of deadlines as a business owner in Hawaii to deal with. I would try to spend some time thinking about how you’d keep track of this yourself if you’re going to act as your own registered agent.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Hawaii?

Yes it is possible but I never recommend doing this. Like we’ve been talking about earlier in this guide it’s not about whether you can or cannot. It’s more about if you should or should not do this. Do you really want someone coming to your house and delivering legal papers to you?

When I think about all the requirements of a registered agent in Hawaii and what type of paperwork you’re going to be dealing with it’s just not worth it. I always recommend going with a registered agent service because the main things they are responsible for are:

  • Answering the phone during business hours
  • Accepting service of process (legal papers) on your behalf
  • Keeping track of annual reporting compliance
  • Forwarding important documents to you in a timely manner.
  • Having a physical address in Hawaii

There’s a lot that goes into being a registered agent and if you’re trying to do this on your own it’s really not worth it for the cost associated to it.

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?

The cost of a Hawaii registered agent can range from $0 (your own registered agent) to a few hundred dollars per year depending on the service you use. I recommend getting one of the national registered agent services as a partner. Traditionally that’s going to be $125-150/year and Northwest Registered Agent and ZenBusiness can offer something like this to you.

The alternatives are going to be finding a law firm in Hawaii that has these services or doing it on your own. Both of these alternatives really aren’t the best for a variety of reasons.

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Hawaii?

In Hawaii you’ll need to complete the Hawaii LLC Articles of Organization. This is the main form that Hawaii uses to keep track of the LLC formation. This is a document that comes from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs division.

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent Online in Hawaii?

If you want to elect your registered agent online you’ll need do so as you’re forming your LLC. By accessing the Commerce and Consumer Affairs department portal (and filing the $50 fee) you’ll be able to file this online.

Hawaii Business Registration Online Portal

How Do I Elect A Registered Agent by Mail, Fax or In Person in Hawaii?

To form your LLC by mail, you’ll need to download the Articles of Organization reference here and above . There is a $50 filing fee as stated that’s the same here too. The Hawaii Department of State is going to need to have this on file.

How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Hawaii?

If you want to make a change of your registered agent in Hawaii, you’re going to need to submit the Statement of Change of Registered Agent by Entity form. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to send it back to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This only has a $25 fee vs. $50 for the original LLC formation. You can pay this through check or credit card depending on what you need.

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Mailing Address

P.O. Box 40

Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Phone No. (808)586-2727 

Office Address

State of Hawaii

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Business Registration Division

335 Merchant Street

Honolulu, HI 96810

Hawaii Registered Agent FAQ

Does Hawaii require a registered agent?

Yes. It’s required in Hawaii and all states in the United States require a registered agent.

Does registered agent mean owner?

No. An owner of your business is someone that helps you operate the business. A registered agent is going to provide legal cover for you if you’re ever sued and need someone to accept legal papers on your LLC’s behalf.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is going to take on the role of being your LLC’s registered agent. This company will have a physical address in Hawaii, answer the phone during business hours, and accept legal papers on your behalf.

Best Registered Agent

The best option for your registered agent service