How to Start an LLC in Hawaii (HI LLC 2022)


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How to Start an LLC in Hawaii: If you’re interested in setting up a Hawaii LLC, you’ve come to the right place. Having an LLC not only protects your personal assets but also is less complicated than other business structures. Hawaii laws make it easy to establish your LLC in the state. On this page, You’ll find all the steps that must be taken to ensure that your LLC has been correctly established in Hawaii. We recommend you read the whole article very carefully, word by word, don’t miss anything 🙂

Hawaii LLC

How to Start an LLC in Hawaii

An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. It separates your personal assets from your business assets, thus giving you personal asset protection.

If you wish to start an LLC, you mainly have to file your Certificate of Formation with the State and pay a filing fee of $50. There are some more steps to follow to get your LLC established in Hawaii. The following steps explain everything you need to create your LLC in 2022. Let’s get started! It is always recommended to hire a professional LLC formation service in Hawaii to set up your LLC.

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your Hawaii LLC

hawaii name your llc

The very first step while forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii is to give a proper name to your LLC. Before you name your business, you must know that the name should be easy to remember, available in the state, and follows all the LLC naming guidelines.

LLC Naming Guidelines in Hawaii

There are a few specific requirements all the LLCs in Hawaii have to follow while naming their Company. Some of the most important requirements are as follows:

  • Your business name should be available and no other existing business in Hawaii can have the same name. Perform a name search from the below-mentioned source to be sure your name isn’t taken already.
  • “Limited Liability Company”, “LLC”, and “L.L.C.” – any one of these has to be used as a suffix in your business name.
  • You cannot use any name for your business that is confusing or misleading. Terms such as “Treasury”, “State Department”, “FBI”, “CIA”, etc. shouldn’t be included.
  • Terms like “Bank“, “University“, “Attorney“, “Doctor“, etc can be added only after the additional requirements by Hawaii State Government are fulfilled.
  • (Optional) It’s better to name your business something for which your desired domain is available.
Important Links –Submit Offline Form to –
Hawaii Business Entity Search – Online Name Search
Name Reservation Form – PDF
Name Availability Standards – Guidelines
Hawaii LLC Name Search – Instructions
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P. O. Box 40
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Reserve Business Name for Future

If you do not wish to file your LLC right now but want to hold the name you have decided then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. To keep the name, you have to file a name reservation application and pay $7.50 (online) and $10 (By mail) to reserve your name with the Hawaii Secretary of State.

Doing Business As (DBA) or Trade Name

Once you have a legal name for your LLC, you can register it. However, it is not mandatory. You can, instead, use DBA, Fictitious Name, or Trade Name. In that case, you must register your name with the Hawaii Secretary of State by submitting an Application For Registration of Trade Name in Hawaii along with the filing fee of $50.

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TailorBrands offer DIY website templates and incredible logo designs. If you plan to get a website then it is wise to have a “.com” domain for your business but these days you can also use other TLDs like “.company”, “.xyz” etc. With TailorBrands, you can get everything you need at an affordable price.

Do I have to include LLC in my company email/domain?

It is not legally mandatory to use the word LLC in your domain name or email. If you want you can use it. However, it is recommended not to use LLC in the domain name. A domain name should be short and easy to remember.

Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Hawaii

hawaii registered agent

The second step to forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii is to appoint a Registered Agent. A registered agent is a person or business entity that will act or work on your LLC’s behalf. This person or business will receive important tax forms, legal documents, all notices of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Hawaii. Hence, hiring a competent Hawaii Registered Agent for your LLC is necessary. 

Make sure your registered agent is a resident of Hawaii or has a physical street address. Their business address or the principal address should be in Hawaii. Most LLC formation companies also provide registered agent services. Below are two great LLC setup services, even if you buy their cheapest plan (normally $49/year) you also get registered agent service and other services at a reasonable price.

LLC Service

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$299 + State Fees

  • Turnaround in a few days

  • EIN & Website Included

  • Operating Agreement Included

These LLC formation services are recommended registered agent services as they are authorized to conduct business in Hawaii. Some LLC formation services offer standalone Hawaii registered agent services. You can purchase only Registered Agent services from them without purchasing any other LLC formation services.

Who Can Be a Registered Agent?

A person who is above 18 years of age and has a physical address in the state of Hawaii can be a Registered Agent. A Registered Agent can be an independent person or can be a business entity. One who is responsible for handling all the legal documents.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent?

Yes, you can be your own registered agent if you are a resident of the state of Hawaii and you are above 18 years of age. To become a registered agent you must have the authority to conduct any type of business in Hawaii.

Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Hawaii

hawaii certificate of formation

The third and most important step in forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii is to file the Certificate of Formation. This Hawaii Articles of Organization is a legal document needed to officially register your business with the Secretary of State. It costs $50 (by mail and online) +$1 as State Archive Fee to file your formation certificate in Hawaii. (Read more on LLC cost in Hawaii).

The Certificate of Formation includes details like the name of the LLC, the registered agent’s name, address, employees’ details, and the structure of the company (member-managed or manager-managed). Before hiring employees in Hawaii LLC, one should know the rules and regulations thoroughly. Also, if you are expanding your existing business (an LLC) to Hawaii, then you need to register as a Hawaii Foreign LLC.

How to File Online

Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. You will get the online service page. If you are already a subscriber, then click on the “Get Started” option under the “Start” tab and log in with your credentials on the next page. If you’re not subscribed, then you need to Sign-up first. Click on the button below to Sign-up or log in. Read more about the Hawaii Articles of Organization for online registration.

How to File by Mail

If you prefer filing real-life forms for your LLC registration, then you can download Domestic LLC Form LLC-1. Read the form thoroughly, fill it out, and mail it to the following address,

Mailing Address:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
335 Merchant St.
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810

In-person Drop-off:
335 Merchant St.
Room 201
Honolulu, HI 96813

Email: [email protected]

Fax: (808) 586-2733

Processing Time: It takes around 2 weeks to form an LLC in the state of Hawaii. By paying an additional fee, it can be expedited.

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Step 4: Create Your LLC Operating Agreement in Hawaii

hawaii operating agreement

Moving on to the fourth step, filing your operating agreement. An operating agreement is an internal document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.

When it comes to filing a Hawaii LLC Operating Agreement, the state does not require you to have a comprehensive operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all the details of your business operation. Like Hawaii, there are other states that do not have a mandatory rule to file operating agreements. But, this document would be useful if you decide to dissolve Hawaii LLC later. Hence, having an operating agreement may not be necessary, but it is definitely ideal.

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Step 5: Filing an LLC EIN in Hawaii

hawaii file EIN for llc

The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify the type of business for tax purposes and taxes in general. The EIN is necessary for any active business or any form of business for that matter. 

EIN is needed when the LLC hires employees. Hiring employees in Hawaii LLC requires following specific rules and regulations. On the other side, EIN for Hawaii foreign LLC should be obtained if your LLC is based in other states.

To obtain EIN (aka FEIN) one has to fill up a form (Online or by mail) and submit it to the IRS. Enter details of your LLC, and finally complete the form and send it to the address given. You can also get an EIN Assistant who can help you with the process.

Mail to: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935 | Fee: Free

Recommended: This hassle will be reduced when you hire an LLC formation service. They take care of obtaining EIN and all other things for your LLC. We recommend using –

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Note: You don’t need a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.


Congratulation, you are now done with all the necessary steps to form your LLC in the State of Hawaii. If you do it yourself, it should take you a long time to properly understand and do all the steps.

However, if you use TailorBrands, it should be way faster. You will always have a live chat option as well as phone support with experts for any help you need. Their worry-free service will make things easier for you.


After Starting Your Hawaii LLC

After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:

This page has provided you with steps to LLC formation and filing processes. You now have to remember upcoming filing deadlines and filing fees or filing costs, including fees for late filings, to make sure your LLC is up-to-date.

Cost of Starting an LLC in the State of Hawaii

Forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii is no doubt more cost-effective than other structures of a business. There are some fees and charges one has to bear to form an LLC in the state of Hawaii. LLCs have pass-through taxation. Hence, your LLC won’t bring you a massive tax burden. Here are some of the fees and taxes are needed to be paid while forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii,

Fees/TaxAmount to be Paid
Name Reservation Fee (online)$7.50
Name Reservation Fee (By mail)$10
Articles of Organization Fee$50
LLC Annual Fee$12.50
Sales Tax0%

In Hawaii, an LLC name reservation is not mandatory. You can register your LLC name at the time of registering your LLC. If you wish to hold the name for some time without registering your LLC, then you can do that online. Your LLC name will be reserved for 120 days without registering your LLC.

In Hawaii, an Annual Report has to be produced every year. It costs $12.50. The state of Hawaii does not have any Sales Tax. Instead, it has various general excise taxes starting from 0.15% on insurance commission to 4% on other products. Read our guide on LLC costs in Hawaii for more information.

Hawaii Foreign LLC

If you are interested in forming a Foreign LLC in the state of Hawaii, then you need to file the Certificate of Foreign LLC to the Hawaii Secretary of State. Foreign LLCs allow you to operate your business in more than one state. Along with the Certificate of Foreign LLC, you need to submit some more documents, like the Certificate of Good Standing, etc. to the Hawaii SOS to form your foreign LLC in the state of Hawaii. To know more in detail, check out our guide on Hawaii Foreign LLC.

Reasons to Start an LLC in the State of Hawaii

When it comes to Hawaii, people think of a tourist spot. But, it is surprising how over 128,000+ small businesses are operating in Hawaii and created around 3700+ jobs today. The growing economy in this state attracts more businesses than in earlier times. EZ, several business funding options, and tax credits are some prominent benefits of starting an LLC in the state of Hawaii.

In general, an LLC is a simple business structure. It has long-lasting benefits. One of the biggest benefits of having an LLC is the tax structure. There are no direct business taxes LLCs have to pay. Every LLC gets tax classification options at the time of registration. LLCs also get a member-managed or manager-managed option. For a legal requirement, LLCs have to file their business. LLCs with employees are required to obtain EIN. If you have a foreign business, there are different tax benefits for LLCs in Hawaii. Some of the benefits are mentioned below, 

Growing Strong Economy

Hawaii is having more than 31,000 active LLCs at this moment. Every year around 7500+ LLCs is being formed in this state. The growing strong economy makes it easy for businesses to create jobs and employment opportunities. 

Hawaii Incentive programs

The biggest incentive program available in this state is the Enterprise Zones program. Administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, the program offers tax credits to the LLCs operating in special economic and enterprise zones. Creating more jobs, developing stressful areas, and developing projects gain more incentives in Hawaii.

No Double Tax assurance 

Double tax is the fear of every person thinking of making an LLC. They always think of how they can save themselves from the double taxes, and their search ends up with an LLC in the state of Hawaii. The government ensures that the LLC will be taken through a process that will save their double tax. It increases the potential profits of the member. Read more on Hawaii’s classification of LLC Tax.

Enjoy the Benefits of the Corporation 

Liability protection is provided to every corporate member, but if one chooses LLC in the state of Hawaii, they also get the premium services of liability protection. If the LLC is under any debt, then the creditors cannot move to the assets of the members of the LLC to recover their money. 

Best Business Niches in Hawaii

If a person wants to Start an LLC in the state of Hawaii, they have to find the best niche. There are many industries, but new businesses in the state are left in a few industries. Pick a niche, meet the LLC formation requirements, pay the filing fees, and start your LLC in the state of Hawaii. Here is the list of the best businesses one can consider.

Hawaii apparel maker Business

Hawaii is a beach state which is known for its locally-made apparel. The most sold clothing in the state is Aloha shirts which are made in local manufacturing units. The first manufacturing unit started in the 1960s, and till that time, the demand for this apparel has never decreased. The apparel industry is still booming, giving opportunities to new businesses also.

Vacation renting services

Being a beach state, the state of Hawaii is flooded with tourists every time of the year. The state has noticed a footfall of around 10 million people in 2019, which increased about 5.4% from the previous figure. Now, these tourists need a place to stay when they visit the state. You can plan space and provide renting services to the tourist and provide the best value for reoccurring services.

Tour guide

Tourist Guide Company can also be a profitable business in the state. There many points of attraction in the local area of the state which one can visit for which a tour guide is a must. As mentioned above, the number of people visiting the state is increasing, so the demand for catering to them is the best guide services.

Boat owners and renting companies

Boating in the middle of the sea is still loved by most people visiting Hawaii. That is why you can plan to open a boat renting company nearby the beach. Now all you need to do is start advertising your business among the tourists and earn huge bucks.

Some small businesses that a person can also think of are:-

  • Business advertisement companies
  • Landscaping business
  • Small grocery store business
  • Weeding photography 

Hawaii LLC Formation Review

Time needed: 5 minutes.

Just to recap, here are the easy steps again when forming an LLC in Hawaii. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.

  1. Name your Hawaii LLC

    The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should be unique, easy to find, and available in the state.
    hawaii name your llc

  2. Choose a Registered Agent

    In Hawaii, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. Get a professional Registered Agent from LLC formation services to get things done hassle-free.
    registered agent

  3. File a Formation Certificate

    Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming a Limited Liability Company in Hawaii. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
    articles of organization

  4. Create an Operating Agreement

    An operating agreement is not a strict requirement in Hawaii but something encouraged when you start an LLC to avoid future conflicts.
    operating agreement

  5. Get an EIN

    The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
    hawaii file EIN for llc

Things to Consider While Stating an LLC in The State of Hawaii

In this article, almost all the broad steps are explained. However, these are all basic steps. There are some more things to consider when you’re starting your LLC. While doing the business name search, make sure to search the business name database properly to get an appropriate name for your business. If you hire a professional service, they provide a business name reservation service to make it easier for you. They have a business name search page where you can easily search for the name you have.

When we talk about business opportunities, entrepreneurs need driver business services as well. For example, business tax accounts, amendment filing services, tax filing service, and business license service. As soon as your LLC in this state, Hawaii, is formed, you must get separate accounts for business. Also, you must get a business credit card for smooth business.

There are business licensing requirements for the LLC. Your LLC needs to obtain Licenses. Depending on the type of business, you need to get the license. Before you get it, make sure to get all the details of business licenses. There will be fees for business licenses to be paid. Licenses like employees business licenses, coverage for employees, general business licenses, and such are required. Professional service providers offer business license report services. Before you get the service, read business license services reviews to get the best-fitted one.

Apart from Licenses, LLCs need permits. Based on businesses, you need to get permits. For example, health permits, signage permits, building permits, and others. A health permit is required for health-related business, and so on.

Overall, apart from these details, LLCs need to have a business accountant for various business checking. A registered agent for service to handle business documents, an operating agreement for a form of business ownership, future business partners, business dissolution, and other business operating procedures. You can read the operating agreement guide to know more about it.

There are professional business experts who offer a business kit or package at affordable prices. If you purchase them, all these services and requirements will be fulfilled quickly. The filing speed will be more than the usual time.

How Fast Can I Form an LLC in Hawaii

The LLC filing procedure in Hawaii takes upto 2 weeks, depending on the number of applications. This process can be expedited by paying additional fees.

Whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned business owner, there are a few important factors you should consider before forming an LLC in Hawaii. An LLC is a legal business structure that allows owners to limit their personal liability and gain tax flexibility. An LLC is also known as a “pass-through” business because it does not pay tax on its revenue. Usually, an LLC remits taxes to the Hawaii Department of Taxation.

One of the first things you need to do when forming an LLC in Hawaii is to choose a name. You can choose from a legal name, a fictitious name, or a DBA (doing business as) name. If you are forming a company that will conduct financial services or a business that will expand beyond Hawaii, a federal trademark may be a good option for you.

The second important step in forming an LLC in Hawaii is choosing a registered agent. A registered agent is the person responsible for accepting legal notices and tax documents on behalf of your company. The registered agent also must be available to receive service of process if you are sued. A registered agent is also required to have a physical street address in Hawaii.

Once you have chosen a registered agent, you must submit the Articles of Organization to the Hawaii Business Registration Division. This document outlines the business structure of your LLC and includes information about your owners. You can submit the articles online or in person. The process of submitting the articles takes three to five business days. You can also expedite the process by paying a $25 expedited fee. If you choose to expedite the process, the state of Hawaii will review the documents and send them back electronically. If you are filing the documents in person, the process takes seven to 14 business days.

You should also consider hiring a qualified tax professional to document transactions for potential audits and internal record keeping. A tax professional can also help streamline payment processes. A knowledgeable tax professional can also make sure your LLC is taking advantage of legal tax strategies.

Finally, you should have a business bank account. This account will separate your personal assets from your company assets, making accounting easier. Having a bank account can also protect you from liability. If you have employees, you will also need to get an Employer Identification Number. These numbers are similar to social security numbers and are required for certain business functions. You can apply for an EIN online or by mail.

An LLC can also be branded with a unique domain name. For example, GoDaddy users can reserve a domain name for 120 days. You can also purchase a Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing online. You can also purchase a managed annual report service to help you file your annual reports. If you choose to file your annual reports online, your due date will vary depending on when your LLC was formed.

F.A.Qs

Can I file an LLC in Hawaii by myself?

If you are a resident of Hawaii, then you can file your LLC by yourself. However, it is always worth having a professional than doing it yourself to handle legal complexities, paperwork, and other documentation.

What is the cost of forming an LLC in the state of Hawaii in a year?

Apart from the formation fee of $50 (domestic LLC) and $50 (foreign LLC), LLC costs in Hawaii include $12.50 for Annual Reports every year. LLCs are not liable to pay sales tax but have to pay various general excise taxes.

How long does it take to get an LLC in the state of Hawaii?

It takes 2 weeks to get an LLC in the state of Hawaii if you file it online. If you hire a professional LLC service, then it might take less than that. We recommend TailorBrands, which has an impeccable turnaround time.

How to renew my LLC in the state of Hawaii?

Every year all the LLCs have to submit an Annual Report and pay $12.50 to the Hawaii Secretary of State and renew the LLC. It is mandatory to renew your LLC every year.

What is the tax structure for an LLC in the state of Hawaii?

Generally, for LLCs, it is a default tax structure. Once you obtain the EIN, you will get the various tax structure options to select. Sometimes LLCs choose S Corp to reduce federal tax burdens. Read more on the Hawaii Classification of LLC Tax.

In Conclusion

LLCs are easier to establish than other business structures. Small businesses, especially start-ups, can easily start an LLC in the state of Hawaii at a bare minimum cost. LLCs have a ‘pass-through taxation’ advantage for which they are excluded from certain taxes. The formation of limited liability companies requires much lesser documents and legal processes. Share your queries with us, and leave a comment below.

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