How Much Does It Cost to Form an HI Corporation?
Legal business registration — and keeping your business compliant — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Hawaii DCCA, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Hawaii business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Hawaii Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Hawaii State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Hawaii corporation filing fees and times:
When you use Incfile to register a business in Hawaii, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use your EIN when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Hawaii Foreign Corporation Registration
To request registration of a Hawaii Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Authority and pay a filing fee of $50. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Hawaii DCCA directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with HI corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Hawaii corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
The annual report or annual statement due date is dependent on the registration date. If the registration falls between:
- January 1 and March 31, the annual report or statement is due by March 31 of each year;
- April 1 and June 30, the annual report or statement is due by June 30 of each year;
- July 1 and September 30, the annual report or statement is due by September 30 of each year;
- October 1 and December 31, the annual report or statement is due by December 31 of each year;
State of Hawaii Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Operating your corporation without the required State of Hawaii business license can leave you vulnerable to risks, such as fines from local, state and federal governments.
You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research Package, which includes:
- A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your corporation will need
- The applications you'll need to file with the local, state and federal licensing authorities
You are required to have Hawaii corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. You don't need to file them with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, but make sure you have them with your business documents and by all means, continue to follow them.
Bylaws typically outline rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation including, but not limited to:
- the number of directors the corporation has
- how they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
- when, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
- voting requirements
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other HI Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Hawaii requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
Appoint a Director
Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. HI corporation law requires all corporations to have at least one director.
In Hawaii, the board of directors may elect officers, such as the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer etc. One of the elected officers has the responsibility of the preparation and custody of minutes of the directors' and shareholders' meetings and for authenticating records of the corporation.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Hawaii corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
This is one area where Hawaii differs from other states. You are required to hold annual meetings, however if you fail to do so, Hawaii Corporation Law Title 23, Chapter 414,, § 414-121 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws shall not affect the validity of any corporate action. "
Get a Trade Name or DBA
Change the Registered Agent
If your corporation is based in Hawaii, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also assign a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $25.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs by filing a form and paying a fee of $10. First, conduct a HI corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
The forms you fill out when you first incorporate state certain facts about your Hawaii business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the DCCA along with a filing fee of $25. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states - including Hawaii - this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an HI Certificate of Good Standing from the DCCA. You request one via the online portal. A fee of $5 is due at this time.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Hawaii. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Hawaii taxes page.