There are a few different options when it comes to forming a business in Hawaii. From a legal perspective, there are three main types of Hawaii for-profit business entities: LLCs, S Corporations or C Corporations. At Incfile we believe an LLC provides the right mix of liability protection and ease of administration for many entrepreneurs.
In order to form an LLC in the state of Hawaii, there are some minimum requirements you must meet. These are a completed set of Articles of Organization, a business name and a fee you pay to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division (BREG). We recommend taking some further steps before formally starting your LLC:
- Research your target market to make sure there’s a demand for the products and services you provide.
- Read industry guides to give you a starting point in your niche.
- Create a comprehensive business plan that defines the most important aspects of your Hawaii business.
- Write an Operating Agreement that covers how you will run your LLC.
After you’ve created your Hawaii LLC, you will also need to review your business license requirements, understand ongoing filing needs, set up a separate business bank account and get an accountant.
In Hawaii, you register a business by completing and filing your Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, BREG. You will need to gather information about your business, fill out the form and send it to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs along with your filing fee. This will formally create your LLC in Hawaii.
You can file your Articles of Organization on the DCCA website or mail it in. Alternatively, Incfile can guide you through every step of the process by getting details from you and filing the form on your behalf — for free! There’s no additional charge for our basic LLC filing service, so all you need to do is pay the Hawaii state filing fee.
And get a free Registered Agent for a year.
At the time of writing the fee charged by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs is $50. You can always check the latest Hawaii filing fees here. You can also pay an additional $25 for expedited filing through Incfile, which will create your LLC faster. Some LLC filing services do charge you extra to prepare and submit your filing documents, but at Incfile, we do this for free — so you only pay the state fee.
Once you’ve gathered all of your business information together and filed your Articles of Organization (or had Incfile do it for you), it can take up to five business days for the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to legally create your LLC. If you pay an additional $25 expedited fee, your LLC can be formed in as few as two business days.
The name of your Hawaii LLC needs to be unique, so you’ll need to ensure that it's not already being used by another business. You can do that via the Hawaii DCCA website, or by using our fast and simple Business Name Search tool.
Find out using Incfile’s Business Name Search Tool.
Try Incfile’s Business Name Generator to brainstorm ideas.
There are a few ways to register your Hawaii LLC name.
- If you’re creating a new business and your business name is unique in Hawaii and meets state naming rules, you simply include it in your Articles of Organization.
- If you want to change the legal name of your business, file Articles of Amendment with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
- If you just want to do business under a different name, you can Register a Trade Name with the Hawaii DCCA via the Hawaii Business Express business portal, or we can do that on your behalf.
If you want to prevent people from using your business name across the U.S., you can file a trademark for the name. We can help.
In other states, the formal documents that you file to form a corporation or LLC might be known as Articles of Incorporation. In Hawaii, this document is called your Articles of Organization, and it performs the same functions as the Articles of Incorporation.
No, the State of Hawaii does not have a Series LLC offering. A Series LLC is a special type of LLC where you create one “overall” business and then have individual, series LLCs within it, each counted as separate legal entities.
Yes, all legal business entities in Hawaii, including LLCs, must have a Registered Agent at all times. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Hawaii Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us.
Or get your first year free when you incorporate your business through us.
If you wish to change your Hawaii Registered Agent you can do so by filing a Statement of Change online with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, BREG. Here at Incfile, we provide a free Hawaii Registered Agent service for the first year if you file through us. If you’ve been using a different Registered Agent and want to switch to us, we’ll file the Statement of Change on your behalf.
Have Incfile file the paperwork for you.
If you need to know the Registered Agent of a specific Hawaii business, you can perform a Hawaii Registered Agent search within the state's business database.
As an LLC, any business profits you earn will be reported on your personal 1040 filing and reported and taxed as “pass-through” income. You will typically need to pay:
- Self-employment or payroll tax on all business profits
- Federal income tax on profits after you meet your tax-free allowance
- Sales tax for selling taxable products and services
The state of Hawaii does not have a sales tax; instead, they have a general excise tax or GET, which is assessed on all business activities. The tax rate is 0.15% for Insurance Commission, 0.5% for Wholesaling, Manufacturing, Producing, Wholesale Services, and Use Tax on Imports For Resale, and 4% for all others. Further General Excise Tax details have been provided by the Hawaii Department of Taxation.
You will need to secure a State Tax Identification Number from the Hawaii Department of Taxation. You can complete this process online.
The state of Hawaii does not have a sales tax, instead businesses are required to pay General Excise Tax (GET) which differs depending on the type of business activities your LLC performs. The tax rate is 0.15% for Insurance Commission, 0.5% for Wholesaling, Manufacturing, Producing, Wholesale Services, and Use Tax on Imports For Resale, and 4% for all others. Once you know your overall GET amount, calculate the value of all your taxable products, services, and activities. Then, multiply that by your sales tax rate to understand how much you will need to pay.
Once your LLC’s state tax registration is complete, you will receive information regarding how often you must file a GET return and pay sales taxes. Returns and payments may be due monthly, quarterly or annually.
In many states, some businesses will need to pay a corporate franchise tax to the state, however it does not apply to businesses in Hawaii, as Hawaii does not levy a franchise tax.
If you wish to establish a business in Hawaii and remain in compliance with the state, you'll need a business license to do so. The types of business licenses you need will vary depending on your type of business, industry, location and various other factors. We can research the types of business licenses you might need for you.
We hope you’ve found this Hawaii LLC FAQ useful. If you’ve used our services and have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know and we’d be happy to help.