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Our Step By Step Guide

How to form a limited liability company in Hawaii

Forming a limited liability company provides liability protection for any type of business, and should be among the first steps you take as a new business owner. Starting a limited liability company can help you protect your personal assets while adding legitimacy to your company. Follow our step by step guide or let us handle the paperwork on your behalf, ensuring your business is filed quickly and accurately.

Form a Hawaii LLC for just $99 + state fees

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Why start your business in Hawaii?

Starting a business in Hawaii is as simple as 1, 2, 3! The Hawaii.gov website offers entrepreneurs a portal for starting a business, outlining the simple step by step process involved with starting a Hawaii LLC.

Helpful Hawaii Resources

Secretary Of State Details

Hawaii Secretary of State
P.O. Box 5616
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Phone:808-586-2744
Website: cca.hawaii.gov

Two Ways to Register Your Business

MyCorporation® can help you file all of the necessary documents to form your limited liability company in Hawaii.

File and submit the formation paperwork yourself

Our free guide provides you with all of the information you'll need to form your limited liability company in Hawaii. Bookmark this page as a reference so you can return easily as you complete each step of the process.

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Let MyCorporation handle the formation process for you.

Our filing experts can get you up and running quickly and accurately, completing the required filings on your behalf.

$99+ state fees
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See other business types

Are you looking for another entity type? We offer several other guides for the state of Hawaii.

The first step will be to decide on a name for your business. Choose a name that is memorable and unique, easy to understand and pronounce, and accurately represents your business. You'll want to search your name choices on the web to quickly find out if they are already taken. It's also best to jot down one or two alternatives, in case the name you settle on is not available for registration in Hawaii.

There are a few rules that Hawaii Limited Liability Companies must follow in order to register a name.

  1. The name you choose must be unique and not "confusingly similar" to the name of any other Hawaii business. This is to prevent fraud or misrepresentation and is a common rule in all 50 states. You can find out whether a name is available in Hawaii by using their Hawaii business name search tool. Choose search modes that include business names that begin with or contain a certain word or phrase. In a pinch, you can use MyCorporation's business name search service, where we will conduct a more thorough search on your behalf and report back our findings. Plus, MyCorporation includes a business name search for free when we complete your LLC filings on your behalf!
  2. Your business name must include the words "Limited Liability Company," or its abbreviations "L.L.C." or "LLC."

You can learn more about how to choose a business name and other important information through the Hawaii Secretary of State website.

Tip: A business name check is included with every one of our business formation packages. We check with the state to determine the availability of your business name automatically. You can also conduct a nationwide business name search here.

There are two options to choose from when it comes to setting up your limited liability company in Hawaii. "Member managed" or "manager managed". The first thing you need to know is that owners of any LLC are referred to as "members". A single member LLC has just one owner, while a multi-member LLC is an LLC owned by 2 or more members. Pretty simple, right?

Secondly, LLCs also must also designate one or more individuals to manage the day to day operations of the business. This can be handled by one of the members of the business (member managed, the most popular choice and the default in most states), or a professional manager appointed by the members to act on their behalf (manager managed).

While the differences are subtle, what you really need to know is that each member in a member managed LLC has the power to make decisions for the business. However, in a manager managed LLC, the members choose who will manage the business and relinquish all of the decision making to the manager chosen. The person chosen can be one of the members of the business as well, or it can be someone else entirely.

Most states require that you designate a registered agent for your business, and Hawaii is no exception. A registered agent acts as the state's means to communicate with a business and is responsible for receiving legal and official documents related to the business.

A registered agent can be anyone you wish, with one small caveat. The registered agent must have a physical address in Hawaii. In other words, a P.O. Box is not allowed as a registered agent address. This means a member of the limited liability company can act as the registered agent if desired, or a third-party registered agent service like MyCorporation can be used.

Why designate a third party to act as my registered agent?

One thing to note about the registered agent information is that it is publicly available. This can cause privacy concerns for business owners who do not wish to list their personal contact information on the internet for everyone to see. It is also common for the registered agent to become a target of spam or robocalls since this private information is relatively easy to obtain.

Another issue that may arise is that in the case of a lawsuit, these documents would be hand delivered directly to the registered agent, and in the case that you used your business location for this purpose, this could occur in front of your customers. This is why many business owners opt for a third-party registered agent service such as MyCorporation to act as a registered agent on behalf of their business.

Tip: Our Deluxe and Premium formation packages include a full year of registered agent services for your business. We also offer standalone registered agent services which you can add to your business later.

Ready to Get Started?

MyCorporation® takes the guess work out of starting your business. Answer a few simple questions, and our filing experts will take care of the rest.

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In order to formally register your business as an LLC, you need to file Hawaii Articles of Organization. This document includes basic information about the Hawaii LLC such as:

  • Name of the Hawaii limited liability company
  • Mailing address of the company's initial principal office
  • Name of the registered agent and street and mailing address in Hawaii
  • Check whether the period of duration of the company is at-will or for a specified term
  • Effective date of the LLC filing
  • Check whether the company is manager-managed or member-managed
  • Name, signature, and date of each member(s)

A filing fee of $50 is required for filing a Hawaii LLC. Make checks payable to Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

The state of Hawaii requires an LLC to create an operating agreement at the time of formation. The agreement can be oral or written, and should be kept with the company's records. In order to open a bank account for your business, you will often be required to submit both your operating agreement, as well as your EIN number.

What kind of information needs to be included in a Hawaii operating agreement?

Operating agreements while not required, are an import part to laying the foundations of a properly run business. An operating agreement sets guidelines for the way your business operates now and into the future. The most common details included with an operating agreement are:

  • Basic contact details: The name of the LLC, the address of the principal business location and often, the registered agent address.
  • The business purpose: This is a basic one sentence description of what kind of business your LLC will do, and is often a very general description, which creates a bit more flexibility as the business matures.
  • Tax structure: Often this indicates the way the LLC will choose to be taxed. The main options are to be taxed as a sole proprietor or a partnership ( both pass through options ) or to be taxed as a corporation ( requires an S Corp Election to be filed )
  • Ownership and management: This section lays out the general rules about how the business will operate day to day. This refers to step 3, where you determined whether your business would be "manager managed" or "member managed". As mentioned before, member managed is the default and the most common choice. If you are unsure, member managed is a pretty safe bet.
Tip: All of our formation packages include a sample operating agreement you can use directly, or modify to fit your needs. Start Now

In Hawaii, state and county business privilege licenses are issued through the local county probate offices. These offices provide businesses with new licenses, renewals of licenses, transfers of licenses, copies of licenses, and any other changes to the license. For more information about the business licenses and permits your business needs, check in with the Alabama Department of Revenue.

In the event that you need a bit of help, you may also turn to MyCorporation's business license compliance package. Our skilled professionals will do the work for you. We identify all of the licenses required by your business and provide you with the information you need in order to file.

Ready to Get Started?

MyCorporation® takes the guess work out of starting your business. Answer a few simple questions, and our filing experts will take care of the rest.

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An EIN (also called a Federal Tax Id) is a nine-digit number that is issued by the IRS and used to uniquely identify your business for tax purposes. Think of it as a Social Security Number (SSN) for your business, except an EIN is far less sensitive. It is important to wait until the LLC has been approved by the state before applying, and for that reason, filing for an EIN is one of the last things to do when you are setting up a business.

Like a social security number, the EIN allows you to:

  • Open business checking, savings, or investment accounts
  • File taxes for the business
  • Complete payroll for employees if applicable
  • Obtain lines of credit and credit cards, as well as "build credit" for your business
  • Apply for applicable business licenses when required.

You only need a few pieces of information to file including your mailing address and legal business name. You can apply online with the IRS by downloading IRS Form SS-4 (PDF)(116 KB), or work alongside a third party organization like MyCorporation to complete an EIN application.

limited liability company Formation Packages

Save money and simplify the process of starting your business by bundling the services you need with our business formation packages.

BASICS
$99
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
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STANDARD
$124
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
  • Annual Report service
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DELUXE
$224
  • Articles of Organization
  • Name Availability Search
  • Minutes & Membership Certificates
  • Annual Report service
  • Registered Agent services
Get Started
Frequently asked questions

In Hawaii, if your profession requires state licensing, you would incorporate your business as a Professional Service Limited Liability Company (PLLC). This often includes doctors, lawyers, therapists, and other professions where state licensure is required.

A PLLC is different than a Professional Corporation (PC), which consists of shareholders that own company stock and has different tax implications. Hawaii allows licensed professionals the opportunity to form both a PLLC and PC, if desired. PLLCs are usually more popular, as they require less effort to build and operate.

Generally, this can include the following professions:

  • Accounting
  • Acupuncture
  • Architecture
  • Chiropractic
  • Clinical social work
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • Marriage, family, and child counseling
  • Medicine
  • Speech-language pathology and audiology
  • Nursing
  • Optometry
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physical therapy
  • Physician assistants
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Shorthand court reporters

According to the Hawaii Secretary of State, LLC processing times usually take up to 3-5 business days for standard filings.

All entities conducting business in Hawaii for profit and non-profit must file annual reports with the Hawaii Secretary of State. This includes corporations, LLCs, and partnerships registered in the State of Hawaii. Annual reports must be filed with the DCCA Business Registration Division and are required by your statute to keep your business in good standing.

In order to form a limited liability company in Hawaii, you will be required to pay various fees for services. The breakdown of the required fees are as follows:

  • Articles of Organization Filing Fee - $50
  • Annual Report Fee - $5

In total, expect to set aside at least $55 to form an LLC in Hawaii.

According to the Hawaii Secretary of State, foreign entities that wish to transact business in Hawaii must file a Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company along with the appropriate filing fee(s) with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The filing fee is $50 and must include an original certificate of good standing.

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