How to form an LLC in Hawaii

Update: January 2, 2024

By: Tom Macken

Start an LLC in Hawaii

Waikiki Beach. Oahu. Surfing and volcanoes. Hawaii is known for many things including the incredible weather and also as a place where businesses of all shapes and sizes set up. 

Many businesses launched their LLCs in Hawaii to make use of the state’s many resources. Read our guide on establishing a Hawaii LLC below to start your journey.


1. Name Your Hawaii LLC
2. Select a Hawaii Registered Agent
3. File the Certificate of Formation
4. Receive a Certificate From the State
5. Create an Operating Agreement
6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
7. File Annual Renewals
Costs and Next Steps

A limited liability corporation (LLC) assists small enterprises by providing liability protection and tax advantages. If an LLC is the perfect company structure for you, take these steps to form one in Hawaii.

Note that you have the option of forming the limited liability company (LLC) yourself, or you may hire a professional company formation agency to do all of the legwork on your behalf.

1. Naming of Your New Hawaii LLC

According to the laws of Hawaii, the name of a limited liability company (LLC) must include either the term “Limited Liability Company” or the acronym “L.L.C.” or “LLC.” The word “Limited” may be shortened to “Ltd.,” while the word “Company” can be shortened to “Co.”

The name you choose for your limited liability company (LLC) must be distinguishable from the names of other business organizations that are already registered with the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

By examining the Company Registration Division’s business name database, it is possible to determine whether or not a name is available. 

By submitting an Application for Reservation of Name to the Business Registration Division, you will have the ability to reserve a name. You have the option of filing electronically or via the mail. The cost to make a reservation is $10.

2. Find your Hawaii registered agent

A registered agent in Hawaii is required of every limited liability company operating in the state. If the limited liability company (LLC) is taken to court, this refers to a person or company that has agreed to accept service of process on its behalf.

It is possible for the Registered Agent to be either a resident of Hawaii or a business entity that is permitted to conduct operations in the state. A real, brick-and-mortar location on Hawaiian soil is required of the Registered Agent.

What will a Registered Agent do?

A Registered Agent is an individual or business entity that is accountable for receiving essential tax forms, official papers, notice of lawsuits, and official correspondence from the government on behalf of your company. Consider the role of the registered agent as that of the point of contact for your company with the state.

Who can serve as a Registered Agent?

A business, like a Registered Agent service, or an individual who resides in Hawaii on a permanent basis and is permitted to do business in the state are the only two options for serving as a company’s Registered Agent. You have the option of selecting anybody who works for the organization, including yourself.

3. Submit the Articles of Organization to the Register

The Certificate of Formation is a form that sets forth fundamental information about your limited liability company and is responsible for formally establishing your LLC. Because this form serves as the legal registration for your company with the state, it is essential that all of the details be accurate.

What information should be included in the Articles of Organization

When completing the Articles of Organization for your Hawaii LLC File, you are required to supply the following information:

  • LLC’s name
  • If the term of the LLC is permanent or restricted.
  • Address of the main office of the limited liability company the name and location of the registered agent for the limited liability company
  • Location in which the Secretary of State should send notifications to the limited liability company (LLC) through mail.
  • How the Limited Liability Company (LLC) will be run: by its members or by its managers
  • Whether or whether the limited liability company will offer professional services
  • Names and addresses of each person who organized the limited liability company, as well as the name and residence of at minimum one member or management who has personal knowledge of the operations of the limited liability company.

Submitting Your Organization’s Certificate of Incorporation

You will need to submit Form LLC-1 – Articles of Organization to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in Hawaii in order to register your Hawaii limited liability company (LLC). This may be done in a variety of ways, including in person, through fax, by mail, or via email.

LLCs that were created in a state other than Hawaii but have plans to do business in Hawaii are considered “foreign” LLCs and are required to register with the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Foreign LLC’s to conduct business in Hawaii

  • Be sure to follow the rules for naming a Hawaii limited liability company and check the business name database maintained by the Business Registration Division to ensure that your desired name is not already used.
  • Appoint a resident of Hawaii as your registered agent.
  • Put in an application with the Hawaii Business Registration Division to get a Certificate of Authority. The filing cost is $50, and if you need expedited processing, the charge is $75.
    • You will also need to provide a Certificate of Existence from the state in which the limited liability company was founded together with the application. The date on the certification must be within sixty days of the day the application was filed.

4. Obtain a Certificate First from the State

After the formation paperwork of the LLC has been submitted and authorized, the state will send you a certificate that proves the LLC’s official existence in response to a written request for a copy together with the appropriate amount of postage.

With this certificate, the limited liability company will be able to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), as well as business permits and a bank account for the firm.

5. Draw up a Contract for Business Operations

Even while establishing a detailed LLC operating agreement is not a legally required step for founding a limited liability company in Hawaii, it is highly encouraged for all new limited liability firms to do so.

The following items should be included in the operating agreement:

  • Describe the business structure of the limited liability company.
  • Determine the specific duties and commitments that each member of the limited liability company (LLC) has, and lay out the operational structure of the LLC.
  • Significant legal and logistical challenges might await a limited liability company (LLC) in the absence of an operating agreement that defines the precise responsibilities of its members.

6. Obtain an employer tax number

A federal employer identification number, commonly known as a tax ID number, will be required of many limited liability companies (LLCs). An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that identifies your company to the Internal Revenue Service. 

You need an EIN in order to file federal employer taxes, open a bank account (in most situations), or recruit staff.

On the website of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is accessible without charge, you may check to see whether you need an EIN and submit an application for one online. 

Single-member limited liability companies, which are an exemption to the rule that most firms are required to acquire an EIN, may instead use the owner’s Social Security number.

Business Licenses

Depending on the sort of business they conduct and the location of their operations in Hawaii, some limited liability companies (LLCs) may be needed to acquire one or more state or municipal business licenses or permits.

Consult the Hawaii Start a Company Guide, which is made available by the Secretary of State, for advice on how to satisfy the prerequisites for obtaining a state license to operate a business in Hawaii. 

The Hawaii License Directory allows users to search for specific licenses that are of interest. Contact the municipal or county clerk where your LLC is situated for local licensing requirements.

7. Filing of your Annual Renewals

Each year, Hawaii limited liability companies (LLCs) and international LLCs that do business inside the state are obliged to submit an Annual Report to the Business Registration Division of the state. 

The annual report must be submitted by the end of the calendar quarter that corresponds to the date that marks the yearly anniversary of the limited liability company’s incorporation.

For example, a limited liability company (LLC) that was founded in May has to submit its paperwork within quarter 2 (April, May, or June).

The filing process may be accomplished online or by sending in a form for a domestic limited liability company’s annual report that has been filled out and signed. The charge to file an annual report is fifteen dollars.

Registering with the Hawaii Department of Taxation. 

Certain limited liability companies in Hawaii are required to file with the Hawaii Department of Taxation. These include companies that collect general excise tax or companies that have workers. One has the option of registering electronically or by sending in a paper application via the mail.

Fees and next steps


In Hawaii, the cost to begin operations as a limited liability corporation (LLC) through the internet is $51. This charge must be paid to the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

This doesn’t include domestic LLCs’ annual report filing fees, which are now $15 per year.

Consider the following additional fees that may be incurred by an LLC:

  • Name reservation for an LLC is ten dollars, and a DBA (Doing Business As) name is the same price.
  • Certified document copies
  • Your Certificate of Existence

Next Steps

When you register a limited liability company (LLC), you establish a legal basis upon which to operate your firm. Companies should make it a priority to maintain their limited liability company in compliance with state regulations and in an active position on the state’s website.

In addition, having a registered LLC allows you to perform the following:

  • Register your company with the department of revenue in your state.
  • Create a business checking account with a financial institution such as Bluevine or Novo.
  • Create a credit card account for your company.
  • Obtain any permissions or licenses required to run your company, such as those issued by the health department, the zoning department, the department of home occupations, the department of professional licensing, and others. Some states need a seller’s permission to conduct sales
  • Invest in insurance coverage for your company.
  • Create a trademark to protect both your company’s name and its logo.

LLC setup myself or via an incorporation service?

To establish a limited liability company (LLC), you are not required by law to consult a lawyer. The majority of states enable the establishment of LLCs via the process of registering the business entity on the website of the secretary of state and with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If you are not acquainted with the process of forming an LLC, your best bet may be to find a professional LLC provider so that you can be certain that the creation will go smoothly and quickly.

When entrepreneurs start a new firm, they may save startup costs and save valuable time by using a professional agency that specializes in company forms. They can take care of the things that you might not have time to think about for a price ranging from $50 to over $500, and some examples of such things are as follows:

  • Developing an operating agreement for an LLC that details your company’s key information and putting it into writing (required in some states).
  • putting together articles of incorporation that identify the management of the LLC, the registration agent, and the date the company was formed.
  • Taking up the role of registered agent for your firm.
  • Keeping careful records in the event that there are investigations or litigation.
  • Payment of filing fees and registration with the appropriate parties.
  • Registering the name of your firm and ensuring that the name you choose for your limited liability company is accessible.
  • Finishing up and turning in all of the necessary legal and formation documentation.


What are the requirements to form an LLC in Hawaii?

You will need a registration fee, a name for your limited liability company (LLC), a Registered Agent, Articles of Organization, an Operating Agreement, and an EIN number from the IRS.

How much tax must be paid on LLCs in Hawaii?

Hawaii’s corporate tax rate is 4.4% to 6.4%. A 4.4% tax is applied to taxable income that is between $0 and $25,000. A tax rate of 5.4%, less $250, is applied on taxable income that is larger than $25k and up to $100k, depending on the individual’s filing status.

How long does it take to establish an LLC in Hawaii?

When standard paperwork is made, a Hawaii limited liability company may be established in as little as three to five business days. Filings that are considered expedited might be completed in only one day.

Editorial Manager

Tom is the founder of He reads the offers, deciphers the details including features, pricing, included services and more to find you the best products and services.

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