How To Start An LLC In Hawaii (HI) 2023: Free Guide

How To Start An LLC In Hawaii

If you’ve thought about filing paperwork with the Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division to become a Hawaii LLC, then you know how complicated and convoluted the process can be. 

You have to submit an operating agreement to the Hawaii Department of State, apply for business licenses, and comply with all Hawaii LLC naming guidelines. The process can be even more involved for a foreign LLC that wants to file with the Business Registration Division.

That’s why we’ve created this article. It covers everything LLC owners need to know about filing paperwork with the Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs to create a limited liability company that’s considered valid by the Business Registration Division.

So, without further delay, let’s get started.

What is an LLC?

LLC stands for limited liability company. It’s a kind of business entity that you can form after filing an operating agreement and articles of organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs.

Whether you’re a domestic LLC or a foreign LLC with more than one member, creating a Hawaii limited liability company can help you out as a business owner in several ways. 

From separating business debts from your personal finances to limiting your personal liability so you can transact business in peace with a valid Hawaii tax ID number and local licenses, filing Hawaii LLC articles could be a good move for both a foreign limited liability company and a domestic one.

What is an LLC in Hawaii?

A Hawaii LLC is a limited liability company that has filed all of its paperwork (operating agreement and articles of organization) with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs or Business Registration Division.

If you plan on running your business in Hawaii and applying for business licenses in the state, then it makes the most sense to file your paperwork with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

You need a valid physical street address to put on file with every government agency in the state where you do business, so it wouldn’t make sense to file LLC paperwork in another state if you plan on running your company in Hawaii.

Read More: Best LLC Formation Services In Hawaii 2023

Requirements to Start an LLC in Hawaii

To create a valid LLC in the state of Hawaii, you need to meet a few requirements. Here are the two most important ones to keep in mind at the beginning of the process.

Appoint a Registered Agent

First; you’re going to need a registered agent on file with the Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division. You can either act as your own registered agent or hire a professional registered agent service.

Registered agent services accept important legal documents on behalf of your company, so you want to make sure you choose a reliable registered agent service.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you plan on hiring an LLC formation service, they’ll typically create your LLC for free if you pay them to be your registered agent. 

Many business entities end up doing this to comply with state law while filing operating agreements and get some extra support at no additional cost from the professional service they use after choosing an LLC name and completing the file online process for Hawaii articles of organization and limited liability protection.

The LLC’s Name Must Be Different From an Existing Business

Also, your business name needs to be unique. That way, things like local business licenses don’t have duplicates. We’ll provide more in-depth instructions for accomplishing this as an individual or business entity in a way that complies with Hawaii law and your Hawaii business application in a later section.

Benefits of Starting an LLC in Hawaii

There are plenty of benefits to filing a Hawaii basic business application and becoming a Hawaii LLC. For example, after filing articles, your LLC members will enjoy greater protection for their personal assets.

In addition to liability protection, a manager-managed LLC brings some tax benefits with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division – especially if you hire employees and apply for Hawaii business licenses.

Finally, your new LLC will help you conduct business with greater flexibility. You’ll be able to profit-share in different ways and change ownership roles with ease after filing articles of organization on the Hawaii Business Express website and setting up an employer identification number with the Labor and Industrial Relations Board.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Hawaii?

It costs $50 to file your articles of organization and get a federal employer identification number in Hawaii. You can also pay another $25 on top of that if you want expedited service.

Additionally, if you use a professional service to create your manager-managed LLC, you may be charged an additional fee. And, finally, when you file annual reports, you may be charged a filing fee for things like a general excise tax. 

6 Basic Steps To Start an LLC in Hawaii 2023

Now that we’ve covered what a Hawaii LLC is and why you’d want to create one, let’s take a look at what that process involves. Here are six steps to get you started.

Choose a Name for Your LLC in Hawaii

The first thing you want to do is choose a business name for your LLC. There are two steps involved in this process.

Naming Rules in Hawaii

First, you have to make sure that your LLC name complies with all naming guidelines in Hawaii. You can find these here if you need to review them.

Searching Available Name in Hawaii

Once you have a business name idea, you can search for it on the state’s website to see if it’s been taken by another other company. No duplicate names are allowed, so you may or may not be able to get your first choice.

Choose a Registered Agent in Hawaii

Now it’s time to select a registered agent. As we said earlier, you can either fulfill this role yourself or hire a professional service to do it for you, if you don’t want to have to worry about it.

Read More: Best Hawaii Registered Agents 2023

File Organizational Paperwork With the State

Now you’re ready to file your first organizational paperwork with the state. This will typically be your articles of organization. Just note that you will need to pay a filing fee while doing this.

Prepare an LLC Operating Agreement

After the articles of organization and your filing fee have been paid, you can prepare your LLC operating agreement. This is what will allow you to eventually sign up for a business bank account and business credit card because it outlines how your new LLC is going to be organized from financial and managerial perspectives.

Obtain an EIN for Your LLC in Hawaii 

The next step is to get a federal tax identification number (EIN). This is another key step toward starting your business bank account, completing the requirements of your operating agreement, and paying federal income taxes, among other business task requirements.

Annual Tax

Finally, all that’s left to do at this stage is to make sure that you pay your annual taxes on time each year. Part of running an LLC means filing an annual report with the government.

If you don’t want to have to worry about creating an annual report yourself, then you may be better off hiring a service that helps with the LLC formation process. They’ll file your annual report on your behalf so that your corporation pays taxes, but doesn’t have to worry as much about getting all of the paperwork right.

The Top 2 LLC Services in Hawaii

Product ZenBusiness Northwesr Registered Agent
Name ZenBusiness Northwest Registered Agent
Full review Read full review Read full review
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ZenBusiness is another great option for creating a Hawaii LLC. Like Northwest, they’ll guide you through the whole process from start to finish. But Zen Business also offers after-hours customer support, whereas Northwest doesn’t. That could be a point of differentiation for you if you do a lot of business outside of standard operating hours.

Beyond that, Zen Business can also be your registered agent and provide ongoing assistance with taxes, accounting, and business advice. It’s a good partner who can help you out in many different ways as you strive to make your Hawaii business thrive.

Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest is a highly reputable LLC formation company that helps companies throughout the United States. They offer a simplified formation process with good customer service and a lot of helpful online resources to help you run your business moving forward.

With Northwest, you can even create your LLC for free, as long as you pay for one of their other packages, such as the registered agent service. With several different LLC creation processes to choose from at various price points, it’ll be tough not to find a package that works for you from Northwest.

Final Thoughts

Creating an LLC may not be the right decision for everyone in the state of Hawaii. But doing so will bring you a lot of nice benefits, including protecting your personal assets from seizure and giving you some nice taxation and organizational flexibility benefits.

You can go through the process on your own by finding the forms online, filling them out, paying the fees, and submitting them to the correct government offices. Or you can hire a professional service that takes care of all of this on your behalf.

Both options will get the job done at the end of the day. It really just comes down to whether you’re okay with paying a small fee in exchange for making this process easier on yourself, or if you’d rather save money and do it on your own.

Either way, we hope our guide has helped you learn more about creating a Hawaii LLC. Best of luck moving forward.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Hawaii LLC?

This is a type of business organization that is comparable to a corporation or a sole proprietorship. It’s one way to organize your business efforts in Hawaii.

Why should I start a Hawaii LLC?

Most people who create LLCs do so because they want to protect their personal assets if the business fails. Plus, this kind of organization offers some nice taxation benefits that are worth pursuing. 

Can I create a Hawaii LLC on my own?

Yes, you can create your LLC without any assistance from a professional organization. It may just take you a little longer to get the job done if you decide to choose this path.

How much does it cost to create a Hawaii LLC? 

It costs $50 to file the initial formation paperwork in the state of Hawaii. But you also have the option of paying an additional $25 to expedite the review process.



Bizreport - Kellan Jansen
Kellan Jansen, BA
Business Writer
Kellan works with businesses of all sizes to help them achieve their growth goals and has won several awards for his work in the space. He is especially focused on the fields of business finance and the developing cryptocurrency industry, regularly writing about both for audiences across the globe.


Kristina Knight-1
Kristina Knight, Journalist , BA
Content Writer & Editor
Kristina Knight is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience writing on varied topics. Kristina’s focus for the past 10 years has been the small business, online marketing, and banking sectors, however, she keeps things interesting by writing about her experiences as an adoptive mom, parenting, and education issues. Kristina’s work has appeared with, NBC News,, DisasterNewsNetwork, and many more publications.

+ 6 sources

Bizreport Advisor adheres to strict editorial integrity standards avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Bizreport, you can read more about the editorial process here.

  1. Employer ID Numbers | Internal Revenue Service. Published 2012. Accessed January 9, 2023.
  2. Domestic Limited Liability Company. Accessed January 9, 2023.
  3. Business Registration Division – Search for Business Entity & Documents. Hawaii State Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division. Accessed January 9, 2023.
  5. | Official Website of the Aloha State. Published 2018. Accessed January 9, 2023.
  6. Domestic Limited Liability Company. Accessed January 9, 2023.





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