How to Start an LLC in Hawaii

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A Limited Liability Company or LLC helps business owners limit their personal liability for debts and lawsuits. If you’re planning on starting an LLC in Hawaii, you must follow some essential steps. But the good news is that the process isn’t complex so anyone can start an LLC in Hawaii quite easily. 

In this detailed guide, you will learn about all the steps required to obtain an LLC. 

Choose a Name

One of the first things you must do to start an LLC in Hawaii is to name your business. But there are a few specifications that you need to follow as per the Hawaii law. 

For starters, your business name should contain the following terms: 

  • Limited Liability Company

  • Or its abbreviation as L.L.C or LLC

  • If the entire term “Limited Liability Company” is being used, “Limited” can be abbreviated as Ltd, while “Company” can be reduced to Co. 

Additionally, your name should be unique. It should not be similar to a name already filed under the  Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division.

You can check for the availability of your business name by clicking here. If the name is available, you can reserve it immediately by applying with the Business Registration Division. But you will have to pay a reservation fee of $10. 

Appoint a Registered Agent for Your LLC

In Hawaii, every LLC must have a registered agent. A registered agent may be a person or an entity that receives all legal notices on behalf of the LLC. These include notices for taxes, lawsuits, etc. 

The registered agent may be a person or business that resides in Hawaii. But other domestic and foreign businesses with authorization to transact Hawaii businesses can also become registered agents, provided that they have a physical address in Hawaii. 

File Your Articles of Organization

To officially create an LLC in Hawaii, you must file your Articles of Organization. The document is filed with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division. 

To do so, you will need the following information: 

  • The name of your LLC

  • The official address of your LLC

  • The name and address of your appointed registered agent

  • The duration of your LLC if it needs to be created for a specific period. In most cases, the time period is indefinite

  • A general statement that defines whether your business will be managed by members or managers

  • Names and addresses of the managers in case of a manager-managed structure

  • Names and addresses of the members in case of a member-managed structure

  • A statement that defines whether or not the members will be held liable for the company’s obligations and debts

  • Signatures of the organizer of the LLC

After completing the articles, they must be filed online or posted by mail. Mailing takes longer while filing online gets you the approval instantly. Click here to learn more about the filing procedure. 

Regardless of which method you choose, you must pay a filing fee of $50. 

Form an Operating Agreement

Though forming an operating agreement isn’t a state requirement, it is highly recommended that you do so when starting an LLC in Hawaii. 

An operating agreement is an internal document that defines how your business will run. The document clearly states the responsibilities and rights of managers and members on top of defining how the LLC will be managed. 

If you don’t have an operating agreement, the state LLC laws will decide how your business will run. 

Get Your EIN

If you plan to keep more than one member for your Hawaii LLC, you must obtain an EIN. EIN is the Employer Identification Number that is granted by the IRS. You will need this number even if your LLC has zero employees. 

The EIN can be obtained by filling out an application form available on the IRS website. There is no fee for getting your Employer Identification Number. 

File Your Annual Reports

If you plan to start an LLC in Hawaii, you must file an annual report with the Business Registration Division. The filing fee for annual reports in Hawaii is $15. 

The reports can be filed online and via mail. You will have to print out the C5 form from the Domestic Limited Liability Company Annual Report for the latter. Click here to get the form. 

Typically, the state sends reminders to the LLC when the annual reports need to be filed. 

Design a Logo

A logo brands your business. You must get one made to make your business easily recognizable by people. 

You should hire a professional that can design the logo for you. Your logo can contain images, alphabets, or anything representing your business. 

Create a Website

Once you have a logo, you must create a website. Though it is not a requirement, having a website helps customers reach you more quickly. But the website must be easy to navigate, load quickly, and enhance user experience. 

While many service providers can help you set up a website, remains the top choice for business owners. Not only do we design an SEO-optimized webpage, but we also offer the lowest possible pricing plan to ensure you get quality results at an affordable rate. 

Market Your Business

Once you’re done with all the formalities for starting an LLC in Hawaii and have a working website, the last step is to market your business to expand customer outreach. 

Whether you need SMS marketing, social ads, or local mailing drops, can help you market your business effectively.