Hawaii LLC – How to Start an LLC in Hawaii [5 Easy Steps]

Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Hawaii is easy and affordable. The following are few procedural broad steps on how to start an LLC in Hawaii. LLCs can be formed in two ways, domestic and/or foreign. If you are planning to set up an LLC in states other than Hawaii, visit How to Start an LLC.

Hawaii LLC

How to Start a Hawaii LLC

Suppose you’re planning to invest in some profitable business or maybe about to set up your business in Hawaii. In that case, forming an LLC in Hawaii is the simplest option for you. With LLC, you can limit your liability for company debts.

An LLC or a Limited Liability Company is a hybrid business entity combining a corporation’s characteristics with a partnership or sole proprietorship. This section gives you a step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Hawaii. 

Step 1: Decide a Name for Your LLC

name llc

If you are to start an LLC in Hawaii, the first thing you do is decide on a business or company name, and how to name your LLC may be tricky. Thus, you have the option to choose a name that complies with the Hawaii business name search. It must also be easily searchable for potential clients. Here is a simple – but essential – step-by-step guide to follow when naming your Hawaii LLC. 

Why do you need a proper business name?

If you want your LLC to have special identification, your company name is essential. However, many people face lots of issues by avoiding focus on choosing a business name for their LLC business formation filings.

Because of this, here are some of the major benefits of choosing the best LLC corporate names.

  • To help establish a company’s presence in the market, a proper business entity type will help you. This also creates a new identity that will resemble your LLC.
  • After you’ve properly chosen the name for your LLC, you will have no problems finishing the registration process.
  • You can only get the EIN number when you have your name registration certificate with you.
What are the requirements when deciding a name for your Hawaii LLC? 

name search is vital to make sure your business’ name is unique. Check the availability of your name with Business Entity Search on the Hawaii Secretary of State’s website. Reserve the name by completing the Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities.  

  • Don’t include words that could confuse people about your company. Words like ‘treasury, state department.’
  • You should also avoid restricted words like ‘bank, attorney, university,’ because they may require a lawyer and more paperwork.
  • As for a business website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for domain use with NameCheap.
Reserve a business domain

Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a domain to avoid others from using your name for their website, so do visit NameCheap for your domain name and Kinsta for web hosting.

If you have decided on your URL name and have reserved it, set up a professional email account with Google GSuite.  

Step 2: Assign a Registered Agent in Hawaii

get registered agent

A registered agent, or business entity, is a person that will act or work on your behalf. This person or business will receive significant tax forms, legal documents, internal document, a notice of lawsuits, and other official government correspondence in Hawaii. Choosing Hawaii-registered agent for service of process for your LLC is required for filing Hawaii LLC documents.

Make sure your registered agents are residents of Hawaii or having a physical street address in the state. It could also be a business. Here are the recommended agents and employees for you:

LLC Service

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$49 + State Fees

  • 1st year free agent service

  • Multiple options available

  • CPA assessment records


$299 + State Fees

  • Fast service

  • Resource center

  • Flat Rate for all services

$399 + State Fees

  • 1st year free agent service

  • Digital storage

  • Different types of plans

These five LLC formation services are recommended agents’ registered services as they are authorized to conduct business in Hawaii. Compare them to check the best yet cheapest option for you. Besides, they can guarantee you professional service because they have been in the business for years. 

Step 3: File Articles of Organization in Hawaii

file formation certificate

A Certificate of Name Reservation is needed to file Articles of Organization for limited liability company, which costs $50. You need to make reports of this certificate with the Hawaii Secretary of State. You may file them online or by mail. 

This Certificate of Formation is a legal document needed to form your business officially. It will indicate details about your Hawaii LLC , like if it is a member-managed or managers-managed

Before you start filings, you must already have your LLC name and registered agents or employees. Make sure to check Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs while hiring employees. You will attach a copy of your Name Reservation Certificate along with a list of the services that your Hawaii LLC will offer.

How to File Online

Go to the Secretary of State Online Service. Select “non-subscriber.” Fill out the online form. The website will alert you if your county does not support online filings after selecting your principal county.

How to File by Mail

If you prefer filing real-life forms for your Hawaii LLC registration, then you can download the Hawaii Limited Company Certificate of Formation. Read the form thoroughly and fill it out. It will have to fill, among others,  your name, city, state, zip code, and signature. 

Step 4: Create Your Hawaii LLC Operating Agreement

create operating agreement

A comprehensive operating agreement is a document that legally outlines the proprietorship and operating procedures of your LLC. This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts. 

Starting an LLC in Hawaii does not require you to have a company operating agreement, but it is ideal to have one that contains all your details of business operation.

Step 5: Filing a Hawaii LLC EIN

The Employer Identification Number or, simply, the E.I.N. is a nine-digit number given by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to make it easier to identify types of business for tax purposes. It is like a Social Security number dedicated to a business.  

It is also called a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or a Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN). You will need this number for tax filing and to determine tax classification options. Hawaii LLC tax filing requirements are diverse. Depending on the nature of your LLC you need to file your taxes.

Mail to:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

After Starting your Hawaii LLC 

After forming your LLC, there are still some things that you will need. Take note of the following:

  • Get a company business account
  • File Hawaii business permits & licenses
  • Get liability for business insurance with coverage for employees
  • File a Hawaii LLC annual report or biennial report
  • Already existing LLCs that wish to operate in Hawaii must register as a foreign Hawaii LLC.  

Why an LLC in Hawaii

When it comes to Hawaii, people think of a tourist spot. But, it is surprising how over 128,000+ small businesses are operating in Hawaii and created around 3700+ jobs today. The growing economy in this state attracts more businesses than in earlier times. EZ, several business funding options, and tax credits are some prominent benefits of starting an LLC in Hawaii.

Growing Strong Economy

Hawaii is having more than 31,000 active LLCs at this moment. Every year around 7500+ LLCs are being formed in this state. The growing strong economy makes it easy for businesses to create jobs and employment opportunities. 

Hawaii Incentive programs

The biggest incentive program available in this state is the Enterprise Zones program. Administered by the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, the program offers tax credits to the LLCs operating in special economic and enterprise zones. Creating more jobs, developing stressful areas, and developing projects gain more incentives in Hawaii.

No Double Tax assurance 

Double tax is the fear of every person who is thinking of making an LLC. They always think of how they can save themselves from the double taxes, and their search ends up with LLC in Hawaii. The government ensures that the LLC will be taken through a process that will save their double tax. It increases the potential profits of the member.

Enjoy Benefits of the Corporation 

The liability protection is provided to every corporate member, but if one chooses Hawaii LLC, they also get the premium services of the liability protection. If the LLC is under any debt, then the creditors cannot move to the assets of the members of the LLC to recover their money. 

Best Business Niches in Hawaii

If a person wants to Start an LLC in Hawaii, they have to find the best niche. There are many industries, but new businesses in the state are left in a few industries. Pick a niche, meet the LLC formation requirements, pay the filing fees, and start your LLC in Hawaii. Here is the list of the best businesses one can consider.

Hawaii apparel maker Business

Hawaii is a beach state which is known for its locally-made apparel. The most sold clothing in the state is Aloha shirts which are made in local manufacturing units. The first manufacturing unit started in the 1960s, and till that time, the demand for these apparel has never decreased. The apparel industry is still booming, giving opportunities to new businesses also.

Vacation renting services

Being a beach state, the state of Hawaii is flooded with tourists every time of the year. The state has noticed a footfall of around 10 million people in 2019, which increased about 5.4% from the previous figure. Now, these tourists need a place to stay when they visit the state. You can plan space and provide renting services to the tourist and provide the best value for reoccurring services.

Tour guide

Tourist Guide Company can also be a profitable business in the state. There many points of attraction in the local area of the state which one can visit for which a tour guide is a must. As mentioned above, the number of people visiting the state is increasing, so the demand for catering to them is the best guide services.

Boat owner and renting companies

Boating in the middle of the sea is still loved by most people visiting Hawaii. That is why you can plan to open a boat renting company nearby the beach. Now all you need to do is start advertising your business among the tourists and earn huge bucks.

Some small business that a person can also think of are:-

  • Business advertisement companies
  • Landscaping business
  • Small grocery store business
  • Weeding photography 

Hawaii LLC Formation Review

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Just to recap, here are the simple steps again when forming an LLC in Hawaii. Click on the steps in this list to read the full detail.

  1. Name your Hawaii LLC

    The first thing you must do is to choose a company name, which should include the phrase “limited liability company,” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
    name llc

  2. Choose a registered agent

    In Hawaii, it is mandatory to select a registered agent for your LLC. You can check out our list of our 5 Best LLC Services in the United States.
    get registered agent

  3. File a formation certificate

    Filing a formation certificate is necessary when forming an LLC. Depending on the state, it could be called any of the following: Certificate of Formation, Articles of Organization, or Certificate of Organization.
    file formation certificate

  4. Create operating agreement

    An operating agreement is not a strict requirement but something encouraged when you start an LLC.
    create operating agreement

  5. Get an EIN

    The Employer Identification Number (EIN), also called  Federal Tax Identification Number, serves to identify a business entity like a social security number but for a company.
    get an ein


What is the difference between ‘domestic LLC’ and ‘foreign LLC’?

A “domestic LLC” is one that conducts business in a state where it was formed. Meanwhile, a “foreign LLC” is an existing LLC that extended business to another state.

What do I need for Domestic and Foreign LLCs?

For Domestic LLCs, it is vital to have a Certificate of Name Reservation and Certificate of Formation. For the foreign LLCs, you must have a Certificate of Good Standing.

Is the cost to form an LLC the same across states?

The cost to form an LLC varies per state.

Does an LLC need to use a DBA?

Seldom do L.L.C.s use D.B.A. or a ‘Doing Business As’ name nor a fictitious business name. However, if you want to have one, you make read more about DBAs here

Why are operating agreements important?

This document is vital as it ensures that all business owners are on the same page regarding how they operate, thus reducing future conflicts.

Is there anything else I should keep in mind when naming my LLC?

>Your name should have “L.L.C. or LLC” or the phrase “limited liability the business.” 
>Do not include words that could create confusion between your LLC and any government business. 
>Words like ‘bank, attorney, university’ are restricted as well. 
>Lastly, your name should distinguish from other limited liability corporations, limited partnerships, or registered limited liability partnerships.

Where can I file my LLC name?

Typically, you can file your LLC name online or by mail. Check with the state where you will set up your LLC name. Take note that the fees for business names may also vary per state.    

How can I know if my URL name is available?

As for a website and your URL name, check if your name is still available for URL use with NameCheap to see if your name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t have plans to set up a website today, it will help if you buy a URL. Buying it can help to prevent others from getting your name; check out WPEngine, Kinsta, and GoDaddy for hosting and building your website.

Can I mail the LLC Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State?

No. Never mail these documents or payments to the Secretary of State directly. 

Why do I need an EIN?

The reason you might need an E.I.N. is that it would help for three reasons:
>Opening a business bank account
>Filing and managing federal and state taxes
>Hiring employees or agents

How do I get an EIN when I do not have a Social Security number?

You are not required a Social Security number when getting an EIN. You can proceed to fill out I.R.S. Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. You must then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Agents or employees will help you with that.

I already have an EIN for a sole proprietorship; what now? 

Note that an LLC is different from a sole proprietorship. If you already have an EIN for your sole proprietorship, the IRS will require you to get a new one when your convert to an LLC. 

Do foreign applicants need an SSN to get an EIN?

International EIN applicants do not need an SSN to get an EIN.

What is an IRS?

The IRS is the one that will issue your EIN. You can request an EIN from the IRS ONLINE or download the FORM, fill it out, and send it by mail or fax.

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