If you’ve started a new business in Hawaii or are considering it, at some point you may be asked to provide a Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) for certain business transactions. A CGS is a legal document that serves as evidence that a certain business entity is in existence, is authorized to conduct business in that state, and that the company is in compliance with state regulations.
If you’re feeling stressed about whether your business is in compliance with state law, ZenBusiness can help keep you in good standing through its worry-free compliance services.
You can obtain a CGS from the Business Registration Division (BREG) of the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This guide will give you a comprehensive idea of what you need to know about getting a CGS so that you can focus on your business.
What does a Certificate of Good Standing confirm?
A CGS is a legal document that proves that a business exists and is authorized to do business in the state of Hawaii. This means that a business has:
- Registered as a corporation, limited liability corporation (LLC), or another business entity with the state
- Completed and filed annual reports
- Paid franchise taxes and other required state fees
The Hawaii CGS contains the following information:
- Insurance date
- Signature of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
- Name of business
- Date of legal business formation
- Confirmation of good standing
- Authorization to transact business
Why might a business need a Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing?
The State of Hawaii doesn’t require that businesses have a CGS, but it’s required for other processes that require legal validation.
Take a look at this list of common processes that may require a CGS:
- Registering to do business in another state
- Securing funding
- Opening a business bank account
- Buying business insurance
- Contract formation with state/other business
- Selling/transferring part or all of the business
- Renewing certain permits and licenses
What Hawaii entities can obtain a CGS?
To obtain a CGS from Hawaii, you’ll need to register as an entity with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), Business Registration Division (BREG). Once registered, entities such as LLCs and corporations can purchase a CGS. Entities that require state registration include:
The BREG doesn’t require sole proprietorships to register.
How to get a Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing
To obtain a Hawaii CGS, you’ll need to follow a few steps to ensure that your business is in compliance and that your CGS will be valid for its intended use. For help on how exactly to obtain a CGS, check out the steps below.
Check to make sure your business is in compliance
Businesses must satisfy the Hawaii compliance requirements in order to receive a CGS. Make sure that your business is up to date. You can obtain a Certificate of Compliance with the Hawaii Business Express.
Licenses and Permits
Hawaii has certain licensing regulations that your business must follow, as do the federal government and your local government offices. You must have all the right licenses and permits and be current with them.
Instead of a state sales tax, businesses in Hawaii must pay a General Excise Tax (GET). The type of Hawaii state tax that your business must be registered for depends on the business activity.
Entities such as corporations and LLCs registered in the State of Hawaii must file annual reports with the BREG. This statement provides the public with information on the registered entity without including financial information.
To keep your business in good standing, you must file a report each year.
Go to Hawaii’s business website to request a Certificate of Good Standing
Once you’ve ensured that your business is compliant with the State of Hawaii, you can sign on to Hawaii Business Express to request a Certificate of Good Standing from the DCCA, BREG.
Search the business name, open the business record, and select either a digital or printed copy of a CGS.
If you don’t wish to request online, you can request your CGS by fax, email, phone, in person, or by mail.
Email requests must be made to BREG@dcca.hawaii.gov. If requesting by email or fax, you must include the following information:
- Credit card number
- Type of card
- Name of cardholder
- Expiration date
- CVV code
- Charge amount
- Indicated expedited or regular review
- Contact telephone number
- Email address
Make sure your Certificate of Good Standing will be valid for its intended use
The validity of a CGS varies across states. Certain certifications expire after a set date, such as at the end of the year. In Hawaii, it doesn’t expire and is valid as long as your business maintains compliance.
However, the validity will depend on the state or the state of formation of the entity that has requested it. Many banks, investors, and other entities will have their own guidelines around the valid date of a CGS. Often, they’ll request that the certificate be no older than 60 days. If you’re registering in another state as a foreign entity, you’ll need to check that state’s timeframe requirements.
Send to requesting party
Now that you’ve confirmed your business’s compliance, obtained either a printed or digital copy of your CGS, and confirmed its validity, you’re ready for the next step. You can send a copy of your CGS to whatever party or entity has requested it.
Compliance may not be simple to keep up with, especially when considering all the other aspects that make a business go round. At ZenBusiness, we understand that your business needs don’t stop after the business has been registered. ZenBusiness can help keep you in good standing with our worry free compliance service. With this service, we not only help keep your business in compliance, but we can also secure a Hawaii CGS for you if you need one; you just pay the state fees. And, if you don’t have worry-free compliance but still need a CGS, our Certificate of Good Standing service can help.
Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing FAQs
- How much does a Hawaii CGS cost?
Check the Business Registration Division’s website for a full and current fee schedule.
- How long will it take to get my Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing?
A digital CGS order will be ready right away. If you request a CGS by email, fax, phone, or in person, your request will be processed during normal business hours. If by mail, then your request will be subject to typical postal service and processing times.
- Can I expedite a Hawaii CGS request?
You can access the Hawaii Business Express service, which expedites the need to provide proof of compliance. It eliminates the need to provide individual forms from other agencies.
- Is a CGS required to stay compliant in Hawaii?
A CGS isn’t required to stay compliant. It does, however, show that your company is in compliance in Hawaii.
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