Hawaii Filing Fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Hawaii?

Starting a business in Hawaii means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.


Starting a business in Hawaii often means having to pay a variety of filing fees. Statutory entities, such as limited liability companies (LLCs) and corporations require you to file paperwork and associated filing fees with the state to form the entity. However, there may be other fees your entity will also incur. These might include fees for periodic reports, licensing renewals, and other important items for your business. 

Keeping up with your Hawaii filing fee requirements can feel overwhelming, but we’re here to help. We’ve compiled the most common Hawaii filing fees so you know what you can expect. 

Step 1: Pay your Hawaii business’s initial filing fees

As noted above, certain entities typically must file formation paperwork with the state and submit an initial filing fee. Below are the formation documents that must be filed with the state and the entity types that must file them: 

  • Articles of Incorporation (for-profit and nonprofit corporations)
  • Partnership Registration Statement (general partnerships)
  • Articles of Organization (limited liability companies)

Fees must be paid to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division. 

Processing times will vary depending on various factors such as the time of year, the capacity of the filing office, and the filing method you use. Importantly, however, Hawaii does offer expedited filings for situations in which you may need a particularly quick turnaround time. 

In a hurry? Use our expedited filing service for affordable and quick turnaround times on your business formation filings.

Step 2: Reserve your Hawaii business’s name

In Hawaii, certain businesses are afforded the opportunity to reserve a desired business entity name for a certain period of time. 

Reserving a business name isn’t required. However, doing so may be something your business wants to consider. If you choose to do so, you can file your reservation online through the Hawaii Business Express. An approved reservation of a business entity name will be reserved for a period of up to 120 days. 

Naming your business is often one of the first and most exciting steps in forming your business. Let us help you lock down your preferred name with our name reservation service.

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Hawaii

Sometimes a business may want to register a “doing business as” (DBA) name. This is also referred to as a trade name, assumed name, or fictitious name in certain states. 

In Hawaii, a DBA name is referred to as a trade name. A trade name is one that a business uses that’s different from its officially registered entity name.

If you intend to conduct business under a name that is different from your registered name, make sure to complete and file your Trade Name form (Form T-1) with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA). 

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Most businesses, regardless of the type of entity, will require what’s called an Employer Identification Number (EIN). In the course of your business, you may need an EIN to take important business actions such as: 

  • Applying for loans
  • Opening business bank accounts
  • Hiring employees
  • Excising tax returns

Although obtaining an EIN online is free through the IRS, our EIN number service can do it for you and save you the time and hassle. 

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or a partnership agreement for your Hawaii business

Depending on the type of entity you use for your business, you may need an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or a partnership agreement. Specifically, operating agreements are for LLCs, corporate bylaws are for corporations, and partnership agreements are for partnerships. 

These are important legal documents that set out the structure, management, and other important aspects of the business. Thus, having these in place can help ensure that the rules and requirements for operating your business are clearly set forth. 

Looking to save on costs and maximize your time in creating governing documents that work for your business? Use our online LLC operating agreement template to help you get started and customize your agreement from there.

Step 6: Apply for your Hawaii business’s necessary licenses and permits

Many businesses in Hawaii will require licenses and permits of some sort to operate. Your licensing requirements will vary depending on the goods or services you provide, profession, location, and other factors. 

You will typically need to pay a fee to obtain your initial license or permit. Additionally, there are usually recurring fees to renew your license or permit periodically. 

Because business licensing requirements can vary by industry, location, and other factors, you may have to do some research to determine your license and permit obligations and resulting fees. 

If you’d rather spend your time and efforts running your business instead of conducting business license research, we’re here to help. Use our Business License Report service to more easily find what licenses and permits you may need for your business.

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

Foreign, or out-of-state, businesses may also be subject to certain filing fees. 

If you formed your business outside the State of Hawaii but wish to do business within Hawaii, you may need to file certain forms, such as a Statement of Foreign Qualification, with the state. Additionally, if you formed your business in Hawaii but intend to do business in another state, you’ll need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Compliance) and pay the appropriate fee.

Step 8: Check Hawaii’s annual report requirements and fees

Hawaii requires certain business entities, both foreign and domestic, to file an annual report each year. Such entities include: 

  • Profit corporations
  • Nonprofit corporations
  • LLCs

Filing your annual report each year is a necessary requirement to stay in compliance with the state. Nevertheless, it can be tedious and time-consuming. 

Let us take this task off your plate. We can help get your annual business registration filed quickly and efficiently to help you avoid costly mistakes.

Step 9: Keep your Hawaii business legally compliant 

Lastly, it’s important to remember that almost nothing is set in stone for your business. In fact, most entities will make changes at some point during the life of the business. 

When changes do arise, you may need to file paperwork and pay fees to properly effectuate amendments to the business. 

Making timely and proper changes to your business is crucial to its future success. Need help staying compliant? Use our Amendment service or Worry-Free Compliance service, which includes two amendments each year, to help keep your business on track.

Stay up to date with your Hawaii business filing fees

Most Hawaii businesses will have to file paperwork with the state and pay associated fees at some point or another to legally operate within the state. Failure to do so properly or at all can subject your business to various penalties. 

We can help you avoid costly mistakes and resulting penalties with our Worry-Free Compliance service. Learn how else we can help you stay compliant today. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.


  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Hawaii?

    Yes, there can be penalties for late filing and fee payment in Hawaii.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Hawaii government?

    Failure to timely file and pay requisite fees can result in penalty fees and in some cases administrative dissolution of your business entity.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Hawaii business?

    You pay fees for forming your Hawaii business to the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Specifically, you pay your fees to the Business Registration Division.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Hawaii business?

    The largest business filing fee for Hawaii businesses is currently for Articles of Conversion or Merger. However, most other filing fees are significantly less costly.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Hawaii government?

    The Business Registration Division only accepts filing fee payments in the form of cash, certified/cashier’s check, bank/postal money order, or credit card. Personal or business checks are currently not accepted.

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