Start a Hawaii LLC

Get the fastest LLC formation in Hawaii online with worry-free services and support to start your business.

Starts at $49 + state fees and only takes 5-10 minutes

Excellent Trustpilot reviews 10,194 reviews Trustpilot reviews
Fast & Friendly LLC Formation Experts

Thinking about starting a business in Hawaii? If so, you’ve like considered starting a limited liability company (LLC). Having an LLC in Hawaii offers business security, personal asset protection and flexibility.

Learning how to start a Hawaii LLC is important, so you file your paperwork properly. It might not be like the most glamorous task, but you can get to the more exciting stuff later. Use our guide to help you start an LLC in Hawaii quickly and correctly.

How to Start an LLC in Hawaii

Hawaii Limited Liability Company Formation

Take a look at this step-by-step guide to getting your Hawaii LLC up and running in the Aloha State. First, you’ll choose and claim your name. Next, you’ll appoint a registered agent, letting the Hawaii government and others know who it can contact with legal notices such as service of process.

Finally, it’s time to make your LLC in Hawaii official by filing your Articles of Organization and applying for an EIN, or tax ID number, which can be used for many purposes, such as paying taxes or opening a business checking account. As we go through the steps, we’ll also show you how our LLC formation services can make the process easier and less worrisome.

Start your LLC in Hawaii Today!
Play Video

Step 1: Name your Hawaii LLC

You’ll start an LLC in Hawaii first by choosing a name for your business. How will your brand identify itself? So much goes into your name, and it’s time to choose your company’s title. A brand name sets you apart. It tells potential customers who you are and what you do. Think comprehensively when choosing the name for your LLC in Hawaii.

Hawaii LLC Naming Guidelines

Take your time in choosing an LLC name that represents your mission. You might have a few in mind already, or you may need to do some brainstorming. Meanwhile, ensure your name falls within Hawaii’s LLC guidelines. You’ll also have to include “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company” in the full business name.

You’ll want to confirm that your desired LLC name isn’t already in use. You can conduct a business name search following the directions on our Hawaii business name search page. You won’t be able to file a duplicate company name, so it’s important to find a unique moniker. Check with the Hawaii government to ensure your LLC follows all guidelines, and you aren’t infringing on an existing business. For instance, Hawaii prohibits new businesses from falsifying themselves as a government entity.

Reserving a Business Name

If you aren’t ready to officially register your LLC, you can reserve your business name via the Hawaii Business Express website for up to 120 days. The reservation can be done for a small filing fee. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

Securing a Domain Name

When you’re coming up with an LLC name, it’s wise to consider whether you can secure a matching domain name so that your future website can be easily found online. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search, and our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company.

Filing a DBA in Hawaii

In most states, businesses using a DBA (“doing business as”) name will need to register their business name and DBA name; however, Hawaii does not require this step. LLC owners can choose to file their Hawaii DBA name, but it is strictly voluntary. If you decide to move forward with a DBA, we can help simplify the process through our Hawaii DBA service.

To make sure you’re entirely in the clear with your business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to see whether your business name or logo is federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level. To find out if your desired LLC name is already trademarked or apply for a trademark of your own, go to the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website page for trademarks.

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Hawaii

Next, it’s time to designate a registered agent for your LLC in Hawaii. This is a requirement for Hawaii Limited Liability Companies.

What is a registered agent?

A registered agent receives legal paperwork (such as subpoenas) on behalf of your limited liability company. That can also include paperwork such as taxes, business licenses, or state compliance documents. A registered agent can be the business owner, an involved party, or an outside business entity. However, they must be a Hawaii resident and authorized to do business in the state of Hawaii.

Hiring an Outside Registered Agent Service

And while you can certainly be the registered agent for your business, it’s not always a smart choice, as you’ll be required to always be available during normal business hours. Instead, you may benefit from hiring an outside registered agent service. Work when you want, too, as your Hawaii registered agent service will be available during normal business hours.

Additional perks include:

  • Discreet receipt of any legal paperwork
  • Helps keep your business in compliance
  • Freedom to be out of the office during regular business hours for client meetings, vacations, etc.
  • The ability to move your office location without having to update Hawaii registered agent paperwork

Step 3: File Hawaii Articles of Organization

You’ll need to file paperwork known as the Hawaii LLC Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This essentially legitimizes your business in the eyes of the Hawaii government.

Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating and/or complicated for many people, which is why we’re here. With our business formation plans, our professionals will file for you to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

File with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

You can file your Articles of Organization on the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website or via mail to:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P. O. Box 40
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

This includes a filing fee, and you can pay an additional fee for expedited review.

Articles of Organization Requirements

Hawaii’s Articles of Organization require the following information:

  • The LLC name
  • The business address
  • The name and address of your registered agent or registered agent service
  • Additional members and their addresses
  • Whether your LLC will be manager- or member-managed
  • Your signature

Most LLCs are “member-managed,” meaning that the members (owners) themselves manage and make decisions for the company. A manager-managed LLC is one in which the owners appoint one or more managers (can be someone outside the LLC or a select member or members of the LLC) to manage the company.

There are also boxes to check regarding liability. Most people check the first box, which states that the owners will not be personally liable for the debts, obligations, and liabilities of the company, which is one of the main reasons for forming an LLC.

Your Hawaii Limited Liability Company Articles of Organization can be processed in about two weeks unless you pay for expedited processing. If you’re in a hurry to form your LLC but don’t want to deal with the expedited process, we can handle it for you with our faster filing speeds service.

Digitally Storing Your Hawaii LLC Paperwork

If you have us filing your Articles of Organization, once the state approves your LLC, paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard. The dashboard is where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized.

Once you get a physical copy from the state approving your LLC, store it alongside other important documents. These other important documents can include operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

Step 4: Create an operating agreement

It is not a requirement to have a Hawaii operating agreement for your LLC; however, it’s a best practice to have one.

A Hawaii LLC operating agreement names the members of the business and outlines things like protocols for bringing in new members, dissolving the business, and selling its name. You can include these, among other items, in the operating agreement to keep all LLC members accountable. Operating agreements are essentially a business outline to set expectations and standards for all parties.

While you don’t have to submit an operating agreement with your Articles of Organization, it’s a good idea to keep the agreement with your other business documents. All members should sign the operating agreement, and you should have it notarized for future use.

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

You’ll want to apply for an EIN — employer identification number — which is an assigned tax ID number (also referred to as a Federal Tax Identification Number) for your business. It’s used when filing taxes and helps identify your LLC in Hawaii with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s also necessary to open a business bank account and hire employees.

You can get your Hawaii LLC’s Employer Identification Number through the IRS website, mail, or fax. If you’re not fond of dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our EIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.

Open a business bank account for your Hawaii LLC

Once you’ve secured an Employer Identification Number, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for business and personal banking is critical for tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you. This would be if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities.

We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

For further help managing your new business’s finances, try ZenBusiness Money. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.

Hawaii LLC FAQs

Hawaii Business Resources

Start an LLC in Your State

When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for forming an LLC.