Hawaii Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Hawaii, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Business Registration Division (BREG). You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $51 in combined fees to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Hawaii corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting a Hawaii Corporation Guide:
Hawaii Corporation Filing Options
Skip the state fees! Get a Hawaii corporation and the best of our services today. Includes EIN, hassle-free maintenance, business address & mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, local Corporate Guide® service, and everything you need to operate at full capacity.
Do It Yourself
Sign up for a free account and use our online tools to start your Hawaii corporation today. Includes Hawaii incorporation and maintenance walkthrough and company document creation. All for free.
Pay in Full
Includes Hawaii corporation, business address & free mail forwarding, Privacy by Default®, lifetime support from local Corporate Guides® and a year of registered agent service.
Hawaii Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form a Hawaii corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with BREG. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation of one of these words. Tip: Most corporations keep it short and sweet with “Corp” or “Inc.”
This address is where you’ll receive state mail (besides legal notifications—those go to your registered agent). Tip: Keep things simple with one address for all your mail. When you hire Northwest as your registered agent, you can use our Hawaii address as your principal office address too.
Your Hawaii registered agent can either be an individual Hawaii resident (like yourself) or an authorized business (like Northwest). Tip: Wouldn’t it be wild if we didn’t recommend Northwest at this point?
This is the Hawaii street address where your registered agent will be available to accept legal notifications. Like all the information in your Articles, this address becomes part of the permanent public record of your Hawaii corporation. Tip: When you hire Northwest, our address will go here.
List the number of shares you want to create. You must list at least one. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting. Tip: Want more than one class or series of shares? You won’t be able to use the state form; you’ll have to prepare your own Articles of Incorporation to submit.
“Incorporator” is just a fancy title for the person who does a pretty straightforward job—signing and submitting your Articles of Incorporation. Your incorporator must include their name and address, but it doesn’t have to be a director, officer, or anyone in your corporation. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest to form your Hawaii corporation.
How much does it cost to start a Hawaii corporation?
$51. This includes the state filing fee ($50), and a mandatory State Archive fee ($1). File online, and there’s an additional online processing fee of $2.50. For 3-day expediting, add on another $25.
Hire Northwest and your total, out-the-door cost is $278.50 ($301 expedited). This includes state fees, a full year of registered agent service, useful corporate forms, and a hassle-free experience.
How long does it take to start a Hawaii corporation?
Standard processing takes about 10 days. Pay a $25 expediting fee and receive your approval in about 3 days.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your expedited Hawaii corporation formed within 3 business days.
Does a Hawaii corporation need a registered agent?
Absolutely. You must list your Hawaii registered agent and their office in your Articles of Incorporation. Your agent can be a business (but not your own) or an individual Hawaii resident. You can even be your own registered agent—although that’s not always the wisest decision. You’ll have to be available at the office listed in your Articles during regular business hours—and there’s nothing worse than staring out the window at the surf, knowing you’re stuck inside. This address also becomes part of the public record, meaning it’s accessible to everyone—including data-sellers and busybodies.
A better option? Leave the worry and hurry to us. Our address will go in your Articles, and we’ll be ready and waiting to scan and send you any legal notifications the same day—so you’re free to run your business from the beach (or wherever you want to be).
Create Bylaws for Your Hawaii Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Your bylaws define how your Hawaii corporation works internally. As an internal document, bylaws aren’t anything you have to submit to a state agency—but that doesn’t mean they’re not absolutely essential.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
Your bylaws put into writing who’s on the board of directors, what the scope of their powers are, how long they’ll stay, how they’ll be replaced, and how many members it’ll take to vote on a resolution. In your bylaws, you’ll explain the details of your corporation’s stock, such as classes, series and voting shares. You’ll also list the officers and their responsibilities. Essentially, your bylaws spell out exactly how your company will run and how much authority each person will have—critical information.
Bylaws are important for people outside of your corporation as well. Want to open a corporate bank account in Hawaii? You’ll almost certainly need to provide your bylaws. Want to take on investors or partners? They’ll be very interested in the details of your bylaws. Hope to get approval from a lender? They’ll probably need to see your bylaws too.
Do I have to write bylaws?
We know how crucial bylaws are to your corporation. That’s why we give you free corporate bylaws when you hire Northwest to form your Hawaii corporation. We give you other free corporate forms as well, from resolutions to meeting minute templates. We want to work with your business for years to come, so it’s important for us that you start off on the right foot. We’ve spent years refining and improving our docs. Check out the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Hawaii Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, your Hawaii corporation is required to get an EIN for federal tax filings. Your EIN will also come in handy for plenty of other forms and filings. You’ll typically need your EIN to open a corporate bank account and register for licenses and permits (like your GET license). In some cases, you can use your personal SS# instead, but there’s no reason to put your personal info at risk when you’re already required to have an EIN. You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost.
Prefer to leave the paperwork to us? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you—just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our services.
Open a Bank Account for Your Hawaii Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Hawaii corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Hawaii corporation’s bylaws
- The Hawaii corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Submit a Basic Business Application
Does a Hawaii corporation need a business license?
While not a business license per se, if you engage in any business in Hawaii, you’ll need a GET license along with a Hawaii tax ID. To get these, you’ll need to file a Basic Business Application (Form BB-1) and pay the $20 fee.
Cities and counties in Hawaii may require licenses for specific business activities. For example, pawnbrokers in Hawaii County shell out $100 a year for a business license.
File Hawaii Corporation Reports
What is a Hawaii Annual Report?
Your Hawaii Annual Report is a form you must submit to BREG each year in order to confirm or update your contact and ownership information. The form and $16 in fees are due at the end of your “anniversary quarter” (for example, if you registered your business in the first three months of the year, your report is due March 31st).
Forget to file? You’ll lose your good standing and have to pay a $10 fee. If you neglect your reports for more than two years, your business can be dissolved by the state. Northwest can help you avoid all these unpleasantries—we’ll send you reminder notifications for your reports. Better yet, leave all the annoying paperwork to us and hire Northwest to file your Annual Reports for you each year.
How much does a corporation in Hawaii cost each year?
$16. The filing fee for the mandatory Hawaii Annual Report is $15, and there’s a $1 State Archive fee for every Hawaii filing.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for a Hawaii corporation?
The Hawaii corporate net income tax rates are:
4.4%: $0 to $24,999
5.4%: $25,000 to $99,999
6.4%: $100,000 +
There’s no state sales tax in Hawaii—instead, Hawaii has a gross receipts tax called the General Excise Tax (GET). Essentially, instead of taxing customers (buyers), the state taxes businesses (sellers or providers). The rate is 4% for most products and services (4.5% in Oahu). Most businesses pass on the GET to customers, so the GET can appear much like a sales tax.