Start a Business in Hawaii
Starting a business in Hawaii is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Hawaii Business Registration Division and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Hawaii business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Business in Hawaii
You file articles of incorporation for a Hawaii corporation or articles of organization for a Hawaii LLC with the HI Business Registration Division.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Hawaii showing your approved Hawaii business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Hawaii business name should be easy with these two items.
You register your Hawaii LLC with the Hawaii Department of Taxation or Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations if you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax.
You obtain a trade license from Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing, if you actually need one. Most businesses don’t, but if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Hawaii yourself, you can just hire us as your Hawaii registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Hawaii LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate a Hawaii corporation or form a Hawaii LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Hawaii registered agent service.START YOUR HAWAII BUSINESS TODAY
Hawaii LLC vs Corporation
The corporation business structure is ideal for anyone wanting to start a large, growing business. Also, having the option of selling stock helps attract investors. However, an LLC is often better for smaller businesses because they offer flexible management and have fewer annual requirements.
But, what about Hawaii? Are there pros and cons for a Hawaii LLC vs a Hawaii Corporation?
Overall, there are few significant advantages of starting a Hawaii LLC versus a Hawaii corporation. Both entities cost $51 to form and will have a $12.50 filing fee when submitting their annual reports—which will require listing names and addresses of principals (i.e.: officers/directors, members/managers). Both LLCs and corporations are also subject to Hawaii’s gross receipts tax, known as the General Excise Tax (GET).
Differences in state income taxes and asset protection may be worth examining, however. Hawaii doesn’t asses a business franchise tax; however, the state does require corporate and personal income taxes. The state’s income-based tax rates can be ideal for any new business with lower annual revenues. For example, the corporate tax starts at 4.4% and the personal income rate starts at 1.4%. Keep in mind, however, that traditional corporations will be subject to double taxation. On the other hand, Hawaii corporations do have a bit stronger asset protection than LLCs. Unlike corporations, if a lien is placed against a Hawaii LLC member’s interest, a judge can order a foreclosure of interest, essentially forcing a sale.
So, if you’re looking to start a small Hawaii business, then an LLC is your best choice. But, if attracting investors and growing a large company is your major goal, then definitely start a corporation.
If you want a corporation, you file Hawaii Articles of Incorporation:
It will cost $50 to file the Articles of Incorporation with the HI Business Registration Division.
We custom draft your Hawaii Articles of Incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your Hawaii business. The basic requirements of Hawaii corporations are:
- The Hawaii corporation must have a corporate ending such as INC, Incorporated, Corporation or other variation.
- The Hawaii corporation name must be different than already registered Hawaii corporations.
- The number of common shares the Hawaii corporation is authorized to issue.
- The principal office mailing address.
- The name and office address of the registered agent in Hawaii.
- The name, address, and signature of the Hawaii corporation incorporator.
Hawaii does not require original signatures on new Hawaii corporation filings. If you file the paper form, Hawaii will send the filed copy to your mailing address. If you file online, they send you an email to tell you how to view your filed document on the Hawaii Business Registration Division website.
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If you want a LLC, you file Hawaii Articles of Organization:
To form a Hawaii LLC, you file Hawaii Articles of Organization. The Hawaii Business Registration Division Articles of Organization filing fee is $50. The basic requirements of Hawaii LLC filings are:
- The business name must have a LLC ending or variation of it.
- The Hawaii company name must be different than already registered Hawaii companies.
- The Hawaii LLC’s principal mailing address.
- The duration of the LLC may be at-will or for a specific term.
- If the Hawaii LLC is member-managed, you must list the members. If the LLC is manager-managed, you must list the managers.
- Whether the members are liable for the debts, obligations, and liabilities of the company.
- The Hawaii registered agent name and the physical address.
- The Hawaii organizers name, address, and signature.
Hawaii does not require original signatures on new HI LLC filings. The HI business Registration Division will send your filed document to the mailing address on the form. If you file online, they send you an email to tell you how to view your filing on their website.