Last Updated: February 16, 2024, 12:24 pm by TRUiC Team


How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Hawaii?

The cost to start an LLC (limited liability company) online in Hawaii is $51. This fee is paid to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs when filing the LLC’s Articles of Organization.

We recommend Northwest ($29 + State Fees) to help form your LLC.

How Much Does an LLC Cost in Hawaii?

Hawaii LLC Online Filing Fee: $50

The main cost to start an LLC in Hawaii is the $51 fee to file your LLC's Articles of Organization online with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

For a look at LLC costs in every state, read our other Cost to Start an LLC and How to Form an LLC guides.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Hawaii

If you already have an LLC that is registered in another state and you’d like to expand your business into Hawaii, you’ll need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in Hawaii.

The cost for registering a Hawaii foreign LLC is $50. You can register a foreign LLC in Hawaii by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form FLLC-1).

Optional LLC Formation Costs

There are optional fees associated with LLC formation:

LLC Name Reservation

Reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to LLC formation by filing the LLC Name Reservation Form (Form X-1) and paying the $10 filing fee.

Trade Name

File an Application for Registration of Trade Name (Form T-1) and pay the $50 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

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Ready to Start Your Hawaii LLC?

Read our LLC formation services review to choose the best service for you.

Hawaii LLC Annual Fees

When considering starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Hawaii, it is important to understand the ongoing costs associated with maintaining an LLC. 

Here are the primary ongoing costs for a Hawaii LLC:

  • Annual Report Fee: LLCs in Hawaii are required to file an annual report with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The fee for filing the annual report is $16, which includes a $15 filing fee and a $1 State Archive Fee.
  • Registered Agent Fee: Hawaii requires every LLC to have a registered agent. You can choose to use a professional service or elect an individual such as yourself. The specific fees for a professional registered agent service may vary.

It is important to consider these ongoing costs when planning your LLC's budget in Hawaii. By understanding and factoring in these expenses, you can make informed decisions and ensure the financial stability of your LLC.

How to Register a Hawaii LLC Yourself

Establishing your own LLC in Hawaii is a reachable goal that you can handle on your own by following the seven basic steps below:

Recommended: Using an LLC formation service like Northwest ($29 + State Fees) saves time and ensures compliance. Besides the low cost, we like their streamlined approach and excellent customer service.

Seven Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Hawaii

Step 1: Name Your Hawaii LLC
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: File the Articles of Organization
Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Step 5: Get an EIN
Step 6: File the Annual Report
Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

Step 1: Name Your Hawaii LLC

When you name your Hawaii LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Hawaii
  2. Meets Hawaii naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Recommended: Visit our Start an LLC in Hawaii guide for detailed naming rules and instructions for registering a business name in Hawaii.

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our How to Name a Business guide and free LLC Name Generator.

We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

All LLCs in Hawaii must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent primarily acts as your LLC’s main point of contact with the state. But most importantly, they are responsible for accepting service of process in the event your business is sued.

Your Hawaii registered agent must:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Have a physical address in Hawaii
  • Be available during normal business hours to accept service of process

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

The Hawaii Form LLC-1 - Articles of Organization is a document that is filed with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to form an LLC. The fee for filing the Articles of Organization is $50 online.

For detailed instructions for completing the Articles of Organization, visit our How to File the Hawaii Articles of Organization guide.

File the Hawaii Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With Hawaii Business Express

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form LLC-1 by Mail, by Fax, by Email, or in Person

Form LLC-1

State Filing Cost: $50, payable to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Mailing Address:
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
335 Merchant St.
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810

Office Address:
335 Merchant St.
Room 201
Honolulu, HI 96813

Fax: (808) 586-2733

Email: breg-doci-filing@dcca.hawaii.gov

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement isn't required for Hawaii LLCs, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Hawaii LLC operating agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

What is an EIN? An EIN or Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS) to identify a business for tax reporting purposes. An EIN is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for your company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

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Free EIN: You can get an EIN from the IRS website (free of charge) after forming your business.

Step 6: File the Annual Report

Hawaii requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Department of Commerce, which keeps your business's information up to date with the state. This can be done online, by mail, by fax, by email, or in person. Hard copy filing fees are $15, while online filings are $12.50.

Due dates for Hawaii LLC annual reports vary depending on which quarter the date of registration falls in. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs provides reminders at the beginning of each filing quarter.

Step 7: Keep Your Company Compliant

To operate your LLC in Hawaii, you'll need to adhere to various federal, state, and local laws. Here's a brief rundown:

  • Business Licenses & Permits: In addition to regular licenses and permits, Hawaii mandates all businesses to obtain a General Excise Tax License. These requirements might change based on the nature of your LLC.
  • Hawaii LLC Tax Obligations: It's critical to be aware of and fulfill your tax responsibilities. Instead of sales tax, Hawaii imposes a General Excise Tax (GET) on all business activities at a rate of 4%. If you hire employees, you'll need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax and manage Employee Withholding Tax. The state's individual income tax rates span from 1.4% to 11%, dependent on your LLC's earnings.
  • Employee Hiring Procedures: When hiring, verify the work eligibility of your employees in the US, report them as new hires to the state, provide workers' compensation insurance, manage employee tax withholdings, and make sure to place workplace compliance posters in easily seen areas.

Maintaining these elements can ensure the smooth and legal operation of your Hawaii LLC.

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Steps After LLC Formation

Read all the steps you’ll need to maintain your LLC’s personal liability protection, open a business bank account, get business insurance, and stay up to date with state reporting requirements.

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

Hawaii LLC Cost FAQ

The initial paperwork to file for an LLC in Hawaii, known as the Articles of Organization, costs $51. This fee includes a $50 filing fee and a $1 State Archive Fee. The paperwork is filed with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs and can be submitted online or by mail.

Yes, when forming an LLC in Hawaii, you need to appoint a Registered Agent. The Registered Agent accepts legal documents on behalf of the LLC. Although the state doesn't charge a fee for this, the cost of hiring a Registered Agent service typically revolves around $100 per year.

Yes, Hawaii requires LLCs to file an Annual Report. The cost to file the Annual Report is $16, which includes a $15 filing fee and a $1 State Archive Fee.

No, in Hawaii, neither the initial Registered Agent nor a new Registered Agent is required to officially consent.

DBA stands for "Doing Business As," also known as a trade name. It's not a requirement in Hawaii but can be used by an LLC that wishes to conduct business under a name different from its officially registered one.

Hawaii doesn't have any additional state compliance fees for an LLC. However, you must remember to file your annual report timely to stay in good standing.

You can perform a Business Name Search using the Business Entity & Documents Search tool on the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs' website. This search is free.

A Good Standing Certificate, also known as a Certificate of Good Standing, is a document that verifies your LLC is legally registered and compliant with all state requirements. While it's not required for forming an LLC, you may need it for certain business transactions, like securing loans or contracts.

There are no hidden costs per se, but be prepared for some additional costs like setting up a business bank account (monthly fees vary), and getting business insurance (cost varies depending on the type of business and coverage). It's important to budget for these costs along with the filing fees to avoid any surprises.

Article Sources

Hawaii Registration Division, Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs:
https://hbe.ehawaii.gov/BizEx/home.eb

IRS - Employer ID Numbers:
https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/employer-id-numbers

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - Business Registration:
https://cca.hawaii.gov/breg/

SBA - Apply for licenses and permits:
https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/launch-your-business/apply-licenses-permits

Chamber of Commerce - Hawaii Chamber of Commerce List:
https://www.officialusa.com/stateguides/chambers/Hawaii.html