Hawaii LLC Costs
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A limited liability company, or LLC, is a business structure that benefits business owners. It provides them with liability protection, unique tax breaks, state-specific incentives, and a flexible management structure. Some small business owners and entrepreneurs worry that forming an LLC in Hawaii is expensive and too complicated. However, it is a straightforward process worth the investment for many.
Costs to start an LLC in Hawaii
LLC Articles of Organization ($50)
- You must file your Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).
- The LLC cost to file your Hawaii Articles of Organization is $50.
- The state of Hawaii does offer expedited LLC services for an additional $25.
Hawaii annual report fee ($12.50 online)
- You must file an annual report with Hawaii DCCA.
- You can file your LLC’s annual report online using the Hawaii Business Express website.
- Or, you can complete the annual report form and submit it by mail, email, fax, or in person.
- The Hawaii annual fee is $12.50 online, or $15 if you submit a hard copy.
- The due date for your annual report fee is the end of the calendar quarter of the formation of the LLC.
- In Hawaii, the penalty for not submitting your annual report on time is $10, and you could face possible dissolution.
Hawaii registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)
- When forming an LLC in Hawaii, you must appoint a registered agent.
- The appointment of a registered agent alerts the Hawai Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs that someone is available during business hours to accept tax notices, subpoenas, and other essential documents.
- You can appoint anyone as a registered agent in Hawaii, including yourself, as long as it meets state requirements.
- The cost of a registered agent in Hawaii will vary depending on the commercial service, LLC needs, and the state filing fees.
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Hawaii ($50)
- In Hawaii, you must register your LLC as a foreign LLC if it already exists in another state and you are looking to expand.
- You can register your foreign LLC using the DCCA Hawaii Business Express website.
- Or, you can complete the Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company and submit the hard copy by mail, email, fax, or in person.
- The filing fee to register a Hawaii foreign LLC is $50.
LLC name reservation fee ($10)
- In Hawaii, you are not required to reserve an LLC name before formation.
- However, reserving your Hawaii LLC name ensures that no one else can register the same name.
- A Hawaii LLC name must be unique and meet the state requirements.
- You can reserve a Hawaii LLC name for up to 120 days before formation.
- You can reserve the company name online using the Hawaii Business Express website.
- Or, you can complete the Application for Reservation of Name (Form X-1) and submit it by mail, email, fax, or in-person to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
- The cost to reserve an LLC name in Hawaii is $10.
DBA filing fees in Hawaii ($50)
- The acronym DBA stands for ‘doing business as.’ A DBA, or an assumed name, is a registered name that a person or business uses to operate that is not the legal name.
- Hawaii does not mandate that an LLC register a DBA. DBA registration is an entirely voluntary process.
- You can register a DBA online using the Department of Commerce and Commercial Affairs Hawaii Business Express website.
- Or, complete the Application for Registration of Trade Name and submit it by mail, email, fax, or in-person to the Hawaii DCCA.
- The cost to register a Hawaii DBA name is $50.
Cost of certified document copies ($10)
- You will follow the instructions and order your certified LLC document copies from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
- The cost for LLC documents in Hawaii is $10.
Certificate of Good Standing ($7.50)
- Banks and money lenders will require you to submit a Certificate of Good Standing before allowing you to open a business bank account.
- You will order your Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing online using the Hawaii Business Express website.
- The filing cost for a Hawaii Certificate of Good Standing is $7.50
Steps to start an LLC in Hawaii
Choose a business name
You will want to consider a few things when deciding on a Hawaii company name.
- The LLC name must be unique and available for use in Hawaii.
- An LLC name in Hawaii must be all state naming requirements.
- You will want to check for web domain availability to keep branding simple.
You will use the Hawaii Business Express to conduct a name search.
LLC name reservation fee
Hawaii does not require the reservation of an LLC name before formation.
The cost to reserve a company name in Hawaii is $10. An LLC name is good for up to 120 days. Hawaii does not require you to reserve an LLC name.
Appoint a Hawaii registered agent
You must appoint a registered agent in Hawaii when forming an LLC in the state.
The price for a Hawaii registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.
A registered agent in Hawaii is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
The registered agent you choose must be a Hawaii resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.
- Starter Plan – $39 a year plus State Fees
- Pro Plan – $149 a year plus State Fees
- Premium Plan – $249 a year plus State Fees
ZenBusiness has a stand-alone registered agent service for Hawaii LLCs. The price is $99 per year.
- Total Out The Door Hawaii LLC Formation Service Package – $40 a month and includes:
- Hawaii State Fee
- Filing Service Fee
- Registered Agent
- Tax ID
- Annual Plan – $225 plus State Fees a year
- Economy – $79 plus $153 Hawaii filing fees
- Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
- Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees
File Hawaii Articles of Organization
You must file your Hawaii Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
You can file the Articles of Organization online using the Hawaii Business Express website.
Or, you can complete the Articles of Organization for Limited Liability form (LCC-1) and submit it by mail or fax to the DCCA.
The LLC cost to file Hawaii Articles of Organization is $50.
Hawaii does offer expedited LLC services for an additional fee – 1-3 business days – $25.
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
PO Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810
335 Merchant St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Email Address: [email protected]
The Form LLC-1 will ask for specific information about a Hawaii LLC.
- LLC name and address
- Registered agent information
- LLC organizers’ name(s)
- Period of duration
The fee in Hawaii for filing your LLC Articles of Organization is $50.
Get a Hawaii LLC EIN
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).
The 9-digit EIN acts as a Social Security Number for companies for income tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Service or IRS will use your LLC’s EIN for free.
If you are converting a sole proprietorship to an LLC in Hawaii, you will need to apply for an EIN.
Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.
Business banking for a Hawaii LLC
You will always want to keep your personal bank account separate from your personal one. It protects your assets and credit scores.
In Hawaii, banks and lenders will request you submit a copy of the LLC’s Articles of Organization, operating agreement, and EIN.
Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.
Business attorney fees in Hawaii
A business attorney understands the LLC process and keeps it simple. Also, retaining a lawyer will help handle any business-related issues that may arise in the future.
In most cases, a business attorney will offer a first-client client a free consultation.
On average, a business lawyer in Hawaii will cost $300 per hour.
LLC taxes in Hawaii
- As an LLC, you will file your personal tax returns rather than the LLC’s ones because you are considered a pass-through entity.
- You must register for a seller’s permit if you sell physical products in Hawaii.
- Hawaii does not have a sales tax. Instead, it has a General Excise Tax.
- The Hawaii state tax rate is 4.00%, and a max local and county rate of 0.50%.
- To hire employees in Hawaii, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
- You must also enroll in Employee Withholding Tax through the Hawaii Department of Taxation.
- Hawaii state taxes and federal taxes are often complicated to navigate. When you hire a tax expert, you ensure you avoid missing deadlines, penalties, and possible dissolution.
Business licenses and permits in Hawaii
The cost for an LLC’s business licenses and permits will vary depending on where the company is located and what type of business it is.
You will use the Hawaii.gov website to search for the necessary licenses and permits.
A business licence in Hawaii averages between $50 to $300. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.
Government agencies in different jurisdictions will have specific processes and rules for licenses. Contact the local government office to ask questions about the process, price, and office hours.
You will find that some Hawaii LLC documents will require a notarization from a notary public.
Government agencies typically have a notary public in the office if you cannot locate one.
According to Hawaii state law, a notary public can only charge a max of $5 per notorial act.
Employer obligations in Hawaii
- You will have specific obligations if you hire employees in Hawaii.
- You must verify that all employees are eligible to work legally in the United States using Form I-9 from the USCIS Website.
- In Hawaii, you must enroll in worker’s compensation insurance.
- You must report all new hires using the State of Hawaii Department of Health New Hire website.
- You can find a complete list of Hawaii employer obligations.
Benefits of a Hawaii LLC
- When you form an LLC in Hawaii, you simplify the business banking process. Banks will require you to open separate business and personal bank accounts. It will reduce your future liability.
- An LLC in Hawaii has different compliance requirements than other business structures. Incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make business decisions.
- In Hawaii, LLCs are considered pass-through entities. You will file your personal tax returns rather than the LLC.
- You are ensuring you are not double-taxed in Hawaii. C-corporations are typically double-taxed by nature.
- Hawaii has incentives that are available to LLCs. Designated Enterprise Zones and Eligible Business Activities is an incentive for an LLC in the state.
How long does it take to register an LLC in Hawaii?
It takes the state of Hawaii 5 to 7 days to process online LLC registration. If filed by mail, it will take 7 to 10 business days.
Hawai does offer expedited LLC services – 1 to 3 business days – $25.
How do I cancel my Hawaii LLC?
Are there publishing requirements for Hawaii LLCs?
Unlike Arizona and New York, Hawaii has no additional publishing requirements.
Does Hawaii have an annual franchise tax?
Hawaii is one of the few states that does not impose an annual franchise tax.
Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Hawaii?
The state of Hawaii does not mandate that you submit an operating agreement to the Secretary of State. However, having an operating agreement on file prevents future internal misunderstandings.
It can be written or oral as long as it is in the LLC’s files.
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