Form an LLC in Hawaii for Free with Inc Authority

Want to start an LLC in Hawaii without incurring high costs and still ensuring you do it right? Use Inc Authority’s free LLC formation services and start your LLC today.


Its team of experts has helped 250K+ businesses and can help you too.

Start Your LLC Today

1 Year Registered Agent Service Free

Free review and filing of Articles of Organization to start a Limited Liability Company in Hawaii.

Complimentary registered agent services for one year with all plans, including the free LLC plan.

Free S-Corp election, including review and filing of Form 2553 of the Internal Revenue Service.

Things to Know Before Starting an LLC in Hawaii

Starting an LLC in Hawaii is easy, but you should understand the costs associated with it before you decide to form one. You should also be aware of the compliance requirements for running an LLC in Hawaii.

Let’s discuss some of the important ones briefly.

  • You need to fill out Form LLC-1 to file the Articles of Organization for your LLC with the Hawaii DCCA.
  • The filing can be done online, via mail or fax, or in person, and costs a one-time non-refundable filing fee of $50.
  • You can get your application reviewed and processed on priority by paying an extra fee of $25 for expedited review.
  • You need to file an annual report with the financial statements for your LLC in Hawaii, along with a filing fee of $15.

The fees for various LLC-related services are quite low compared to other states, making starting an LLC in Hawaii a great idea financially. The ongoing maintenance costs are also low, further incentivizing businesses to start an LLC in the state. 

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Choose a Niche

Before you start any type of business, you need to first choose a niche. It’s not enough to just decide you want to start a restaurant, for example. You need to choose which type of restaurant and the menu you intend to offer.

The idea is to drill down as much as you can and identify a niche catering to a specific market need. Your choice of niche should not only depend on your interests and skills but also on feasibility and market demand.

Choose a Name for Your Business
Reserve Your Name and Secure a Domain

Make a Business Plan

The next step is to check whether your chosen niche has enough demand for you to successfully enter and capture a share of the market. You will need to do thorough market research and understand the level of competition.

Based on the insights, and assuming the business idea is feasible, you need to make a business plan. This will include all important information, such as your target customers, your competitors, the services you’ll offer, etc.

Select a Unique LLC Name

Every new business needs an official name that is unique and follows the naming guidelines of the state in which it’s registered. So, your first order of business when starting an LLC in Hawaii is also to shortlist a business name.

To ensure your chosen name is not used by any other business, you’ll need to check the state database for matches. Once you’ve chosen the perfect business name, you can register it while submitting your Hawaii articles of organization.

Appoint a Delaware Registered Agent
Create a Delaware LLC Operating Agreement

Reserve Your Business Name and Get a Domain

Sometimes the process of registering a new business may get delayed due to various unforeseen reasons. In such cases, it’s best to reserve your chosen business name to ensure that no other business can register it before you do.

You can reserve a business name for 120 days in Hawaii. While at it, you should also look for and secure a matching domain name for your website. It’s better to do it early on to make sure you can get one matching your LLC name.

Appoint a Hawaii Registered Agent

A registered agent is a person or organization that legally agrees to receive all business correspondence only on behalf of your business. They should be based in the state in which you’re registered and must have a physical address there.

The registered agent will receive legal documents on your behalf and forward them to you in a timely manner. They’ll also be responsible for notifying you of any upcoming deadlines or compliance requirements for your business.

File Your Delaware Certificate of Formation

Choose a Type of LLC

Another important decision that you need to make when starting an LLC in Hawaii is deciding whether it would be a domestic LLC or a foreign LLC. This decision depends on whether you already have an LLC in another state.

If you already have an LLC registered in another state and simply want to expand your business in Hawaii, you need a foreign LLC. If you want to start a new business in Hawaii, then you will need to register a domestic LLC.

Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that details the rules of governance for an LLC. It is drafted by members and all the policies and procedures are put in place once the LLC members mutually agree upon all of them.

This document is not legally required but is a must if you want your business to run smoothly. The rules and guidelines ensure that all the important business decisions are made properly and all conflicts are resolved seamlessly.

Open a Business Bank Account
Get Business Licenses and Permits

Register Your LLC by Filing Hawaii Articles of Organization

This is the most important step in the process as this is where you officially register your new business in Hawaii. You need to fill out and submit Form LLC-1 to file your Articles of Organization along with the required documents and fees.

You need to submit the application to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), which is the authority responsible for business registrations. You can submit the form online, via mail, via fax, or in person.

Get an Employer Identification Number

After getting your Hawaii LLC registered, you must obtain a federal EIN or Tax ID number. This is a must-have for all businesses as it is required for various business purposes, such as opening a business bank account.

An EIN is like a social security number for a business. This is what the Internal Revenue Service and the government use to identify a business. It’s especially important for tax purposes as the IRS will use this to track your tax filings.

Choose Your Tax Structure
File for a DBA (Optional)

Open a Separate Bank Account for Your Business

Keeping personal and business finances separate is a must for every small business. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to risk your personal assets in case the business incurs losses or dissolves completely.

That’s why it’s so important to open a separate bank account for your business, to keep the business finances completely separate. This is also useful in securing loans and funding for your business, without involving the members.

Get Business Licenses and Permits

Once you’ve registered your business, you can still not start operations until you acquire the required business licenses and permits. These differ from state to state and different types of licenses may be required for different businesses.

Find out the requirements for your specific business at the local, state, and federal levels and then get the required licenses. You may need a general business license or a professional license depending on your type of business.

Pick and Reserve a Name for Your Business

Choose Your Tax Structure

One of the defining characteristics of a Limited Liability Company is that it has more tax flexibility than any other business entity. A single-member LLC, by default, is treated as a Sole Proprietorship, and the taxes are paid by the members.

A multi-member LLC, however, can choose to be taxed as a C-Corp, an S-Corp, or a Partnership. You need to consider the tax advantages and disadvantages of each to make an informed decision for your new LLC in Hawaii.

File for a DBA (Optional)

Sometimes the official business name becomes too long if the state requires adding words like LLC or limited to it, which is the case in most states, including Hawaii. This makes the name unsuitable for marketing and branding purposes.

In such cases, you can choose to run your business under an assumed name or fictitious name by filing for a DBA (doing business as). This will allow you to register a more marketable name that you can use for branding purposes.

File for a DBA (Optional)
Fulfill Ongoing Compliance Requirements

Stay Compliant

The process of starting an LLC is now complete, but your work doesn’t end here. As a new business owner, you need to make sure that your Limited Liability Company complies with all ongoing compliance requirements.

Make sure you file your taxes on time, file timely annual reports, and meet any other compliance requirements set forth by the state of Hawaii. This will ensure that you stay in good standing with the state and maintain your LLC status.

Why You Should Outsource LLC Formation Instead of Doing it Yourself

For a novice, the process of starting a new business can be daunting. Even with a clear list of steps, you may make mistakes, which is why outsourcing can be a good idea for you. Let’s consider some benefits of outsourcing.

It_s Convenient

Simplified Process

Outsourcing to a professional simplifies the process as all you need to do is provide the relevant information. It makes your job easier, allowing you to focus on more important things.


Error-Free Filing

By outsourcing the process to an expert, you can minimize your chances of error. When it comes to business filings, you really can’t afford to make any mistakes that can get your business application rejected.


Quick Filing

Most business formation service providers offer expedited filing options, including same-day filing. They’ll prepare, review, and submit your application quickly and get your new business started as soon as possible.

Form Your Hawaii LLC Today

Liability Protection

Unlike a Sole Proprietorship or a Partnership, where the owners are responsible for the company’s debts, LLCs offer better liability protection. In that regard, it is more similar to a Corporation, offering the best of both worlds.

If a Limited Liability Company fails to pay off its debts, the company’s assets can be seized but the members’ personal assets will be protected. LLC members are not personally liable for paying off the company’s debts.

Liability Protection
Flexible Tax Structure

Flexible Tax Structure

A Limited Liability Company in Hawaii or any other state can choose how it wants to be taxed. By default, a single-member LLC will be treated as a Sole Proprietorship and a multi-member LLC will be treated as a Partnership.

This means that the business income will pass through to the owners, who will then pay personal income taxes. However, an LLC can choose to be taxed as a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation as well if it serves its purposes better.

Low Formation and Maintenance Costs

It is usually cheaper to form and run a Limited Liability Company than a Corporation. Starting an LLC in Hawaii, for example, requires a nominal filing fee of $50 and the fee for filing the annual report for a domestic LLC is just $15.

Given that LLCs don’t have too many ongoing compliance requirements, this is the majority of costs associated with running an LLC in Hawaii. Though the fees vary by state, an LLC is still more affordable than a Corporation.

Low Formation and Maintenance Costs
Less Paperwork

Less Paperwork

The process for forming an LLC in Hawaii or any other state is pretty straightforward and doesn’t involve too much regulatory hassle. Except for filing your Articles of Organization, everything else is done at the business level.

This is unlike the process of starting a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation, which is more elaborate and requires a lot more paperwork. Since corporations are more formal business entities, forming them is more complicated.

Ease of Management

Another advantage that limited liability companies offer over corporations is that they are easier to manage on a day-to-day basis. As LLCs are governed by their internal rules of conduct, they don’t have stringent management policies.

Corporations, on the other hand, have to abide by predefined rules, which don’t change from company to company. From holding board meetings to taking detailed minutes, there are a lot of formalities, which is not the case with LLCs.

Ease of Management
Ownership Flexibility

Ownership Flexibility

Some business entities, S-Corps for instance, have strict rules on who can and can’t be the shareholder. S-Corporations can have a maximum of 100 shareholders and no shareholder can be a non-resident foreign citizen.

LLCs have no such limitations and offer a lot more ownership flexibility. A Hawaii LLC can have a single member or multiple members with no upper limits. LLC members can be individuals or organizations, with very limited restrictions.

Ability to Hold Assets 

Unlike business entities like Sole Proprietorships or Partnerships, LLCs have a more formal structure. They’re technically pass-through entities, which as not as formal as corporations, but still hold certain legal rights.

One such legal right is the ability to hold assets in the business’s name, not in the members’ names. This allows business assets and members’ personal assets to remain separate, providing another layer of protection to members.

Ability to Hold Assets
Ability to Enter into Contracts

Ability to Enter into Contracts

Another legal right that Hawaii LLCs have is the ability to enter into contracts by themselves. Members need not enter into business agreements personally and all formal business contracts can be signed in the name of the LLC.

This is great because most stakeholders, especially investors and lenders, find it safer to enter into a contract with a business than an individual. As explained earlier, this also helps with members’ liability protection aspect.


Here are the features you’ll get with this plan:

  • Business name search: Conduct a free and quick business name search to determine if your chosen name is available for use within the state.
  • Complimentary registered agent services: Get free registered agent services for 1 year from a local resident agent with a physical address in Hawaii.
  • Digital document storage: Get access to an online dashboard where you store and manage your business documents, instead of maintaining physical copies.
  • Tax consultation: Talk to a tax expert and get a brief consultation on how to maximize your tax savings and get the most tax benefits for your business.
  • LLC filing: Let a team of experts review, prepare, and file your Hawaii Articles of Organization with the State’s business registration division.
  • S-Corp election: Seek expert help in filing Form 2553 for the S-Corp election if you want to acquire the special tax status of an S-Corp for tax benefits.
  • Business funding analysis: Let an expert assess your short-term business funding needs and give you options to secure funding for your business.

Overall, the free plan is perfect for those who simply want an error-free and hassle-free way to start an LLC in Hawaii. But those looking for additional services should check out the two paid plans, described below.

Price: Free


Here are the additional services you’ll get with this plan apart from what you get in the free plan:

  • LLC operating agreement: Get detailed templates for creating an LLC operating agreement yourself or seek help from experts who can do it for you. In any case, you’ll be sure that you don’t miss any important details to add to it.
  • Employer Identification Number: Easily apply for and quickly obtain a federal EIN with the help of Inc Authority. Its team will take care of the entire application process from filling out the application to reviewing and submitting it.
  • Corporate forms and documents package: Get access to a comprehensive package of templates for various business and legal documents. Use this to quickly draft professional documents without needing expert help.
  • Annual compliance notifications: Focus on growing your business without worrying about missing important deadlines and Inc Authority’s team will inform you of any upcoming ones and ensure you don’t miss anything.
  • Detailed tax consultation: Get access to a tax expert who will dedicatedly work with you to help you achieve maximum tax benefits. Ask questions, seek help, and get as detailed a tax consultation as you need to understand things.
  • Web domain + 5 business email addresses: Easily launch a website and get organic traffic by using Inc Authority’s web design and marketing services, which it offers via a tie-up with leading service providers like GoDaddy.

This plan is perfect for those who want some essential add-on services, such as EIN filing and web design, at an affordable price.

Price: Custom


Here are the additional services you’ll get over and above what you get with the Starter plan:

  • Customer success advisor: Get a dedicated customer success advisor who will help you make use of Inc Authority’s services to your advantage. They’ll answer all your questions, guide you through the LLC formation process and beyond, and help you establish a successful business.
  • Private banking specialist: Work with a banking professional who will help you understand your business banking requirements and provide you with some great options. From choosing the right banking partner to opening different types of accounts they’ll guide you through everything.
  • Personalized business advisory: Consult with experts in various aspects of business and get advice on how to start a successful business and scale it. You will get unlimited access to personalized business advisory services that can help you market and grow your business quickly.
  • Expedited preparation & filing: Let the team at Inc Authority treat your LLC application as the top priority and file it within the same day. This helps you skip the queue and get your new business started quickly. You will also get priority support and prompt resolution to your needs.

The top-tier plan is perfect for those who want priority services and are willing to pay for them. But if all you want to do is register a Hawaii LLC, then the free plan is enough for you.

Price: Custom

Why Choose Inc Authority to Form an LLC in Hawaii

Except for the fact that Inc Authority is a trusted service provider with decades of experience, here are some reasons why you should consider it for starting your Hawaii LLC.

Free Service

Free Service

Inc Authority is a professional business formation services provider that offers free LLC formation services. No hidden charges and no service fees; simply pay the state filing fee and it will do everything else for you, for free.

Unmatched Expertise

Unmatched Expertise

When you choose Inc Authority, you get access to experts in various fields, from tax consultants to private banking specialists. They’ll help you with various aspects of your business and ensure that you are successful in your new venture.

No Hassles

The process of forming an LLC and dealing with state departments can be tedious. Not to mention, a single mistake can get your application rejected. Inc Authority makes the process convenient for you, as all you need to do is provide information.

Form an LLC with Inc Authority


You will need all important information related to your business and identification documents of members to form an LLC in Hawaii. Once you’re ready with all the important information, you can follow the instructions in our detailed guide on how to form an LLC in Hawaii.

For your reference, here’s the step-by-step process to start an LLC in Hawaii:

  • Choose a Niche: Come up with a business idea and find a niche that you can realistically serve and can make profits from. Be as specific as possible.
  • Make a Business Plan: Check the feasibility of your business idea, conduct market research, and make a solid business plan to run a successful business.
  • Select a Unique LLC Name: Choose a name that no other business is using, follows the Hawaii LLC naming guidelines, and is easy to remember.
  • Reserve Your Business Name and Get a Domain: Secure a domain name matching your LLC name and reserve the latter if there’s a need.
  • Appoint a Hawaii Registered Agent: Hire a local resident agent who will be responsible for receiving and forwarding your legal business correspondence.
  • Choose a Type of LLC: Understand your requirements and determine whether you need to start a domestic LLC or a foreign LLC in Hawaii.
  • Create an LLC Operating Agreement: Draft a complete operating agreement laying down the rules and regulations for how your LLC will operate.
  • Register Your LLC by Filing Hawaii Articles of Organization: Fill out and submit your application to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
  • Get an Employer Identification Number: Obtain an EIN for your business as it’s how the Internal Revenue Service will identify your business for tax purposes.
  • Open a Separate Bank Account for Your Business: Keep your personal finances separate from your business finances by opening a business bank account.
  • Get Business Licenses and Permits: Find out the requirements at the county, state, and federal levels and get all the required permits for your specific business.
  • Choose Your Tax Structure: Either go with the default option of pass-through taxation or choose to be treated as a C-Corp or an S-Corp for tax purposes.
  • File for a DBA (Optional): If your official business name is too long or not marketable enough, you can file for a DBA to get a fictitious name.
  • Stay Compliant: Lastly, you should pay your taxes, file annual reports on time, and meet all compliance requirements to stay in good standing with the state.

That’s it. These are the key steps involved in starting and running an LLC in Hawaii. You can follow these yourself or hire external help to take care of the process for you.

The short answer is that yes it’s a good state to form an LLC, not the best and definitely not the worst.

According to Forbes’ 2023 rankings on “Best States to Start a Business” Hawaii ranks 17th. The report also states that the survival rate for businesses is the lowest in Hawaii at 75%, though the state has low costs of starting a business.

The state filing fees for forming an LLC and submitting annual reports are extremely low, compared to many other states. The individual tax rates, however, may get a bit high depending on the income. And there are a few other taxes to consider.

Overall, though, it’s a more business-friendly state than many others and the costs of running a Hawaii LLC are relatively affordable. 

Here are some of the key benefits of an LLC:

  • Liability Protection: The members of an LLC are not personally liable for paying off the company’s debts and they’re generally protected from any lawsuits or legal action against the company.
  • Flexible Tax Structure: LLCs can opt for the pass-through taxation of partnerships or choose to be taxed as C-Corps or S-Corps, depending on their requirements and members’ preferences.
  • Low Formation and Maintenance Costs: Hawaii LLCs are cheap to form and, run. The filing fee for Articles of Organization is just $50 and that for filing annual reports for the business is merely $15.
  • Less Paperwork: Hawaii limited liability companies require minimal paperwork to form, compared to a more formal entity like a Corporation. You simply need to file the Articles of Organization and that’s pretty much it.
  • Ease of Management: LLCs are much easier to manage than corporations. The LLC members can decide how they want the company to be run and follow their own, mutually-agreed-upon rules of governance.
  • Ownership Flexibility: LLCs have no upper limits on how many members it can have, nor do they have too many restrictions on who the members can be. This is unlike the case with other business entities like S-Corps.
  • Ability to Hold Assets: An LLC is a legal entity in itself, separate from the members. As such, it has certain legal rights, which include the right to hold assets, such as property, equipment, and more.
  • Ability to Enter into Contracts: Another legal right that LLCs have is the right to enter into business contracts in their own name. Members need not sign agreements in their name and can do so in the name of the LLC.

Overall, there are many benefits to choosing an LLC over other types of business entities. LLCs the liability protection of a Corporation and the tax benefits of a Sole Proprietorship. They’re easy to form and manage, making them the perfect choice for new entrepreneurs.

Yes, you can form a single-member LLC in Hawaii. It will be treated as a Sole Proprietorship for tax purposes, which means that the owner will report business profits on their personal income tax returns.

There are also no restrictions on the age and state of residence of the LLC owner. You can start a single-member LLC in Hawaii and later convert it to a multi-member LLC, if and when required.

Starting an LLC in Hawaii involved a mandatory one-time filing fee of $50. Other than that most costs are optional. For example, if you choose to hire a professional for the filing, you may need to pay their service charges. 

However, Inc Authority offers LLC formation services for free, so you can save on those unnecessary expenses. What’s more, is that it also offers several other free services with its free plan, so it’s a steal deal for anyone looking to form an LLC in Hawaii.