When you form your LLC in Hawaii, you’ll have to pay certain costs to officially register your business with the state.
In addition to formation and ongoing costs, there will be business expenses like using a registered agent service, building a website, getting business insurance, and so on. So, how much does an LLC cost in Hawaii?
In this guide, we break down the costs associated with forming your LLC, from the Hawaii LLC filing fee to LLC upkeep prices and other business expenses.
Cost of Forming an LLC in Hawaii
When forming your LLC, there are a few different costs that you may incur. These include the filing fee, LLC formation service cost, operating agreement draft, and registered agent costs.
Hawaii LLC Filing Fee
When forming an LLC in Hawaii, you will need to file an Articles of Organization with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The state charges a $50 filing fee for this service, plus a $1 State Archive Fee. The filing fee is often referred to as the “state fee.”
If you elect to partner with an LLC formation service, you will be responsible for their service fee, in addition to the $50 state fee. The service fee is typically around $29 and increases with each additional service you purchase.
Most people choose to use an LLC formation service to create their LLC. The cost is low and they guarantee that your filing is done correctly. Check out our #1 rated LLC service:
For more details on the formation process, check out our Hawaii LLC Formation guide.
Hawaii Registered Agent and Registered Office
Every LLC in the State of Hawaii is required to assign a registered agent. The registered agent you appoint will accept mail on behalf of the LLC, including legal documents, tax forms, and written communication from the government. Registered agents can be an individual or a business entity. You can elect to hire a registered agent service, which costs $130 or more annually.
Your registered agent can be:
- A registered agent service (most common)
- Yourself (not recommended)
- Another member of the LLC
- A business attorney
If you haven’t yet formed your LLC, we recommend using Northwest Registered Agent to form, as you will receive one year of registered agent services for free with a $29 formation.
Hawaii LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is an official document that outlines the ownership and profit distribution details and operating procedures of an LLC. Each member or manager’s position and responsibilities are outlined in this document. This transparency helps avoid any confusion and settle potential conflicts as they arise.
While recommended, Hawaii does not require LLCs to file their operating agreements with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. If you are a single member LLC and simple multi-member LLC, you can elect to draft the document yourself.
If you decide to draft your LLC’s operating agreement yourself, consider using a free operating agreement template or document builder. That brings your total cost to $0.
Optional Hawaii LLC Formation Costs
Along with the fees associated with forming an LLC, there are several optional LLC formation costs that you may encounter.
- Reserve a Name for Your LLC – Before you register your business name with the state, you’ll first need to confirm the name is available and unique. You can do this by doing a business name search. The cost to reserve a business entity name is $10.
- Doing Business As (DBA) Name – Do you plan to operate your business under a different name than your LLC’s? If so, you will need to file a DBA with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The fee to file a DBA, also known as a trade name, is $50.
- Expedited Hawaii LLC Filing – If you need your Articles of Organization processed faster, Hawaii does offer expedited filing. The expedited filing fee is $25.
- Certified Document Copies – To ensure your LLC’s business documents on file are accurate, you can request a copy from the state. The department charges a processing fee of $13 for each certified copy.
- Certificate of Good Standing – A Certificate of Good Standing confirms that your business is registered with the state and is authorized to do business in Hawaii. Many lenders, banks, and licensing offices require this certificate. The fee for requesting a Certificate of Good Standing is $5. Expedited reviews are $10.
Hawaii LLC Cost and Fees Over Time
There are a few things you need to address to keep your LLC in good standing with the state year after year. Each of these comes with costs and fees.
Annual LLC Fee Hawaii
Each year, your Hawaii LLC must submit an annual report with the state. This report helps the state maintain accurate records of each Hawaii business. The online filing fee is $12.50 and the fee to print and mail your report is $15.
Annual filings are due by the end of the calendar quarter in which your Hawaii LLC was first registered. You will receive a reminder at the beginning of each filing quarter.
If you miss the due date for your Hawaii annual report, you will be charged a late fee of $10. If you fail to file your report for two or more years, your Hawaii LLC will be dissolved. See our Hawaii LLC Annual Report article for a more in-depth overview.
Registered Agent Fee
If you use a professional registered agent service, you will pay their fee annually. Pricing will depend on the service provider that you use, but usually costs around $130/year. Using a registered agent service will save you time and the hassle of handling important legal documents and filings for the long term.
If you act as your own registered agent there are no maintenance fees. However, for privacy and compliance purposes, we don’t recommend being your own registered agent.
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers a year of its registered agent service for free when you use the company to form your LLC ($29 + state fees).
General Costs of Running a Business
Operating a business will obviously come with more than just LLC costs. These are a few of the expenses that you may run into.
Business Bank Account
An LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. This separation is called the corporate veil. That corporate veil ensures that if your business is sued or incurs debts, your personal assets will be protected from any liabilities.
Commingling (mixing) your personal bank account with your business can pierce your LLC’s corporate veil, which means you are no longer protected by the separated entity of your LLC.
Using a separate bank account to accept payments and pay business expenses is the only way to prevent commingling funds and piercing the corporate veil.
Recommended article: Check out TRUiC’s Best Small Business Banks guide to find the best bank account for your business.
Business Permits and Licenses
Depending on the type of business you operate, your business may need the proper permits and licenses to legally operate in Hawaii.
Alongside the permits required, your business may require industry-specific licenses to operate legally. Examples include licenses like the Hawaii real estate license, Hawaii insurance license, Hawaii adjuster license, and so on.
See TRUiC’s How to Get a Business License in Hawaii article for more information.
Every business needs a website. There’s no better way to get in front of your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.
Fortunately, the cost and difficulty of creating a business website have come down over the years. Websites are now simple to build and cheap to keep up.
We advise small business owners to use the GoDaddy Website Builder. It’s an extremely simple to use system, creates great business websites, and only costs about $15/month.
Having the proper insurance coverage can potentially save your entire business if there is a loss, accident, or lawsuit.
A few of the most common business insurance policies include:
- General liability insurance – Protects against claims of personal injury, physical injury, property damage, and more. This is the most common of all business insurance policies. Learn more about general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance – Protects against claims of inaccurate or negligent work. It’s most common in the “professional” space where businesses offer services or advice to other businesses or consumers. Learn more about professional liability insurance.
- Commercial Workers’ Compensation Insurance – This type of insurance protects your employees from on-the-job injuries or illnesses. This coverage is required if you have one or more employees. Learn more about Workers’ Compensation insurance.
The cost of business insurance varies widely based on business type, size, location, and other factors. Getting a quote is the only way to understand the actual cost of insurance for your LLC.
We recommend NEXT Insurance to help protect and grow your Hawaii LLC. It features instant coverage with competitive pricing that’s tailored to fit your business’ needs.
LLC Cost in Hawaii FAQ
Do you have to pay ongoing fees for an LLC every year?
Hawaii requires all LLCs to file an annual report each year. This filing can be done online through Hawaii Business Express or by mail, email, fax, or in person. Online filings are $12.50; all other filings are $15.
What’s the cheapest way to form an LLC?
Can you start a Hawaii LLC for free?
No. All applicants must pay the state filing fee to start a Hawaii LLC. The filing fee is $51.
How much does a registered agent cost?
Do I need to pay a franchise tax for my Hawaii LLC?
No. The State of Hawaii does not collect a franchise tax from businesses operating in the state.
How much does an LLC formation service provider cost?
It depends on the LLC formation company you choose. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which starts at $29, plus the $50 state fee, and includes the first year of registered agent services for free.