How To Incorporate In Hawaii

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1. Choose a Name for Your Hawaii Corporation

Check on Available Names in Hawaii: Before you can incorporate your small business in the state of Hawaii, you need a unique corporate name. You cannot use a name that is already in use by another corporation. You can search online records and databases as well as other catalogs to see if the name that you have chosen is unique. To search a database of Hawaii businesses, go to Hawaii Corporation.

Reserve a Corporate Name: Once you have found a unique corporate name, you may want to reserve the name until you are able to incorporate. You can download the application to reserve a corporate name at Reserve a Hawaii Corporation Name. The fee is $10.00 to reserve a name.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Even though the name that you have chosen to use to incorporate your small business may be unique and available in Hawaii, another company in another state could be using the same name. There is a possibility that you might encounter some restrictions on the name that you have chosen for your corporation. You can consult an attorney to learn more about these possible restrictions and how you can file a trademark for a certain name. Visit our article on how to choose a name for your corporation.

Hawaii Corporate Name Requirements: When you incorporate your small business in Hawaii, your corporation will need to have a name that includes the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of one of these words.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Hawaii

You must choose a registered agent in order to incorporate your small business in Hawaii. Your registered agent acts as an agent for service of process and will be responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for your corporation.  There are corporate services companies that provide registered agent services for a fee.  

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Hawaii Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: When you have your corporate name and your registered agent, you are ready to prepare Articles of Incorporation for your small business. You can find and download the Articles of Incorporation form online at How To Incorporate In Hawaii.

When you file Articles of Incorporation in the state of Hawaii, you will be asked to provide the corporate name that you have chosen, your corporate purpose, information related to the number of shares authorized by your corporation, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of each incorporator. You will need to provide the mailing address of your corporation’s main office. Each incorporator must sign the Articles of Incorporation.

Other Hawaii Legal Provisions: You may want to include other legal provisions as part of the Articles of Incorporation for your corporation. An attorney can help you at the time that you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation to make sure that you include any additional legal provisions that may be appropriate for your company.

Where to Submit Form: You may submit your Articles of Incorporation form online at Hawaii Articles of Incorporation. If you decide to download and print the Articles of Incorporation form, you can mail the completed form and payment to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division P.O. Box 40, Honolulu, Hawaii 96810.

Filing Fee: The filing fee in Hawaii is $50.00. If you need an expedited review, there is an additional fee of $25.00.  

4. Create Other Hawaii Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

There are other actions that you can prepare to take after you have submitted the Articles of Incorporation for your corporation. These other actions include appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, and obtaining a tax ID number. You should check with county and state government offices to see what business license and other licenses your company may require.

You should also consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements to determine when stock can be sold, and documents that outline what will happen if an owner leaves the company. These documents can be invaluable, especially if the corporation has multiple owners. You should consult an attorney when you are preparing these documents. An attorney can help you to comply with all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. There are also many corporate service companies that assist corporations in preparing these types of legal documents for a fee. You may want to consider using their services when preparing documents for your corporation.

5. Qualify Your Hawaii Corporation to Do Business in Other States

If the main office of your corporation is located outside of the state of Hawaii, you need to find out how you can register or qualify your corporation to do business in other states. You will find that most other states will require you to qualify to do business in the state, and you will be required to pay taxes in your home state. To learn more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states, go to Registering a Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Hawaii

When your corporation is officially registered in the state of Hawaii, you will need to file an annual report with updated information about your corporation, your registered agent, and your officers and directors. The fee to file this report is $15.00. You can file online at Hawaii Corporation Fee.

Your corporation will be subject to Hawaii state income taxes.  You will be required to file a Hawaii corporate income tax return for your corporation and pay the required taxes. It is a good idea to consult an accountant as you are preparing the tax documents for your corporation. An accountant can help you to avoid mistakes on your tax documents that could cost you hundreds of dollars in extra taxes. You can download tax forms and learn more about the tax requirements for corporations in Hawaii at the official website of the Hawaii Department of Revenue at Hawaii Corporation Dept. of Revenue.  

Though it can be complicated to incorporate a small business, especially if there are multiple owners, consulting an attorney and an accountant can help you feel more confident that your paperwork is being prepared correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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