When starting a Hawaii LLC, or limited liability company, there are several regulations to follow. Typically, LLCs are relatively affordable and easy to form. In fact, LLCs offer their owners legal protections by separating personal assets from their business debts. However, forming an LLC can be complicated depending on the laws of the state you’re located in. As a business owner, forming your LLC in Hawaii avoids idiosyncratic requirements and high filing fees. Read on to discover how to start a Hawaii LLC.
Decide On A Business Name
Deciding on a business name is often the most important step in forming a Hawaii LLC. Make sure it’s easily searchable by potential clients, and meets the state’s naming requirements. For example, Hawaii LLCs must contain the phrase “LLC” in the name. They also can’t contain any words that would confuse your business with a government agency, such as FBI or State Department. Some restricted words such as bank and university may require relevant paperwork as well as a licensed individual to be part of your company. Additionally, make sure your chosen brand name isn’t already taken and is available as a domain name. Surely, deciding on a business name is an important first step that determines the direction of your LLC.
Determine A Registered Agent
Second, you’ll need to designate a registered agent for your limited liability company. You can designate a friend or family member, use a commercial registered agent, or designate yourself. However, anyone you designate must be a resident of Hawaii. Commercial registered agents are often the most reliable setups due to their privacy. If you designate yourself or a friend/family member, your business address becomes public record. Additionally, whoever you designate (yourself or a friend/family member) must have a Hawaii street address. Absolutely, designating a registered agent provides it legitimacy and direction for business inquiries.
File Articles of Organization
Third, you need to file articles of organization with the Business Registration Division of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This comes with a $50 filing fee and can be done online or by mail. Your articles of organization must include your business’s name and address, as well as those of your registered agent. Any other organizers must be included as well. Additionally, include the LLC’s duration if it’s not perpetual, whether it will be managed by members or managers, and the names/addresses of people who will be managing it. Statements that your company’s members assume responsibility for the company’s debts and other money management obligations, as well as your signature must be included as well. Certainly, filing articles of organization provides the state government with all the records they need to start your business.
Write an Operating Agreement
Next, write an operating agreement for your LLC. While not necessarily required by law, operating agreements determine several important aspects of your business operations. These include who contributes what, how voting works, how funds get allocated, and what happens if the business goes under. Limited liability company members and managers often want this information in writing. In fact, there are many business accelerators in Hawaii that can help jumpstart your business, but they typically require evidence of organized business operations. Definitely, write an operating agreement to outline business practices and processes efficiently.
Obtain An EIN And Tax Accounts
Obtaining an EIN (employer identification number) is one of the last steps in forming an LLC in Hawaii. It’s required by law if you plan on hiring employees. Fortunately, this is a simple process that is free and can be done online, by mail, fax, or phone via IRS form SS-4. Additionally, you need to apply for Hawaii’s consolidated state tax registration application. This can be done for $20 by mail or online. This way, you register for state tax and employment licenses as well as permits including general excise tax, withholding tax, and unemployment insurance tax. Of course, obtaining EINs and tax business accounts satisfies legal requirements and allows you to pay employees what they’re owed.
Starting an LLC in Hawaii can be done in a myriad of ways. One way determines business name designations as the first step. Second, decide on a registered agent for your business. Next, file articles of organization that provide the state government with records of your business. While not legally required, writing an operating agreement provides clear business procedures and practices in an efficient manner. Finally, obtaining taxation consideration such as an EIN and various tax permits meets legal requirements and allows employees to be paid fairly. When wondering how to form an LLC in Hawaii, consider the steps described above.