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Hawaii Foreign LLC Registration

Are you looking to expand your business into the Aloha State? To register as a foreign LLC in Hawaii, you must file an Application for Certificate of Authority. You’ll also need to pay the $51 filing fee and appoint a Hawaii registered agent.

If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve got you. For $149 plus state fees, we’ll file your Certificate of Authority and provide an entire year of local registered agent service. You’ll also get real-time annual report reminders, access to our library of Hawaii business resources, and lifetime support from our team of experts.


Do I need to register as a Foreign LLC in Hawaii?

Probably. Unfortunately, Hawaii doesn’t formally define what activities qualify as “doing business.” However, you’ll likely need to register as a foreign LLC if you plan on hiring Hawaii employees, purchasing property in the state, or offering services/products to Hawaii residents.

If it helps, Hawaii does provide a detailed list of activities that do not qualify as “doing business.” Some of those activities include:

  • Selling services or products via independent contractors
  • Maintaining accounts in Hawaii financial institution
  • Holding member/manager meetings within the state

The Hawaii State Statutes (HI Rev Stat § 428-1003) provide a full list.

How do I register my foreign LLC in Hawaii?

The best way to register your foreign LLC in Hawaii is to sign up for our Out-of-State Business Registration service. For just $149 plus state fees, we’ll take care of filing for you. You’ll also get a year of local registered agent service, annual report reminders, access to our extensive library of business resources, and lifetime client support. But if you’d like to file yourself, follow the steps outlined below. Remember, you can still hire us for local registered agent service (just $49 a year).

1. Do a business name search

The first step in registering your foreign LLC is to make sure your business name is available. You can search the Hawaii business database to see if your LLC’s name is free. If your business name is unavailable, you must establish a fictitious (or alternate) name before registering your foreign LLC.

2. Get a Certificate of Existence

When you file your Certificate of Authority, you must attach a Certificate of Existence (or Certificate of Good Standing) from your home state. Your Certificate of Existence must be dated no more than 60 days before registering your foreign LLC. The fee for obtaining a Certificate of Existence will vary between states. For example, California charges $5 while Nevada assesses $52.

3. Appoint a Hawaii registered agent

Like most states, Hawaii requires all LLCs (foreign and domestic) to have and maintain a registered agent. Per state law (HI Rev Stat § 428-107), your Hawaii registered agent must:

  • Be a Hawaii resident (over 18) or a company authorized to provide registered agent service.
  • Maintain a physical address in Hawaii.
  • Be available during regular business hours to accept state and legal notices.

Although you can choose to act as your own registered agent, doing so could put your personal information at risk. Unfortunately, the Certificate of Authority is a public record that requires listing your Hawaii registered agent’s name and physical address. Thankfully, when you hire us, we’ll list our business address instead of your personal information. Owning a business should not mean giving up your privacy.

4. File the Application for Certificate of Authority

Once you’ve ensured your business name is available, obtained a Certificate of Existence, and appointed a Hawaii registered agent, you can file the Certificate of Authority. The filing fee is $50 plus a $1 state archive fee. Below is a complete list of everything you must include:

  • Legal name of your LLC and fictitious name (if applicable).
  • State where you initially formed your LLC.
  • Principal mailing address. You must keep a list of all member names, addresses, and capital contributions at this address until you cancel your foreign registration in Hawaii.
  • Name and physical address of your Hawaii registered agent.
  • Duration. If your LLC will stop doing business in Hawaii on a specific date, you must indicate that here. Otherwise, check “At-will.”
  • Management type. Indicate whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed.
  • Member/manager information. List the names and addresses of each member or manager.
  • Member liability. Indicate whether members will be liable, not liable, or only liable for specific business debts, obligations, and liabilities. Most LLCs will check “Shall not be liable….”
  • Certificate of Existence (attached).
  • Name, signature, and title of the person filing your certificate.

You can file the Certificate of Authority online, by mail, email, fax, or in person. If you file a paper form, it must be typed or handwritten and signed in black ink. The filing fee is $50 plus a $1 state archive fee.

Hawaii Business Express

Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
PO Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810

335 Merchant Street, Room 201
Honolulu, HI 96813
Fax: (808) 586-2733

[email protected]

The state will process your certificate in 10-15 business days. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay an additional $25 for expedited service (1-3 business days).

Hawaii Foreign LLC FAQs

How are LLCs taxed in Hawaii?

Hawaii LLCs that maintain their default tax status are taxed as pass-through entities. Profits are passed through to each member or manager, who then report their shares on their personal tax reports at the state and federal levels.

Do I need to file a Hawaii annual report?

Yes. LLCs in Hawaii must file an annual report. The due date for your report will depend on when you initially registered your foreign LLC.

  • If you registered between January 1 and March 31, your report will be due by March 31 each year.
  • If you registered between April 1 and June 30, your report will be due by June 30 each year.
  • If you registered between July 1 and September 30, your report will be due by September 30 each year.
  • If you registered between October 1 and December 31, your report will be due by December 31 each year.

The filing fee is $13.50 (online) or $16 (paper). Both fees include a $1 state archive fee.

Do I need to obtain a General Excise Tax (GET) License?

Maybe. Most foreign LLCs in Hawaii will need to obtain a GET (General Excise Tax) License. Activities that require a GET License include retailing, renting personal property, construction, and farming. To obtain a GET License, you must file Form BB-1. The filing fee is $20.