All those who would like operate as a corporation in the state of Hawaii will need to first file with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Domestic filers will be required to submit an Articles of Incorporation while foreign businesses will need to apply for a Certificate of Authority. In both cases, the filing fees for non-profit corporations will remain at $25 while profit companies will be required to pay a total of $50. Incorporators can choose to expedite the process by paying an additional $25. We recommend that all business owners take advantage of the streamlined online business registration portal made available for the filing of all entity types.
How to File
Step 1- Begin by performing a Business Entity Search to ensure that your business name hasn’t already been registered by another company. If this is the case, and you are applying as foreign corporation, you will need to operate under a name different from the one used in your initial jurisdiction. A Name Reservation can be used to prevent other business entities from taking your name before you file. This function will cost only $8.50 and will last for a period of 120 days.
Step 2- You can now proceed by either navigating to the online filing form index and selecting your necessary documents or by downloading the PDF. Be sure to supply all the requisite data completely and as accurately as possible before singing your name at the bottom. Click on the link below that corresponds with your business type to learn more.
Step 3- Foreign entities will be required to file for a certificate of good standing in their initial state of incorporation 60 days prior to their application for authority with Hawaii. This document will need to be signed by the Secretary of State or similar authority and attached to your application.
Step 4- You will now be able to pay the filing fee online with a credit card or by a check made payable to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Those opting for the online option will be able to complete their transaction with the payment of the fee. Paper filers will be required to send all necessary documents along with the filing fee to the below address for processing.
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P.O. Box 40 – Honolulu, HI 96810
EIN– The Employer Identification Number will be used by the IRS for the identification of your business for tax reporting purposes and is necessary for all corporations in the U.S. You will find that without an EIN, you will not be permitted to transact any level of financial maneuver from opening checking accounts to applying for large business loans. This number can be applied for free of charge on the IRS website or through the mail with the Form SS-4. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to learn more about the application process.
Corporate Bylaws– We recommend that all corporations draft their own set of bylaws to delineate the manner in which the company shall operate on a day-to-day basis. This document will be used to define any provision not documented in the initial registration forms. Although this agreement is not legally required, it is still extremely useful and imperative to the smooth operation and organization of your corporation. Click on the link at the heading of this paragraph to access our free templates, available in MS Word and Adobe PDF formats.
Renewal– All corporations will need to renew with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs each year by submitting an annual report. This document will contain all the information necessary to update the state offices with your business’s financial progress. If you fail to file on time, you will lose the status of “Active” and will no longer be in good standing with the state. If enough time has passed, late filers will face dissolution. The link at the heading of this paragraph will take you to the Department’s website where you can file your report online.