LLC Hawaii: Everything You Need to Know
Forming an LLC Hawaii requires meeting several important requirements.3 min read
Hawaii LLC Registered Agent
Forming an LLC Hawaii requires meeting several important requirements. An LLC must possess a registered agent before it will be able to file LLC Articles of Organization in Hawaii. Your LLC's registered agent will accept all legal mail sent to your LLC, including notices that your corporation is being sued. In Hawaii, a registered agent can be either a company or a person.
Registered agents serve as a business's point of contact, and can accept documents such as:
- Payment reminders
- Legal forms
- Tax notices
A registered agent in Hawaii must have an actual street address. A P.O. Box is not allowed. Eligible registered agents must be able to receive Service of Process between the normal business hours of 9am and 5pm. Complaints, subpoenas, and court summons all count as Service of Process. A commercial registered agent will often send your LLC annual reporting requirement reminders, ensuring your LLC is in compliance with Hawaii law.
Corporations that are allowed to do business in Hawaii are allowed to serve as registered agents.
Who Can Be Your Registered Agent in Hawaii?
There are three options for a registered agent you can choose in Hawaii:
- Serving as your own registered agent.
- Naming a family member or close friend as your registered agent.
- Hiring a commercial registered agent.
Individuals can serve as registered agents as long as they are a Hawaii resident. If your LLC has a Hawaii street address and you can be contacted during standard business hours, you can be your own registered agent.
Family members or friends can serve as your registered agent if they possess a Hawaii street address and can receive Service of Process during business hours.
LLCs that don't have a street address in Hawaii and don't have friends or family members that can serve the role should hire a commercial registered agent.
A commercial registered agent is often more dependable and provides your LLC with additional privacy.
Are there Risks if You, a Friend, or Family Member Are Your LLC's Registered Agent?
When the State of Hawaii is unable to contact your registered agent, you will likely lose your good standing and your LLC will be dissolved.
When you're facing a lawsuit and your registered agent cannot be reached by the process server, the lawsuit can progress without your presence. It is also possible that the court will reach a verdict without you being able to provide a defense.
Some reasons your registered agent cannot be reached include:
- Your registered agent is not keeping normal business hours.
- Your registered agent is out of town.
- You failed to file a Change of Registered Agent after moving.
These risks are greatly minimized by hiring a commercial registered agent instead of using a family member or serving the role yourself.
Steps in Setting an LLC in Hawaii
Here are the steps necessary for forming your LLC Hawaii:
- Pick a name for your LLC.
- Name your registered agent.
- Submit your articles of organization.
- Develop an operating agreement.
- Apply for a tax identification number.
Guidelines in Choosing a Name for the LLC
When naming your LLC, you should perform research so that you can be certain your name accurately reflects your business and that it can be easily found by your potential customers. It's also important to follow LLC naming guidelines, including adding the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC” or the words “Limited Liability Company” in your corporation's name.
To use certain words in your LLC name, such as bank or attorney, you will need to file extensive paperwork with the state. To use these words, you may also need a professional license. Words that may make it seem like your LLC is a government agency are prohibited. You should search the State of Hawaii website to make sure that the name you have chosen hasn't already been claimed by another business in the state.
Checking to see if your LLC name is available will allow you to register a domain name. Buying a domain name, even if you never plan to use it, will prevent a competitor from claiming it for themselves. The LLC name that you choose must be distinct from other business that have registered with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division.
Paying a $10 fee and filing an Application for Reservation of Name will reserve the name you have chosen for your LLC.
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