Starting a Business in Hawaii Checklist

Check business name availability with Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Start by doing a search to see if your business name is available:

You do not need to reserve the business name in Hawaii; simply move onto the next step once you’ve found an available name.

Hawaii Department of Commerce
and Consumer Affairs

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P.O. Box 40, Honolulu, HI 96810
335 Merchant Street, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-2727

File paperwork to form my business

Form your company and start doing business in Hawaii! You can form your company online or submit the paper form to the Business Registration Division of the DCCA. The filing fee for a new corporation or LLC is $50. Normal processing takes 1-2 weeks but you can pay an additional $25 to have your articles processed within 3 days. Choose the “Quick file” option on the BREG website to register with the DCCA only. If you choose the filing “Wizard” option, you can register with the Dept of Taxation and Dept of Labor at the same time.

Information you’ll need to complete your Hawaii corporation/LLC filing:

-Business name and address(es)

-Registered agent name and address

-Authorized stock information (corporations only)

-Director/membership contact information

-Incorporator/organizer information

You can incorporate in Hawaii with Northwest Registered Agent if you don’t want to spend the time or effort filing the paperwork yourself.

Business Registration Division

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P.O. Box 40, Honolulu, HI 96810
335 Merchant Street, Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-2727

Register with the Department of Taxation

After you form your business, register with the Department of Taxation online at

Income Tax:

Individual income tax rates vary from 2% for the first $1,500 to a maximum 10% for taxable income over $20,500.

Corporate net income tax is 4.4% if taxable income is $25,000 or less; 5.4% if taxable income is over $25,000; and 6.4% if taxable income is over $100,000.

General Excise Tax:

There is a tax on gross income, gross receipts, or gross proceeds of all business activities. The tax rates are 0.5% on wholesaling, intermediary services, manufacturing, producing, canning, and for blind, deaf, or totally disabled persons; 0.15% on insurance solicitors; and 4% on retail sales of goods, services, or other activities.

Department of Taxation

Oahu District

Princess Ruth Keelikolani Building
830 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813-5094

Hawaii District

State Office Building
75 Aupuni Street #101
Hilo, HI 96720-4245

Maui District

State Office Building
54 S. High Street #208
Wailuku, HI 96793-2198

Kauai District

State Office Building
3060 Eiwa Street #105
Lihue, HI 96766-1889

Get a business license

There is no state business license but some businesses need a trade or professional license. Division of Professional and Vocational Licensing:

Any other registration requirements?

Cities and counties don’t issue business licenses, but you still need to check locally to find out if you need any permits, etc.

County License Info

City and County of Honolulu

County of Hawaii

Maui County

Collect and Charge Sales Tax

Do I need to collect Hawaii sales tax?

Hawaii does not have state sales tax, but it does impose a general excise tax. The general excise tax does not apply to sales to customers. Rather, it is a tax on your business’s gross income. Businesses pass the tax on to the customer by including the amount in the sale price of the goods.

What is the Hawaii sales tax rate?

For most businesses, the general excise tax rate is 4%. For wholesalers, the tax rate is .50%.

How do I register for Hawaii sales tax?

You can register online using Hawaii Business Express. You can also mail your Basic Business Application to the Department of Taxation, or deliver it to the Business Action Center. Application forms are available on the Department of Taxation website.
It will be 3-4 weeks before you get your Hawaii General Excise Certificate unless you apply in person at the Business Action Center.

How much does a Hawaii General Excise License cost?

There is a $20 fee to register for the general excise tax.

Hawaii Department of Taxation

Hawaii Department of Taxation
P.O. Box 1425
Honolulu, HI 96806-1425

Business Action Center
1130 N. Nimitz Highway, Suite A-220
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 586-2545