A Hawaii LLC operating agreement is an essential internal document and can be used to regulate the operating activities of your business. Hawaiian law states that all members of an LLC can enter an operating agreement to regulate their affairs. The agreement, however, cannot restrict rights or access to information, eliminate the duty of loyalty or the obligation of fair dealing, or vary the rights to expel a member.
Having an operating agreement in place helps protect your business and allows you to conduct your company the way you want.
Is an LLC Operating Agreement Required in Hawaii?
NO, an LLC operating agreement is not required in Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have one.
Hawaii laws for LLC operating agreements can be found in Title 32A, Chapter 428 (Uniform Limited Liability Company Act).
Costs and Fees
The fees required for an LLC in Hawaii include:
- Articles of organization filing fee – $50 (plus $25 for expedited service).
- Name reservation fee – An additional $10 (Filing with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and the Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division).
- Annual filing fee – $15 (To renew your paperwork and keep your business running).
How to Form an LLC in Hawaii
Here are the necessary steps to take when starting an LLC in Hawaii:
Step 1 – Locate a Registered Agent
The first step to starting an LLC in Hawaii is to find a registered agent who will receive legal documents for the business and handle legal affairs.
The registered agent can be an entity or an individual residing in Hawaii. Even LLC members can serve as registered agents as long as they have a physical street address in Hawaii.
Step 2 – Select Which Type of LLC
Next, you’ll need to choose which type of LLC your business will be, single or multi-member. This is important for determining how you will file your paperwork as well as whether the company will operate as a domestic or foreign entity.
Remember that domestic entities are entities formed in Hawaii. Foreign entities are considered any entity formed outside of Hawaii and will typically have more paperwork to fill out.
Step 3 – Pay Your Filing Fee
Once you’ve selected which type of business entity you’ll form and filled out the appropriate paperwork, it’s time to pay your filing fee. You can pay it online via credit card.
If you want to send a paper check, you can send it to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Make sure to attach a PDF copy of your application to your check.
Step 4 – Create an Operating Agreement
Even though it’s not required for you to have an LLC operating agreement in Hawaii, it’s still a good idea. An operating agreement can help create standard procedures for your company that keep things running smoothly.
What’s more, the document helps separate members’ assets from the LLC. This is important for legal protection in the event that something goes awry.
Step 5 – Register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
The IRS issues Employer Identification Numbers, called EINs, to help them identify business entities. This makes it easier for them to monitor business tax payments.
If you don’t have an EIN, you’ll have difficulty applying for bank accounts, legally paying your employees, or trying to take out a bank loan. Luckily, you can easily register for one on the IRS website.
Download our Hawaii LLC operating agreement template below in PDF & Word format.