How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Hawaii (Full Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 21, 2024
Methodology
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Before you could potentially start your LLC in Hawaii, it is vital to understand the timeframe by which the Hawaii Secretary of State can process and approve your business registration.

Since I am a seasoned mergers and acquisitions specialist, I have helped several companies as well as individuals and gained considerable experience with LLC formation and organization.

Based on my research and consultation with LLC experts in Hawaii, I gained insights as to the state's current processing times.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 3-5 business days to form an LLC in Hawaii, both online and by mail.
  • The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) offers expedited processing for an additional $25 fee with a 1-business-day turnaround.
  • With 133,993 small businesses representing a whopping 99.2% of all businesses in Hawaii in 2023, as per US Small Business Administration statistics, Hawaii is a hotbed for small business ventures and entrepreneurial spirit. This makes it an attractive place to form an LLC.
  • In my experience, it’s best to file using the expedited service so that your business can be approved immediately. 


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC in Hawaii?

A person doing paperwork to form an LLC in Hawaii

The fastest way to start an LLC in Hawaii is by filing your Articles of Organization using the expedited service, which only takes 1 business day to be approved.

Ensure that all your formation documents are in order and that you comply with state laws to prevent delays in processing.

LLC Processing Time in Hawaii

In Hawaii, all LLC filings are done with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division (BREG), not the Secretary of State [1].

Here are four filing methods BREG offers business owners in this state.

1. Expedited Hawaii LLC Processing Time (1 business day + $25)

A person filing paperwork online

For an additional fee of $25, all your registration documents may be approved within 1 business day [2].

However, through my experience, I learned that this amount may be more or less depending on the LLC documents you're filing.

For example, expedited processing for the articles of organization is $25, while a Certificate of Standing and Articles of Conversion cost $10 and $75, respectively.

2. Non-Expedited Hawaii LLC Processing Time By Mail (3-5 business days)

Hawaii domestic and foreign LLC mail filings take a standard LLC processing time of 3--5 business days.

Before submitting an application to the DCCA, double-check that all your LLC information is accurate and that the application form is complete and legible.

When filing, I always take note of the following:

  • The agency only accepts LLC documents scanned, copied, or faxed with a standard letter-sized page of 8.5 x 11 inches.
  • Ensure that the directors/managers sign the registration documents, and if a signature cannot be read clearly, you must include the names below each signature line.

The DCCA accepts checks as a payment option for mail orders.

3. Hawaii LLC Processing Time Online (3-5 business days)

A person filing paperwork in person

Online applications are approved within 3-5 business days.

To file online, I had to create an account through the Hawaii Business Express and log in with my username and password before submitting the LLC articles of organization.

After approval, you can still utilize the website to manage ongoing LLC obligations, including submitting your yearly report and any modifications for your Hawaii business entity.

The Hawaii Business Express website also offers a dashboard to access approved filings and manage/track your subsequent LLC orders.

3. Hawaii LLC Processing Time In Person (3-5 business days)

In-person LLC filing can be approved in 3-5 business days.

Once you download the certificate of organization in PDF form online, you must fill out all the necessary LLC details.

All in-person deliveries are dropped off at this address:

335 Merchant Street,
Room 201, Honolulu, HI 96813

"While the speed is impressive, remember to prioritize legal aspects after filing."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

Factors Influencing The Formation Timeline Of Hawaii LLCs

A person in Hawaii starting an LLC

Several factors can affect the formation timeline of Hawaii LLCs, including the following:

  • Method of filing: Standard processing takes longer than expedited service. That’s why I always file using the accelerated option to save time and streamline the formation process.
  • The volume of applications: The approval time is prolonged due to the high volume of transactions. The state reviews applications in the order they were received.
  • Requirement issues: The agency will reject applications that don’t follow state requirements. Since the documents should be refiled, the state will process your application for a much longer time. 

Even with potential setbacks, the encouraging business atmosphere in Hawaii led to the establishment of 5,888 new businesses from March 2021 to March 2022, as reported by the US Small Business Administration.

FAQs

Where Can I Check the Status of My Hawaii LLC Formation During the Processing Period?

You can check the status of your Hawaii LLC formation during the processing period through the Hawaii Business Express webpage or you may directly contact the DCCA.

Is There a Difference in Processing Time for Domestic and Foreign LLCs in Hawaii?

There is no difference in processing time for domestic and foreign LLCs in Hawaii. The standard processing and expedited options apply to both LLC types.

How Do I Start an LLC in Hawaii?

You start an LLC in Hawaii by filing the articles of organization (Form LLC-1) and paying the $51 state fees to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA), Business Registration Division.

References:

  1. https://cca.hawaii.gov/breg/registration/
  2. https://cca.hawaii.gov/breg/registration/dllc/

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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