You did it. Your Hawaii LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
In Hawaii, an LLC’s annual report consists of two parts: a Franchise Tax and a Public Information Report. Each LLC must submit these filings to the Hawaii Comptroller every year to keep their information current. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
For brevity’s sake, we’ll refer to these two combined filings as the “Annual Report” in this guide.
What is a Hawaii Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider Annual Reports the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Hawaii business.
Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.
Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.
For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Hawaii might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. As long as you keep up with your Annual Reports, future customers and business partners can find your LLC by performing a name search.
How Much Does the Hawaii LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?
If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.
Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. As a Hawaii LLC owner, you’re in luck, because each Hawaii Annual Report only costs $12.50 for online filings and $15 for mailed ones. In a hurry? Expedited processing will cost an extra $25.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Hawaii
The Annual Report filing comes around once a year, like birthdays and holidays, but without the parties and gifts. Your Annual Report due date is based on when you formed your LLC, and will be the last day of your LLC’s registration quarter. When did you first register your LLC?
- Q1 (January 1 – March 31): Due by March 31
- Q2 (April 1 – June 30): Due by June 30
- Q3 (July 1 – September 30): Due by September 30
- Q4 (October 1 – December 31): Due by December 31
Forget when you formed your LLC? Just search for it on the Business Entity and Documents page and you’ll find it under “Registration Date.” You may file any time within the appropriate quarter. You’re not required to file an Annual Report during the year that you first form your LLC.
What Happens if You Don’t File?
You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your Annual Report can yield some serious consequences.
A late Annual Report will incur a $10 penalty annually, although the state has the right to charge a maximum of $100 for every 30 days a report is delinquent. Even worse is that your LLC will lose its good standing with the state, which is necessary for certain business transactions. And if you go two years without filing an Annual Report, the state can administratively dissolve your business.
Now that you’re familiar with the yearly Annual Report cycle, it’s time to dig in and actually file it. Here’s the information it contains:
- LLC name
- Mailing address
- Principal office address
- Nature of business (optional)
- Registered agent name and address
- Names and addresses for each member/manager
The filing shouldn’t take long at all, especially if none of these things have changed since the year prior.
You’re welcome to file your Hawaii Annual Report either online or by mail. Online is a slightly easier process, but both are equally effective. Here’s how to go about it:
Online Filing: Start by going to the Hawaii Business Express filing portal. Click “Learn More” in the box labeled “Manage.” Then, select the button that reads “Start Annual Report Filing.” From there, simply follow the onscreen instructions to find your LLC, make changes to your information (if necessary), and submit your form.
Annual Filing – BREG
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810
For additional instructions on hard copy filing, see page two of the form.
Processing times for both online and mailed reports can take as long as 6-8 weeks. But if you need it done sooner, you can pay an additional $25 fee for expedited processing, which only takes 1-3 business days.
Does the State Send Reminders?
Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.
On the 15th day of the first month in the appropriate quarter, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will send you a yellow postcard reminder. You don’t need to wait for this postcard to file, as long as you are in the quarter during which you first formed your LLC. If you’d like to receive an email reminder as well, you can sign up for Hawaii’s MyBusiness Notifications. It’s free if you register when filing your Annual Report online, but $2.50 any other time throughout the year.
Can I Hire a Service to Handle it?
You probably have a full plate as it is, and the thought of adding one more responsibility to your to-do list might make you shudder. You’re not alone.
Plenty of other LLC owners have outsourced their reporting duties to LLC services. These companies will take the entire process off your hands, handling your Annual Report each year. If that piques your interest, we recommend ZenBusiness, which is an experienced and trustworthy LLC company.
But their services aren’t restricted to forming an LLC or managing Annual Reports. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle registered agent responsibilities, and much more, all for a reasonably low price.
If thinking about your LLC responsibilities ties your stomach in knots, let ZenBusiness take some of those worries off your plate.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Hawaii’s reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.
And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.