Hawaii Foreign Qualification

Foreign qualification with the Secretary of State in Hawaii refers to the process by which a business entity formed outside of Hawaii seeks permission to operate within the state. This legal requirement ensures that the business complies with local regulations and can engage in lawful activities in Hawaii.

There are 2 different ways to foreign qualify in Hawaii depending on your legal entity type and tax classification. Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in Hawaii or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register with the Secretary of State in Hawaii.

Hawaii Foreign Qualification for LLC

As a foreign limited liability company, if you are "transacting business" in Hawaii, you are required to register with the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (DCCA). In lieu of defining what is considered as "transacting business," DCCA does provide a list of activities not constituting "transacting business." Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Limited Liability Company (Form FLLC-1) can be submitted online on Hawaii Business Express or by mail. Registered businesses will be assigned a File Number that looks like 123456-XX.

  1. Acquire a Certificate of Good Standing

    Hawaii requires a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Existence) from your home jurisdiction, issued no more than 60 days before the date of submission, to be included with your Application for Certificate of Authority.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must have a registered agent in Hawaii designated to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Hawaii or a company authorized to "transact business" in Hawaii.

  3. Create an eHawaii.gov Account

    Click "create an account" on the Hawaii Business Express login page. Your eHawaii.gov account will be used to access Hawaii Business Express and other online services provided by agencies in Hawaii.

  4. Register Your Business in Hawaii Business Express

    Log into the "Start" section in Hawaii Business Express with your eHawaii.gov account. A wizard will guide you through the process to register a new business, i.e., file the online version of Form FLLC-1. Note: You can choose to file with the Department of Taxation for Withholding Tax and General Excise Tax (Basic Business Application, Form BB-1) at the same time.

Hawaii Foreign Qualification for C Corporation

As a foreign corporation, if you are "transacting business" in Hawaii you are required to register with the Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs (DCCA). In lieu of defining what considers as "transacting business," DCCA does provide a list of activities not constituting "transacting business." Application for Certificate of Authority for Foreign Corporation (Form FC-1) can be submitted online on Hawaii Business Express or by mail. Registered businesses will be assigned a File Number that looks like 123456-XX.

  1. Acquire a Certificate of Good Standing

    Hawaii requires a Certificate of Good Standing (also known as a Certificate of Existence) from your home jurisdiction, issued no more than 60 days before the date of submission, to be included with your Application for Certificate of Authority.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must have a registered agent in Hawaii designated to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Hawaii or a company authorized to "transact business" in Hawaii.

  3. Create an eHawaii.gov Account

    Click "create an account" on the Hawaii Business Express log in page. Your eHawaii.gov account will be used to access Hawaii Business Express and other online services provided by agencies in Hawaii.

  4. Register your Business in Hawaii Business Express

    Login to the "Start" section in Hawaii Business Express with your eHawaii.gov account. A wizard will guide you through the process to register a new business i.e., file the online version of Form FC-1. Note: You can choose to file with the Department of Taxation for Withholding Tax and General Excise Tax (Basic Business Application, Form BB-1) at the same time.

What else do I need to know?

Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.

Maintaining a Registered Agent

Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in Hawaii.

Annual Reports and Taxes

In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in Hawaii.

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