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How to Get a Registered Agent in Hawaii

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Oahu Hawaii Beach | Swyft Filings
Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Zachary Ace Aiuppa
Edited byZachary Ace Aiuppa
Updated May 30, 2023

Hawaii law mandates every Hawaii business to appoint a registered agent. Ultimately, this agent ensures your business remains in good standing with the government by handling your mail and state correspondence. 

With your company’s business status and liability protection on the line, selecting the right registered agent for your company might seem daunting. This article will guide you through all the requirements for a Hawaii registered agent to help you make this crucial decision. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Every business in Hawaii must have a registered agent to receive legal documentation and ensure compliance.

  • A Hawaii registered agent can be an individual or a business entity, provided they meet the requirements.

  • Hiring a third-party registered agent service has numerous benefits compared to appointing the business owner, employee, or another individual for this role.

What Is a Registered Agent? 

A registered agent is an individual or business entity authorized to accept legal correspondence on behalf of your business.[1] Every formal business in Hawaii must have a registered agent to maintain corporate compliance, including Hawaii LLCs and corporations.

In general, a Hawaii registered agent receives the following legal documents:

  • Legal summons

  • Service of process

  • Hawaii annual report

  • Certificate of good standing

  • Yearly chapter renewals

  • Tax notifications

Your Hawaii registered agent receives the documentation on your behalf and promptly passes it on to the appropriate person in your business.

Registered Agent Responsibilities 

A Hawaii registered agent has several key responsibilities. These include:

  • Maintaining a registered office on the public record

  • Being available during regular business hours

  • Accepting corporate filings and official papers for your business

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Choosing Your Hawaii Registered Agent 

While a Hawaii registered agent is required by law, it’s up to you to appoint the right one for your business. Keep reading to learn what requirements you should keep in mind.

Hawaii Registered Agent Requirements 

The Hawaii Business Registration Division will only accept your business formation if you appoint an individual or business entity as your registered agent.

In addition, your Hawaii registered agent must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old, if an individual

  • Be a registered Hawaii business or authorized foreign entity, if a third-party business

  • Have a physical street address in Hawaii as the registered office

  • Maintain regular business hours

A registered agent keeps your business in good standing with the government. This responsibility includes receiving critical documents that need signatures. Because of this, registered agents can not use P.O. boxes or mail-drop services as their registered address.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Hawaii? 

You can be your own registered agent in Hawaii if you meet the requirements. You can also appoint an employee, friend, or relative. However, the role has downsides.

Some business owners choose to be their own registered agent to avoid the cost of hiring an external service, but this is arguably the only advantage. There are a few cons to consider before taking on such responsibility. These include:

  • Reduced privacy from your business address becoming part of the public record

  • Increased stress and fear of missing a critical notice or deadline in the mass of mail

  • Limited flexibility, freedom, and vacation time from strict business hours and availability

  • Heightened need to be organized and aware of compliance requirements

  • Inability to grow business outside of state

If you miss a filing deadline or lose a document, you can put your compliance status at risk or lose your liability protection. In the worst-case scenario, the state can revoke your LLC business or corporate status and levy harsh penalties and fees.

Benefits of a Third-Party Registered Agent 

Since being your own registered agent has disadvantages, many Hawaii businesses hire a reliable third-party registered agent who can satisfy the state requirement and bring peace of mind. Here are some of the advantages of this route.

Ensuring Compliance

A Hawaii registered agent service maintains your state compliance by automatically keeping track of your filings, due dates, and associated details. The agent will send crucial annual report reminders so your business can avoid fines and remain in good standing with the Hawaii Secretary of State.

If your business is facing a lawsuit, your registered agent will accept all the legal mail and service of process on your behalf. They’ll also help you avoid legal complications and fees and maintain your limited liability protection.

Guaranteeing Privacy and Discretion

Your registered agent’s address becomes a matter of public record. This could greatly jeopardize your privacy, especially if you work from home.

In addition, if your business gets sued, the notice will go to the address on file. If the address is your private residence or office, anyone can witness this event, from customers and employees to neighbors. This occurrence can raise questions regarding your business’s reputation and trustworthiness.

Assigning a third-party registered agent lets you keep your business affairs private and protect your safety. These agents guarantee a safeguarded reception of legal documents from the process server and discreetly deliver them to you online.

Maintaining Flexibility

Registered agents must be available Monday through Friday during regular business hours. Even if you assign another employee as an in-house registered contact, the burden of year-round availability will only transfer from you to another person. 

Luckily, third-party registered agents have enough staff at their principal agent address to cover these business hours. As a result, they will be available whenever the need arises, providing you with more flexibility regarding your working hours and location. 

Keeping Online Storage

The best Hawaii registered agents will scan and upload your documents to your online account as soon as they arrive. This approach creates a digital copy of every vital business document and service of process so you can easily access them from any location.

If you use the same company as your LLC formation service and registered agent, you’ll also be able to find copies of your formation documents online.

Ensuring National Coverage

If you choose to expand your business operations into other states in the future, you’ll have to file a foreign entity registration. The same goes for opening a warehouse in another state or hiring an out-of-state employee. Whatever the case, you’ll also need to appoint a registered agent in each location.

The best registered agent services have a physical address in all 50 states, adding flexibility to your business operations. No matter how many locations you have, your documents will all be available on the same online server. 

If you are seeking a reliable third-party registered agent for your Hawaii business, our registered agent service offers all of the above so you can get more time to focus on your business. We’ll fulfill your registered agent requirement while maintaining your privacy, state compliance, and peace of mind.

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How to Set Up Your Hawaii Registered Agent 

Hawaii business owners require a reputable registered agent to ensure their business is in good hands. Let’s dive into the steps for setting up a registered agent, whether you’re opening a new business or looking to change the existing agent for your Hawaii LLC.

Electing a Hawaii Registered Agent 

If you’re a new business owner, don’t worry. Setting up a registered agent in Hawaii can be done in a few simple steps. The election occurs after you complete your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation, the primary formation documents for businesses in Hawaii.

Electing a Registered Agent Online

When you’re ready to elect your registered agent, we can complete the filing in minutes and fulfill your registered agent requirements. Alternatively, you can form your business online at the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.[2] Here’s how:

  1. Visit the Hawaii Business Registration website

  2. Select the appropriate form from the list and fill in your information

  3. Enter your registered agent’s name and contact information under Article III

  4. Pay a $50 filing fee

  5. Submit the form

Electing a Registered Agent by Mail

If you choose to elect your registered agent by mail, you must print out the form and mail it to the following address:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Business Registration Division

P.O. Box 40

Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Changing a Hawaii Registered Agent 

Some business owners choose to change their existing registered agent for various reasons. If that’s the case, you’ll be happy to know that changing your Hawaii registered agent is as simple as applying for a new one.

If you select Swyft Filings as your new registered agent, our dedicated service providers will make the change promptly and efficiently. But if you’re more of a DIY business owner, you can complete this process in a few simple steps:

  1. Fill out the Statement of Change of Registered Agent by Entity form [3]

  2. Pay the $25 state fee by credit card or check

  3. Submit the form to the Business Registration Division online or via mail [4]

If you choose the latter option, you can mail the form to the following address:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Business Registration Division

P.O. Box 40

Honolulu, HI 96810

Alternatively, you can drop it off in person here:

State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Business Registration Division

335 Merchant Street

Honolulu, HI 96810 [5]

Why Choose Swyft Filings as Your Registered Agent
  • Avoid Penalties: Stay in good standing while gaining a secure portal to print and access your documents at all times.

  • Protect Your Privacy: We go on record with the government so you don’t have to, meaning any legal actions are served to us, not your home or business.

  • Stay Flexible: We are always available at a physical address during business hours, so you never miss an official notice.

Get My Registered Agent

FAQs 

Who can be a Hawaii registered agent?

Any resident can be a Hawaii registered agent, provided they’re 18 years old or older, have a physical address in the state, and maintain regular business hours. Alternatively, a business can serve as a registered agent if it’s a domestic company or a foreign entity authorized to do business in Hawaii.

How much does a registered agent in Hawaii cost?

A registered agent service in Hawaii usually costs between $100 and $300 annually.

How can I change my registered agent in Hawaii?

You can change your Hawaii registered agent by filing a change of registered agent with the Hawaii Business Registration Division. This process is quick and straightforward. It requires a nominal filing fee of $25.

How can I find a registered agent in Hawaii?

You can find a registered agent in Hawaii by searching the Hawaii Business Registration Division’s records.[6] Alternatively, you can search online for highly-rated third-party services.

What is a registered office?

A registered office is the physical street address where the registered agent is located. This address is where the registered agent must be available during business hours to receive necessary documentation, such as tax notices.

What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?

Registered agent, resident agent, and statutory agent are different terms for the same role. Other states use the terms to emphasize specific aspects, such as being registered by a business, living in the state, or being mandated by the statute.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party that fulfills the registered agent requirements on behalf of the business. 

We offer a reliable registered agent service that maintains your privacy, provides immediate access to vital documents, and gives you more time to focus on your business.


Bibliography

  1. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “What Is a Registered Agent?” Accessed December 22, 2022.

  2. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Forms / Domestic Limited Liability Company.” Accessed December 22, 2022.

  3. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Statement of Change of Registered Agent by Entity.” Accessed December 22, 2022.

  4. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Hawaii Business Express.” Accessed December 22, 2022.

  5. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Contact Information for BREG.” Accessed December 22, 2022.

  6. Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. “Hawaii Business Express: Search for Businesses & Buy Documents.” Accessed December 22, 2022.

Originally published on March 30, 2023, and last edited on May 30, 2023.

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