Starting an LLC in Hawaii is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining one isn’t, either. There’s a bunch of annual requirements: annual taxes, business licenses to renew, and of course, annual reports. A lot of the annual requirements can be pretty complicated, too.
Annual reports can be pretty complicated…but only if you don’t know what to expect. That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reports in Hawaii: LLC filing fees, where to file, due dates, and if you want, where to go to get help filing. By the end, the annual report won’t feel so daunting anymore.
What is an annual report?
An annual report is a lot like an annual newsletter for your LLC—except you only send it to one place: the state government. Each year, the state needs updated information about your business. And this isn’t a requirement that’s unique to Hawaii. In fact, nearly every state requires some form of annual (or similar timeline) update.
That said, the newsletter analogy falls short because you don’t need to tell the state what you did each month. You don’t even have to tell them the highs and lows of your year. And thankfully, you don’t have to write it out as a letter. All you’ll have to do is fill out the requested information.
Here’s a quick glance at the information Hawaii will require from you:
- Legal name of the business
- Principal office address
- Mailing address (can be the same as or different from the office address)
- Type of business conducted by the LLC (optional)
- Name and address of your registered agent
- Names and addresses of your members or managers
Sound overwhelming? Don’t panic. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reporting—including a DIY approach and how to get help if you’d rather not file on your own.
Where do I start?
When the time rolls around to file your annual report, Hawaii will send you a postcard reminding you that your report is coming due. More specifically, they’ll send it on the fifteenth day of the business quarter when your report is due (see the “due date” section below for more information on due dates). You can file before the postcard arrives, too.
The first place you should go when you need to file your annual report is Hawaii Business Express. There, you’ll have the chance to input your file number and then fill out the information we mentioned earlier. If you’d rather file by mail, Hawaii allows you to do so. But most people opt for online filing to streamline the process.
The annual report isn’t extremely difficult to fill out, honestly. But if you’re extremely busy (and who isn’t these days?), the report can seem overwhelming—it’s yet another thing you have to do. That said, you can hire a Hawaii LLC Service to handle the work for you. Not only will these services actually form your business for you (if you need it), but they’ll also help you handle annual requirements like the annual report.
How much does Hawaii’s Annual Report cost?
Some states have a pretty hefty price tag of several hundred dollars for their annual report. Other states charge more reasonable fees of less than $100. Hawaii has one of the most affordable annual report fees of any state: if you file online, it’ll cost you just $12.50. Online filings cost $2.50 more.
Hawaii accepts a variety of payment forms for both online and mail-in filings. If you file online, you can pay through card, eCheck, or a subscriber account. Mail-in filings can pay by check, money order, cash, or card.
When is the Annual Report due?
In most states, the annual report is due, well, annually. In other states, entrepreneurs often refer to it as an annual report even though it’s due every other year. But in Hawaii, the annual report fits its name: you’ll file it every year.
However, when you file your report during the year will depend on when you formed your business. Hawaii assigns due dates based on the business quarter during which you filed your Articles of Organization. Here’s a quick look at the due dates for each quarter:
- March 31: For LLCs formed between January 1 and March 31st
- June 30: For LLCs formed between April 1st and June 30th
- September 30: For LLCs formed between July 1st and September 30th
- December 31: For LLCs formed between October 1st and December 31st
You can file anytime during the business quarter that fits your LLC. The state department will send you a reminder postcard on the fifteenth day of that business quarter, too. But if you don’t file on time, Hawaii will hit you with a $10 late fee. That said, the state has the right to knock it up to $100 every 30 days. So it’s well worth it to file on time.
What happens if you don’t file your annual report?
Sometimes annual check-ins are a pain, right? And we get it: with some things, like annual physicals, dental cleanings, and eye appointments are tempting to skip. Usually, there isn’t a big penalty if you skip them for a year or two (aside from a minor scolding from your doctor).
However, that isn’t the case with annual reports. You should never skip filing your annual report, and you should always do it on time. For one thing, filing on time ensures that you don’t spend any more than you have to.
More importantly, though, failing to file your annual report can cost you your good standing in the state. Businesses that lose their good standing might have trouble with certain business transactions. Worse, if you leave the annual report delinquent for two years, the state can administratively dissolve your business.
Long story short, the state has the ability to shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a big hassle to do so; it’s much, much easier to simply avoid dissolution completely by filing online. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money.
Maintaining a Hawaii LLC is no laughing matter, and the annual report is without a doubt one of the most important annual filings. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Hopefully this guide has helped take out some of the guesswork. And don’t forget: an LLC Service can make things even easier.