How to Form a C Corporation in Hawaii


Forming a corporation in Hawaii is similar to the process in other states. You’ll need to prepare and file Articles of Incorporation, choose a name for your company, obtain an EIN (employer identification number), appoint a registered agent – and pay the filing fees. Ready to get started? Read on!

Choose a name for your corporation.

You are required to choose a name that is unique and available for use in Hawaii. Your corporation’s name cannot be misleading, used by another business entity in Hawaii, or the same as any other registered business entity in Hawaii.

The name should be easy to spell and pronounce. You should be able to register the chosen corporate name as a domain name if needed.

Name reservation.

Name reservation is free and is a good idea to avoid confusion. If you’re not sure what name you want to use, or if you want to make sure that no one else has already reserved it, keep the name “reserved in anticipation of forming an entity” on file with the state for up to 90 days. Once your C corporation is formed and registered with the state, then your reservation will automatically be released.

If you aren’t interested in reserving a name now, skip ahead to form an LLC instead!

Appoint a registered agent.

The first step in the formation of your C Corporation is to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is someone or an organization that has been appointed by your business to receive legal documents on behalf of the corporation. Typically, this means that if you are being sued, the registered agent must be notified before anyone else involved with your company so it can be served with notice of legal proceedings.

While you could hire an attorney or law firm to act as your registered agent, there are several benefits to using third-party services like:

  • They provide legal advice and help you navigate through complicated laws quickly and easily
  • They do not charge extra fees for providing this service (unlike attorneys)
  • Their process doesn’t require any paperwork for you to fill out; instead it’s all handled online

Prepare and file the Articles of Incorporation.

The articles of incorporation are the official documents that officially establish your company.

It’s important to know that you can only file articles of incorporation if your business plan meets certain requirements. For example, all businesses must have a name and purpose that doesn’t violate any state or federal laws. They also must be not-for-profit (unless they’re applying for an exemption) and cannot be organized for profit or gain. The state of Hawaii has specific rules about who can receive dividends from a C Corporation; in order to qualify as a shareholder in this type of entity, you must be “natural persons,” which means humans—no trusts allowed!

The filing fee is $150 per corporation plus $50 per year after their first year of operation (so $200 total). This applies even if your corporation is already registered with another state but wants to register with Hawaii as well—in other words, there’s no discount for having multiple registrations across different jurisdictions! If you need help completing these forms by hand, our vendors offer online filing services through which they’ll file on your behalf using their software tools at no additional charge; this means saving lots of time and effort because all those tedious steps get taken care of for us automatically without needing any effort from our end other than simply filling out some basic information like operating address/phone number/etcetera…

Obtain an EIN.

When a business decides to form as a C corporation, it’s important to have an EIN (employer identification number). This is the unique 9-digit number issued by the IRS that identifies your business on federal tax returns and reports. An EIN can be obtained through the IRS or your state’s revenue department. The IRS provides information about obtaining an EIN here.

Once you have your EIN, be sure to use it on every tax return and report you submit after forming as a C corporation.

Bylaws formality.

Bylaws formality.

The bylaws are the rules that govern a corporation, and they are approved by shareholders at an annual or special meeting of the stockholders. The bylaws don’t have to be filed with the state, nor do they need to be filed with the IRS or the secretary of state. They are simply a set of rules that help keep your company running smoothly. A lot of people wonder why their states require them if no one sees them anyway, but as long as you follow your own internal rules and procedures (which you should), keeping track of everything can be difficult without these documents in place.

Board of directors meeting and appointment.

The board of directors is a group of people who manage the company. The board is elected by shareholders and meets regularly to discuss company business. The board appoints officers and makes important decisions for the corporation.

  • How many directors are there? The number of directors must be at least three, but no more than 20 individuals may serve as directors on any given board.
  • Who can be a director? Any natural person eligible to vote at an annual meeting may serve as a director in Hawaii C-corporations, provided they are not also disqualified from serving under any other provision of law (e.g., they have been convicted of certain crimes). In addition, all individuals serving as officers must meet this same requirement; however, if you have more than one class of stock outstanding (e.g., Class A common stock vs Class B common stock), then different rules apply for each type of share in order for an individual to qualify as a shareholder or officer depending on their class designation

The steps to forming a corporation in Hawaii are similar to those in other states.

  • The steps to forming a corporation in Hawaii are similar to those in other states.
  • The steps to forming a corporation in Hawaii are not the same as those in other states.
  • The steps to forming a corporation in Hawaii are different from those in other states.


We hope this has given you a better understanding of how to form a C corporation in Hawaii. If you have any questions about the process, please contact us at (808) 756-7921 or email us at

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