- What Is a Hawaii Registered Agent?
- What To Look for When Choosing a Hawaii Registered Agent
- How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
- What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Hawaii?
If you’re looking to start a business in the state of Hawaii, then you need a registered agent. This is someone who receives and keeps track of communication with the state and certain legal documents so that you don’t have to.
In this article, we’ll be covering everything you need to know about registered agents. You’ll learn about why you need one, how they can help you, and what to consider when looking for a registered agent to hire. We’ve also got some recommendations for registered agents in Hawaii.
What Is a Hawaii Registered Agent?
A registered agent is a point of contact for a business. Other names for registered agents include resident agents and statutory agents. These agents receive all communication and notices from the state of Hawaii on behalf of a business. This includes service of process in the case of a lawsuit.
The state of Hawaii requires all formal businesses (corporations, LLCs, partnerships, etc.) to have a registered agent. Most businesses elect a registered agent upon the business’s formation.
States require businesses to have a registered agent because the agent provides a single point of communication between the state and the business. This helps both parties avoid confusion and keeps businesses accountable for completing annual reports and responding to other deadlines.
What Are the Requirements To Be a Registered Agent?
The requirements for becoming a registered agent are not strict at all. Anyone who is over the age of 18, has a street address within the state of Hawaii, and can maintain regular business hours can be a registered agent in Hawaii.
This means that you, a business partner or co-owner, your spouse, or an employee could be the registered agent for your company if you wish it. Of course, there are some reasons that you might prefer to hire a registered agent for your business rather than do it yourself. We’ll go more in-depth on this in our next section.
Why Businesses Need a Hawaii Registered Agent
As we explained, it is illegal for a business in Hawaii not to have a registered agent. However, there are many other reasons for a business to hire a registered agent beyond following the law. We’ll explain the benefits of having a registered agent as well as why hiring one may be more worthwhile than being your own registered agent.
In order for a company to remain in good standing with the state of Hawaii, it needs to meet certain deadlines. For instance, companies must file annual reports. A registered agent can help with this by maintaining a compliance calendar and sending reminders for when reports are due. Registered agents can also help with filing.
It’s important that a company retains good standing with the state. If it doesn’t, it risks incurring fees and losing certain protections it has, like limited liability. Similarly, there may be legal consequences if a business doesn’t respond to service of process in a timely manner.
It is a registered agent’s job to ensure that businesses receive all of these important notifications. Furthermore, it’s often the duty of the registered agent to send reminders of impending due dates so that the business doesn’t miss any deadlines.
A registered agent’s address is public record and thus easy to access. Because of this, many business owners prefer to hire a registered agent for their companies. This way, business owners can feel like they have more privacy.
It’s not just a matter of people finding out your address, either; after all, there are many websites like Whitepages that provide such information. Instead, some people want to avoid having their address collected and sold to mailing lists.
If you act as your own registered agent, then not only will business mail get mixed in with the personal mail sent to your house, but you may also have to deal with junk mail that gets sent to your business.
Another aspect of privacy has to do with the nature of mail you may receive from the state. Business owners who act as their own registered agents either use their home address or the address of the company’s building. Receiving a service of process in front of employees or clients would be embarrassing and may lower the morale of workers who witness it.
Thanks to the rise of the internet, it’s not always necessary for a business to have a brick-and-mortar shop or even an office space. Much work can be done from home, and goods can be sold completely through online storefronts and marketplaces.
If your business is online-only, then you may not have a physical address. If you don’t want to be your own resident agent or aren’t comfortable with using your own address, then hiring a service is the way to go.
Irregular Business Hours
A registered agent has to be available during regular business hours in order to accept service of process and other official communications from the state of Hawaii. For some business owners, this is not realistic.
If you work irregular hours and can’t change them (or don’t want to change them), then acting as the registered agent for your own company probably isn’t going to work out. This is another reason why businesses often hire registered agents instead of being the registered agent themselves.
A registered agent who is worth their salt does more than just receive documents and notify you of them. They also spend time organizing these documents so that they are easy for you to access and peruse.
Most registered agents scan and upload documents onto a server where you can access them. They’ll do this immediately after documents are received so that you can view them as soon as possible.
While you could certainly do the work of a registered agent yourself, it can be a headache. Aside from keeping documents organized, you’ll also have to keep track of deadlines. For many business owners, the cost of hiring a registered agent is worth the time saved.
Locations in Different States
If your business operates in more than one state, then you will need to have a registered agent in each state. Even if you take on the role of registered agent in Hawaii, you’ll still need to hire people to serve as registered agents in other states.
What To Look for When Choosing a Hawaii Registered Agent
If you’re looking to hire a registered agent in Hawaii, you won’t be without options. In fact, sometimes it’s tough to choose between the many companies offering registered agent services in your state.
So how do you choose the right registered agent for your business? We recommend keeping three things in mind: price, services provided, and time saved.
You’ll usually pay a yearly fee for a registered agent, and it’s often not all that expensive. Still, some registered agents are more expensive than others, and it’s important to figure out what your budget for this is.
You’ll also want to determine if paying more is worth it. Some registered agents may charge extra because the services they provide go beyond the basics. If any “extra” services appeal to you, then it may be worth spending more.
Registered agents typically offer the following basic services: accepting documents on your business’s behalf and getting them to you, maintaining a physical address, and keeping normal business hours.
Many registered agents also track deadlines and send you reminders. Usually, they upload important documents to a server you can easily access online. What we’ve just outlined are the services you can expect from any registered agent at any price range.
But some registered agents go above and beyond. They may offer to accept and organize normal business mail (though there may be a limit to the number of mail pieces they will accept).
If you’re hiring a registered agent through a company, you may have access to services such as help hotlines that allow you to ask questions regarding business and bureaucracy. This can be great for those running a business for the first time.
We mentioned before that organizing documents and managing deadlines can be quite a headache, and it will ultimately take time that you could be using to do more important things.
When looking for a registered agent, carefully consider the services they offer because some of these services may save you a lot of time. As the saying goes, “time is money,” which is why many business owners prefer to hire registered agents rather than take care of things themselves.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Luckily, registered agents are pretty affordable. If you decide to be the registered agent for your company, then, obviously, it’s free. However, hiring a registered agent can cost anywhere between $50 and $300 per year.
If you do choose to hire, be aware that some registered agents may charge you for their help in filing annual reports. The cost to file will depend on the agent you’ve hired as well as factors such as the size or type of business you run.
Registered agents typically charge less to file annual reports for LLCs than for corporations. Information about the cost of such services should be made known to you before you hire the registered agent.
What’s the Best Registered Agent Service in Hawaii?
If you’re looking for a registered agent in Hawaii, try ZenBusiness. Zenbusiness’s registered agent service costs only $99 per year, and the company is upfront about all of the features you will receive as well as any potential charges.
ZenBusiness also has a Worry-Free Compliance service that ensures you don’t miss any deadlines for annual reports required by the state of Hawaii. You will receive alerts and updates to keep you on track. Should you somehow miss a deadline, you’ll be provided with the support you need to get your business back in good standing with the state.
ZenBusiness is one of the best options for registered agents, but if you’re looking to compare services, we’ve got your back. Check out our article comparing all of the best registered agent services.