Hawaii law allows a business to incorporate and be identified as its own legal entity. An incorporated business acts in its own name, whether buying and selling property, agreeing to contracts or exercising legal rights. In Hawaii, the process of incorporation is begun by filing with the Secretary of State in accordance with particular guidelines.
Benefits of Incorporation in Hawaii
An incorporated business enjoys certain advantages, the most important being a limit of liability for the shareholders. The most shareholders can lose is the amount they invest in the business. Had the business remained unincorporated, owners risk losing their personal property should the business become unable to satisfy its liabilities. A corporation also allows creditors in the Honolulu County area to assess the credit worthiness of the business as a whole rather than that of its owners, allowing the business to get loans more easily. Finally, a corporation's ownership stake is divided into equal slices or "shares" of stock, which make investments in the business much easier to transfer.
Costs of Incorporation
Along with a possible fee to apply for incorporation in Hawaii, there are other costs that corporations incur. The most important is that a corporation is taxed as its own entity. Disbursements to the owners of the corporation are also taxed as individual income, so this means earnings might be taxed twice. But this double taxation can be avoided with proper planning and help from a local Honolulu County lawyer.