Hawaii Franchise Laws
How to Open a Small Business in Hawaii (including Franchises)
Hawaii is the westernmost state in the United States, and it joined the union in 1959. Its temperate climate, ethnically diverse population and connection to both the U.S. mainland and various Asian economies present unique business opportunities for Hawaii entrepreneurs. Starting a small business in Hawaii can be a profit-building enterprise, but it can also be a challenge. Knowing the proper steps to take when starting a small business in Hawaii can save you time further down the road.
1. Calculate potential costs for starting a small business in Hawaii. One of the most important costs to take into account is the cost of shipping and transportation. All merchandise and products arrive in Hawaii via either air freight or a barge. If you are starting a small business on one of the Neighbor Islands (i.e. islands excluding Oahu, such as Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Maui or the Island of Hawaii), there will be addi tional transportation costs because most items will need to be shipped through the international airport and shipyard on Oahu.
2. Complete and submit a State of Hawaii business registration form. The form can be located at any county office, or online on the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce's business registration website. Once you submit the business registration form, the State of Hawaii will notify you of any additional forms or permits that you need to complete.
3. Determine any extra licensing that you will need to attain. For example, if you are opening a food service, you will need to obtain a Hawaii commercial kitchen license. All required regulations, licensing forms and permits can be downloaded from the State of Hawaii's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
4. Research business financing options in Hawaii. Two major Hawaii banks that offer small-business financ ing include the Bank of Hawaii (boh.com) and First Hawaiian Bank (fhb.com).
5. Work with a financial adviser and the financial institution you chose in Step 5 to draw up a working busi ness plan that takes into account the unique costs and needs of conducting business in Hawaii.
6. Open your small business and begin promoting your services and products.
Tips & Warnings
Shipping fees can add considerable costs to your baseline prices due to Hawaii's location in the Pacific.