Selling a cheeseburger in paradise can easily take up to eight licenses and permits. Although ever-relaxed Hawaii is less regulated than many other western states, it has a number of its own island-state-specific ways. Foreigners looking to set-up shop should take special care thoroughly research their operational licenses.
In Hawaii, any business that serves food can endanger public health. That’s why restaurants are some of the most regulated businesses out there. Multiple state, county and city environmental health permits are common for restaurants. Those that serve alcohol need even more licensing. Prospective restaurateurs should expect to apply for at least five licenses and permits and in many cases much more.