237-2 "Business", "engaging" in business, defined. As used in this chapter:

"Business" includes all activities (personal, professional, or corporate) engaged in or caused to be engaged in with the object of gain or economic benefit either direct or indirect, but does not include casual sales.

"Engaging", with reference to engaging or continuing in business, includes the exercise of corporate or franchise powers. [L 1935, c 141, pt of 1; RL 1945, 5443; RL 1955, 117-2; HRS 237-2; am L 2017, c 12, 49]


Attorney General Opinions


Agreement of sale executed by a partnership dealing in land was not a "casual sale". Att. Gen. Op. 62-1.

Co-op apartment corporation operating and managing apartment building is engaged in business and is taxable on its receipts of monthly "maintenance" charges from stockholder-lessees. Att. Gen. Op. 62-47.

Application of excise tax to activities in foreign trade zone. Att. Gen. Op. 64-52.


Case Notes


"Casual sale" does not exclude unusual sales within taxpayer's business. 40 H. 722 (1955).

Attorney's activities as trustee, executor and corporate director were not so isolated or unconnected as to constitute "casual" transactions. 53 H. 435, 496 P.2d 1 (1972).

Engaging in activity with "object of gain or economic benefit" construed. 53 H. 435, 496 P.2d 1 (1972).

Out-of-state company's continuing leasing of telecast rights performable only in Hawaii is "business" within this section, although agreement consummated outside of Hawaii. 57 H. 175, 554 P.2d 242 (1976).

Nondomiciliary corporation investing capital in Hawaiian land held to be "engaging in business." 57 H. 436, 559 P.2d 264 (1977).

Taxability of transactions between joint venture and its member. 59 H. 307, 582 P.2d 703 (1978).

Where taxpayer gained or economically benefited from subleasing transactions, the director's assessment and imposition of the general excise tax for taxpayer's subleasing activities was proper. 110 H. 25, 129 P.3d 528 (2006).

Taxpayer partnership's provision of medical equipment and ancillary services to its joint venture constituted "business" under this section and was thus made subject to the general excise tax by 237-20. 93 H. 267 (App.), 999 P.2d 865 (2000).

Cited: 48 H. 486, 490, 405 P.2d 382 (1965).



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