IF Liv was founded on 4 February 1895, and it merged with Fossekallen in 1986 to create Liv/Fossekallen, which in 1997 changed name to L/F Hønefoss. The same year, the football branch of the club became economic and organisational independent under its new name L/F Hønefoss Fotball. In 2002, the club changed name to its current name Hønefoss Ballklub, and in 2009 the club was completely separated from the defunct L/F Hønefoss.
Hønefoss competed in the Tippeligaen in 2010, the top tier of Norwegian football after promotion at the end of the 2009 season. Hønefoss got a tough start in their first season in Tippeligaen and lost their first six matches, something that ended in head coach Ole Bjørn Sundgot being fired. Tom Guldbrandsen immediately took over the job as head coach, Hønefoss won their next match 1-0 away against Stabæk. The 2010 season ended in 14th place, which resulted in relegation playoff matches to stay in Tippeligaen. In the first match, Hønefoss won the semi-final against Ranheim, but lost the final later on against Fredrikstad, and therefore got relegated to the Adeccoligaen.
In the 2011 season they won the Adeccoligaen, one point ahead of Sandnes Ulf, and was again promoted to the Tippeligaen. Rémond Mendy was the team's top scorer with 14 goals. The team's second season in the Tippeligaen started much better than in 2010, and after five games, they had two wins and three draws, and was fifth in the table. Hønefoss eventually finished the 2012 season in 13th place. In the 2013 season, the club collected 29 points and finished the season in 16th place and was relegated to the First Division along with Tromsø.