Hawaii Business Name Search: Everything You Need to Know
Performing a Hawaii business name search is the first and most important part of forming your LLC in Hawaii, since it helps you ensure that your preferred LLC name is available for use.3 min read
2. Searching the Hawaii Name Database
3. Filing a Trade Name with the State of Hawaii
Hawaii LLC Name Requirements
Performing a Hawaii business name search is the first and most important part of forming your LLC in Hawaii, since it helps you ensure that your preferred LLC name is available for use. To register your LLC, the name that you have chosen must be unique and it must adhere to rules laid out by the state of Hawaii.
You are required to use either the ‘LLC' or ‘L.L.C.' at the end of your name, although the ‘LLC' abbreviation is the more common choice. Because LLCs are not corporation, the words ‘Corporation' or ‘Incorporated' and the abbreviations ‘Corp' and ‘Inc.' cannot be used as part of your desired name.
The name of your LLC must be easily distinguishable, meaning it must be unique from other LLCs that have been registered in Hawaii. Grammar difference and alteration to the identifiers at the end of your name do not constitute distinguishability.
Searching the Hawaii Name Database
Visit the ‘Search for Business Entity & Documents' page to perform your Hawaii business name search.
When you log on, you should ignore the message (‘The results of this search should not be used as a definitive method to determine…). Instead, follow distinguishability tips while searching for your business name.
There is a phone number on the site that makes it seem like you can search for business names by phone. This is not the case. Follow distinguishability tips instead.
Find the search box and then enter your desired LLC name. Do not change the drop-down menu from its default ‘begins with' setting.
When searching, do not include punctuation or the ‘LLC' identifier. Capitalization should also not be a concern.
To make sure you receive a broad range of search results, only enter the first one or two words of your LLC name, which will show you all businesses with similar names.
Browse the list of Hawaii business names after clicking the ‘Search' button.
When you see ‘There are no businesses for this search term', you are free to use your desired LLC name.
If your search finds an LLC name that is identical to yours, you cannot use your desired name, and will need to create a new name for your LLC.
Should you find LLC names that are confusingly similar to your own, you will need to choose a new LLC name. Use your creativity to come up with a variation of your desired name or a completely new name.
On the search result page, you will see different statuses. A portion of these names may seem like they are available for use, but you should refrain from using these names and instead come up with something original.
Even if you're not sure that your desired name is completely distinguishable, you should still file your paperwork with the state.
After finding a unique LLC name, you can choose a registered agent or your LLC.
Filing a Trade Name with the State of Hawaii
Trade names, or DBAs, do not need to be registered in the state of Hawaii.
When you register a trade name, you do not automatically receive ownership of the name. Ownership of a trade name is established by constant and uninterrupted use.
If you wish to register your trade name, you must file your paperwork with the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Business Registration Division.
You are not required to register your trade name with your county.
Forms you need to register your trade name can be found at this website provided by the government of Hawaii.
You can file your trade name paperwork by mail, fax, electronically or by hand delivery. If you decide to file by. fax, you will also need to provide your credit card information.
Filings will take between three and five days unless you choose a one day rush filing.
Before registering your trade name, you need to perform a trade name search to make sure that your name is available for use.
When you are submitting your paperwork, you should be sure to include a phone number and contact name in case there is an issue with your paperwork that you need to address.
Do not alter your form as this will make your form invalid and will cause it to be rejected.
After you have registered your trade name, your name will be:
- Valid for five years
- Need to be re-registered by its owner
- Available for use by another company if the initial registration is not renewed
If you need help performing your Hawaii business name search, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.