One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Hawaii LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Hawaii is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Hawaii businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Hawaii LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Hawaii, and how to reserve and register your business name.
Interested in forming an LLC? We recommend using an LLC formation service in order to ensure that you do not accidentally file your business name incorrectly and have your application denied.
How to Search for a Hawaii LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Hawaii.
Step 1: Follow the Hawaii LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Hawaii’s LLC naming guidelines as listed below:
- For domestic limited liability companies, the reserved name must contain the phrase: “Limited Liability Company,” the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.” You can also abbreviate the term limited as “Ltd.,” and abbreviate company as “Co.”
- Can’t be substantially identical to a registered name or mark of another company
- Don’t use words that could misconstrue your business as being a financial institution or that includes the terms “financial institution,” “bank,” “banker,” “banking,” “banc,” “savings bank,” “savings and loan,” “savings association,” “financial services loan company,” “credit union,” “trust company,” “intrapacific bank,” “international banking corporation,” or “trust”
- Don’t use the words “Olympic,” “Olympiad,” “Citius Altius Fortius,” or the Olympic ring symbol without approval by the United States Olympic Committee except for organizations using said name prior to September 21, 1950
- Don’t use the words “Postal Service” or “Post Office”
- Domestic insurance corporations need to use the word “insurance” in the name and one of the words “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or one of the abbreviations “corp.,” “inc.,” or “ltd.” And in the case of the reciprocal insurer, include the word “reciprocal,” “interinsurer,” “interinsurance,” “exchange,” “underwriters,” or “underwriting”
- Don’t use the words “certified public accountant,” “public accountant,” or the abbreviations “CPA” or “PA” unless you’re licensed
- Only include “cooperative” for cooperative associations
- Only use the word “escrow,” “escrow depository,” or any other word or phrase having the same or similar meaning if you’re licensed
- File your business name in good faith with the intent of conducting a legitimate business and not to defraud, confuse, or mislead the public
- Don’t state or imply your company is connected with a governmental agency, unless otherwise permitted by a governmental agency or law.
Selecting a name is just one of the several requirements when forming an LLC. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Hawaii LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Hawaii LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Hawaii.
- LLC Name Search: Search the Hawaii Business Name Search to check if your chosen business name is available. There is no fee for using the search tool. You may also try typing your business or trademark on any search engine to check businesses with similar names. This will also ensure your trademark is unique, meets the state’s requirements, and frees you from any legal hassles in the future.
- Domain Name Search: If your business name is still available, you must register for a domain name. Having a URL that matches your business name is important since this is how your potential and existing clients can find your business.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Hawaii LLC Name
Along with your LLC Certificate of Formation, you need a Reservation of Name form in Hawaii. The name reservation filing fee is $10.
You can reserve a business name for 120 days with the Hawaii Business Express Reservation tool online.
Using a Hawaii DBA for Your LLC
In Hawaii, a DBA (“doing business as”) name is known as an assumed name. A Hawaii assumed name allows you to use a name other than your business’s legal name when operating.
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register a Hawaii LLC Trade or Service Mark
Doing a name search on the federal trademark database will tell you whether another business or person has already “marked” your name.
Once you verify the availability of your LLC name and secure it, you can choose to apply for a trade or service mark for your business.
Registering your LLC business “mark” (refers to trade and service marks) with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs not only distinguishes the goods or services your business provides, but also creates a statewide notice that any entity or person cannot use any of your marks (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).
For these reasons, it is important for an LLC owner to register a mark with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The filing fee for a Hawaii Application for Registration of Trade Name is $50 per class (“class” means goods and services).
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Hawaii, check out the steps on how to form a Hawaii LLC.
Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Contact Information
Business Regulation Division
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, HI 96810
King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-2727
Hawaii LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Hawaii LLC name search?
When forming a Hawaii LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Hawaii Business Name Search tool on the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Hawaii?
Can I renew a Hawaii LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 6 month period before the expiration of your last name reservation. Simply download and fill out For T-1 Application for Registration of Trade Name.
Is the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Hawaii Business Name Search tool to find and reserve a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC. If the name is available, you can reserve it for 120 days.