Verify Your Business Name With a Hawaii Business Name Search

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Hawaii Na Pali Coast | Swyft Filings
Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Zachary Ace Aiuppa
Edited byZachary Ace Aiuppa
Updated August 07, 2023

A well-chosen name can make all the difference for a new business. It allows business owners to stand out from the competition and leave a strong impression on potential customers from the get-go.

If you’ve come up with a winning name and can't wait to see it plastered over business cards, stationery, and office forms, you must first ensure another Hawaii business hasn't taken it. Otherwise, you might have issues forming any entity type or run into legal troubles while doing business.

You can be sure your desired name is available by performing a Hawaii business name search. Our free business name search tool lets you quickly determine whether your limited liability company (LLC), sole proprietorship, or non-profit can go by the name you've chosen.

This handy tool is entirely free to use and requires three simple steps:

  1. Enter your desired business name, indicate Hawaii as your business location, and leave your contact information.

  2. Wait less than one hour for us to finish performing an advanced search and checking your name availability.

  3. Reserve your desired company name if it’s available, or search for another one.

You can use the business name search tool as many times as you'd like. However, there’s other information you should know regarding choosing a business entity name and incorporation in the state of Hawaii. We’ll dive into the details in this article.

Key Takeaways

  • Performing a Hawaii business name search allows you to choose a unique business name and avoid legal troubles.

  • Besides being unique, your Hawaii business name must follow specific naming conventions.

  • After choosing the perfect business name, you can reserve it for 120 days or file your LLC immediately.

Hawaii's Business Name Conventions

Coming up with a good business name takes a lot of work. The name should be unique yet easy to remember. Creative yet relevant to your Hawaii business.

On top of all that, it must follow specific naming conventions dictated by the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, the Business Registration Division (DCCA BREG).[1]

The general naming rules that apply across all states indicate that your new business entity name must be unique and not confusable with another business name. That's where a Hawaii Secretary of State's business search comes into play.

Beyond that, you must follow these naming conventions, specific for a Hawaii corporation or LLC name:

  • Must not contain words indicating a type of financial institution, such as “bank,” “credit union,” “trust company,” and “loan company,” unless authorized to operate as one by the state of Hawaii

  • Can not include any federally registered names listed in the U.S. Code, Title 36, under "Patriotic and National Observances and Ceremonies"

  • Must indicate the type of business entity with the appropriate distinction (i.e., "limited liability company” or “LLC”)

  • Must not imply a connection to a governmental agency unless permitted by said agency

  • Must not in any way defraud or mislead the public

  • Must reflect your business per your Articles of Organization or Incorporation

Other restricted words include:

  • Olympic

  • Olympiad

  • Citius Altius Fortius

  • Postal service

  • Post office

You can only use these words if your business is licensed to perform the stated activity:

  • Certified public accountant (CPA)

  • Public accountant (PA)

  • Escrow

  • Escrow depository

Performing a Hawaii entity search comes with numerous benefits for your business. Here are a few:

Checking Name Availability

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a Hawaii entity search is determining whether your desired business name is available. Using a handy online tool like our free business name search allows you to select a name that isn't identical or similar to another business name. This way, you minimize your chances of the BREG rejecting your desired name.

Avoiding Trademark Infringement

Perform a more advanced search to ensure your desired business name doesn't infringe upon existing trademarks. This can save you a lot of money down the road. Plus, you won't be forced to change your business name after marketing it.

Finding Business Information

Beyond searching for name availability, you might need another business's information for legal purposes or business filings. For this reason, you can use the business database on the Hawaii.gov website to perform a business entity search. Among other information, you can find out the business's mailing address and registered agent contact information.

Downtown Honolulu, Hawaii at night | Swyft Filings

Next Steps

Let's say you've successfully performed a Hawaii entity search and have a business name for your LLC. Here are the next steps you should take to officially start your Hawaii business.

Complete Your Name Reservation

The name you've chosen and verified through the Hawaii business name search might be available now. However, this situation can change in a matter of days. You should make a name reservation to avoid losing your desired business name to a competitor.

As the name implies, this action reserves your chosen name, giving you some leeway to start your LLC. Of course, if you're ready to form your business immediately, there's no need for a reservation.

Otherwise, the Hawaii Secretary of State will allow you to reserve an LLC name for 120 days, and the reservation is non-renewable. To do this, you must pay a $10 filing fee and file a reservation request with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

You can do this online or send your form to the following mailing address:

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Business Registration Division

P. O. Box 40

Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

Choose a Domain Name

Whether running an online business or not, having a robust online presence is crucial. For this reason, you should also ensure your desired Hawaii business name is available for online channels like your website and social media platforms.

Let's say your Hawaii business is called Beach Days, LLC. If the social media handle "beachdays" or the domain "beachdays.com" or any similar variation is already taken, your clients might be confused when looking for your business online. Not only that, but you might lose clients to your competitors.

To prevent this unfortunate scenario from happening, you should also check the domain name availability after performing the Hawaii entity search. You can do this before submitting a name reservation or use the 120-day period to research your online presence possibilities.

Squarespace’s easy-to-use domain search tool can help you quickly find and register a domain name that matches your Hawaii business. You can then choose from Squarespace’s flexible website templates, pre-designed layouts, and curated design elements to build a website — no coding required. Start your business with Swyft Filings and receive a free domain from SquareSpace for one year.

Consider a DBA

A DBA (“Doing Business As”), also known as a trade name or assumed name, is a fictitious business name some companies use that differs from the business entity's official name. 

While not necessary, some businesses file for a DBA when the name they originally wanted is unavailable. Entrepreneurs also invest in DBAs when they want to branch out. 

Let's say you run a marketing company and want to start an event business. Your official entity name might be Spark Marketing Agency, and your DBA for your event business can be Spark Events.

Trademark infringement laws still apply in the case of a DBA. So, do your due diligence before submitting for a DBA registration.

You can follow the DCCA's instructions on registering a DBA name or use our speedy DBA registration service.

File Your LLC Online

Coming up with a perfect business name is the hard part. Your business name should be unique, relevant, and easy to remember. Everything after that? Swyft Filings has you covered.

After helping you find the perfect business name with our Hawaii business name search tool, we can also help you file your LLC online hassle-free. We'll file your Articles of Organization with the Hawaii DCCA, taking care of the final step left for launching your business.

FAQs

How do I find out if a business name is available in Hawaii?

You can find out if a business name is available in Hawaii by performing a Hawaii business name search. You can either sift through the state's official registry or use the handy online tool Swyft Filings provides for free.

The Hawaii Secretary of State Business Entity Search is a tool you can use to look for businesses registered in the state of Hawaii. You can enter the business name in two modes: "begins with" and "contains."

How do you check if a business is registered in Hawaii?

To check if a business is registered in Hawaii, look for it on the Hawaii Business Express website or use an online tool like the Business Name Search by Swyft Filings.

How much does a Hawaii business entity search cost?

Swyft Filings's Business Name Search is a completely free way to conduct a Hawaii business entity search.

A business entity search allows you to check name availability for a new business, purchase essential documents, and inquire about crucial information regarding other businesses.

What are the requirements to start a business in Hawaii?

To start a business in Hawaii, you must:

  • Choose a business entity

  • Choose a business name

  • Register your business

  • Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

  • Get the necessary permits and licenses

  • Open a business bank account[2]

Do I need a business license in Hawaii?

The state of Hawaii doesn't issue a general business license. However, depending on your business type and county, you might need to meet specific licensing requirements. For instance, pawnbrokers in Hawaii County must obtain a business license.[3]


Bibliography

  1. Hawaii Business Express. "Business Naming Rules." Accessed April 28, 2023.

  2. Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. "Starting a Business." Accessed April 28, 2023.

  3. Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. "Apply for Other Permits and Licenses." Accessed April 28, 2023.

Originally published on August 03, 2023, and last edited on August 07, 2023.

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