Why is Doing a Hawaii LLC Name Search Important?
Want to start a Hawaii LLC? One of the first steps before forming your LLC is to choose a Hawaii LLC name. While there’s some flexibility in picking an LLC name, you still need to ensure your Hawaii LLC name meets the Hawaii LLC naming requirements.
Not only that, but you also need to make sure that your LLC name is distinguishable from other businesses registered with the state. Our article on Hawaii LLC name search today will guide you through how to check the Hawaii business database to confirm the business name availability before submitting your LLC formation application.
Hawaii Business Name Guidelines
As mentioned above, there are a few naming requirements set by the State that business owners are required to follow when choosing an LLC name. One example of a naming requirement is that the name you choose must be unique and will not be easily confused with other businesses in the state. Other than that, here are other naming requirements set by Hawaii:
- Company name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.)
- Company name cannot include words that would confuse the Georgia LLC with a government agency such as the FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.
- Restricted words like Bank, Attorney, and University may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your limited liability company.
Hawaii Business Name Search
One of the best ways to check if your desired name is unique and available is to run a Hawaii business name search via Hawaii’s Business Entity Search.
You only need to type in your desired LLC name and exclude identifiers like LLC, limited liability or corporation as the site will automatically extract all the names of businesses for all business entities. Running a Hawaii LLC name search is a recommended step before registering your LLC to avoid any rejection due to an unsuitable name.
The Hawaii LLC entity search can be conducted via the following search criteria:
- LLC Name
- Business ID
- Filing Number
Hawaii Entity Name
The most commonly used search method for Hawaii entity names is by searching the name. This is the most straightforward method for checking business name availability search as all you need to do is to input the desired trade name into the search bar and click on Search. The Hawaii entity database will then produce a list of entity names related to what you’ve typed.
As mentioned in the section above, you do not need to include phrases like LLC, Corp, or other naming designations while performing a search for Hawaii business names as the database will generate results for businesses of all business entities as long as it is registered with the state.
Search by Business ID
Another method for the public to search for businesses on the Hawaii database is by searching the company registration ID. The Hawaii business search steps are the same as searching by name but instead of keying in the name, just type in the registration ID and tap on Search. The database will then produce business entities under that business ID.
Search by Filing Number
Every Hawaii business entity has a unique business ID and similarly each business will also have an associated filing number that the public can use to run the Hawaii business search with. The steps for searching by filing number is similar to the above methods with the only difference is keying in the filing number instead of business ID or name before clicking on Search.
Hawaii Corporation Search Name Status
Hawaii may be known as a tourist area, but it is not short of businesses. With the large number of businesses present in the state, it can certainly get tricky to think of a unique LLC name that fits your business and is not already taken up by another.
One suggestion to help you out with your LLC name or give you some inspiration is to use the Hawaii corporation search to your advantage. The Hawaii business database actually shows you not just the businesses registered with the state but also their status. This means that you can check for expired LLC names that you may consider using for your company.
For example, if you’re planning to open up a stall to sell fruits, you can type in “Fruits” in the search bar for the site to generate a list of business names with the word “Fruits” in it. From there you can check for businesses that are still active or expired.
You might actually come across a name you like that’s expired and available for use. Nonetheless, if you do find one that’s suitable, we recommend giving Hawaii’s Secretary of State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division a call just to confirm the name’s availability before submitting the application.
You might find a suitable name on the database or have checked that your desired name is not taken up by another yet. However, you might want to run a trademark search first before submitting the LLC application.
It is important and recommended for business owners to run a trademark search on the Trademark Electronic Search System before confirming on a company name. This step doesn’t take too long and will prevent costly litigation in the future.
You should perform a trademark search on your desired Hawaii LLC name, associated slogan, and logos through both Hawaii trademark search and the US Patent trademark office’s electronic records just to make sure you’re not using something that’s federally registered.
On the other hand, finding out that the name is trademarked also does not mean you definitely cannot use it anymore. You may still use the LLC name but you need to be clear on who is using the name, the industry they’re in, as well as where they’re located to avoid inadvertently infringing on their intellectual property rights.
Reserve Business Entity Name
After running through the Hawaii business entity database and found that your desired name is available, the next step you can do is to reserve your LLC name so that others will not be able to register it before you do.
The Hawaii Secretary of State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division is responsible for handling all LLC naming questions and requests, including name reservation.
You can reserve your desired LLC name for 120 days and you must file the application either online or by mail. If you want to file the application online, you’ll need to create an account with the Business Division. You will also need to pay a filing fee for reserving your name and all checks must be made out to “Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.”
Fee: $7.50 online, $10 by mail
Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P. O. Box 40
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810
Other Considerations and What To Do Next?
After reserving your desired Hawaii LLC name, you can not start to look into other but still important considerations before you officially file your state of Hawaii LLC. The considerations include running a social media handle and domain name availability search for full, unrestricted use of your desired LLC name on different online platforms.
Domain Name Availability Search
Business owners have started acknowledging and accepting the fact that an online presence is extremely important for businesses, regardless of their services/products, and business size. This is clear as many customers will go on Yelp or Google Review to check what others are saying about your business before going to your store.
With more and more businesses going online, it will also mean that coming up with a suitable company website name with the .com extension is going to be difficult. While the .com domain extension is the most popular, it’s not the only one available. There are actually several other domain extensions you can look into such as .co, .net, and .io.
Tools like Namechkr and GoDaddy sites can prove themselves quite valuable as they can be used to check if your desired domain name is still available. And in case it’s already taken up, they offer useful alternatives for you to consider.
Social Media Name Availability Search
In addition to a company website, you also need to have a business social media page for customers to connect and leave reviews. This also means that you need to check social media handle availability.
Here are a few important tips to keep in mind for your business social media page:
- An active social media presence is important for all Hawaii businesses, regardless of how big or small they are. Social media is actually an incredibly powerful tool that connects Hawaii businesses with their customers directly to boost organic presence online, attract potential customers, and even create awareness among the community.
- You should check multiple social media platforms on the availability of your preferred social media handle. Run the check on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest even if you have not yet decided on opening a page on them. This is because in the off-chance that another business is having the same social media handle as your business on another platform, it might cause some confusion for your customers.
- To check for social media name availability, you can either run a simple search on each site to manually check if they’re still available or you can rely on Namechkr site to perform the search for you on all platforms at the same time. The second method will obviously save you plenty of time.
- If you do find that your preferred name is available on the social media pages, you should consider registering an account with that name first. This step can be performed beforehand even if you don’t plan on opening up a page yet. This will prevent another business from using the name before you want to.
Register Your Hawaii Business Entity
Now that you’ve done the necessary checks and can confirm your desired LLC name is ready to go, you can proceed to file your LLC with the state. Yes, it is possible for business owners to file their own LLC but you should be prepared for all the filing and paperwork required.
The sheer amount of paperwork involved is what caused many other owners to decide on hiring companies like ZenBusiness, Incfile, and Northwest Registered Agent to do the LLC filing for them. These companies have experience handling this sort of work to leave you with more time and capacity to focu on more important things for your business.
Register Company Tax ID/EIN with the IRS
Everybody, including businesses with an income will need to pay tax to the government. Every business will be provided with a unique six-digit tax ID that must be registered with the IRS for tax purposes. Fortunately, the process for registering EIN is very straightforward and can be performed online quickly.
Create a Company Logo
An LLC name isn’t the only important thing for businesses. Companies also need a logo that accurately reflects the business mission and value. Some may even believe that a logo is even more important than the trade name as a well-designed logo can help businesses deliver the impression and message they want their customers to receive.
However, not everyone is creative or have the artistic skills to come up with their own design. Luckily, business owners can hop onto the Fiverr site to connect with freelancers that can help you come up with a suitable logo in as short as 24 hours.
Open a Business Bank Account
Another important step to do after registering your LLC is to open up a business bank account. You may have seen or heard business owners using their own personal bank account to accept payment, this is not an encouraged practice.
It’s always best to separate personal and business finances. Doing this won’t just eliminate future confusion, but it could also help your business build credibility with the banks for business loans in the future.
The first thing to look into before registering a business in state of Hawaii is to first choose a suitable company name that accurately reflects your company’s values as well as the services or products you provide.
In addition to coming up with a unique company name that won’t be confused for another business, you’ll also need to make sure that the LLC name complies with Hawaii naming requirements. After deciding on a name, you can proceed to look into other considerations such as social media, website name, formalizing your LLC and opening up a bank account.
Starting a business correctly doesn’t have to be difficult. With over 15 years of experience consulting new businesses and start ups, Matthew is probably the best person to help you set a strong foundation for your business.