1. Follow Hawaii Naming Guidelines
Before you begin your search for a business name, we recommend that your business name meet the guidelines.
The first step to starting an LLC is choosing a company name. You should choose a name that is both compliant with Hawaii’s naming requirements, and easily searchable by potential clients.
Follow these naming guidelines:
- Your name must contain the phrase “limited-liability company” or one its abbreviations (LLC, L.L.C. ).
- Your name cannot contain words that could cause confusion between your LLC and a government agency (FBI or Treasury, State Department, etc.). ).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, and University may need additional paperwork, as well as the participation of a licensed individual such a doctor or lawyer to your LLC.
2. Search for a Hawaii business name
To check the availability of your chosen name, you can use Hawaii’s Business Entity Search before you submit your name reservation request. For the best search results, enter the name you want to use.
You can search for just the first two words of your business name to find all similar names.
3. Find Available Domain Names
When choosing a business name, another important consideration is whether your desired web domain is available. It is crucial to have a URL that matches your business name. Even though it seems small, this can make a huge difference in how potential customers find you business.
Searching online for your desired URL using your preferred domain registry such as GoDaddy is the best way to find out if it is available.
4. Register Your Hawaii Business Entity Name
Hawaii’s Secretary of State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Registration Division handles all LLC naming queries and requests. You can reserve business names for up to 120 days.
You must apply online or by mail to reserve a business name. To file an online application, you will need to open an account at the Business Registration Division. To avoid rejection, make sure you do a thorough search prior to submitting your application.
You will need to pay a filing fee when you reserve your name. You must make checks payable to the “Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.”
Although it is easy to reserve the name of your LLC, there are other factors you need to consider when choosing the right name for your company. To see if your name is available for use on the internet, you might want to conduct a Trademark or Social Media Search. This will ensure that you are able to use your business name in any way you want.
It is a good idea to conduct a trademark search on your business name, as well as any associated slogans and logos, before you register. This will help avoid costly litigation down the road. It does not mean that you cannot use your business name if it is trademarked by another entity.
It is vital to find out who uses the name and what industry they work in to ensure that you don’t inadvertently violate any intellectual property rights.
This is the final step.
- You can search Hawaii’s trademarks using the same business entity searching to find out if another business uses your business name, associated slogans, logos or other information.
- To find federally registered trademarks that are associated with your business name, search the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office electronic records.
Social Media Search
It is just as important to ensure that your business name can be used across all social media platforms. This can be done by searching your business name across each site.
A name for your company is an essential first step in creating a successful LLC. It is also very easy. After you have chosen your preferred name through Hawaii’s Business Entity Search you will need to secure your domain so your customers can find you online. You will be able to stand out among the rest by reserving your name using an Application For Reservation of Name. Once you have your name secure, it is time to start formalizing your LLC.