How to Search Available Business Names in Hawaii

Last Updated on

Quick Reference

Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website.

The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Business Entity Database provides information for corporations and LLCs registered in Hawaii. 

There is no fee to search the database.

What information can be looked up?

The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:

  • Business Name
  • Business Type – Corporation, Limited Liability Company. Etc.
  • Status – Active means the business in in good standing with the state and all reports and filing fees are up to date
  • Purpose – Basic information about what the business does
  • Registration Date – When the business was formed.
  • Mailing Address – The address on file for the business entity. This can be a physical business address or an address where the company documents are stored.
  • Registered Agent’s information – A Registered Agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal or tax notice need to be sent to the business.  This is often one of the owners and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information.  Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile so their home address isn’t listed.  
  • Date the entity was filed with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
  • Names of the officers and their title

How to do a Hawaii Business Name Search

  1. Visit the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website.
  2. Enter the name you would like to use in the field.  In this example, we will look up “The Pool Doctor” to see if it is available”.

3. When we search “The Pool Doctor” we see 2 results. In order to reserve a business name we have to pick a name that isn’t similar to a registered business. In this example, there is another business using the name. Note that even by removing minor words like “The” isn’t significant enough to make the name unique.

We can find more information about the business by clicking on the link.

Hawaii Business Name Results

4. Here we can find more information about the business.

5. While the name “The Pool Doctor” by itself may not be available other variants are such as “Pool Physician” or “Pool Medic” are.  Searching for those business names, brings a result that says “There are no businesses for this search term”.  While final approval is still with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, it is likely available to register. 

These are the basics of searching for a business name in Hawaii.  Even when the name of the business you want is available, the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs will make a final determination at the time of filing to ensure the name you picked isn’t too similar to other registered names. 

How do I form an LLC?

Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use.  Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form an Hawaii LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.

While not required in Hawaii, an Operating Agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering especially for multi-member LLCs.

After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).  This is a “social security number” for the business.  There is no cost to get one through the IRS.

After forming the LLC, Hawaii business licenses and permits may still be necessary.