Naming Your Hawaii Limited Liability Company
You need the right name for your Hawaii LLC. Choosing the right name is vital because it tells your suppliers, customers and employees what your business does. Hawaii has several rules and regulations about what you can call your new business. Let’s explore what they are.
General Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Rules on Naming Your LLC
- The name needs to be unique and not used by another LLC or business operating in Hawaii
- The name of your Hawaii business must end with “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC”
Don't Confuse Your Hawaii Business Name With Another Business Name
- The following terms can’t be used to say your business name is different from another business name:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Punctuation and symbols
- Abbreviations of words
- Different typefaces, fonts, superscript, subscript, etc.
- It should not be possible to confuse the name of your business with the name of another Hawaii business
- For example, you can’t claim that Blue Widget Co., Blue Widget LLC, Blue Widget Incorporated, Blue-Widget-Company or Blue Widget are different from one another
Rules on Words You Can’t Use in Your Business Name
- The Hawaii LLC name can’t suggest affiliation with any federal or state government entity or agency.
- The Hawaii LLC name may not imply a purpose that it would be unlawful for the business to conduct.
- You cannot use the following words as qualifiers in the overall Hawaii LLC business name: "companies," "corporations," "incorporation," "unlimited," “limited partnerships."
- The following terms cannot be used without authorization: "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"
- The words "Olympic," "Olympiad" or "Citius Altius Fortius" cannot be used without the approval of the United States Olympic Committee.
- Although these are the main rules about naming your business in Hawaii, there are plenty more.
Hawaii Information on Naming an LLC
- You can reserve a name. Please note that you do not need to reserve a name if you are forming an LLC. By registering an LLC, the name will automatically be reserved for your business. You would normally only reserve a name if you are not planning on forming your new company anytime soon.
- A name can be used to form any type of business entity, not just an LLC.
- Just filing a name registration doesn’t guarantee you will be granted the name. You should wait until your LLC is formally created before using the name for anything else.
“Doing Business As (DBA)” Names
You can be a Hawaii LLC with a different “doing business as” name. In Hawaii these are known as “trade names” and need to be registered with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Learn about these types of names in your state.
Rules About Infringing on Service Marks or Trademarks Inside or Outside Hawaii
In addition to the rules above, it’s also vital to see if your Hawaii LLC name might infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. For example, it might not be a good idea to call yourself “Google Search Optimization Services,” since Google is a trademark.
The easiest way to see if your proposed business name infringes is to carry out a trademark search. You can do that via the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or Incfile can help you protect your business with our new Trademark Search and Registration service. You should also bear in mind that your Hawaii business entity name cannot be substantially similar to an existing trademark or service mark.
How to Search for Your Hawaii Business Entity Name
Search the database of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs for your proposed business name to see if it's unique. You can search by entity name.
What Should You Call Your Hawaii LLC?
Finding the perfect name can be tough. You want a business name that:
- Describes what your Hawaii business does
- Appeals to your planned audience
- Makes your business easy to find
- Is relatively unique
- Doesn’t limit you to a particular location or type of product or service
Fortunately, we’ve got some good advice on seeking out the perfect business name for your Hawaii LLC. Check out our guidance on naming your LLC and get inspired.
You’ve Found the Perfect Name; What Next?
Once you’ve found the right name for your business, it’s time to make it a reality. Check out our packages for starting your Hawaii LLC and form your LLC today.