How to Look Up an LLC in Hawaii? (Step by Step Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: February 16, 2024
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We meticulously research and verify the information presented in our articles. By consulting reliable sources and ensuring factual accuracy, we are committed to providing readers with well-informed, trustworthy content.

Perhaps you’re considering starting a business in Hawaii or want to find information about a service or company. Learn to search for a limited liability company (LLC) name in the state’s database.

With years of practice as a business consultant for Hawaii LLCs and a thorough investigation of how to look up a business entity in the state, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide backed with research and legal information.

I consulted with our team of legal advisors and attorneys to provide you with accurate and credible information.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Hawaii, visit the official website of the Department of Commerce and Consumers Affairs (DCCA) and use the business entity search tool.
  • It's a good idea to hire a professional research service for a comprehensive and efficient Hawaii business entity search.
  • According to the DCCA, the database currently lists over 60,000 active LLCs, highlighting the significant number of businesses operating within the state.
  • Conducting a comprehensive name search when forming LLCs for my clients saved me from potential legal disputes and guided me to choose a more unique and legally secure business name.


How to Look Up a Hawaii LLC?

A woman looking up for an LLC in Hawaii on laptop

To look up a Hawaii LLC in the state's database, visit the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) website. All LLCs in Hawaii are required to register with this department. According to the DCCA, the database currently lists over 60,000 active LLCs, highlighting the significant number of businesses operating within the state.

The website includes a searchable database of all registered Hawaii businesses.

1. Hawaii Business Express Search Tool

To navigate the site:

  • Scroll down the page and select the "Business Name Search" tab.
  • You'll be redirected to the State's Business Express search page.
  • Enter the business name you are interested in, and then click the search bar.
  • The search results should include the company's name, record type, file number, and status.

If you want additional information about the company, click the name, and you'll be redirected to another page with more details.

There, you can see the following data:

  • Term
  • Management structure
  • Agent name and address
  • Registration date
  • Mailing address
  • Physical address
  • Annual filings and other related filings

a. Searching by Business Name

The Hawaii Business Express has only one search criterion, searching by "Business Name." This can be unfortunate if you are still determining the specific name you are searching.

However, you can use any of the two search modes to direct your search:

  • Begins With
  • Contains

Consider these to obtain information about the business entity quickly.

"You cannot use just a geographic location or landmark as your LLC name. For instance, "Maui Beach Consultants LLC" would be permissible, but "Maui LLC" would not be allowed."

- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions

2. Contact the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

A person on her laptop outside with coffee beside her

Alternatively, contact the Business Registration Division staff at (808) 586-2727. They can provide information on registered LLCs in Hawaii and assist with any inquiries you may have.

The support is available during regular business hours (7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.), Monday – Friday, except state holidays.

3. Email Business Registration Division

For further assistance, you can send an email to breg@dcca.hawaii.gov. They should be able to assist you with any inquiries or concerns regarding business registration in Hawaii.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

You can also consider the following search options for the LLC look-up:

  • Hire a professional research service: Consider employing a professional research service for a comprehensive and efficient Hawaii business entity search.
  • Commercial business databases: Utilize commercial business databases or third-party services that provide business entity search functionalities. Ensure that the database includes Hawaii LLC information.
  • Legal or business directories: Refer to legal or business directories that compile information about registered businesses. These may be available online or in local libraries.
  • Legal publications and notices: Check legal publications or public notices for any announcements related to the LLC, such as changes in ownership or legal proceedings.
  • Business credit reporting agencies: Explore business credit reporting agencies, as they may provide information on the financial health and history of the LLC.
  • Social media and online presence: Investigate the LLC's online presence through social media and professional networking sites for additional insights.
  • Local Chamber of Commerce: Contact the local Chamber of Commerce for information or resources related to the LLC.

Remember to exercise caution when using non-official sources, and always verify information with the official databases provided by the Hawaii DCCA for the most accurate and current details.

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Hawaii?

To check if a business name is trademarked in Hawaii, you can use these platforms:

1. Federal Trademark Check (Through the USPTO)

Start by searching the United States Patent and Trademark (USPTO) database. This national database includes registered trademarks at the federal level.

Use their online search tool to look for trademarks associated with the business name:

  • While on the page, click the "Trademark" tab.
  • You will be directed to a different page with the Trademark search options.
  • Click "Trademark basics," "Search Trademarks," or "Apply to register your trademark," depending on your area of interest.

2. Hawaii Trademark Check (SOT Website)

Check the Hawaii DCCA website for state-level trademarks or service marks.

It's important to note that a federal trademark protects the United States, while a state-level trademark offers protection within that specific state.

You should check federal and state databases to ensure comprehensive coverage if your business operates primarily in Hawaii. This is because entrepreneurship is soaring in the United States. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reported, business applications have doubled recently, with the year 2022 seeing over 5 million applications filed [1].

This notable trend suggests a dynamic and vibrant business environment, hence a high possibility of trademark infringement cases.

Here are some reasons to conduct an Hawaii LLC search:

  • Verify the availability of your desired LLC name. Ensuring that the chosen name is unique and not already in use helps prevent potential legal issues and ensures that your business stands out.
  • Verify the availability of the social media name. If you're planning on using social media to promote your LLC, the search will provide clarity to using the business name.
  • Checking for existing trademarks at both the federal and state levels. This helps prevent unintentional infringement on the intellectual property of other businesses and minimizes the risk of legal disputes.
  • Protecting personal liability. By conducting a search, you ensure that the chosen business name aligns with the legal structure and maintains the liability protection it offers.
  • Confirm the accuracy of the LLC's public records, including information about its registered agent, address, and members. This helps maintain transparency and ensures that the public information about your business is correct.
  • Establish credibility and professionalism by having a registered and legally compliant business. This is important for building trust with clients, customers, and business partners.

Related Articles:

FAQs

Can I Reserve a Business Name in Hawaii?

You can reserve a business name in Hawaii by applying for a reservation online or by mail.  If you fill out an online application on the Hawaii Business Express website, the filing fee is $7.50. However, if you decide to mail it in, it will cost $10.

Your desired business name can be reserved for 120 days.

Should I Register a Trademark in Hawaii?

You should register a trademark in Hawaii to have legal protection for your desired business name. A trademark is what sets your business entity apart from your competitors.

Should My Hawaii Business Have a DBA?

Your Hawaii business is not required to have a DBA. In Hawaii, it is purely voluntary to register a fictitious name.


References:

  1. https://www.uschamber.com/small-business/new-business-applications-a-state-by-state-view

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