How to File a DBA in Hawaii

Image of a man looking up how to file a D B A in Hawaii. DBA Hawaii.

Registering a Hawaii DBA (doing business as), also known as a trade name, is a simple process that you complete with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

To learn more about why you may need a DBA, read our What is a DBA article.

How To Use This Guide

Use our free guide below to file for a DBA in Hawaii:

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A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

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DBA Hawaii - Filing a Hawaii DBA is Easy, Follow These 2 Steps

Step 1: Start With a Hawaii DBA Name Search

If you haven't already, head over to the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website to make sure your trade name isn't taken by another registered Hawaii business. Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name.

TIP: Our business name generator tool is a great resource for entrepreneurs who are still working to create the perfect business name or website address.

Hawaii also recommends checking with the Department of Taxation and searching local phone directories and Polk City Directories to see if your trade name has been used.

In Hawaii, your trade name should not include:

  • Any business entity suffix, such as LLC, Incorporated, Corp., etc unless the business is actually an LLC, corporation, or etc.
  • Any terms given to financial institutions, including: "bank," "banc," "banco," "banque," "banker," "trust company," "savings and loan association," "savings bank," "credit union" or other similar words.

You can find additional information regarding Hawaii business name rules and regulations here.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2: Register Your Hawaii DBA with the State

In Hawaii, you register your DBA with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. You can file online at the Hawaii Business Express website or you can complete the application for registration of trade name form.

The application will ask for your new DBA name and information about your business, such as:

  • Section 3: Status of the applicant (corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, LLC, LLP, other)
  • Section 4: State where the applicant was formed (if a corporation, partnership, or LLC)
  • Section 6: Whether the trade name was originated by the applicant or being assigned to them
  • Section 7: Nature of the business the trade name is being used for

A DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state.

Submit Your Application Form

Mail

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs
Business Registration Division
P.O. Box 40
Honolulu, Hawaii 96810

In-Person

Hawaii offers a number of Business Action Centers that can serve you in person. You can find a list of them here.

Email

You can email your completed form and credit card information here: breg-doci-filing@dcca.hawaii.gov

Fax

You can fax your completed form and credit card information here: (808) 586-2733

Fees

  • $50 Filing Fee
  • $20 Expedited Filing Fee
  • $1 State Archives Fee (refunded if your filing is rejected)

Manage Your Hawaii DBA

DBA Questions

Call the Business Registration Division: (808) 586-2727

Renew Your DBA with the State

Your Hawaii trade name should be renewed every five years. You can renew it online at any time during the six months preceding the expiration date.

Change Your DBA

You can change your trade name by filling out and returning this form or completing the process online.

Withdraw Your DBA

You can cancel your trade name online.

Need Help Filing Your Hawaii DBA?

Have A Professional Service File Your DBA For You

A professional service will handle filing your DBA on your behalf, allowing you to focus on the other needs of your new business.

We recommend using ZenBusiness ($95 + state fee) for a personalized DBA service.

FAQ DBA Hawaii

Can I file a DBA online in Hawaii?

You can file your trade name online at Hawaii Business Express.

How do I change my DBA in Hawaii?

You can change your trade name by filling out and returning this form or completing the process online. The fee is $10.

How can I withdraw my DBA?

You can cancel your trade name online.

How often should I renew my Hawaii DBA?

Your Hawaii trade name expires five years after it is registered. You can renew it online at any time during the six months preceding the expiration date.

When is a DBA required in Hawaii?

A trade name is not required in Hawaii.

How do I transfer my DBA in Hawaii?

You can transfer a trade name in Hawaii online or by filling out and returning this form. The fee is $10.

Is my Hawaii DBA protected from being used in other places?

There are some state-level laws that prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but your name is not protected in Hawaii. It is possible to create a federal trademark for a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Each one will come with additional incremental expense and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you would need one for your business, read What is An EIN from our friends at TRUiC.

Can a DBA become an LLC?

Your DBA is just a name. A DBA is often confused with a sole proprietorship. If you mean “can my sole proprietorship become an LLC?” then the answer is “Yes. Absolutely.”

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

Can a DBA have "Inc." in the name?

A DBA can only have "Inc." in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is a corporation.

How do I set up a DBA for a Rental Property?

It’s always best to consult an attorney. Usually, the best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. Holding the rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection.

Useful Links for Your Hawaii DBA