How to Check Corporation Name Availability in Hawaii

Woman doing a Hawaii corporation name search on her computer.

Before you form a corporation, you’ll need to complete a business name search with the Hawaii Business Name Search tool to check if your corporation name is available.

We'll show you how to check corporation name availability in Hawaii in this guide.

Or, use a professional service:

4.7 out of 5 stars ZenBusiness ($49 + state fee)

Hawaii Corporation Name Search

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs requires all business names to be distinguishable from other business entities in the state. So, you’ll want to search and make sure no other businesses in the state are already using your name.

It is also useful to see if your corporation name is available as a web domain (URL).

SKIP AHEAD:

  1. How to Register a Corporation Name in Hawaii
  2. Hawaii Corporation Name Requirements
  3. Hawaii Corporation Name Search FAQ

How to Search Available Hawaii Corporation Names

Once you know your corporation name meets Hawaii business name guidelines, make sure it’s available by using the Hawaii Business Name Search tool.

Want to learn more about corporations? Check out our What Is a Corporation guide to get started.

How to Check Available Domain Names

When deciding on a name for your corporation, you should make sure that a similar or exact domain name is available. A matching URL will help potential customers find your corporation faster.

Find a Domain Now

How to Register a Corporation Name in Hawaii

Register Your Name

A corporation name is officially registered when you file your Hawaii Articles of Incorporation. You can hire a professional service to form a corporation for you or start a corporation yourself.

Ready to register your corporation name? Use our Form a Corporation guide to get started.

If you want to register a DBA in Hawaii, known as a trade name, that’s a separate process that requires filing a separate form with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Reserve Your Name

While not required, you have the option to reserve your corporation name in Hawaii for up to 120 days before you register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you are ready to register it yourself. 

Name reservations can be filed online or via hard copy with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. The filing fee is $10.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation? ZenBusiness will get you started.

Hawaii Corporation Name Requirements

Key Guidelines

Hawaii has official requirements for its corporation names.

The name must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited” or an abbreviation of one of these terms (corp., co. ltd.).

Domestic insurance corporations must include the word "insurance" in their name. In the case of a reciprocal insurer, the name must include one of the following words: reciprocal, interinsurer, interinsurance, exchange, underwriters, or underwriting.

There are also restricted words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” that you cannot use in order to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.

Hawaii also has the following restrictions for corporation names:

  • The name cannot contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than one permitted by law and its articles of incorporation. It also must be permitted by law and not attempt to mislead or confuse the general public.
  • The following terms cannot be used without approval from the State Commissioner of Financial Institutions: 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, and trust.
  • Use of the following terms also requires state approval or certification: certified public accountant, public accountant, CPA, PA, cooperative, escrow, and escrow depository.

For more information, check out the Hawaii state statute on corporation names.

Distinguishability

Your name must be distinguishable from all other Hawaii business names. In Hawaii, a distinguishable name is one that is substantively different from all other existing or reserved business names in the state.

The following differences do NOT make a name distinguishable in Hawaii:

  • Spelling a number instead of using the numerical symbol for the number
  • The names are pronounced the same but spelled differently.
  • Including a suffix, affix, or prefix
  • Using "n", "-n-", or the use of the letter "n" between two or more words to connote "and", or the use of the letter "a" or the words "an", "and", "the", "of", "in", "at", "on", "to" or "for" or the Hawaiian language equivalent words of "da", "ka", "ke", "na", or "la".
  • Punctuation, spaces, or symbols.
  • Plural or possessive forms of words
  • Abbreviations
  • Using the phrase "of Hawaii", or the word "Hawaii", or its recognized abbreviation "HI" at the end of the name,
  • Using the word "Hawaii" or "Hawaiian" at the beginning of the name

If your corporation name isn’t distinguishable, your Articles of Incorporation filing will likely be rejected.

What if my corporation name is already taken? Our AI-powered corporation name generator will give you thousands of new ideas. 

For a list of brainstorming tips, check out our guide to naming your business.

Hawaii Corporation Name Search FAQ

How do I check if a corporation name is taken in Hawaii?

You can use the Hawaii Business Name Search tool to see if your business name is available.

Learn more about business entity name availability in the Hawaii Corporation Name Search section.

Should I name my corporation after myself?

While there’s no rule against naming a corporation after yourself, most experts advise against doing this. 

One of the benefits of starting a corporation is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.

To explore other naming options, use our free AI-powered business name generator.

What words can’t be used in a Hawaii corporation name?

Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.

Additionally, Hawaii corporation names cannot contain language stating or implying that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than one permitted by law and its Articles of Incorporation. It also must be permitted by law and not attempt to mislead or confuse the general public.

The following terms also cannot be used without approval:

  • Use of 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 requires approval from the State Commissioner of Financial Institutions
  • Use of certified public accountant, public accountant, CPA, PA, cooperative, escrow, or escrow depository requires state approval and certification

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Hawaii Corporation Name Requirements section.

Should I use a business name generator?

If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your corporation, a corporation name generator can help you come up with some ideas.

Do I have to include ‘corporation’ in my name?

Hawaii corporation names must contain the word “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited” or an abbreviation of one of these terms (corp., co. ltd.).

Learn more about corporation naming requirements in the Hawaii Corporation Name Requirements section.

Do I need to renew my business name in Hawaii?

Hawaii doesn't require corporations to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed every five years with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Can my business name be different from my corporation name in Hawaii?

Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or trade name in Hawaii. 

In Hawaii, trade names for corporations are filed with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Learn more about trade names with our Hawaii DBA guide.

Does my corporation need a DBA name?

Your corporation doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more with our Hawaii DBA guide.