How to File a Hawaii DBA (Doing Business As) – DBA HI Guide [2022]

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Want to make your business stand out by having a unique business name? Or maybe you are interested in having a Business Name different from your legal name. If so, consider filing a DBA in Hawaii. We’ll walk you through the process and give some tips on choosing that perfect HI DBA for your business.

Important! Please keep in mind that DBA is not a business structure, so it won’t protect you from liabilities, lawsuits, or any other unforeseen situations. DBA stands for Doing Business As. – often precedes the name under which a business operates, which is not the legal name of the business.

Therefore, before starting, make sure you understand the difference between informal business structures such as sole proprietorship and formal ones like corporations and LLCs.

To register or renew the trademark, trade name, or service mark for your company in Hawaii you need to file the application to the Secretary of State. Here is what you need to do:

Hawaii Business Entity Search

Your company’s trade name should be unique and have not been acquired by any other entity in Hawaii. Moreover, this name must also meet the business name requirements of Hawaii.

First, you have to search the Hawaii Business Express website for the DBA, Business, and Fictitious names to know whether the name that you wish to have for your business has already been taken by someone or not.

Moreover, search the local phone directories and check with the Hawaii Department of Taxation to make sure your intended business name isn’t already in use.

Note: You can also find a complete guide on business name search here.

Once you are done searching, the next step is to review the naming requirements of the state of Hawaii. Your DBA should not include:

  • Words that are commonly used by a government agency such as Treasury, FBI, State Department, etc.
  • The terms such as certified public accountant, CPA, public accountant, PA, cooperative, escrow, and escrow depository without state certification or approval.
  • Terms such as bank, banco, banker, banking, banc, banque, credit union, financial institution, international bannking coorporation, savings association, deposit, savings and loan association, building association, building and loan association, savings bank, trust, thrift, trust company without approval from the State Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

Register Your Hawaii DBA ($50)

Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs deals with the trade name registration. You can file Hawaii DBA online using the Hawaii Business Express website, or send a hard copy of Application for Registration of Trade Name by mail or in-person at the following address: 

Mailing Address

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

File In-person

Check Hawaii’s list of Business Action Centers 

Fax & email

(808) 586-2733.

Top Tip:

Instead of doing it yourself, save some time by hiring a reliable formation service like ZenBusiness. You can see editors’ Review on ZenBusiness to decide if it’s the best choice for your company.

The following information must include in the Hawaii trade name form:

  • Your business name and adress
  • Owners/partners of the business and addresses
  • Entity type (eg; LLC, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation)
  • Trade name’s description

Change or Withdraw Your Hawaii DBA

Renew Your Fictitious Name With the State

The fictitious name in Hawaii expires every five years. You can renew it any time within six months after the expiration date using the Hawaii Business Express website.

Change Your Fictitious Name

In Hawaii, if you wish to make any changes in your DBA, you need to withdraw your initial trade name and repeat the registration process with updated information.

Withdraw Your Fictitious Name

To cancel or withdraw your fictitious name, use the Hawaii Business Express website.

Editor’s Insight

Filing a Hawaii fictitious business name, aka a Hawaii DBA (doing business as), is an easy and straightforward process. If you want to save time and effort, LLC filing companies like LegalZoom and ZenBusiness can help you get that at a fraction of the cost.

However, if you are interested in DIY, you just need to follow the above-mentioned step-by-step guide or see how to Get a DBA in any of the 50 states.

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