Starting a Business 101

Resource Day provides Business Know -How.

The Kuha`o Business Center helped Molokai resident Charleen Tinao patent her child safety-vest.

By Jennifer Smith

Thinking about starting your own business? Have a great idea for a new product or service? Want to be your own boss? The Kaha`o Business Center (KBC) can help.

An extension project of the County of Maui’s Office of Economic Development (OED), the KBC provides the resources and business know-how for new or existing business owners on Molokai.

In addition to offering a wide range of everyday services, including computer resources, a library of business publications and research, and a meeting space, the KBC also offers workshops such as last Friday’s “Starting a Business in Maui County.”

The workshop sponsored by the OED featured Small Business Advocate Anna K. Ribucan and Business Action Center (BAC) Manager Jayna Uyehara. Both shared expert advice on what people should know when starting a business.

Workshop attendees were interested in finding ways to capitalize on their skills in the construction and agriculture fields. Each future business owner received a full packet of resource information on how to get started.

Having opened and ran several successful businesses, Rubican spoke from experience. Her personalized view provided information on everything from forming a business plan to developing a marketing strategy, and figuring out finances.

Uyehara described how the BAC can assist people with business registration, tax licensing, and employer registration services. The BAC can also provide information on other government permit and licensing requirements.

"We like to try and give people the whole picture," Uyehara said. The center can tell people why they are filing and how each form relates. “We try to minimize chances of documents being rejected.”

Business owners on Molokai must register online or download forms and send to Oahu. However, a visit to the BAC office on Maui can provide business owners with personalized assistance.

The BAC services are free. The center is also partnering with the Hawaii Bar Association to offer free business legal counsel on Thursday’s between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Business owners can call the BAC at 808-536-2534 to schedule a phone appointment with a lawyer.

Business Resource Guide
Kaha`o Business Center is located in Kaunakaki across from the Molokai Drive Inn. In addition to the services listed above, the center also offers scheduled assistance and services from any of its partners, including micro-loans, entrepreneurial training, business-operations classes, financial literacy, and business-plan development. To make an appointment call 660-0004, or come in Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Business Action Center can assist business owners in obtaining a general excise tax license, business and trade name registration, employer registration, and a federal employer’s identification number. Centers are located on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. For more information call 536-2534.

The Maui County Resource Center provides public access to government resources and access to assistance and consultations from non-profit partners. For more information call Small Business Advocate Anna Ribucan at 873-8246.



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.