How to Start a Small Business in Makawao, HI (2023 Guide)

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Hawaii State

Starting a small business in Makawao, HI: When you plan to start a small business, it is exciting and stressful at the same time. Whether you’re looking to fulfill your dreams or make a new career goal, you must know even the knick-knack of starting a small business before you take any steps. Starting a small business in Makawao with a population of approx 7670 will always be fruitful when planned out well.

Starting a business in Makawao, HI involves several essential steps. These include choosing a unique business name, appointing a registered agent, and filing the necessary paperwork with state authorities. Creating an operating agreement, obtaining an EIN, and complying with local regulations are also required.

As you continue your journey to start a small business in Makawao, our guidance on business formation will provide valuable insight into the best practices and requirements. With hard work and dedication, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the benefits and challenges of running your own company. Webinarcare team came up with the following easy steps to start your small business in Makawao.

Assessing Your Business Idea in Makawao, HI

Before diving into forming a small business in Makawao, HI, it’s crucial to assess your business idea thoroughly. A solid foundation is key to successfully starting and growing your venture. To help guide you through this evaluation, we’ve come up with a list of important factors to consider:

  1. Market demand: Determine if there’s a sufficient need for your product or service in Makawao or in Hawaii. Conduct market research to evaluate your target audience and potential competitors around your area. This will help identify gaps in the market and fine-tune your business idea accordingly. 
  2. Unique selling proposition (USP): As you contemplate your business idea, consider what sets it apart from others in the market. Your USP should address an unmet need that will attract customers and distinguish you from competitors. 
  3. Feasibility and scalability: Evaluate whether your idea is practical and achievable within the context of Makawao. Consider factors such as availability of resources, access to the target market, and potential barriers to entry. Additionally, think about the long-term growth of your business. Make sure you plan to scale your operations as your customer base expands. 
  4. Legal structure: Before starting a business in Makawao, you must decide its legal structure. Will you form an LLC in Hawaii, start an S-corporation, or establish a sole proprietorship? Each structure has its own advantages and implications for things like taxes, liability, and branding. Weigh these options carefully to make the most informed decision for your business.
  5. Costs and funding: Calculate the initial and ongoing costs that are required to run a business, such as rent, equipment, supplies, and employee wages. After calculating these expenses, identify potential sources of funding to cover them. These might include personal savings, loans, investors, or government grants. This will help you clearly understand the amount of capital you need to start and keep your business running.
  6. SWOT analysis: Perform a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats analysis for your business idea. This assessment will allow you to pinpoint areas of improvement, leverage your advantages, and turn threats into opportunities.

Addressing these factors sets a strong foundation for your small business in Makawao. Once you understand the business idea, you’ll be well-equipped to move on to other crucial steps in the formation process, such as LLC formation, business registration, and obtaining necessary licenses and permits in Hawaii. The more thoroughly you assess your idea, the better your chances of success in starting and growing your small business in Makawao.

Some of the businesses that flourish in Hawaii are Agriculture, Boutique Apparel, Information Technology, Homestay Services and Vacation Rentals, and Travel Agency over a period of time. If you want to start something already on the top business list, ensure you are well-prepared with your business strategy and plan. If you are in Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, you might get more potential buyers for these businesses.

Makawao Demographic and Economic Facts

Education and Labour Force Stats in Makawao (%)

Less than high school (%)3.7%
Highschool (%)30.9%
College (%)36.8%
Graduate (%)10.2%
Bachelor (%)18.4%
Stem Degree (%)43.6%
College or Above (%)28.6%
Labour Force Participation (%)61.8%
Unemployment Rate (%)3.1%

Also Read: Start a Small Business in Hubbard, OH

Income Stats in Makawao (%)

Family Dual Income59.5%
Household Median Income100716%
Individual Median Income40715%
Household Income $150k+18.7%
Household Income $100k-150k32.3%
Household Income $75k-100k13%
Household Income $50k-75k11.2%

How to Start a Small Business in Makawao

We shared a step-by-step guide below on how you can put a foot forward to setting up your small business in Makawao. The following steps are required to follow to set up your business. However, these are general steps applicable to all business setup types. Depending on your business type, the steps can be changed. 

Step 1: Choosing A Legal Structure

Once you decide on starting your business in Makawao, selecting the proper legal structure is one of the first and most important steps. This choice significantly impacts your taxes, liability, and how you’ll operate your business. This section will discuss different legal structures to help you make an informed decision.

There are four common legal structures for businesses: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Corporations. Here, we’ll briefly explore each one:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the simplest form of business to start, where you, as the owner, have complete control. However, you’re also personally responsible for all debts and liabilities. It’s ideal for single-owner businesses with low liabilities or those testing the waters before forming an LLC or Corporation.


Forming a partnership might be a suitable option for businesses with multiple owners. Partnerships can be General, Limited, or Limited Liability Partnerships, each with different tax and liability implications.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

LLCs are popular among small business owners as they offer limited liability protection and tax flexibility. LLC formation is simple, making it a preferred option for many entrepreneurs. To get an idea of how to form an LLC, check out “Hawaii LLC Formation Guide” on our website.


A corporation is a separate legal entity owned by the shareholders, providing them with limited liability. Forming a Corporation in Hawaii can be either C-Corps or S-Corps, each with different tax implications. Forming a corporation is generally more complex and expensive than starting an LLC.

To make the right decision on your business structure, ask yourself these questions:

  1. How much personal liability protection do you need?
  2. What tax structure is most favorable for your business?
  3. How important are flexibility and ease of management?
  4. Are you planning to seek external funding?

Consider working with a professional business formation expert or attorney to help you understand the pros and cons of each legal structure and the specific requirements in Makawao. Keep in mind that there are additional steps to take after choosing your legal structure, like obtaining necessary permits, licenses, and insurance. 

So, whether you’re forming an LLC or deciding to start a business as a sole proprietor, this crucial decision will lay the foundation for your success in Makawao. Take your time to research and consult with professionals to ensure you’re making the best choice for your unique business needs. Now that you better understand the legal structures available, you’re one step closer to fulfilling your dream of starting a business in Makawao.

Step 2: Registering Your Small Business

When you’re ready to start a small business in Makawao, you must go through the proper steps to ensure you’re legally protected. This section will walk you through the process of forming an LLC, as this is a popular and straightforward business structure for many entrepreneurs. Let’s begin with the business formation steps in Makawao.

2a. Choose a Business Name

To form a small business in Makawao, decide on a unique and easily identifiable business name. Remember, any other business entity must not use your chosen name in Hawaii. Make sure to include an appropriate designator, such as “LLC” or “LLP”, “Inc.” and such in the name. If you’re not forming your company immediately but want to reserve your desired name, you can file DBA in Makawao. 

2b. Hire Hawaii Resident Agent

Every business needs a registered agent. The Resident Agent is an individual that represents your company while receiving legal and official documents. The registered agent must have a legal permit to work in the state. Besides, he/she must have a physical address in Hawaii. Registered Agents need to be 18+ years old. You can be your own registered agent, but it is strongly recommended to appoint a professional agent for your business in Makawao, HI. You can check the list of best registered agents in Hawaii, compare their prices, and their services in this list.

2c. File your Incorporation Documents

Filing the incorporation document of your business is the official step to registering your business with the state. Include important information, such as your business name, address, purpose, and the names of the LLC members. Submit the completed form and the required filing fee to your state’s business registration office. If you want to start an LLC, you must file Makawao Articles of Organization, and if you’re filing a corporation, file Makawao Articles of Incorporation with Hawaii Secretary of State.

2d. Draft an LLC Operating Agreement

Although not required by every state, having an LLC Operating Agreement in Hawaii is highly recommended. This document outlines the rights and responsibilities of LLC members, as well as management and profit-sharing arrangements. By having a clear LLC Operating Agreement, you can avoid potential disputes and misunderstandings among members down the road.

Step 3: Obtain an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is a tax identification number issued by the IRS to businesses. This number is needed for tax reporting purposes, opening business bank accounts, and hiring employees. You can request an EIN directly from the IRS, free of charge.

Step 4: Register for State and Local Taxes

Depending on your LLC’s location and operations in Makawao, you may need to register for various state and local taxes. These can include sales tax, payroll tax, and business licensing fees. Consult with a local tax professional or research online resources to determine your tax obligations.

Following these steps will help you form your LLC and start your business on the right legal footing. Keep in mind that forming a business may involve additional steps depending on the specific requirements of Makawao and your industry. Always be thorough in your research and consult with professionals when necessary.

Step 5: Obtaining Licenses and Permits

Starting a small business in Makawao is an exciting venture, but ensuring you have all the necessary licenses and permits. When you form an LLC or any other type of business, obtaining these legal documents can help you stay compliant and avoid potential hassles in the future. We’ll outline the steps to secure licenses and permits for your new business.

First, you’ll need to research the specific licenses, permits, and regulations relevant to your industry in Makawao. These requirements can vary greatly, so being familiar with those relevant to your business is important. Some industries may require federal and state licenses, while others only need local permits. You can find state and local requirements information by checking with the Makawao government’s website or office for local details.

Next, you need to apply for all the necessary documents:

  • If your business must obtain federal licenses or permits, head to the U.S. Small Business Administration federal licenses and permits guide to find the relevant authority for your industry.
  • You can use the SBA’s state business license lookup tool for state-specific licenses and permits to identify the appropriate agencies to contact.
  • To apply for local licenses, visit the Makawao government’s official website or office and access the necessary forms and instructions.

After gathering all the necessary permits and licenses, staying up-to-date is essential. Licenses and permits may have expiration dates or require periodic renewals. Keep track of these deadlines to avoid potential fines or penalties, and always be prepared to renew when needed.

Throughout the process of starting a business and forming an LLC, consider these bullet points:

  • LLC formation: Register your business with the Secretary of State in your area. This step-by-step guide can help you through the LLC formation process.
  • Business formation: If you’re structuring your new venture as a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship, learn how to form a business and navigate the process accordingly.
  • EIN: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes. Visit the IRS website to apply for your EIN.

In Makawao, obtaining licenses and permits can help your small business stay compliant and set you up for success. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth process from LLC formation to business growth. Good luck in your entrepreneurial journey!

Setting Up Your Finances

When forming your small business in Makawao, you must give equal importance to setting up the financial structure. In this section, we’ll walk you through the steps and considerations needed as you establish the financial backbone of your new venture.

Choose Your Business Structure

There are various options when it comes to structuring your business, which will significantly impact taxation, legal protections, and overall operations. Some common business structures include:

  1. Sole proprietorship: For individuals running a business on their own.
  2. Partnership: If you plan to form a business with one or more partners.
  3. LLC (Limited Liability Company): Offers more legal protection and tax flexibility.
  4. Corporation: Separates personal and business finances with higher government regulations. 

Deciding on the right structure is essential, and it may be beneficial to consult a professional for guidance on making the best choice for your situation. Depending on the structure, the state filing fees will be levied. If you’re setting up an LLC in Makawao, you must pay $5 to Hawaii Secretary of State

On the other hand, if you are setting up a corporation, you need to pay $50 for filing online, by mail, fax, or by email to Hawaii Secretary of State

Open a Business Bank Account

Separating personal and business finances is crucial for legal protection and accurate bookkeeping. Opening a business bank account in Makawao simplifies the process of tracking income, expenses, and tax responsibilities. Shop around for a bank in Makawao that offers the features and services that align with the needs of your specific business. Explore the best banks for small businesses in Hawaii.

Arrange Business Loans and Grants in Makawao, HI

Before you start your small business, make sure to plan your finances. It is wise to get loans or grants from a trusted organization to start your business in Makawao. When it comes to getting bank loans, Hawaii has several banks that provide the best business loans in Hawaii. You can explore them to get the best one for your business. On the other hand, there are the best small business grants in Hawaii for your business.

Set up a Bookkeeping and Accounting System

Establishing a reliable bookkeeping system is essential to business formation. The primary role of bookkeeping is to record your business’s financial transactions and ensure compliance with tax laws in Hawaii. You can either manage this process yourself with the help of accounting software or hire a professional bookkeeper.

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature and location of your business in Makawao, you may need city or county permits, state licenses, or even federal permits. Conduct thorough research on local requirements and be sure to obtain all the necessary approvals before commencing operations.

Incorporating these steps into your plan will help you start a small business in Makawao, HI with a solid financial foundation. Keep in mind that each business is unique, and it’s always a good idea to consult an expert in llc formation and business formation for tailored advice. Building a strong financial base will help ensure your venture in Makawao is set up for long-term success.

Important Stats and Facts about Makawao, HI

City NameMakawao
State NameHawaii
State IDHI
State CapitalHonolulu
City Population7670
Population Density869.9
County NamesMaui
% of Male Population49.5%
% of Female Population50.5%
% of People in their 20s8.4%
% of People in their 30s11.3%
% of People in their 40s13.9%
% of People in their 50s16.1%
% of People in their 60s15.6%
% of People in their 80s1.4%
Average Individual Income 40715
% of People owned own home68.8%
Labour Force Participation61.8
Unemployment Rate3.1
Poverty Rate10.6%


What are some small businesses in Makawao, HI that specialize in handmade crafts?
Makawao Made specializes in handmade crafts made by local artists.
Where can I find information about restaurants in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Restaurant Guide provides comprehensive information about all the dining options in town.
Are there any boutique shops that sell unique clothing in Makawao, HI?
Yes, the Boutique Collective offers a curated selection of unique clothing from various local designers.
I’m looking to support eco-friendly businesses in Makawao, HI; any suggestions?
The Green Living Makawao directory showcases environmentally conscious businesses in the area.
Can you recommend some locally owned coffee shops in Makawao, HI?
Grandma’s Coffee House and Sip Me are popular locally owned coffee shops in Makawao.
Are there any yoga studios in Makawao, HI that offer classes for beginners?
Yes, Makawao Yoga offers classes suitable for beginners, allowing anyone to get started with yoga.
Where can I find information about upcoming farmer’s markets in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Farmer’s Market website provides all the details about upcoming markets, vendor lists, and more.
I’m searching for a pet-friendly small business in Makawao, HI; any recommendations?
Makawao Pet Spa and Emporium is a pet-friendly business that offers grooming services and other pet products.
Are there any tattoo parlors in Makawao, HI?
Yes, Blue Hawaii Tattoo Studio is a reputable tattoo parlor located in Makawao.
What small businesses in Makawao, HI specialize in natural beauty and skincare products?
Botanicals Beauty is a local business offering a wide range of natural beauty and skincare products in Makawao.
Are there any bookstores in Makawao, HI?
Aloha Maui Creations is a quaint bookstore in Makawao that carries local authors and various genres.
Can you recommend a small business in Makawao, HI that offers outdoor adventure activities?
Maui Stand-Up Paddle Boarding specializes in outdoor adventure activities like stand-up paddleboarding in Makawao.
Where can I find information about local art galleries in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Art Galleries website lists all the galleries in town and provides details about ongoing exhibits.
Are there any wellness centers in Makawao, HI that offer holistic treatments?
Yes, Sacred Garden of Lomi offers holistic treatments and services for physical and spiritual well-being in Makawao.
I want to support local farmers; are there any farmers’ markets in or near Makawao, HI?
The Upcountry Farmer’s Market is held every Saturday in Pukalani, which is near Makawao.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao, HI that offer surfboard rentals?
Mana Kine Surfboards provides surfboard rentals for both locals and visitors in Makawao.
Can you recommend a small business in Makawao, HI for unique jewelry pieces?
Maui Jewels offers handmade jewelry with unique designs that reflect the beauty of Makawao.
I’m interested in purchasing locally made pottery; are there any pottery studios in Makawao, HI?
Hali`imaile Pineapple Company offers a pottery studio where you can purchase locally made pottery in Makawao.
Where can I find information about local festivals and events happening in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Events Calendar provides up-to-date information about festivals and events taking place in town.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao, HI that specialize in sustainable fashion?
Earthy Attire is a local shop that specializes in sustainable fashion and ethically sourced clothing.
Can you suggest a local business in Makawao, HI for organic and locally sourced produce?
Makawao Farmacy is a small business that offers organic and locally sourced produce to support healthy living.
Where can I find information about local hiking trails in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Hiking Guide provides details about various hiking trails in and around Makawao.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao, HI that offer holistic massages and therapies?
SoulRevive Healing Arts provides holistic massages and therapies to promote wellness in Makawao.
Can you recommend a small business in Makawao, HI that offers stained glass artwork?
Shaka Stained Glass Studio specializes in creating beautiful stained glass artworks in Makawao.
Where can I find information about handicraft workshops and classes in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Handicraft Workshops website lists various workshops and classes available in town.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao, HI that specialize in pottery supplies?
Maui Clay Studio offers pottery supplies and equipment for both amateurs and professionals in Makawao.
Can you recommend a local business in Makawao, HI for handmade soaps and bath products?
Leiali`i Soaps creates handmade soaps and bath products using natural ingredients in Makawao.
Where can I find information about local community events and gatherings in Makawao, HI?
The Makawao Community Calendar provides updates about local events, meetings, and gatherings.
Can you suggest a small business in Makawao, HI that offers unique home decor and furnishings?
Hali`imaile Home Decor specializes in unique home decor and furnishings inspired by the beauty of Makawao.
What types of small businesses are there in Makawao, HI?
Makawao, HI is home to a diverse range of small businesses such as local boutiques, art galleries, bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, health and wellness centers, and more.
Are there any unique local products or crafts available in small businesses in Makawao?
Yes, small businesses in Makawao often showcase a unique collection of local products and crafts, including handmade jewelry, clothing, artwork, organic food products, and traditional Hawaiian crafts.
Where can I find small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Small businesses can be found throughout Makawao’s main commercial areas, such as Baldwin Avenue, Makawao Avenue, and Makawao Town Center.
Are there any farmers markets in or near Makawao, HI?
Yes, Makawao Farmers Market offers local produce, artisanal goods, and live music. It is held every Wednesday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Po‘okela Church parking lot.
Can I find Hawaiian-made clothing in small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Absolutely! Makawao is known for its wide range of stores offering Hawaiian-made clothing, including traditional aloha shirts, dresses, and local fashion brands.
Are there any local small business events or festivals in Makawao, HI?
Yes, Makawao is known for its annual events, such as Fourth of July Rodeo and Parade, Art Affair, Makawao Forest Reserve Cleanup Day, and Makawao Third Friday Town Party.
What time do most small businesses in Makawao open?
Small businesses in Makawao generally open around 10:00 am, but the specific opening hours can vary between different businesses.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao that offer outdoor adventure activities?
Yes, there are small businesses in Makawao that specialize in outdoor adventure activities such as guided hikes, horseback rides, and zip-lining experiences.
Are there any eco-friendly or sustainable small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Yes, Makawao is home to a number of eco-friendly and sustainable small businesses that focus on providing environmentally conscious products or services such as alternative energy solutions, zero-waste stores, and organic farming.
Can I find pet-friendly small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Absolutely! Many small businesses in Makawao, from cafes to retail stores, are pet-friendly and welcome furry companions.
Is parking easily available near small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Generally, small businesses in Makawao provide parking spaces for their customers. However, during busy times, finding parking may require a little patience.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao, HI that offer live entertainment?
Yes, there are small businesses in Makawao where you can enjoy live entertainment such as local bands, acoustic performances, and open mic nights.
Can I find locally roasted coffee in small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Makawao boasts numerous small businesses offering locally roasted coffee beans and freshly brewed coffee, providing a delightful experience for coffee enthusiasts.
Do small businesses in Makawao, HI offer delivery services?
Many small businesses in Makawao offer delivery services, especially restaurants and food establishments. It’s recommended to check with each business for specifics.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao that offer homemade baked goods?
Absolutely! Makawao has charming bakeries and cafés that specialize in homemade bread, pastries, cakes, and other sweet treats.
Can I find locally sourced products in small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Indeed! Many small businesses in Makawao prioritize locally sourced products and proudly promote items made or grown in the Hawaiian Islands, supporting the local economy.
Are small businesses in Makawao, HI open during public holidays?
The business hours of small businesses in Makawao during public holidays may vary. It is recommended to check with specific businesses in advance.
Do small businesses in Makawao, HI accept credit cards?
Yes, the majority of small businesses in Makawao accept credit cards, but it is always a good idea to have cash on hand, especially for smaller establishments.
Can I find vegan and vegetarian-friendly options in small businesses in Makawao?
Definitely! Makawao has a range of small businesses, including cafés and restaurants, that accommodate vegan and vegetarian diets, offering delicious plant-based options.
What steps are small businesses in Makawao taking to ensure customer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Small businesses in Makawao are taking various safety measures such as enhancing sanitization protocols, implementing social distancing measures, offering takeout and delivery options, and following state guidelines to prioritize customer safety.
Are there any co-working spaces available in Makawao for remote workers and entrepreneurs?
While Makawao itself may not have dedicated co-working spaces, there are nearby towns and cities with facilities available, such as Kahului and Wailuku.
Can I find handcrafted souvenirs in small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Yes, many small businesses in Makawao offer unique handcrafted souvenirs like woodwork, ceramics, paintings, and other artistic creations that represent the spirit of Maui.
Do small businesses in Makawao participate in Hawai‘i’s local agriculture initiatives?
Indeed, some small businesses actively support local agriculture by sourcing their produce from nearby farms, promoting farm-to-table practices, and prioritizing local food products.
Can I find traditional Hawaiian medicines and herbal remedies in small businesses in Makawao?
Yes, there are small businesses in Makawao that provide traditional Hawaiian medicines, herbal remedies, and holistic wellness products prepared with natural and local ingredients.
Can small businesses in Makawao assist in making arrangements for community events or private functions?
Yes, many small businesses in Makawao offer services for community events, private functions, and catering. It is recommended to inquire directly with the businesses for specific event needs.
Can I find small businesses in Makawao, HI that offer local food specialties?
Absolutely! Makawao has several small businesses that serve local food specialties, including plate lunches, fresh fish, poke, and other delicious Hawaiian dishes.
Are there any small businesses in Makawao that offer surfing or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons?
While Makawao itself is not a coastal area, there are nearby towns and cities, like Paia or Kihei, where you can find small businesses offering surfing or SUP lessons.
Can small businesses in Makawao provide recommendations for outdoor activities and attractions in the area?
Yes, small businesses in Makawao are often knowledgeable about the local area and can provide recommendations on nearby outdoor activities, attractions, and hidden gems to explore.
Are there any volunteer opportunities in small businesses in Makawao, HI?
Some small businesses in Makawao occasionally host volunteer events or collaborate with local organizations, offering opportunities to give back to the community or assist in local initiatives.
Do small businesses in Makawao sell locally made soaps and beauty products?
Yes, there are small businesses in Makawao that offer a selection of locally made soaps, lotions, and beauty products, often crafted with natural and organic ingredients.


Knowing how to form a small business in Makawao is vital to ensure your venture gets off to a strong start. We’ve walked you through the process, and by following our advice, you’ll be ready to establish yourself as an entrepreneur in no time.

Forming an LLC is typically the most popular choice for small business owners in Makawao as it offers various benefits, such as liability protection and tax advantages. As a result, understanding how to start an LLC, complete the LLC formation process, and comply with local regulations is crucial to your success.

To recap, when starting a business in Makawao, remember to:

  • Research your market and develop a solid business plan
  • Decide on the appropriate business structure (e.g., LLC, sole proprietorship)
  • Register your business with state and local agencies
  • Obtain necessary permits or licenses
  • Keep up with ongoing tax and legal responsibilities

In Makawao, business formation encompasses various tasks that must be carried out meticulously to lay a solid foundation for your enterprise. Commit to learning how to start a business, form an LLC, and zoning in on the requirements specific to your Makawao location. You’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful business owner by ticking these boxes.

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