At first glance, business licensing may strike some as a basic transaction of government. Yet local cities and departments know the significance of this deceptively simple looking task. Business licenses can be a golden ticket for aspiring entrepreneurs. They’re a gate to ensure sound economic growth and they provides local departments and residents a clear picture of how and where businesses are operating in their community and neighborhoods.
With this in mind, business licenses are a critical function of government, and in turn, this makes the many procedures, approvals and tasks in the application process equally important. This is also why having a modern business licensing system is a must have today. Residents need to be able to submit their applications and pay necessary fees online, while staff need to have tools that automatically initiate the review process and can give updates on progress at each step.
Looking at Accela’s Civic Solution for Business Licensing, here are four primary benefits that come from using modern tools:
1. Deliver outstanding customer service Resident expectations are higher now than they have ever been with the advent of new technologies from the private sector. Instead of recreating the wheel, a modern business licensing system should make all services accessible, putting everything online, from the initial application, to fee calculations, to a notification that the process has been completed and the license issued. A system should encapsulate each piece of customer communication and real-time status updates. These commonsense features provide a big benefit in customer service and alleviate potential pain points from complaints.
2. Increase local revenues Licensing fees help to pay for smooth operations. Yet the longer it takes for a license to be issued, the longer it will take for a department to be receive funds. Further, a longer application process may even jeopardize the likelihood that applicant will even complete the application – potentially starting a business in another jurisdiction or operating without proper approvals. When a department has a modern set of business licensing tools it increases the flow of revenue by reducing licensing cycle times via online fee payments and faster processing. Moreover, the tools act as a mechanism to foster economic growth.
3. Reduce costs, increase community development Digital tools also help to save dollars. Throughout the U.S. many departments and agencies are mired with manual processes, paper forms and technologies that silo their information so it’s hard to understand what is happening. With modern tools localities can save big on unnecessary staff hours dedicated to manual processes and re-channel staff on more important tasks. Further, added clarity into operations can help decision makers organize department more efficiently, potentially saving more.
4. Boost inter-departmental collaboration Business licenses come in all types and sizes, they’re reviewed by multiple agencies, and yet with older solutions data from one department may not be easily shareable with another. New tools break down the barriers between departments, allowing health departments, police departments and others to play a role in licensing businesses. Accela’s Civic Solution for Business Licensing can be configured to manage nearly all types of businesses and enables inter-agency collaboration.