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One of the primary pillars of building a strong community is nurturing and growing the local economy. Streamlined businesses licensing – often an afterthought in economic development – serves a vital role in developing and sustaining the overall business environment. A city’s licensing system can also set the tone for future interactions between business owners and City Hall. An outdated, confusing system makes obtaining and issuing business licenses a frustrating experience for both citizens and agency staff. What does your licensing system say about you?

Fortunately, with the right tools, governments can make these licensing processes efficient and less resource-intensive. With this week’s launch of the Accela Civic Application for Business Licensing, cities now have access to a modern licensing system built for today’s emerging challenges.

Emerging business types

The pace of innovation – spurred by advancements in smartphones and GPS technology – has spawned entirely new business models seemingly overnight. Regulators have been forced to scramble to determine how to license these new business types.

The Accela Civic Application for Business Licensing includes pre-built record types and workflows for new industries, including e-scooters and TNC (ride share) drivers and companies, helping cities manage and regulate these industries. In addition, the system can be easily configured to allow agencies to quickly adapt to the next emerging business trend.



One of the most noticeable limitations of legacy licensing systems also happens to be one of the primary features citizens have come to expect: the ability to use mobile technology. Mobile capability is now assumed to be available by default for virtually any transaction, including applying for and obtaining business licenses.

Accela Business Licensing helps agencies support mobile technology with a mobile-enabled portal citizens can use to apply for, pay for, and receive a business license from their mobile device. On the agency side, Accela’s mobile applications improve on-site inspections through better data capture, access to the complete record, and GIS-enabled mapping tools.

Customer experience

In addition to keeping pace with rapid technology changes, government agencies also must keep pace with changing expectations. It’s no longer acceptable to ask customers to fill out a form and stand in line at the office to get a business license. Conditioned by the experience of online shopping, citizen expectations have changed for all transactions.

A modern licensing system provides tools to help agencies deliver a Accela-Business-Licensing high-quality citizen experience. Accela Business Licensing, for example, allows citizens to perform all licensing steps online, from initial application to document submission and fee payment. Citizens can receive text or email notifications as the application status changes throughout the review process, keeping them fully informed on the current status of their application.

To learn more about what’s included in Accela’s new Civic Application for Business Licensing, see today’s announcement. If you’re thinking it might be time to upgrade your community’s business licensing experience, contact us to find out how Accela can help you get there faster.

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