Utah’s OneStop Business Registration Program Recently Enhanced: - Yahoo Finance Utah’s OneStop Business Registration Program Recently Enhanced: - Yahoo Finance

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Utah’s OneStop Business Registration Program Recently Enhanced: - Yahoo Finance

Utah’s OneStop Business Registration Program Recently Enhanced: - Yahoo Finance


Utah was the first state to streamline business registration, putting the entire process online in 2003. This saves the average Utah business owner over 80 hours when registering a new business. Recently, Utah’s OneStop Business Registration Program (OSBR), osbr.utah.gov, has been significantly enhanced to further improve the user experience, allow for more business types to file online, and simplify the business registration process.

“Governor Gary R. Herbert has identified job creation as a top priority and Utah strives to be business friendly. Our comprehensive online offering supports existing Utah businesses and future growth,” said Francine Giani, Department of Commerce Executive Director. “The OneStop Business Registration Program streamlines the registration process for business owners. Ultimately, this fosters business development within the state, job expansion, and a flourishing Utah economy.”

The OneStop Business Registration system transformed a traditional three-week process by providing the service online, 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. Exceptional inter-governmental collaboration between respective agencies, including the Utah State Tax Commission, Utah Department of Commerce, Utah Department of Workforce Services, Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and 10 participating cities, allows business owners to register their business without filing additional paperwork and/or documentation.

Since inception, over 200,000 new businesses have been registered online. Now, over 60% of all businesses registered within the state are online. With over 2,600 new registrations on average each month, this results in monthly savings of approximately 208,000 hours for Utah businesses per year. In 2011, 27,000 businesses were registered online.

Users consistently recognize the service for its ease of use and convenience. “The OneStop Business Registration service was very easy to use. I received quick responses to any questions I had,” said one user. Another user echoed similar sentiment saying, “So much easier to get everything done at once. I’m a sole proprietor; I didn’t need anything fancy, didn’t have the time (or knowledge) to figure out the whole process on my own. Now I don’t have to worry that I may have missed something.”

Major OneStop Business Registration Enhancements Include:

  • User navigation and interface improvement
  • Improved glossary and frequently asked questions page
  • “Live Help”
  • Allows non-profits to register
  • Allows out of state and foreign registration
  • Enhanced receipt system
  • Ability to preview articles
  • Improved ownership (principals) section
  • Registration for additional tax types

An integral aspect of the business registration service offered by the State of Utah is Doing Business As (DBA) creation. In addition to the OneStop Business Registration updates, Doing Business As was also created to offer a simple online process for the sole proprietor or the exiting entity that is expanding and using an alias. The online Doing Business As application allows business owners to create the Doing Business As business entity within one to three days, from beginning to end. In general, about 15,000-17,000 Doing Business As entities are registered in Utah each year. The new online Doing Business As system simplifies small business creation in Utah while increasing accuracy.

“The online Doing Business As enhancement is government efficiency at its best and will serve the citizens of the state of Utah for many years,” said Kathy Berg, Director of Utah Division of Corporations and Uniform Commercial Code.

Accessible anytime, anywhere, users are able to seamlessly navigate on their mobile or tablet device. Internationally recognized and award-winning, Utah’s OneStop Business Registration and the newly created Doing Business As provide the most convenient, user-friendly business registration experiences.

To find out more information about Utah.gov, visit:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/utahGov

Facebook: http://www.utah.gov/facebook/

RSS feeds: http://www.utah.gov/connect/feeds.html

Utah blogs: http://www.utah.gov/blogs/.

About Utah.gov

Utah.gov is the entry point to over 1,000 online services and benefits over 2.7 million residents in the State of Utah. Utah.gov provides citizens and businesses with more convenient options for interacting with government. Through Utah.gov, citizens can find public meetings, renew their vehicle registration, buy a hunting and fishing license, register a business, find a transparent state budget, and much more. In 2010 alone, Utah.gov received an unprecedented 15 awards making it the nation’s most honored state website.

Utah.gov is the official Web portal for the State of Utah (http://www.utah.gov). It was ranked first in the nation in the Center for Digital Government’s 2009 Best of the Web competition. It is managed and operated without tax funds through a public-private partnership between the state and Utah Interactive, the Salt Lake City-based official eGovernment partner for the state of Utah. Utah Interactive is part of eGovernment firm NIC’s family of companies.

About NIC

NIC (NASDAQ: EGOV - News) is the nation's leading provider of government websites, online services, and secure payment processing solutions. The company's innovative eGovernment services help reduce costs and increase efficiencies for government agencies, citizens, and businesses across the country. The NIC family of companies provides eGovernment solutions for more than 3,000 federal, state, and local agencies across the United States. Additional information is available at http://www.egov.com.

Living on mobile money - BBC News

Rory Cellan-Jones tries living without money

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my frustrating efforts to use various new mobile money applications on my phone. I promised then to have another go, to give up cash and try to pay by phone alone. So, how did it go? Not very well, I'm afraid.

I started by loading up my phone with a variety of apps which - supposedly - would help me get by without cash or even cards. My main weapons were to be O2 Wallet and Barclays Pingit, two new services which allow you to send and receive money from your phone. But I also installed the Paypal app, and a range of others that allow you to buy a coffee or pay for a taxi from your phone.

Within minutes of starting, I ran into trouble. It was my turn to buy the office tea and coffee round, and the coffee outlet only took cash. No problem - I would get my colleague Anthony to pay and refund him via one of my mobile money pay-by-text services.

With Barclays Pingit playing up (I never got it to work, even after deleting the app and going through the lengthy verification system again) I turned to my O2 wallet. Just two or three passwords later, I had texted a £2.80 money message to Anthony.

Then the fun began.

He spent days - quite literally - trying to make sure this and a couple of other payments from me made their way from his phone into his bank account. Much of that time was spent in increasingly intemperate phone conversations with O2. At one point the company told him their "triage unit" was on the case. Anthony's verdict? "No need for triage - it's terminal!"

I quickly realised that although I wanted to rely solely on my phone, this approach wasn't going to work. I would need to use credit and debit cards as well, plus my Oyster touch-and-go card for travel around London.

By paying for meals via my debit card - which meant I had to spend more than £5 - I did manage to get by without cash for a couple of days.

Then I took a trip to Oxford and had my first failure.

Getting on a bus to the city centre without a travelcard, I found myself obliged to dip into my pocket for some coins to pay the fare. And my bus trip proved a timely example of how useful mobile money could be if it were more widely adopted. On a busy route, every time we stopped dozens of school children and students queued to pay by cash, making our progress very slow.

While neither of my mobile money services proved at all useful over the week, there were two things - taxis and coffee - that proved easy to pay for by phone. The taxi app market is now fiercely competitive and I found Hailo, a service that lets you order a London cab, pretty efficient at delivering a driver to me within five minutes.

I also tried Ubicabs to order minicabs, and this again worked fine - although my driver ended up asking me to navigate to my destination. These services make it very easy to move around without cash or credit cards - if only in the London area - but they have one major downside. You end up racking up big bills without even thinking about it.

The same applies with the Starbucks app, which allows you to load money onto a virtual payment card on your phone, then swipe your phone against a reader to pay for coffee or a sandwich. Because this was the only easy way I found to buy food from my phone, I ended up spending far too much on cappuccinos.

When I ended my experiment, I breathed a sigh of relief - as did my colleague Anthony, who is still trying to extract from his phone the money I owe him. Trying to live off mobile money, which is supposed to make life easier, has been a stressful experience. The inevitable concerns about security are making most of these new services so complicated to use that you have to be slightly deranged even to bother.

That is not to say the whole idea is doomed to failure. We will see further innovation over the coming weeks as payments firms unveil plans to allow visitors to the London Olympics to pay with their phones.

But here's my advice to the companies pushing these services - your "triage units" are in for a busy time.

Inspiring your team in business - Daily Telegraph

Team building

Despite being an extremely positive exercise for any business, the words “team building” immediately carries negative connotations. For many of us it instantly makes us think of twee exercises aimed at building trust within a team.

But trust is important. Without it, business success will never be achieved. That’s why team building is still a vital ingredient of inspiring your team in business. You just have to go about it from a more creative angle.

A corporate team building event designed by United Events will not only meet all your business objectives, the variety of events will enable your staff to leave with honed business skills and a renewed team ethic.

Inspire creativity

Whatever the desired structure to draw out those skills from your team, it’s vital that you give them room to think creatively and bring some of their own ideas to the fore.

When looking at the leading conference venues available to you, opting for the conference facilities within Old Trafford, you’ll find an atmospheric space designed to draw creativity from your staff. No one wants to hear tired old clichés like “thinking outside the box”; you’ll want a venue that helps to draws this out of your staff.

Let your team use its unique attributes, not just traditionally trained skills

All the individual members of the team will have traditionally trained skills, that’s why they’re in the position. It’s likely they’ll use these every day to succeed in their role. However, to push them to the next level it’s vital that you recognise their unique attributes.

What can each member of the team bring that no one else can? How can this be used to your advantage? It pays to sit down and understand this before deciding on how best to organise your conference and team building day.

Once you recognise this, incorporate specific exercises into the day to draw this out and encourage it. Most staff don’t want to do the “same old” every day. Create a memorable event and show them they don’t have to.

Business Connectors: Secondees can supply missing link - Financial Times

May 29, 2012 4:27 pm

Rates relief reform could bring 5000 empty business properties back to life - Stv.tv

More than 5000 empty business properties could be brought back to life as a result of a planned shake-up of rates relief, the local government minister has said.

The Scottish Government is reforming the rates relief that vacant business premises are eligible for.

Ministers believe the changes could bring up to 5500 empty properties back into use, helping to regenerate the country's town centres.

They also say changing the subsidy for empty premises will raise about £18m a year from 2013-14 onwards.

At the moment, commercial properties get 100% rates relief for the first three months that they are empty, with 50% off rates bill after that.

The Scottish Government proposes to change the system so that while businesses will still get 100% rates relief for the first three months that a property is vacant, after this period they will only get a reduction of 10%.

Under the current set-up, providing rates relief for empty business properties would cost £757m over the period 2010 to 2015, with the Scottish Government stating the planned changes would reduce this to £721m.

But the Scottish Council for Development and Industry has already warned the plans could have a "negative economic impact".

Meanwhile, leading commercial estate agency Colliers International claimed the change could "do more damage than good".

Local government minister Derek Mackay said he would continue to listen to the views of others about the proposals, but insisted the current system was "not working for our communities".

Mr Mackay will tell MSPs on Holyrood's Local Government Committee about the reforms tomorrow.

Speaking ahead of that, he said: "The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are working tirelessly to ensure Scotland retains its reputation as the most competitive place to do business in the UK - an important part of this is reviewing our business rates to reflect the current economic challenges and opportunities.

"The current system of empty property relief is not working for our communities and we recognise there is a need to incentivise owners of business premises to find occupants - not to keep the shop doors shut.

"Through working with stakeholders across the business community, we plan to introduce new incentives which will revitalise our town centres and potentially bring up to 5,500 vacant business properties back into use."

He added: "In these tough economic conditions, it is important that business rate reliefs maximise opportunities to create sustainable economic growth and allow Scotland to retain its position as the most supportive business environment anywhere in the UK."

Mr Mackay also stressed: "This Government is focused on supporting Scotland's business community.

"We have retained the small business bonus scheme, which has either eliminated or substantially reduced business rates for two out of every five commercial properties in Scotland.

"Even after proposed reform, empty property relief will remain significantly more generous than that offered in England and Wales."

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