Chapter 5

Supporting Your Local Business Community

When local governments give citizens easy access to relevant information about operating a business in their jurisdiction, it makes staying in compliance with local regulations that much easier.
Chapter 1

Business Licensing

Chapter 2

Advantages & Challenges of Using Business Licensing Software

Chapter 3

Setting Up an Online Business Licensing System

Chapter 4

Combining Business Licensing & Tax Filing in One System

Chapter 5

Supporting Your Local Business Community

Local governments play an important role in supporting business owners in their communities. Yet standard processes, like obtaining a business license, are often viewed as unnecessarily complex, and not all prospective business owners have the right amount of support to get up and running quickly. When it’s difficult for business owners to navigate government processes and complete required tasks, it can extend the amount of time it takes them to come into compliance or even discourage them from starting a business in the first place.

How Local Governments Can Better Support the Business Community

Fortunately, there are several ways local governments can support their business communities to make these processes easier and more efficient for everyone involved.

Digital webpage

Create a more user-friendly website

The most effective government websites are easy to navigate and provide clear and concise information. When it comes to businesses, consider whether your website has all the information citizens need about licenses, permits, and tax requirements. A checklist of steps will help them quickly understand what actions they need to take.

Proactively providing information that business owners need will mean fewer phone calls and emails about basic requirements, giving staff more time to address other inquiries.

Streamline where possible

Licensing software can enable business owners to apply for and renew licenses from anywhere, at any time—on their schedule. Local governments that use business license software to create a one-stop shop for licensing and tax filing, can make processes easier from start to finish. This includes allowing business owners to pay taxes and fees online via credit card and other online payment methods.

If government staff explores other ways to simplify licensing and tax filing, such as reducing the number or complexity of forms that need to be filed, this can also help streamline processes for businesses.

Prioritize outreach and education

Another important part of providing support to your business community is proactively reaching out to explain licensing and tax filing requirements and provide answers to common questions business owners might have.

Ensure the business licensing software you choose allows staff to create custom notifications with:

  • Detailed instructions on how to apply for and renew licenses or pay taxes online
  • Hyperlinks to any supporting documents, such as forms or notices
  • Upcoming due dates, payment reminders, or changes to local or state regulations that impact them or the industry in which they work
  • Reminders about registration, renewal, and delinquency status, as well as any relevant account-specific information, such as past-due amounts
  • Upcoming and outstanding tasks regarding license renewal applications and tax forms

    Whether it’s via email or snail mail, consistent communication will let your business community know they can rely on you to give them the information they need.

    Ensure businesses have ongoing technical support

    Not all business owners are tech-savvy, which is why it’s important to provide access to an easy-to-use portal that includes ongoing technical support. This will help provide a better experience to citizens in the event they need assistance completing any required tasks.

    When business user support is included with your licensing and tax software, it means communities won’t have to dedicate internal staff resources to fielding questions from the business community about how to use the system.

    Man and woman working at a call center.

    Providing the Right Level of Support to Your Business Community

    Taking steps to provide better support to business owners is a worthwhile endeavor. Bringing licensing and tax filing processes online to make them simpler and more efficient will help foster a more business-friendly environment, which can benefit the local economy by creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.

    By taking additional steps to ensure citizens have access to the information relevant to running a business in your community, local governments can better support business owners and make it easier for them to start and grow their businesses.

    GovOS helps local governments of all sizes support their business communities with online business licensing and tax solutions that include comprehensive support and a notification tool for targeted communications. To learn more about GovOS solutions, book a demo today.