Secretary of State Ross Miller has issued a Request for Proposals from Web site developers in an effort to create a one-stop shop for the plethora of forms required by the state, city and county to start a business.
“This is a true game changer,” Miller said. “This will largely streamline the process and reinforce our position as a business leader.”
The bids for the job are due to the secretary’s office by April 13. Miller expects the system to come online in phases and hopes most services will be available by the beginning of 2011.
The systems developer would be responding to a tall order. While other states have tried such a system, none have been successful, Miller said.
The Secretary of State’s office envisions a one-stop clearinghouse where all transactions can be completed. Services offered will range from getting or renewing annual business licenses to registering vehicle fleets to paying state taxes by entering data just once and paying for all the services. The new Web site would also function as a clearinghouse for all payments, which would first go to the Secretary of State’s office and then be distributed to the cities and counties.
“Right now people pay through multiple platforms,” Miller said. “In this system, they would pay through one portal.”
The site would also serve businesses looking to renew their licenses.
“They would log on, indicate if any information has changed and correct it,” Miller said.
While the portal may be a busy business owner’s dream, the integration of multiple systems could be a nightmare.
Each computer system that handles business licensing, articles of incorporation and all other legal red tape would have to function similarly.
“It is a massive project,” Miller said. “No one else has been able to pull it off.”
However, both Miller and the 2009 Nevada Legislature agreed that something needed to change.
“It (the idea to create the portal) was in recognition of the fact that in Nevada, the steps to opening up a business are not well defined and it is often a cumbersome process,” Miller said.
Currently, new business owners must file mountains of paperwork and keep track of several different payments to different entities, sometimes duplicating work multiple times.
It was not the hassle, but rather the revenue increases that prompted the 2009 Legislature to fund the portal.
The new site’s development will be paid for with $6.5 million set aside by the 2009 Legislature.
According to Miller, legislators were sold on the idea because the streamlined process is estimated to bring in between $30 and $40 million annually in additional revenue to the state from businesses attracted to the hassle-free process.
“There is a larger benefit to having this system,” Miller said.
According to Miller, the state currently has more than 300,000 businesses on file, not including sole proprietorships or general partnerships.
“We have the second highest (number of) entities on file next to Delaware,” Miller said, adding the caveat that many of these are headquartered out of state but choose to file licenses in Nevada due to tax breaks.
Although the process may be streamlined in the future, Miller added that businesses can expect their fees to remain constant.
“The portal is expected to help generate additional state revenue by increasing corporate filings in Nevada and improving efficiencies in a number of state agencies,” according to a written statement from Miller’s office. “It will reduce redundancy, eliminate many paper-based transactions and manual data entries that can lead to errors and delays and aid in recovering uncollected fees due to current inefficiencies in inter-agency communications.”
Responses to RFP 1802 for the Nevada Business Portal are due by 2 p.m. on April 13. To view RFP 1802, go to www.nvsos.gov and click on “Nevada Business Portal” in the Information Center.
All questions regarding the RFP must be directed to David Jones with the State Purchasing Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 684-5812.