Friday, October 29, 2004

WV Launches One Stop Online Business Registration

I was glad to see an announcement last week regarding the a new web portal which allows businesses to register online to operate in West Virginia. The web portal called appears to aggregate the registration process for various West Virginia state agencies, including the forms required by West Virginia Secretary of State Office, West Virginia State Tax Department, Workers' Compensation Commission and Bureau of Employment Programs.

I haven't registered for a Business4WV Account to manage the business filings that I do on behalf of clients so I can't give you a detailed review of how well the new system works -- but I plan to register soon and give it a try. Anything that can make the process easier for businesses in West Virginia and businesses wanting to come to West Virginia to register will be an improvement over the current system which allows limited online filing, requires hard copy filings and does not provide a coordinated system of one-stop registration.

The new system was created by Tygart Technology, Inc. which has provided a summary of how the new e-government system works. The company describes the system as an enterprise-wide Business-to-Government (B2G) Exchange designed to host a large number of e-services (including e-filings) offered by numerous state agencies. Currently the project integrates the filings involving the four state government agencies listed above.

The Business Organization Division of the Secretary of State was typically the place that most attorneys or others start to create and register a new legal entity, authorize an entity to do business in West Virginia, reserve a business name, etc. You then were required to complete the Business Registration Application (WV/BUS-APP) and foward the form to the West Virginia State Tax Department who would establish an account for the new entity and forared the form to other state agencys, such as, Workers' Compensation and Unemployment Compensation. Depending on the type of entity and the business involved you often had to then make additional filings with licensure boards, local/municipal licensing agencies, etc.

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