Prior to 2013, no forms required to start or maintain a business were available online.
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COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that 100 percent of all filings needed to start or maintain a business in Ohio may now be submitted online. Additionally, business owners may now submit all Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) statements and certified search requests online. The announcement completes an effort that began in 2013, when Secretary Husted launched Ohio Business Central to modernize operations and better serve business owners.
“Since day one, our office has committed itself to working on behalf of job creators and entrepreneurs to make it easier to start and maintain a business in Ohio,” said Secretary Husted. “By improving the way our office does business, we are helping companies cut costs, save time, and reduce administrative burden so they can focus on providing quality services and products, as well as create jobs.”
Three out of four Ohio businesses are now started using Ohio Business Central, and 274,196 filings have been processed online since 2013. The expanded use of online filings has helped to boost overall filings in recent years. So far, 71,979 new entities have filed to do business in Ohio this year – up by 9,500 over the same time-frame last year. Additionally, March 2017 marked the best month in Ohio history for new businesses with the filings of 12,827 entities.
“In this day and age, everything is technology-based,” said Andrew E. Doehrel, President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “Businesses need to operate at the ‘speed of business,’ which means they need government to operate at the speed of business.”
The online filings effort is among a series of initiatives, led by Secretary Husted, that aim to alleviate the bureaucratic constraints and costs on Ohio’s job creators. Two years ago, Secretary Husted reduced the cost of starting and maintaining a business in the Buckeye State by 21 percent. This change has saved Ohio businesses over $4.5 million to date. In 2016, Secretary Husted contracted with the Cleveland Sight Center to manage the Business Services Call Center, which assists entrepreneurs with starting and maintaining a business in Ohio. The collaboration with the Cleveland Sight Center has paid off significantly as average call wait time has dropped from more than five minutes to just 14 seconds – a reduction of 96 percent.
“Through this work, Secretary Husted has made compliance easier, quicker, and cheaper for small businesses,” said Roger Geiger, Vice President and Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses – Ohio. “In many instances, our members do not have the luxury of hiring compliance officers and just add that function to the long list of other tasks they perform on a daily basis to keep the doors open and Ohioans employed. By keeping costs low and allowing easy online access, Ohio Secretary of State Husted demonstrates that he understands just how busy these entrepreneurs are. He is certainly a valuable partner to them in saving both time and dollars.”
Secretary Husted’s work to build a more business-friendly economy has been complemented by efforts to make his own office more efficient. As part of the recent state budget process, Secretary Husted requested a 100 percent cut in the amount of tax dollars needed to run his office. Husted’s request will save taxpayers nearly $5 million over state fiscal years 2018 and 2019. Additionally, during his first term, Secretary Husted reduced spending by $14.5 million, a 16 percent reduction when compared to the previous administration. He is also operating his office with nearly 40 percent fewer staff and payroll costs are at the lowest level in 10 years.