Secretary of State
Starting a Business in Kentucky Now Easier, Businesses Can File Online
(Frankfort, KY) Starting a business in Kentucky just got easier, thanks to a new service launched by the Office of the Secretary of State. You can now file your new business entity online thanks to a new service called FastTrack. FastTrack is designed to reduce the amount of time it takes to start a business in Kentucky. By simply allowing documents to be filed online, a company can be up and running several days faster than before.
“Kentucky is an even greater place to do business because of FastTrack,” said Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “This new service will save companies time and money. By tearing down the bureaucratic red tape of state government, we hope this will encourage other entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Kentucky.”
FastTrack allows a business entity to file its formation papers with the Secretary of State via the internet. Upon its initial launch, FastTrack allows Domestic Corporations and Limited Liability Companies to file online. Over 20,000 new domestic corporations and LLC’s were filed in 2008. Over the next several months, the service will be expanded to include the majority of domestic and foreign business entity filings.
A user can visit the Office of the Secretary of State website where he/she will be directed to the FastTrack application. The user will securely log in, and he/she will be asked for all required information to complete a business entity filing, to include a business name, registered agent, principal office, and officers. The system will automatically reject names that have already been selected by another business entity.
After the completion of the filing, the user will receive an email confirmation of the receipt of the filing. Typically, within one business day, the office will have a staff person review the filing to determine whether it can be accepted. An email will then be sent to the user to confirm whether the filing was accepted or rejected. If it is rejected, a user will only need to complete the section that required attention.
Once a user starts the process, he or she will have 120 days to complete the process. A user will be able to start and stop, save the file, and work at his or her own pace. In addition, a user can work on multiple filings at one time.
The system is intuitive to Kentucky law and thus will prevent filers from making common mistakes that are currently reasons for most paper-based filing rejections. For instance, for a registered office address, state law prohibits the use of a PO Box address. Hundreds of filings a year are rejected on this basis which slows the business formation process, costing the company valuable time. The online system will prevent someone from entering such prohibited information. The system should dramatically reduce the number of rejected filings for the office.
The launch of FastTrack is one of the most significant online services to be launched by the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State, since it first put its business database online ten years ago. The new service is part of the Office of the Secretary of State’s focus to become more economically and environmentally friendly, while providing greater accessibility and customer service to constituents. Since Grayson took office five years ago, the Office has launched over 25 new online services or upgrades to further those missions. Now, a vast majority of services that the Office provides can be found online. Currently, three million documents are available on the Secretary of State’s website. Every document that is received by the office is scanned and made available almost immediately.
By placing services online, the burden on staff is reduced by removing a large portion of data entry from daily tasks. This allowed the office to reduce the number of employees and to restructure to create two new sections of the office that will further increase customer service—a digital imaging branch and a customer service center branch.
The digital imaging branch is currently converting old microfilm files to digital images so that they can be accessed online. Eventually, the Office hopes to have nearly every business document ever filed with the office online. In addition, the customer service center allows a constituent to talk to someone in the office about his or her issues without having to rely upon the business filers who are processing all of the filing documents. This has achieved a greater efficiency for the office, so that most documents are filed and processed the day that they are received.
As a result, the Office of the Secretary of State is much more efficient. During Grayson’s tenure in office, he has progressively reduced the size and cost of the office. Since Grayson assumed office in 2004, the office has reduced its number of full-time employees by 12.20%, eliminated nearly all part-time employees, reduced its operating budget by 9.79%, and consolidated the number of physical offices from two to one.
“It is our responsibility to provide the most efficient and accessible service, in the most environmentally friendly way possible,” said Secretary Grayson. “The changes we have made to this office are the kind of transformations that government should be making in the 21st Century, where we do more with less by creating a 24-hour a day online service center.”
To access FastTrack, visit www.sos.ky.gov.
FastTrack was built through a partnership with Kentucky.gov, which also maintains many state government website’s including the Commonwealth’s official website at www.kentucky.gov. Kentucky.gov was built and is marketed, operated, and maintained by Kentucky Interactive, LLC, a Frankfort-based subsidiary of eGovernment firm NIC (Nasdaq:EGOV). NIC manages more eGovernment services than any provider in the world. The company helps government communicate more effectively with citizens and businesses by putting essential services online. NIC provides eGovernment solutions for 2,600 state and local agencies that serve more than 71 million people in the United States. Through this partnership, the cost of building the website was essentially free except for staff time used to seamlessly apply the application into the Office of the Secretary of State Business Database.
# # #