Ho­gan an­nounces new Busi­ness Ex­press web­site


In­spired by Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s Reg­u­la­tory Re­form Com­mis­sion rec­om­men­da­tions, the Mary­land State De­part­ment of As­sess­ments and Tax­a­tion (SDAT) un­veiled Mary­land Busi­ness Ex­press, a new web­site that will make it easier for Mary­land’s small busi­ness own­ers and en­trepreneurs to plan, start, man­age, and grow their busi­ness. Ac­ces­si­ble at busi­nes­s­ex­press.mary­land.gov, the new site com­bines in­for­ma­tion pre­vi­ously spread across many state agen­cies into one, easy-to-nav­i­gate site, while also pro­vid­ing a clear out­line of the steps in­volved in start­ing a busi­ness.

Mary­land Busi­ness Ex­press also fea­tures a dig­i­tal assistant de­signed to com­mu­ni­cate with and de­liver guid­ance to Mary­lan­ders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This “Chat­bot” is the first of its kind to be used by any state gov­ern­ment specif­i­cally for busi­ness pur­poses.

The site’s lay­out is based on the ques­tions most com­monly asked by ex­ist­ing busi­ness own­ers and as­pir­ing en­trepreneurs, and con­tains four main sec­tions: Plan, Start, Man­age, and Grow. The Plan and Start sec­tions list or­derly steps that guide en­trepreneurs through the process of de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness plan, reg­is­ter­ing a busi­ness, and ap­ply­ing for tax ac­counts and li­censes. The Man­age and Grow sec­tions help busi­ness own­ers re­main in good stand­ing, make le­gal changes to their busi­ness, and find ad­di­tional pro­grams that best fit their needs.

“Our De­part­ment’s goal is to al­low Mary­lan­ders to in­ter­act with the state any time it’s con­ve­nient for them, and the new Mary­land Busi­ness Ex­press will move us closer to that goal than ever be­fore,” said SDAT Di­rec­tor Michael Higgs. “This new web­site will be a tremen­dous ben­e­fit to Mary­land’s busi­ness com­mu­nity, and the feed­back we re­ceive will al­low us to con­tin­u­ally up­date con­tent to bet­ter suit their needs.”

Over the past few years, SDAT has fo­cused on mak­ing gov­ern­ment ser­vices more ac­ces­si­ble to the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Mary­land busi­nesses that in­ter­act with the De­part­ment an­nu­ally. Re­cent ef­forts to pro­vide more ser­vices on­line have re­sulted in dra­matic im­prove­ments in pro­cess­ing times, in­clud­ing a re­duc­tion from 10 to four weeks to start a busi­ness. To­day, more than 50 per­cent of all doc­u­ments are filed on­line, 40 per­cent of which oc­cur out­side of nor­mal busi­ness hours and 20 per­cent of which are done through a mo­bile de­vice. SDAT’s on­line ser­vices process more than 250,000 trans­ac­tions an­nu­ally.

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