Officials marked a $1.8 million overhaul of the secretary of state’s GeauxBiz.com website, which merges some of the services from the Department of Revenue and the Louisiana Workforce Commission to streamline the process for creating a new business.
By folding in some of the services from the Revenue Department and Workforce Commission, people can now visit GeauxBiz.com and complete the necessary legal documents to start a business, register for a tax revenue number and apply for an unemployment insurance tax account number.
“This is all about improving the business climate in our state,” said Tom Schedler, secretary of state. “Making sure that entrepreneurs can access the information they need in one convenient location and file online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for me, was a no-brainer.”
Schedler said it’s taken two years to make the changes to GeauxBiz. GeauxBiz was launched in 2009, and now, more than 70 percent of commercial filings are done through the site. The proof of the success of the website was shown at the site of a news conference Thursday — the lobby of the secretary of state’s Commercial Division. Schedler said before GeauxBiz was launched, the lobby would have been half full with people filling out paperwork so they could start a company.
Curt Eysink, executive secretary of the Workforce Commission, said it required some work on the back end to get the various computer systems from the different agencies working together. While the Secretary of State’s Office, Revenue Department and Workforce Commission had worked together on anti-fraud measures, Eysink said this was the first “public-facing project” the agencies had worked on.
The work appears to have paid off. After the soft launch of the improved website, 94 percent of visitors surveyed said they were able to find the information they needed, and 95 percent said they would recommend the GeauxBiz portal to other people.
Tim Barfield, revenue secretary, said the plan is to expand GeauxBiz to include more business licensing services. Other state government agencies that could have business services folded into GeauxBiz include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Quality and Louisiana Economic Development.
The secretary of state picked up the majority of the $1.8 million cost for improving the GeauxBiz website, said Meg Casper, a department spokeswoman. The new site will lead to undetermined savings because departments will be able to better allocate staffers and not have to replace some workers who leave.