July 31, 2013

Maine launches business website to reduce red tape

By Jessica Hall
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The state has launched a website aimed at making it easier to get information on licensing and permitting procedures for new businesses.

The new "Business Answers" portal launched on Wednesday. The site is hosted by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and developed by the state's content partner, InforME.

"This is a perfect example of how government can work in collaboration with and make it easier for the private sector to grow a business," said Gov. Paul LePage. "Licensing and permitting is often blamed for getting in the way of economic development. My administration has worked tirelessly to reduce red tape and streamline the licensing and permitting process."

By selecting any one of the 104 different business types listed, a series of questions relevant to that business type will be asked. Based on the answers provided, users will be presented with a list detailing the specific forms, licenses, permits and information required for completion before that business can begin to operate.

The website will allow people to search for forms by agency name or keyword.

This launch is the first phase of an improved "Business Answers" system. Subsequent phases of the will include a form manager, which will allow users to complete forms online using saved address and name information and to make one payment for all licensing and regulatory fees.

"Imagine only having to provide information once, and that information is then used to fill out a variety of forms and applications needed to satisfy the state requirements. And imagine only having to make one payment for a number of different permits and licenses," said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. "That is where ‘Business Answers' is going. We have just begun."

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