You may call it business licensing, occupational taxes, business tax receipts, or just business registration; regardless, renewals is a big part of the job. Civic Review is the only solution smart enough to know when to email business owners and let them know how to renew.
If online forms is all you’re looking for, there are a LOT of solutions out there. But Civic Review utilizes the power of the cloud to deliver a suite of options to make your job easier.
Roger is a hard-working citizen who wishes to open his own business arranging and designing shrubberies for local castles and palaces. Since the town hall is a 45-minute trip via horseback, it would sure be nice if he could register his new business online. He isn’t the only business owner who would be frustrated to have to do this in person. In fact, if Townsville had a way to do online business licensing, they’d be the talk of the kingdom! Here’s what that process would look like.
Cities can create and customize their own forms. Forms can accept file uploads, lists, and even maps. You’ll have the ability to enforce required fields, making sure you gather all the information you need. Once information is taken, Civic Review can calculate fees automatically based on the data collected.
The great thing about online software, is your staff can access data from anywhere, anytime – no need to install software. You can also customize the process workflow. For example, you can choose to take payment first, before staff approvals are gathered, or you can take them after all approvals are taken. As approvals are taken from other staff members or agencies, they can make comments, communicate with applicants, and attach documents. All this communication is stored with the application record.
Our applicant, Roger, is provided with a portal so he can interact with city staff. Being web-based, he can access this from anywhere, on any device. When it’s time, Roger can pay his fees online, and at any time he can check out the status and see who has reviewed his application and who has not. So if he’s wondering what the hold up is, he knows exactly who to call.
Reviewers also have the ability to provide comments, letting applicants know the reasoning behind their status. You have full control over the workflow and can specify individual review steps in the approval process based on criteria and application data. For example, your fire department might not need to review every application. You can even assign outside users to each review step to login and mark approvals, or if you’d rather, office administrators can mark these off themselves.
The portal also provides a place for Roger to pay his fees online. Civic Review integrates with a number of 3rd party payment processors, making it possible to keep all your organization’s payments on a central system. Even though Civic Review may replace your current business license module or software, you continue to use your financial/ERP systems for accounting purposes.
Whenever you have questions or comments, you can send messages or exchange files directly with the applicant from within Civic Review. For example, let’s say during the application process, Roger uploaded a copy of some required state certification, but instead of sending a copy of his certificate, he accidentally uploaded his shopping list. While reviewing his application, you can send him a message, asking him to upload the right document. This conversation is stored with the application forever, so years from now, you can always go back and see what was said and when, instead of rummaging through your email inbox.
Cities can build templates for printing letters and forms, such as business licenses. These templates can be customized by yourself using our drag-and-drop template editor. You can even use these templates to bulk print form letters!
So once everything has been paid for, and approvals have been made, you can choose to allow Roger to print his own license from his portal. No more printing licenses and paying for postage to send out licenses!
Civic Review customers see as much as 96% of renewals happen online before they have to send any letters or make any phone calls! While printing renewal letters, stuffing envelopes, licking envelopes, paying for all that postage, and repeating all that when people are unresponsive, have you ever thought to yourself, “I shouldn’t have to do this myself in this day and age?” Civic Review is smart enough to know when licenses expire, and as such, utilizes automation to handle all that busy work for you. So when it’s time to renew his shrubbery business license, Roger gets an email (and even a few follow-up emails) when it’s time to renew. Even if he misses a deadline, Civic Review recognizes that and will send more emails. Just think of everything you could be doing instead of all that busywork! A lot goes into how this works, so please reach out to us to ask for an explanation.
Let’s say instead of just arranging and designing shrubberies, Roger now offers general lawn care service. While renewing online, Roger has the chance to review his information, and can update his own information if anything changes. So in this case Roger might change the description of his business. These kinds of changes could affect what his fees end up being, or even make is business non-compliant – so you would have a chance to review those changes, and either update fees or deny his renewal before he can continue the renewal process.
If you have expiring information that needs to be gathered year-after-year, you can also create a Renewal Questionnaire for things like current copies of state certifications, etc.
You won’t find another solution better equipped to help you make your job easier. It goes far beyond the online forms, and that’s why Civic Review uses the online-platform to it’s advantage. With a world as connected as we see these days, why shouldn’t municipalities be connected to their own business owners. They’ll praise you for making things easier, and you’ll be able to get more things done.
Civic Review is the most flexible and efficient permit software available. The software has changed our antiquated and outdated process of permitting. I love it’s seamless and customizable client experience. It has revolutionized our staff’s ability to review and approve permits effectively and expeditiously.
Based on your usage, your organization may qualify to use Civic Review at no cost indefinitely!