Taking care of business in Mass.

Massachusetts' new Corporations Division page

Filing financial and legal documents with regulators will become easier

for businesses in Massachusetts as the state phases in a new Web site with

forms that can be completed online.

From business and trademark registrations to Uniform Commercial Code

and other submissions, businesses must file and update scores of reports.

"We couldn't keep doing it in the archaic method we were using before,"

said Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin. Staff members spent too

much time on data entry rather than quality control, he said.

Businesses can now submit annual reports to the Secretary's Corporations

Division online.

Creditors soon will be able to record commercial liens through the site

to secure their interest in equipment, property or goods. The Corporations

Division processes more than 100,000 lien filings each year.

Creating electronic versions for all document types is expected to be

complete by the end of June, with fully searchable records available to

the public by the end of the summer. Corporations will be charged $8.50

to file annual reports electronically; UCC filings will cost $3.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. and the Massachusetts Information Technology

Division designed the system. State and company officials say it will enhance

the accuracy of records because the software will not accept information

that is incomplete or entered in the wrong field. Documents that are received

by mail will be scanned and handled through the same automated workflow

process.

Florida and Georgia began online filing of annual reports a year ago.

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