Feds mull business registry

The General Services Administration is leading an intergovernmental project to create a single place on the Internet for businesses to access information on government registration and reporting requirements.

The site would reduce the paperwork burden when it comes to registering a new business, researching and registering company names, applying for an employer identification number and fulfilling other requirements.

The eventual goal is to have the business registry site provide links to the appropriate information and allow business owners to fill out forms online regardless of the "government level of responsibility," said Terri Hobson, a project manager in GSA's Office of Electronic Government.

Valerie Perlowitz, president and chief executive officer of Reliable Integration Services Inc., a small business, said the registry site is a great idea, but it must be easy to use and thorough. "You need to find a way to make this a feeder system," she said. "If this is the one and only place you need to go, then it will draw a lot more businesses in."

GSA officials are in discussions with several states and federal agencies to create a "proof of concept" prototype system that they can demonstrate at the fall meeting of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, Hobson said. NASCIO and the federal CIO Council's E-government Committee are co-sponsoring the pilot with GSA.

The prototype system would operate under the FirstGov for Employers (employers.gov) Web site.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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