SBA debuts BusinessLaw.gov
- By Diane Frank
- Dec 05, 2001
The Small Business Administration on Dec. 5 unveiled a new Web site, BusinessLaw.gov,
that will be the basis for one of the Bush administration's 23 cross-agency
The site (www.businesslaw.gov) is intended
to provide a one-stop portal to help small businesses deal with legal questions,
such as what licenses and permits are necessary at the federal, state and
local levels to start a business; what environmental regulations impact
their business; and how to handle employee problems.
Developed mostly by attorneys at SBA's district offices nationwide,
the site walks users through the process for every matter. It provides links
to other sites within the federal government, as well as sites at the state
and local levels, at law schools across the country, and at private-sector
partners and organizations.
The key, however, is helping business owners understand the legal processes,
not just to point them to information, said Jim Van Wert, the senior adviser
for e-government at SBA.
"This is really more about customer service and content than it is about
technology.... It is really about figuring out what small businesses need
and offering that up to them in one place," he said. "The point is to help
SBA is the lead agency on one of the 23 e-government initiatives developed
by the Office of Management and Budget and an interagency task force in
four customer segments: government to citizen, government to business, government
to government, and internal efficiencies and effectiveness.
The Business Compliance One Stop initiative, under the government-to-business
segment, is intended to not only offer compliance information but also to
enable business leaders to apply for permits and licenses from all levels
of government online, Van Wert said.
The site's focus on customer service and its position as a functional
resource for users is the direction OMB wants to push all government sites.
BusinessLaw.gov is a great example of how the e-government agenda aims to
simplify interaction with customers and unify back-end processes, said Mark
Forman, associate director of information technology and e-government at
"It's the way that we've got to move forward," he said.