SBA site integrates state, federal filing

Integrated State Register and Federal EIN Application

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) has integrated online state and federal business applications, saving businesses time and money.

A new Web-based tool allows businesses to register at the state level through their state's Web site, and simultaneously apply for their federal Employer Identification Number (EIN), which is needed to register with the federal government.

The new capabilities are available on SBA's BusinessLaw.gov site, one of the government's 24 e-government initiatives that first launched in December 2002.

Previously, businesses had to enter similar information into two different systems, and the process was traditionally paper-based. This application automates the process and streamlines data exchange between the state and federal levels. The system is sponsored by SBA in partnership with the Internal Revenue Service and was developed through a contract with Atlanta-based EzGov Inc., a major e-government technology provider.

When business owners in Georgia, for example, go to the state Web site and register to conduct business, they can now fill out a few more details on the same form to register for the EIN, said Jeff Cummings, vice president of federal sales for EzGov. The integration of the forms is not visible to the user.

"You would never know you've left the Georgia site," Cummings said. "This is saving [business owners] that rekeying of information or going to a different site. The business can literally meet most of their services by going to one site."

The more than 4 million small-business owners nationwide will save close to $200 million spent on the manual process, SBA officials said.

The application is an example of merging state and federal services and supports the vision of the Office of Management and Budget's associate director for information technology and e-government, Mark Forman, said EzGov Chief Executive Officer Ed Trimble.

"It's one of the first applications to integrate federal with state and local processing," he said. "That's always been a primary goal of e-gov initiatives, and this is the first prime example of delivering on that vision."

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