Another step taken by the LePage Administration to make Maine more business friendly

AUGUSTA – The days of searching for the various licenses and permits required for new and existing businesses are over.

With the official launch today of the new “Business Answers” online portal, job creators have access to a one-stop repository of information about starting a business in Maine. The site is hosted by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and developed by the state’s content partner, InforME.

“This is a perfect example of how government can work in collaboration with and make it easier for the private sector to grow a business,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Licensing and permitting is often blamed for getting in the way of economic development. My administration has worked tirelessly to reduce red tape and streamline the licensing and permitting process.”

By selecting from any one of the 104 different business types listed (from child care provider to whitewater rafting company), a series of questions relevant to that business type will be asked. Based on the answers provided, users will be presented with a comprehensive list detailing the specific forms, licenses, permits and information required for completion before that business can begin to operate.

Other features new to the updated version of “Business Answers” include: • A system to allow users to save tasks in a checklist for future use. • A navigation tool to allow for multiple business types to be searched that places all relevant tasks, forms and information into a new or existing checklist. • A search tool that allows users to search for forms by agency name or keyword. Search results will link to an HTML, PDF and Word version of that form. The form can be added to a new or existing checklist for future use. • The ability to create an account, which gives users access to a variety of self-service tools such as access to checklist and the ability to create and update a profile.

This launch is the first phase of an improved one-stop “Business Answers” system. Subsequent phases of the application will include a form manager, which will allow users to complete forms online using saved address and name information, and to make just one payment for all licensing and regulatory fees.

“Imagine only having to provide information once, and that information is then used to fill out a variety of forms and applications needed to satisfy the state requirements. And imagine only having to make one payment for a number of different permits and licenses,” said DECD Commissioner George Gervais. “That is where ‘Business Answers’ is going. We have just begun.”

This new and improved website would not have been possible without the technical expertise provided by DECD’s content partner, InforME. “The Business Answers Tool is the latest online service offering available to Maine constituents free of charge through www.Maine.gov,” said Paul VandenBussche, General Manager of InforME. “This was created in efforts to provide a single repository of information when starting a new business in Maine, and is accessible from any device that has internet access.”

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