Case Study 

Eliminating the lengthy business startup process for business owners


“I love the reminders; it's one less thing for me to worry about.”

– Montana Business Checklist User

The Background

Business owners had to visit 10 separate state agency websites, in addition to county and city websites, to round up all the relevant information needed to open a business. Business owners were spending months researching the myriad of rules and regulations associated with doing business in the state. This led to some businesses neglecting to submit the required documentation, and many potential business owners completely opted out of starting a business in Montana.

The Solution

The Montana Business Checklist service was created by NIC on behalf of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) to promote the development of business in the state. To use the service, business owners enter basic information about a current or potential business, and the service returns all pending action items required by the state. The checklist is dynamically generated based upon the business type and location. The service allows business owners to set reminders for due dates of pending items and displays the time frame by which each item needs to be completed, such as one time only, quarterly, annually, etc.

The Results

More than 650 businesses from 47 Montana counties have registered to use the Business Checklist service, and the state’s business survival score has improved by more than 5 percent. Business owners, both current and potential, benefit from the service, as do the many state employees who no longer answer phone calls about where to find information and documents. The entire state benefits when businesses have the resources to open and grow — generating higher levels of personal satisfaction for owners and a healthy economy.