Des Moines, IA – What used to take up to ten days to open a new business in West Virginia can now take less than two hours thanks to a multi-agency commitment and the modernization of the state's business and licensing process.
Under the direction of WV Secretary of State Mac Warner and with support from the WV Legislature and the Justice Administration, the WV One Stop Business Center (the WV One Stop) opened its doors in February of 2018. It is the only five-agency, single-location, business and licensing center in the nation.
The WV One Stop Business Center and its use of technology and inter-agency cooperation to expedite new business start-ups garnered the attention of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) earlier this year. Back in February, NASS members voted to make the WV One Stop Business Center one of just four national finalists for the association's 2021 IDEAS Award. IDEA is an acronym for Innovation, Dedication, Excellence, and Achievement in Service.
The four national IDEA finalists for 2021 were featured by NASS at the organization's annual meeting held in Des Moines, IA on August 15. Secretary Warner and Chris Alder, the Director of the WVSOS Business & Licensing Division, provided a comprehensive presentation to a national audience on the formation and success of the WV One Stop. See the presentation by using the link.
"It is always nice to be recognized and featured at the national level," Secretary Warner told those in attendance at the NASS conference. "But it has been the positive response of the West Virginia business community and the entrepreneurs that we serve that has been the most rewarding."
For the 127,000-plus businesses in West Virginia, nearly 99% of all annual report filings and new registrations are completed online through the WV One Stop Business Center's online portal. In August, the online portal experienced its one-millionth online transaction.
"We're here to do everything we can to facilitate business creation and expansion. The registration process in West Virginia is no longer an impediment to entrepreneurs and business owners," Warner said.