Get Back to Business: Why Your Community Should Move to Online Permitting for Business Licenses

September 13, 2022 – Molly Brenner

Business licenses are a cornerstone of any community. They drive revenue and economic development, create jobs and employment opportunities, and improve the quality of life for residents and business owners alike. 

However, paper processes can be cumbersome, slow, and lead to long lines around City Hall. Thanks to digital licensing, your community can review and approve more licenses so your residents can get back to business, faster. 

A digital licensing workflow can deliver an all-in-one solution to expedite your processes and improve customer satisfaction for business owners and residents – all while promoting growth in your community. There are hundreds of ways to improve a community with an online licensing platform, including:

Short-term Rentals Regulation

Manage licensing and ordinance enforcement for short-term rentals, like Airbnb, while gathering feedback from your community on local policies.

Restaurants and Outdoor Dining Permits

Guide restaurant owners through the online application process and stay compliant with regulations.

Health Regulations for Businesses

Run public health inspections on all types of businesses, such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, child care centers, and nursing homes.

Liquor Licensing

Plan the current and future needs of your community’s liquor license and review zoning ordinances.

Cannabis Licensing

Track the industry from seed to sale with map zoning laws and plan tax structures.

Pet Licenses and Dog Park Permits

Help residents take proper action to ensure pet safety with transparent pricing and easy-to-use forms.

Features to Look for in an Online Licensing Platform

Along with examples of ways that a digital licensing process can help your community, there are key features that guarantee the best experience possible for both staff and residents. 

Simplified Process

A public-facing portal to welcome applicants to the online permitting platform is essential. By including easy-to-understand language and important information, such as public health regulations and city codes, you can eliminate barriers caused by previously confusing paper-based processes. This will help to approve more business licenses in your community. Communication within the platform is also key – you can communicate directly with applicants to request missing information, such as important documentation, and updates on their application.

Online and Automatic Renewals

Setting up online renewals helps to drive compliance and revenue and eliminates the need for applicants to come to City Hall in person. In addition, online renewal campaigns allow you to track progress at a glance and monitor all campaign renewals simultaneously. 

Reporting and Communication

Not only can an online license platform be a place for applicants to submit their applications, but it is also a source of data. By reporting on essential trends in your community, you can analyze important data such as types of licenses issued, processing time, frequently asked questions, or any other customer data object. Creating reports is also important so you can share them with various stakeholders such as the city council and different departments. 

Make the Upgrade to Online Business Licensing 

No matter your business licensing needs, there is a platform available to work with them all. To begin your research, request a demo of OpenGov Citizen Services here. OpenGov Citizen Services is cloud-permitting software that enables you to say goodbye to piles of paper, messy spreadsheets, and cumbersome, legacy software. 

To learn more about OpenGov’s permitting and licensing solution, request your personal demo here.

Explore Citizen Services

  • Community Development
  • Business Licenses
  • Code Enforcement
  • Inspections
building permit software