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2024 Guide to Annual Reports and Business Licenses

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You know how important it is to stay in good standing—and you also know how much work it takes. To keep up with annual reports at the secretary of state level and which licenses are needed to operate your business, you have to understand a range of different filing requirements and deadlines across various jurisdictions and filing authorities. Ensuring compliance can be challenging.

Fortunately, CSC can help. Join us for a webinar on keeping your annual reports and business licenses in check for the upcoming year.

Webinar transcript

Disclaimer: Please be advised that this recorded webinar has been edited from its original format, which may have included a product demo. To set up a live demo or to request more information, please complete the form to the right. Or if you are currently not on CSC Global, there is a link to the website in the description of this video. Thank you.

Caitlin: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar. "Guide to Annual Reports and Business Licenses." My name is Caitlin Alaburda, and I will be your moderator.

Joining us today are Andrea Jonaitis, Calla Heathman, and Arianne Turnier. Andrea is a senior sales engineer in the Corporate and Legal Solutions Group at CSC. Since joining CSC in 2017, Andrea has specialized in global subsidiary management and entity management, working with prospects to present an accurate and clear scope of services, including helping subsidiaries stay in compliance as well as assisting with legalization, notarizations, apostilles, liquidations, new entity formations, dissolutions, and demonstrating CSC Entity Management.

Andrea: Good morning, everyone. Thanks so much for joining us.

Caitlin: Calla is a sales engineer that supports the Corporate and Legal Services Group at CSC and is based in Wilmington, Delaware. Since joining CSC in 2015, Calla has focused on B2B relationship management and consulting to find solutions that best fit the needs of our clients.

Calla: Good morning.

Caitlin: And Arianne is an advocate for supporting the needs of licensing professionals and recognizing the value that they bring to their respective workplaces. Arianne has been at the forefront of license compliance technology for 15 years.

Arianne: Hi, everybody. Nice to see you.

Caitlin: With that, let's welcome Andrea, Calla, and Arianne.

Calla: All right. Good morning. What a group we have here today. So we just want to thank everyone for joining us and spending some time with us this morning to review CSC's Guide to Annual Reports and Business Licenses. But before we get started, I'd like to run through our quick agenda to provide some insight on what we're actually going to be discussing today.

So first and foremost, we will provide a little bit of background on who we are as CSC. And before we get too far into the presentation, we want to dive into just a quick overview of the differences between annual reports and business licenses so we can really set the stage for how we classify and define each of those within CSC and our services that we offer. After that, we will highlight some of the current trends in the compliance world, alongside of how the compliance life cycle can impact some of those types of filings or even add additional filings needs into your business. And then, we want to consider some of the common challenges that we just find are very popular in the market, but most importantly really how CSC is able to help limit your exposure to those challenges or even solve for some of those items that you might be experiencing today.

Lastly, to round out our session, we will end with a live Q&A. So throughout the presentation feel free to send in your questions, so that way we have some to address at the end here.

We've had a lot of exciting things happening here at CSC. Recently, we just celebrated our 125th anniversary. And since then, we've been strengthening our ability to continue to be the world's leading provider of business administration and compliance solutions globally.

So with a presence in or on, I should say, 5 continents, with more than 8,000 employees, CSC truly is the business behind business here. We're always putting our clients at the forefront of what we do, and that's the reason why CSC is continuing to be the trusted partner for more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies, more than 90% of the Best Global Brands, more than 70% of firms that are on the PEI 300 scale, and we are supporting, again, more than 10,000 law firms.

We're driven by a fierce client spirit, and we have market-leading expertise and an unmatched reach, so we can be able to power every stage of the business life cycle for our clients. We truly could spend an entire session just chatting about who we are and what we do, but we want to shift gears to get into our content for you here throughout the session.

So to start, we're going to dive into again how CSC just defines annual reports and business licenses to set that stage for you. It'll really tie into the rest of our presentation. So with that being said, Andrea and Arianne, would you care to walk us through some of those comparisons that we made?

Andrea: Absolutely, Calla. I'm going to kick us off with annual reports first, and then we'll hear from Arianne about business licenses. So most often, when we are talking about annual reports, we're talking about the reports or filings that are required for U.S. subsidiaries. And these filings are due at the secretary of state level. They're required to maintain your so-called good standing or compliance within those jurisdictions. Often these are due annually, although the deadlines can vary depending on a variety of factors. Due dates for annual reports could be fixed dates that are set by the jurisdiction. They might be dependent on factors such as your entity anniversary date or your fiscal year end.

You also may know these reports by some other names. Some of those names are state specific, so things like the statement of information in California. Some names are shared across a few different jurisdictions, such as the franchise tax report. Other names for annual reports include kind of more generalized names, like the occupational tax report or the annual list. But regardless of whatever verbiage you're using to identify this report, the key takeaway is that these filings are required in order to maintain the ongoing good standing compliance of your entities.

Often proof of an entity's good standing is required when filing with different agencies or when working towards additional entity transactions. So staying on top of those annual report requirements are really, really important. And then, Arianne is going to share now an overview of business licenses and permits and how they're different from annual reports.

Arianne: Yeah, a big difference between business licensing is we actually have to get those filed at almost every jurisdiction level, and sometimes more than we ever expected. For example, you might need to be filing at the state level with the state regulator or a state agency. County is very common. City is very common. But we also see everything down from townships to school districts to local police or fire departments. So the different jurisdictions that you file with on licensing is myriad and varied and is a big part of why it can be a challenging discipline.

It's required to do a number of different things. Sometimes the basic business license is just required to do business. So if you are doing business in a locality, if you're doing business in a state, we need to make sure that that license is filed. Sometimes it's for a specific product, so, for example, you're selling frozen desserts, you're selling eggs, or you might be selling furniture during the holidays. So sometimes a license is needed actually for products you didn't even know you needed to have a filing for. And last but not least, sometimes it's a specific service. So you might be providing pharmacy services, health care services, engineering services, and that's why the license is required as well.

Again, filing season, it can vary. Most of these are annual, but we see licenses that might be filed every two to five years. Sometimes they're filed every six months, every quarter. So it really does vary, and each jurisdiction will set that timeline. Sometimes they're on an anniversary date of the time you applied. Sometimes they're just on a fixed date from the jurisdiction.

Now a variety of new locations, really when you're when you're filing, why is it important? And it's really important because those licenses can get your business shut down. So that's really how it impacts you. Those licenses are needed in order to sell the product, to perform the service, or just to generally do business within those localities. And obviously, failure to have those licenses can result in some pretty significant outcomes, store closures, penalties, fines, and just also prohibiting you from doing business in the future.

So I'll go ahead and jump into our next slide, which is really about the current climate of licensing in general. So when we look at licensing, there's let say four areas. And licensing and annual reports, all this compliance we're talking about we're going to have some of the biggest challenges, and there's a lot of crossover with those challenges.

One of them is seasonality. So there's a lot of different seasons throughout the year when filings can be required. As I mentioned earlier and Andrea as well, those filings can be based on a jurisdiction's anniversary date, so everybody files at the same time. Sometimes it's some kind of anniversary date, where you filed at a time and you need to then continue to reoccur. But what that results in is busy filing seasons throughout the year, and so that means that we have to plan our resources around that.

There's also the complexity. Licensing and annual reports, they're going to require different amounts of data and documentation. That means that it's a lot more work to keep up these than it used to be, and it continues to become more complex, meaning that there's a lot more information that's required to get those filings out the door and there's a lot of additional supplemental work that has to happen in between a filing period to potentially keep information up to date.

The data itself is a big part of this. Data really has to be managed in a comprehensive way because we pull in data from different sources for these different types of filings. Documents and evidence needs to be provided. Data needs to be provided. So in order to really stay on top of it, a data plan and a document plan is really necessary.

And last but not least, if you and your teams have experienced turnover, we lose that legacy of knowledge, and that's a huge part of it. Many times we see folks doing this work who have institutional knowledge for many, many years, and when we lose those folks, it can really cause a lot of challenges because we need to then figure out how to get that knowledge back up.

I'm just going to turn it over to our next slide. There you go.

Andrea: Perfect, great. Let's talk about managing the compliance life cycle and entity life cycle. So the process of managing the complete life cycle of any entity is incredibly complicated. It may even involve a variety of teams and departments and partners. We here at CSC have quite a few business units that encompass the services that can assist with all of these areas of life cycle of an entity. And there are just so many aspects to this entity life cycle process and nuances along with each step along the way.

So in the formation stage, forming or acquiring new entities involves responsibilities, such as appointing a registered agent, obtaining the necessary state, county, or other business licenses that are required, understanding what licenses are required, or understanding the compliance requirements outside of licensing in order to keep the entity in good standing.

This leads into the maintenance of those entities, which we've covered annual reports and business licensing maintenance and renewal really falls into. This also includes other items like obtaining certificates of good standing, filing and maintaining or renewing DBA names as necessary.

Then we are getting into expansion. So to expand our business, we want to acquire, we want to qualify in new locations, we want to further merge or again continue to grow that business. You may want to expand into new markets or new customer segments. So this is going to include new licenses, new research, new merger evidence, new reports and filings that are due. Or also brand protection, domains, intellectual property, and so forth.

Getting into the end of an entity's life cycle, there are requirements for withdrawing, winding down, and divestures. So navigating through this entire entity life cycle and juggling all of these moving parts comes with so many different challenges, and Calla is going to highlight some of the most common challenges that we're hearing from our prospective clients within each of these areas of the business entity life cycle.

Calla: Yeah. Thanks, Andrea. And I think Andrea and Arianne did a very good job of setting the stage for me, even covering a lot of the points that we're going to touch based on through this. All of these different things and areas of the compliance life cycle, or the trends we're seeing, or the differences between annual reports and licenses, just create ultimately a lot of challenges that we find throughout again just managing these types of filings. And we just want to spend some time to review with you some of the common challenges that we face when we work with clients every day.

So moving into that, again we really spend our days working with organizations to help find solutions that are going to solve a lot of these issues. And ultimately, while we've just discussed annual reports and licenses are quite different in nature, or why you may need them, or what they apply to, a lot of the challenges for managing either of them are almost nearly identical, or they go hand in hand with one another.

So when we're thinking about these things, we often find that if there isn't this sense of transparency across different data, records, items that you'd file maybe on an annual report, in a business license, it's really kind of hard to understand just what is there, and it leads directly into a challenge of having or not having confidence really in what's being reported. Is what's being reported on these licenses or annual reports, is it even current, right? If we don't have a lot of data or entity vitals, are we reporting the correct and accurate information? And truthfully, from a licensing perspective, sometimes they require a lot of the information that might be on an annual report, but they're really imperative to actually getting some of these things approved, like ownership or officer and directors, things like that. So if we don't know what that entity data or entity vital looks like, it would be really hard for us to be able to accurately report those items on a license, and that could lead to different things down the line.

Possibly one of the most common challenges that we look to solve with our clients is just that complexity, right? Andrea and Arianne kind of covered when some of those things are coming due. But the common goal or the common item here or theme really is that no state or governing body is truly the same. There's rarely any uniformity among required data or things that we need to report. The requirements in general, they can be really different everywhere.

And it's also when do those items get filed? There are so many different schedules, and it's really incredibly challenging to kind of keep up with everything if you're not using some of the best practices that we'll discuss a little later in our presentation. Obviously, managing filings late, incurring penalties, and possibly even more extreme things, like getting the business shut down, they're just a huge problem. There are always challenges that we see. These filings already cost us money, so why would we want to pay more or be faced with the inability to actually offer services or products or operate? That's something that we kind of face every day.

So lastly, we find that it is that responsibility of tasks. I know Arianne had mentioned turnover, which kind of leads into this as well. But annual reports and licenses are just really spread throughout organizations. There could be different teams filing different things or different individuals that are responsible for different items that all come together within a licensing process or an annual report, like financial reporting, getting insurance certificates, getting bonds or other supporting documents. There really is just not a lot of uniformity internally as we see it. It becomes pretty difficult to manage all of those moving parts, I think Andrea said that as well, the moving part parts, the different filings, and all of those people that are really bringing those items to fruition to keep you in compliance.

And that kind of leads into I think what we've already been talking a little bit is just what happens when you're not in compliance? You have these challenges, and there are consequences if we're unable to continue to keep these items in good standing. So again, with these challenges, there's really those consequences, and we see them for both sides of the business.

Andrea, I think you might have alluded to some already. But would you like to walk us through the annual report side first?

Andrea: Absolutely, I mentioned previously as it relates to annual reports and good standing, that often entities require proof of good standing when conducting day-to-day business operations or working towards new transactions. Missed annual reports and loss of good standing has a tremendous impact on your business, including things like loss of name, revocation, inability to open bank accounts or conduct business. Really a whole slew of penalties, fees, and interest. I won't belabor all of those consequences. Suffice to say that they're all pretty terrible, and we want to try to avoid them as much as possible.

Calla: And on the licensing side, there are certainly similar consequences, like those fines, penalties, and interest. Again, that inability to conduct business like we've discussed. We typically see items like the inability to bid on opportunities in more of our trade industries, like construction or engineering. If you aren't licensed in some cases or if your license has lapsed, you may not even be able to put in a bid to win the business to be able to operate. So that really creates some issues. That can also lead to delays in not only initial openings of maybe a storefront, but providing those products and services, like Arianne had mentioned earlier. There's a wide array of what types of licenses may apply to those things, so it can be pretty difficult.

One thing that we kind of often forget about in this perspective is just press. Being out of compliance with a license can cause a lot of negative press for organizations, which truthfully might even be a little bit more detrimental than just a regular fine that no one really knew about. You can imagine having a restaurant that fails to renew a food service permit and you can't serve food, or a liquor license and that's a main part of your business. Or maybe you have an arena that neglects its local business license and can't host an event. There's all these things that can impact you if you are really just out in the news, and that just kind of says okay, great, now maybe we can't even go back to those places, right? So sometimes that can be a little bit more detrimental than just getting slapped with a little bit of a fine.

All of these things ultimately, again, just really lead directly into certain types of closures. An operation can be shut down temporarily or indefinitely, depending on the severity of all of it.

And lastly here, I know it sounds crazy and it's a very, very extreme situation, but there have been arrests that can be made in these situations. Some licenses do require you to list individuals. They might be owners, they might be managers, or just people internally that are supposed to be responsible for carrying out the compliance of those licenses. And there are some rare cases that those individuals could face an arrest if the licenses are very, very out of compliance. Again, very much extreme, but all the others are pretty common and things that could really be avoided if we create some better systems to keep up with those items. And ultimately, no one wants to be arrested. So we want to avoid that as well.

Arianne: Great. So let me just jump into our next slide here, which is let let's see how we can help you. We've talked a lot about the challenges. We've talked a lot about what the licensing and annual report Landscapes are like. And so we really want to jump into some supportive information for the group. So I'm going to go ahead and introduce Andrea again to talk through some of these, and I'll cover the rest.

Andrea: Great. Thanks, Arianne. So first, we're kicking off with security. Security is always at the top of everybody's mind here and is so critical. One aspect that really sets CSC aside in the industry is our approach to security and availability. We have among the highest and most stringent processes and protections in place. We work regularly with customers who have the strictest of security requirements, such as banks and other financial institutions.

CSC really takes kind of a multi-prong approach to security. So we want security in protecting you against bad actors that want to harm your business, security as it relates to the people that you choose to permission into these technologies or these services, as well as security as it relates to the CSC team and our service to you.

So first, we have strict security mechanisms for all of our full-service and self-service technology solutions. Every CSC application, all of the data, all of those areas are maintained on CSC dedicated servers that are located in the United States. We are GDPR compliant. These data servers are ISO 27001 certified. W are SOC 2 Type II certified annually. Our applications, our organization, and each of our employees are actually tested annually, and we maintain that SOC certification on an annual basis. In addition to that annual SOC certification, we conduct regular penetration tests, sometimes referred to as ethical hacking, in order to evaluate our security measures, our encryptions, firewalls, and again those other protections that we put in place against hijacking attempts and bad actors.

All of our CSC applications also include robust and flexible user access levels. So you as administrators can permission an unlimited number of users into those technologies. You can utilize role-based permissions and folder-level security, and really other ways of carefully controlling what can be accessed or viewed from the people that you allow to do so. So we want to make sure that you have that complete control and security. Even among trusted teammates and partners, it's still important to have that level of security.

With an entire team of specialists dedicated to our security and availability mechanisms, we are well prepared to speak in depth with your infosec teams and to share details of the protections that we have for our technologies that are in place. Also, when engaging any provider and services, it is so crucial to understand who you're working with, which is another prong of security. CSC doesn't use virtual offices. We don't outsource any services that are requiring the utmost of care. By maintaining our strong team of highly-trained CSC employees, we're able to provide high-quality service across these many disciplines and business areas, like annual reports, business licensing, domain management, global services. There are so many things that we provide services in, and we're able to provide that high-quality service using our own internal teammates.

This visibility into who's servicing your portfolio also ties into transparency. So not only will you have a clear understanding of who your team is, you will always have transparency into the work that's being done. We automate the flow and capture of data and documents into our CSCNavigator platform and as a part of these embedded technologies inside of CSCNavigator. So we automate the flow and capture of data and documents with annual report services, or copies of those licenses will flow in with the outsourced business licensing services. You can view and access the data we maintain. The documents that we upload, they're available 24/7 at your convenience.

In addition to keeping data, documents, and project statuses up to date, our technologies also provide customers with other transparency as well, including direct integrations with the secretary of state databases to provide you with regular updates regarding your entity statuses within each jurisdiction. We provide automated calendaring of deadlines so that you can look ahead to annual report deadlines or business licensing deadlines. Even if CSC is managing them, we're going to calendar them. We automate the capture of status and detail. We give that transparency. We can provide alerts and reminders on those requirements. We can provide that whether or not CSC is automating the maintenance of renewal of those requirements by way of our services. But certainly there is a higher degree of automation and power and value that comes to the table when CSC is providing that outsourced annual report or business licensing service.

So let's transition over to Arianne for a dive into centralization and knowledge.

Arianne: Perfect. So when we look at centralization, a big part of what we're trying to accomplish is making sure that the data, the documents, the information that you need to do the work or to have us do the work is all in a single place. So when we look at our databases, they are relational databases, and that means, again, that all of our clients can have that data in the same place. They can have the relational information, like the entity information, as well as the annual reports, the business licensing up to the entity information. And when we talk about even our self-served technology, making sure that everything from the payments all the way up to the corporate filings are all tracked in one single location along with documentation.

These databases are built by our organization. We maintain them, and we develop them to make sure that they are strong, powerful, secure, and create that transparency. And one of the benefits to having more services with CSC is that we do have all of that data, that we can build on the data we already have to have more information centralized, more powerfully available to your teams.

When we get into knowledge, knowledge is a huge part of also how we leverage the employees, the people, the experience that we have as an organization. We are over 120 years old as a company, and some of our employees have such significant tenure here. I myself have been with the company for going on 16 years now. So we have tenured employees with a significant amount of knowledge performing the services for our clients. So we bring in the best experts for our teams to make sure that whenever we are either performing work or supporting you on your technology, giving guidance, anything that we might be doing for our clients, we bring that wealth of knowledge, and we build those knowledge databases to ensure that our clients are constantly getting the most current and up-to-date information.

I'm going to go ahead and hand it off to our next slide here. So we're going to talk through . . . Go ahead, I'm going to hand it over to you Calla.

Calla: Sure.

Arianne: Sorry about that.

Calla: No worries. So really as promised, going through all those best practices, those are certainly things that CSC instills in how we support you with these types of services. And our goal is, again, to help create those internally for you. So with that being said, we do have this wide array of services that we can assist with, from annual reporting requirements to business license managing.

So some of the items that we want to focus on first are going to be our full-service solutions. These solutions really entail CSC coming in and assisting with a lot of that information, like tracking and preparing your annual reports and helping out with that registered agent service or those other filing services that Andrea had been going through, through the life cycle of compliance, which sometimes include filing an annual report in the mix of that. And then, ultimately, our business license outsourcing, which is going to outline for you how CSC can step in for you and take on the license renewals, and very similar aspect track the expiration dates, proactively work on those administrative tasks to take some of that off of your teams. And then I think there were some questions that had come through surrounding how do we find out license requirements.

So we can focus on how CSC is able to assist with researching requirements. We have an entire team of researchers that are here to help throughout different stages of where you are in your business. So these are the items, again, where CSC is truly stepping in, from a full-service perspective, to add or become part of your compliance team really and take on these tasks on your behalf or at least portions of the task to make your licensing and compliance easier and keep those good standings in place.

So I think to start maybe, Andrea, I'll pass it to you for the annual report side.

Andrea: That sounds great, Calla. And I see a couple questions coming in around annual reports and licensing. We want to continue to see those coming in. I saw one from Jack asking if CSC can handle Canadian filings. So rather than holding that to the end, I figured I would weave that into this section here. So CSC, we do provide annual report preparation and filing services in all 50 states. We also service District of Columbia, the U.S. territories, and Jack, yes, we can also submit filings in all Canadian provinces.

So this service includes the filing for each entity's domestic jurisdiction. It includes managing the filings for other jurisdictions where your entities are formed or doing business. And our team of specialists has more than 135 years of combined experience, and we actually manage over 400,000 annual report filings every year. So really a full suite solution of specialists and knowledgeable folks that are ready to do business in all of those jurisdictions, including Canada, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

When we get started with the annual report services, we start with an initial audit of the status of all entities within each jurisdiction. And based on that audit, we provide reports outlining all upcoming filings, and we do so 45 days in advance. We also investigate the good standing status of each entity where a filing is coming due within that time frame.

We then move on to the actual preparation of the annual report filings forms, filing the required documents. We advance jurisdiction fees in most jurisdictions. And as we complete those filings, we automate the flow of the reports and the filed evidence into our technology portal, bringing us to post-filing services.

So the CSCNavigator platform I had referenced before, this is your centralized portal for all things CSC, whether it's annual reports, whether it's business licensing, whether you're engaging other areas, like litigation and service of process, or Global Subsidiary Management services. Specifically, as it relates to annual reports, the CSCNavigator platform is going to be that source of truth where the CSC team uploads documents and evidence related to your annual reports filings. Your team can access those documents and review them any time.

I also mentioned that we're going to maintain the deadlines, the filing status, and other details within the Compliance Calendar in real time so that you can check the filing status or the status of those filings so you'll always have that transparency. You'll also have an annual report specialist, a teammate and a team of professionals behind that person that is dedicated to your group, understanding your annual report requirements and deadlines, and being that centralized point of contact for all things related to annual reports with CSC.

And also, as I mentioned before, you can see your entity good standing with the secretary of state within the CSCNavigator platform as well. We are directly connected to each of the U.S. jurisdictional databases so that we can receive periodic updates of those jurisdiction statuses, whether your entities are active, inactive, withdrawn, dissolved, revoked for any reason. So we give you that transparency into the entity statuses so that you can always understand the entity compliance situation.

We also provide active alerts. So our technology is programmed to reach out to you and give you an alert if anything changes around the statuses, and this is all going to tie into giving you that peace of mind that you need that not only are these reports being handled quickly, accurately, professionally by the CSC team, but also your entities are in good standing and you have that visibility at any given time.

So the next slide here is just a screenshot of the Compliance Calendar that I had referenced. So this calendar is fully automated for you. You don't need to come up with this list of deadlines. I saw another question around, "How do I know where I need to have these filings submitted and when they're due?" This calendar automatically populates based on the entities that are stored within the application and the jurisdictions where the entities are listed as formed or doing business. This will tie into CSC's backend Knowledge Base. Our Knowledge Base is audited daily so that we can ensure that the deadlines that appear on this automatically-generated calendar are always accurate and up to date.

So based on the entities and the jurisdictions, this calendar will populate with the annual report deadlines from the secretary of state. It's also going to populate with other requirements, like income tax requirements, franchise tax requirements, really anything that's due to the secretary of state. But specifically as it relates to annual reports, you will see all of those dates and deadlines.

You'll even have a clear indicator of the filing responsibility. We can see here these are CSC managed annual reports. When those are listed as CSC managed obligations, we maintain the due dates, the tracking, the status, the tracking details, like any notes, comments, or payment amounts. This tracker also serves as a tracker that you can use for any items that are being managed in-house, again those taxes that I had talked about. You'll have that transparency for tracking all of those secretary of state deadlines within the application.

So let's turn it over to Calla now to get into CSC's outsourced business licensing solution.

Calla: All right, wonderful. Thanks, Andrea. So on the licensing side, there are some similarities really between what CSC does to manage licenses versus the annual reports. When we're thinking about how we support you from a full-service or an outsource perspective, there really are two silos that we have here within our CSC Business unit, which are going to be Research Services as one silo, and then on the opposite side of that is what do we do once we know what we need and we have this full-service filing option that we call our Outsourcing solution. These are really going to be things that you can do hand in hand with CSC. Or with the research, we do offer that on more of an ad hoc basis. And I know I've been seeing some questions come through the Q&A related to finding requirements or trying to understand best practices for what licenses you may even need to comply with, and that's really where our Research Services come into play.

We have a lot of different options when it comes to research for different things. But our two main service offerings are going to be related to what we consider a new location versus what we consider an existing location. So new locations in our world or that new location research service is really designed to support expansion, where there is a need to identify possible requirements at the very start of operating within a particular jurisdiction. Maybe it's a state again. Maybe it's a local address, whatever it may be. And again, we're thinking of these items as you're truly just getting out there for the first time, and you really don't have any licenses and you're starting fresh.

So what this service does for you is we ask a lot of questions about your business activities. I think there was a question here about: How do we complete this research? Is it using the specific NAICS codes? Or how we actually use industry-specific questionnaires so we can get a little bit more granular than just that actual code. We ask you a lot of questions about your industry and the services or products or business activities that you're going to be completing in that new place. And we go out to those different jurisdictional levels of government to understand what they say the requirements may be for a business operating like yours. So we can uncover specialty licenses, industry-specific items, or just more of those local business licenses that we talked about, like occupational tax licenses, business tax receipts.

And ultimately, at the end of this, we're providing you with a report that outlines, based on your new location, here are or maybe the requirements that you should be considering when opening your operations or expanding your services or anything like that. So again, the new perspective, how do we start fresh, right? We're going into this new place, and we just need to know what we need.

On the opposite side of that, we face things where we're working with clients who have been operating in a jurisdiction for a long time maybe, or they have inherited this role, right, through that turnover and they're just unsure of what is even out there for licenses. Or maybe they're concerned about if they're meeting the right requirements. We have the existing location research perspective, which you can think of more like an audit, where we do everything that we would do from the new location side to say what would the requirement be based upon all of these different metrics, or what do these jurisdictions mandate.

And then we take it a couple of steps further by identifying if the operating entity we're searching for is currently registered for any of those licenses. Are there records of that? Can we get evidence? Can we get license numbers? Can we get expiration dates? Do we know when they expire next? Or if they were expired already, do we know how to bring those back into a good standing? And then, again, part of an audit is always just finding gaps. Is there something missing? Was there a regulation that we identified as not being registered for and certainly how to get those registrations.

There is a very odd perspective that truly we probably hope would happen more often than it does in these days, which would just be: Are you over-licensed, right? Does your location maybe fall in an area that is outside of incorporated areas and the licenses you have truly don't apply for you? Unfortunately, jurisdictions are not going to turn away your money. So when you file for them, they certainly will approve them. But maybe there are things that you can divest of.

So our Research Services are designed to help out in really every phase of your business and give you the understanding of what licenses may apply to you based on what you're specifically doing.

On the opposite silo of that, it is just what do you do when you have these licenses, or you find them, or again you have an existing portfolio, and we're thinking about all of those other things that were on our poll question like: How do you manage them? Where do you store them? Do you have even an understanding of when these things are expiring? And proactively making sure that these licenses are being fulfilled before they expire.

So we have our Full-service Outsourcing solution, where we have a dedicated team that is available to become an extension of your team, to help file and manage those licenses on a more proactive basis. So with our service, we do provide a dedicated account manager, who is there to help fulfill the license filings and make sure that we are then going through that proactive management of all of those administrative tasks, right?

We are looking at the expiration dates. Very similar to the annual report calendar, we're going to keep all of this information available for you to view, and we start the process about 60 days in advance of the expiration. We do go through the process of getting forms, prepping forms, alerting you of missing items. We talked about all of those different supporting documents that could possibly be part of a filing, like a bond or an insurance document. We outline that for you. And then we ultimately submit for you. Through our submission process, we're doing the payment processing to alleviate any need for you to cut checks or have additional credit card payment.

And then our main goal is to provide you that visibility and transparency into what we're doing, like Andrea and even Arianne through centralization had talked about earlier, right? We want to retain your data and give you access to that through the service. Ultimately, yes, we are filing for you, but these are your licenses and you need to have access to them.

So the way we do that is through our Business License Portfolio Management tool. It is really, really, really such a huge part of our filing service. It's how you'll see everything that's going on. It truly is that centralized portfolio view of all of your licenses. Initially, you see active licenses, but we do ultimately store historical data once we've filed licenses. It is backed by our SOC-2 compliance certificate, like Andrea had gone into detail about.

It is really, really imperative that the information we are transmitting to and from about these licenses is kept secure, right? And if you're filing licenses today, you know that some of the questions are quite off, right? They ask for Social Security numbers or background history depending on the industry that you're in. So we actually utilize our technology to send questions back and forth and receive answers so we're not sending things via email, which is really, really huge in keeping things safe and secure.

We also offer the real-time status of your license and how we're working through the process, which I'll show you in a couple seconds. It is integrated into CSCNavigator, so the same idea of unlimited users, unlimited capabilities with different permissions to add to that security or give folks access where they maybe need to. And ultimately, because it is a web- based portal, it is accessible anywhere you have a secure internet connection 24/7. So it's really just expanding the viewpoint that you have on not only your license copies, but the items that CSC is taking care of for you.

So a quick glance into this. I'm just going to share a couple of screenshots of the license portfolio. I know it looks a little small, and we hoped that we could have taken you through a demonstration of all of these, but with all of our products it would be we have not a lot of time.

On the screen here, there's a couple of screenshots. The back screenshot is outlining for you what the portfolio looks like. Essentially we're taking all of your license details and including them in a grid view. So each line item is its own license to reflect to you the different data points that you need to know about your license, things that are most important to you. You can filter, you can sort, you can export. And then there are going to be integrated copies of your licenses once they're renewed.

Again, the major purpose of this is so we can communicate with you how we're progressing through the filings, which is this Order Status History on the bottom right of the screen. When you click into your order status, you'll be able to see different descriptions that help you understand what we're doing. Is something new to us? Are we getting forms? Are we preparing applications? Did we submit? Do we need something from you? And this is creating that level of visibility so you can really, really see and feel confident in the process and the steps that are being taken to fulfill those filings in a timely manner.

There's so much more about the license portfolio that is really imperative to the service and adds a lot. So if you feel like this is something that you might want to see in more detail or might benefit your organization, we can definitely reach out after the webinar to schedule a one-on-one demonstration. But we just wanted to give you a very, very quick overview of how we manage things from a full-service perspective.

On the opposite side of that, we do also offer license support in a more internal management style. So Arianne, would you mind walking us through maybe some of the options we have for that self-management?

Arianne: Absolutely. So we've been talking so far about full-service solutions that we have at CSC, annual report services, business license services. We also do have self-service solutions. So think about a self-service solution for licensing as a software or technology that you would manage in-house and have your own staff managing. And the right fit for each company varies depending on your business needs. So what we're going to talk through now is just a little bit about the License Pro technology, which is our self-service product. And again, just to reiterate, this is a product that you would manage in-house to do your own licensing and compliance.

Now you can see here, just like Calla mentioned, we don't have a time for a full-length demonstration, but one of the follow-up items that we typically have after these webinars is the opportunity to schedule a demo for these. So if you do have some interest in looking at the technology I'm going through right now or any of our full-service options, you can work with our CSC team members to get a demonstration or to talk to a sales engineer.

Now when we're looking here at License Pro, you can see this is the homepage of License Pro. This is actually a calendar tool, where we basically ensure that our clients can see every filing that they have upcoming and really manage those filings based on how they like to approach their work, whether it's by deadline, whether it's by filing type, state, employee, etc.

Now License Pro is going to have a number of really effective tools to manage these. So this is really about how do we ensure that with a self-service tool it's doing more than just the spreadsheets you might currently have. So the software is going to provide customized workflows to streamline the renewals, and these are really industry-specific workflows, license-specific workflows. So for example, if you're filing a liquor license, or if you're filing a business license, they're going to have very different processes and steps. We want to make sure that when we're dealing with that liquor license in Texas, it's got unique filing steps that might be very different than a pretty basic pay and submit online business license.

So those custom workflows is going to extend not just to renewals, but also other business processes that you have. So maybe it's new openings. Maybe it's ownership changes. So again, having a lot of opportunities to build those processes so they don't live outside of your technology. We're not doing them outside, off the side of our desk, or through our Outlook calendars.

We also provide compliance processes that fit your industry. So again, making sure that this is industry specific and licensing specific.

Now our product is designed to have integration with other technologies. So that means we can integrate with your accounts payable system. We can have automated imports of your site data or your personnel data to ensure that, again, we have a centralized environment. We're leveraging all the information across the organization, but making sure that you are not having to go and manually acquire that information, that it just gets fed into the application automatically and lives in our secure environment.

Now we also provide those dashboards, as you can see here on my homepage, as well as complex reporting. Our reporting can be automatically delivered, set for distribution to different users, and set on a schedule to meet specific criteria when those reports come out. So really ensuring that we have visibility to the right users.

Our product is developed for unlimited users. That means the core licensing team may be the primary user group, but you might want to also extend it to facilities departments or location managers or area managers to ensure that everybody has access to the documents they need. And we can also secure users to just what they need to see. The goal here is to give you easy access to all your licensing data and documentation in a single environment.

And I'm going to jump over here to our next slide. And just to give you a little bit of a screen view of what kind of our main grids will look like, you may not be able to see here in detail, but I've got a couple of our tabs open. We have our homepage, which is going to be that calendaring tool. We have licenses. We have site data. We track your entity data. We track your individuals, so that would be your officers, your owners, your managers. We also have inspections and violations, contract management, equipment management, a research tool, reporting, imports, exports. So this is just some of the tools that are available in the technology here I've tried to queue up so you can at least get an idea of what the system is going to do and how it's going to help you manage your compliance.

So just to recap again, before we go into our questions, I like to mention that this is a self-service tool, and all the other ones we've mentioned before, which is our annual report services and our business license services are full-service. So it allows you to really figure out what is the right fit for your organization.