Meet your requirements with CSC
CSC can help with more than just Registered Agent service. In this free webinar, hear a panel of CSC experts discuss the requirements needed to ensure that your business is in compliance.
In this recorded webinar, we’ll cover:
- Different types of compliance
- Annual report filing
- Business license needs
- How business licenses are different than annual reports
- How to manage global entities, and how foreign requirements differ from those in the U.S.
- Why compliance is important and how CSC can help you keep your entities in compliance
Find out how CSC can meet your compliance needs so you can focus on actual work.
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.
Annie: Hello everyone and welcome to today's webinar, "Solutions for Keeping Your Business in Compliance." My name is Annie Triboletti, and I will be your moderator. Joining us today are Anu Shah, Mike Battista, Brian Bartnicki, and John LaPalomento.
Anu is a sales engineer and has been at CSC for over four years as both part of the Marketing and Sales department. Mike is one of the leaders on the Corporate Solutions Manager Team and had been with CSC since 2010. Brian has worked with CSC for more than a decade offering his expertise in the field of license compliance. John is a product manager on the CSC Global Subsidiary Management Team and has been with CSC for over nine years.
And with that, let's welcome Anu, Mike, John, and Brian.
Anu: Thank you, Annie, and welcome everybody. Thank you for joining us today. As Annie mentioned, my name is Anu, and I am joined here today by three of my colleagues and subject matter experts: Mike Battista who will provide insight on managing annual report filing needs, Brian Bartnicki will provide information on business license requirements, and John LaPalomento will share the complexities of managing global subsidiaries. Together they will offer solutions to help streamline and simplify the management of common compliance challenges or concerns we deal with as our business grows.
So to kick things off we would like to give you a little background on CSC. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, we have offices throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Asia Pacific region. CSC has been providing knowledge-based solutions for every phase of the business cycle for over 120 years. We are the preferred partner for 90% of the Fortune 500 companies, more than 65% of the best global brands, nearly 10,000 law firms, and more than 3,000 financial organizations.
We are a global company doing business wherever our clients are, and we accomplish that by employing experts in every business we serve and have more than 2,500 employees all over the world.
So with that, I'd like to set the stage for today's webinar. While CSC offers a number of services from corporate legal solutions, financial solutions to domain and brand management services, for today's purposes we are going to focus on three main areas: annual reports, business licenses, and global subsidiary management as it pertains to managing compliance needs.
So John would you like to walk us through the life cycle of a growing business?
John: I'm absolutely happy to do that, and I want to welcome everybody to today's phone call and webinar. This is John LaPalomento. We're going to be talking a lot about a few different things today, and quite frankly this is fun for us. You know, oftentimes these webinars focus on one discipline here at CSC, but today we're going to essentially follow a hypothetical company through the growth. I don't even want to say life cycle, because this company can go many different avenues from this discussion, but we're going to talk about some of the challenges of starting a business here in the United States and then growing that business across state borders and certainly across country borders as well.
I'd like to thank everybody for sharing your time this morning and encourage you to use the Q&A widget at the bottom of the screen. So if something comes up, feel free to not hold your question until the end, log your question in the Q&A widget, and we'll certainly get to it time pending, and if not, we'll reach out to you after today's call to have that discussion.
We're going to be making a few assumptions today. We would assume that our audience has a basic understanding, of course, of the concepts of forming a company here in the United States, understanding that it's domestic to one given state, home state if you will. But then from that point forward we're going to talk about the maintenance of that company as it grows, starting with those requirements at that state level, where it's formed domestically, and then any foreign qualifications across state borders.
My colleague Mike is going to talk with us about some of the challenges around annual reporting in different states, the nuances from state to state and, of course, how CSC can assist. My colleague Brian is then going to dive into the minutia of licensing and permitting.
Just a side note, at CSC, when we talk about licensing and permitting, we're talking about those licenses and permits that are filed at bureaus and registries outside of the Secretary of State. So it's very common and don't feel bad if you commonly say my business license with the Secretary of State, that's fine. But the terminology that we'll use today are annual reports for those filings due to the Secretary of State, and anything outside of that we talk about as licensing and permits. And, of course, Brian is going to tackle that from a very local level through a federal level and everything in between.
And then I'll be happy to lend my voice again here to talk about international corporate governance. So for those of you who are already working outside of the United States or know that at some point in time your business may be growing in that direction, CSC is here to help in over 140 countries around the world.
If at any point in time you have questions, as mentioned, feel free to take advantage of the Q&A widget. And if you have questions beyond this webinar, please reach out to your member of the CSC Customer Solutions team or simply reach out through our phone number, 800 number, or email through the website and any member of the Customer Support staff here at CSC can steer you in the right direction.
I'm going to urge everybody to take a look at these five questions, and, of course, we're going to revisit these five questions. But let's think about these five questions through each of the different disciplines that we're going to talk about today. Feel free to take a screen capture here or take your phone out and snap a picture of the screen and as we go through these different disciplines start to ask yourself these questions.
As an organization and as your organization grows, what's your plan for transitioning responsibilities? Who ultimately owns what has to happen? How do you electronically store and manage documents, corporate documents, minute book documents, business licenses, other corporate data? Do you have a mechanism in place that is sustainable and that will grow as scalable, will grow as your business grows?
This third question, how do you currently track and file the renewal requirements for your entities? We all have renewal requirements. Whether it's on a state level, a local municipality level, a country level outside of the United States, how are you doing that now?
Currently, how confident are you that your portfolio of corporate governance needs is up to date? Do you feel absolute confidence? Do you have maybe some skeletons in the closet? Are there parts of the world or some county in some part of the United States where you're questioning if things are being handled properly?
And lastly here, does your company budget for fees, for penalties, for losses associated with missing a filing? What's your stance? Where do you have that plan moving forward?
So please, we encourage everybody to think about these questions as we move through things, and we're going to revisit these questions towards the end.
With that being said, we're going to introduce the story of Joe's Construction. So I will hand this off now to Mike Battista to talk a bit about this company that we've set up for you today and some of the requirements.
Mike: All right, thank you, John. So as John mentioned, we're going to use the story of Joe's Construction here. Once you register with the Secretary of State, both domestically for your domestic state and then foreign for all your foreign registered state, that then triggers an annual report requirement in each one of the states.
So what exactly is an annual report? An annual report is a required filing to maintain your good standing within the state. The information needed varies by entity type and by the states that you're registered in. Some common things are like FEIN number and specific purpose. For corporations, things like officer and director information and stock information are typically required. For LLCs, things like managers and members are required.
There are lots of challenges when we come with annual reports, mainly like the first question says here, when are annual reports due? So there's no set date, right? So all the states in the United States all have used a different basically format for when the annual reports are due. Some due days are based by the entity type. Some are depending on when you qualified in that state. So for example, Delaware is a big one that's coming due this week. All Delaware corporations are due March 1st, where all Delaware LLCs are due June 1st. That's just an example of, you know, same state, but it depends on what type of entity you have is when the due date varies. And again, some are also based on when your fiscal year end date is and things like that.
And what if I miss an annual report? So it really depends per state on exactly what it is. Some states, again, vary. Some that if you're even one minute late filing, you'll get a filing [sic]. Delaware, for example, if you file at 12:01 a.m. and it was due by 12:00 p.m., or sorry, 12:00 a.m., you'll get a $200 fine and 1.5% interest, and your entity will fall out of a good standing status to a cease good standing status. So there are other factors. You know, some penalties vary per state. And, again, some you can fall out of good standing. When you're not in good standing, it can prevent your company from doing certain things, like opening a bank account, you know, and, again, you also will have, you know, additional penalties and fine and things like that.
So how CSC can help, what we do, what our annual reports service is, how we start is after getting your corporate data, we have you fill out a questionnaire with, you know, depending on entity type, the information that's needed. We do a complimentary audit of good standing. What we do is we run through all the states that you're registered in, verify when your last annual report was filed and when the next one is due. If there's anything that is past due, we'll let you know and we'll file immediately for you. That way, going forward, CSC is always filing your most current report for you.
So from there, once the audit is complete, after we send you the results in an Excel spreadsheet, we will begin to file your annual reports, typically about 30 to 45 days in advance of the due date. We'll prepare with all the information that you provided on the questionnaire. We'll keep that stored in our system. Anything that changes, like if it's stock information or other changing information that the states may ask, we'll reach out to you in that 30 to 45 days in advance to when they're due. We will file the report. Many of them we file electronically now. I believe it's about 42 states, if I remember correctly, can be filed electronically, so we'll file them electronically where we can. We'll advance all the state fees, and then once the state fees or once the filing is done, we put the completed evidence on the CSC Dashboard.
There'll be an annual report folder that's added on there for you, and the completed evidence is stored there in that folder for you. And they're stored there perpetually. As long as you stay a CSC customer, you can go look year after year after year and look at the history of your filings there.
So with our annual reports, again, we bill you after the fact as well. So, you know, our fee plus the state fee together and then you're also getting the evidence stored on your dashboard, the CSC Dashboard perpetually there.
So I'm going to hand it over to Brian, and he's going to talk about the next cycle here, which is your license and permits.
Brian: Awesome. Thanks, Mike. So when it comes to business licensing, one of the things that's really unique with licensing is that we're dealing, as John alluded to, with more of the local, excuse me, industry-specific types of licenses. So to keep in the theme with construction, I'll talk to some of that. I'll give other example as well as with other industries.
Joe is a construction company. Maybe he's a general contractor, maybe he has some subcontractors that work for him, and maybe he's going to do work in Paramus, New Jersey. So he has to understand and really identify does the job that he's doing, maybe the length of the job or maybe where the job is located, maybe it's on Route 17, does that fall within Paramus City limits, or maybe it's outside in Bergen County, for example.
Maybe it requires a general contractor's license, maybe it doesn't because of the type of work that he's doing. Maybe because he has subcontractors, he doesn't need a general contractor's license. Maybe he just needs one county and not the city, or maybe he needs both. That's just one example.
We're talking about, you know, growing your company. As you grow, you may need to go into other jurisdictions and figure out what's needed as well.
So on the next slide, one of the things I think that's really important is: How do you identify what's needed for your business? I just talked about construction, but some of you might be in the financial world with collection. Some of you might have retail, insurance. Some of you might deal with restaurants, right? You know, do you need a license to have seating outside?
There are so many variables that are out there. There's over 160,000 governing authorities that have different city ordinances, county ordinances. They change their rules so frequently.
So the challenge that people run into is, you know, where do I start researching? What's required for us to do business at these local city, county, or state-regulated authorities? You know, maybe you're a pharmacy and you need a controlled substance license or distribution, manufacturing. What is it that applies to you?
And then once you have these, other challenges that might come into play, similar to the annual report service that Mike talked about, are when are these coming for renewal? They could be based off of a fiscal year end. They could be based off of December 31st. I know in the insurance world, TPAs are generally filed in March. Those are third-party administrator licenses.
There are so many variables, again, in this world, and when you're dealing with so many authorities, again, outside of the Secretary of State, it's very difficult to manage. And to go to that, as your licenses are piling up, you know, how are you tracking it? Do you have an Excel spreadsheet? Are you getting these reminders for jurisdictions? You know, some places might not even let you know that your local license is even due. You know, sometimes people run into situations, where in Alabama, you know, they drive through Alabama and Alabama sends them a notice and tells them that, you know, they need to actually file a license. They file it, and then they never send a notice out to let them know they need to renew it.
So there are just so many variables out there that are challenges. What I will talk about now is how we can help with these challenges.
The first would be from a research perspective. From our side here, if you're going to expand, and Joe's Construction, we gave the example he's looking to do business and maybe bid on opportunities, we can identify, through a service we call New Location Research, what is applicable for your business. So we have questionnaires for different industries no matter what you're in, and we'll identify, based on your activities and that location, what's required and provide to you the licenses that are needed and the applications.
The other thing that we offer from a research side is what we call Existing Location Research. So this would be used in a scenario, which we'll tackle with the five questions later on. Maybe you're not sure you're compliant, or perhaps maybe you've acquired a company and you don't know the scenario with their locations. Maybe you're a restaurant and you're acquiring a couple of locations, whether it'd be from a franchise or another corporate entity, but you're not sure that they have their actual range hood, grease trap, even fire alarm permits. You don't know if they have all of that in line. So we can perform an existing location research to say what's required, do they have it, is it missing, or maybe sometimes have you over-licensed.
To go back to the Paramus, New Jersey example, we find a lot of times where people have physical, brick-and-mortar locations, they might file in the city and county just to be safe, but they really fall in an unincorporated area of a jurisdiction and they really just need the county license and not the city. So we can do that type of research.
And then when it comes to the filings and the renewals, right, to go back to the challenges of what you need and how you manage them when they're coming due and to prevent fines, to go back to one of the questions, right, is we offer services and give you a dedicated point of contact. We'll track it in our technology, which is a big thing, our business license portfolio, give you visibility, transparency. We could centralize all of the licenses within your account, and we will advance the fees, we'll pay for them, we'll file them, we'll upload them into your account, and ultimately, we can even send the licenses directly to your locations with posting instructions. We can put it all together in a centralized portfolio and give you that visibility and ensure, to give you that peace of mind that you don't have to worry about missing those filings.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to, now that we've talked about the Secretary of State with Mike and I've gone over some of the industry-specific licenses, I'm going to turn it over to John to dive into how we could help at a global level.
John: Very good. Well, I'm really glad and excited to talk a bit about some of the challenges of doing business outside of the United States. For those of you on the line who are not yet working out of the United States, I encourage you to stick around, because there's a chance that your company will be crossing country borders at some point in time. [audio cuts out 00:18:47] outside of the United States, you probably understand the nuances of doing business outside the United States. It's much different.
One of the biggest pitfalls that I see are organizations who try to think of their international entities as if they're Delaware LLCs, and it really couldn't be any more different when working internationally. And you're going to see nuances not just from the differences between working in the United States and outside of the United States but from country to country. It's just so much different managing a British company versus a Mexican company versus a South African country, and we're going to talk about some of those nuances today.
So first of all, how am I to know all of the various rules and laws? I hear this on a daily basis. International governance, as I already mentioned, differs greatly from the U.S. and from country to country, and these are some of the challenges that our clients are commonly facing. Quite frankly, the internet can be very dangerous in this situation. There is information that is changing on a daily basis in a country, rules and regulations, new companies acts, and the internet can oftentimes bring you to bad data. So please be very careful when you're working with the internet. Now there are some reputable sites certainly. There are certainly maybe some law firms that are helping you now, but this is one of the common challenges.
The other big challenge is that the rules and regulations are so different than what we're used to here in the United States. If you're managing a Delaware LLC, let's face it, we can form a Delaware LLC now for under a couple of hundred dollars. We can do it barely telling people who we are. And then you start working outside of the United States and there are these nuances, such as the collection of anti-money laundering and KYC due diligence, which we can talk more about. There are challenges in terms of residency requirements that simply don't exist in this country, and sometimes you need to have that trusted partner who can bring it into focus.
A common challenge is the question: How do I juggle the logistical challenges? So, as you read here, managing through multiple vendors, multiple time zones, multiple currencies, and multiple languages is challenging, and it's the absolute truth. Even if you're working in one country outside of the United States, there are challenges. But then that's aggregated tremendously when you're working across many different countries. Are you engaging different law firms in each jurisdiction? You know, there's no concept of registered agent necessarily. You're not really looking for a registered agent provider outside the United States. You're looking for somebody to help you handle your corporate secretarial maintenance. And when you're working with different vendors, when you have different conduits of information, when you have language barriers, even though the world pretty much speaks English, it's not as simple as that unfortunately.
Trying to manage that, I hear the phrase all the time, to use this colloquialism, it's like herding cats, and it absolutely is. We're going to talk a little bit about how CSC can help.
Lastly, how do I store and manage the data? Of course, this is a common theme throughout this webinar. We're going to bring automation to you where automation doesn't always exist. I commonly hear from clients who have historically relied on law firms and have emails of data and filings and documents commonly bombarding their email address, their inbox, and it's their responsibility to try to manage that in a system, and we've talked about some of those systems. Do you have Excel spreadsheets? Do you have some homegrown system? Are you loading those files somewhere. And we're going to talk about how we can really revolutionize it today.
So let's talk a little bit about what CSC can do and the benefits that you're going to see with CSC in terms of our corporate secretarial maintenance through our suite of services that we call Global Subsidiary Management. Global Subsidiary Management is really predicated on centralization and simplification. So instead of working with 10 law firms in 10 countries, you get to work with one trusted American-based provider.
Now, we do operate in over 140 countries around the world. Our Global Subsidiary Management team is stationed here in the United States at our Wilmington, Delaware headquarters. But we also have hubs for this service out of our London, England office and our Hong Kong office. So we have around-the-clock coverage and truly global coverage, as mentioned, with boots on the ground in over 140 countries.
When I talk about centralization, I talk about centralization in a few different capacities. So first of all, centralization of your workflows, giving you and your employees one conduit of information, one assigned project manager typically right here in Wilmington, Delaware. So if needs are need to be met around the world, you are situated for that as well. You have this one person who you're on a first name basis with them. Think of them as an extension of your legal team, really here to proactively support your corporate secretarial maintenance around the world.
The other piece of centralization is the centralization through our technology, CSC Entity Management, automating the gathering of data and documents, which hits the common themes certainly throughout all of these disciplines today.
Looking a bit more specifically, on the screen you see, from a service standpoint, we are going to talk briefly about two different services that we provide on the Global Subsidiary Management suite, the first being the corporate health check. So if you like what CSC has to offer, if you appreciate the flat-rate cost in U.S. dollars, if you appreciate the centralized one point of contact, and you decide to move forward with CSC, the very first thing we do is this corporate health check, which is a concept that is not unique to CSC. Plenty of providers will talk about a corporate health check and might even use that exact phrase. However, our corporate health check is a very deep dive and typically really viewed as much more comprehensive than that is available in the space.
Our corporate health check is going to involve us pulling publicly available data made available to us either by us walking somebody into the business registry in some jurisdiction and pulling information, firing up the microfiche machine, pulling old data and documents, or we're able to do this digitally fortunately in a lot of countries now as well. The corporate health check will understand current information, current slates of officers and directors, signing authorities, powers of attorney, will understand current dates and deadlines for which the entity is responsible from a meeting and filing standpoint. It will understand any deficiencies that exist. So has your entity missed a filing over the past couple of years? Or do you not have a local director in place where one is required?
We'll understand this all through the corporate health check. It's a detailed report that your project manager will sit down and review with you, and sometimes you might see some deficiencies. You know, just because Bob Smith is listed as a director in Canada right now, Bob may no longer work for the company, and it may be your eyes that point that out. So we're able to work in coordination with you to understand these deficiencies, and, of course, CSC can take on remedial actions.
Moving from the corporate health check, we're going to talk about annual compliance support, which is really our core offering here at CSC with our Global Subsidiary Management suite. This is our fancy way of saying corporate secretarial services, and it's very different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. But essentially annual compliance support takes on all of the needs and nuances of a given jurisdiction and bundles them together in one offering that is highly inclusive and available to your organization in a flat-rate cost in U.S. dollars.
It's different from place to place. But if I paint with a broad stroke today, I'm going to talk about annual compliance support, including most commonly the maintenance of your minute books and shareholder registers, sometimes physically where we're acting as domiciliation, but always digitally in our technology.
We will include the maintenance of your annual general meeting requirements, and I say that loosely. In some jurisdictions, you'll have quarterly requirements, like in Spain or India, and other jurisdictions where there's no requirement way more from the other direction. So it's really about understanding your needs, drafting those documents proactively ahead of time in dual languages. Dual language support is really a hallmark of our service, and everything will have an English translation.
Once those documents are generated, if there's a subsequent filing, we'll do that in-country, and, of course, everything is captured digitally in our technology CSC Entity Management. Additionally, we'll handle your in-country filings that are due to the business registry, kind of like the equivalent of what Mike discussed here in the United States annual reports but internationally. So in the UK, we would handle your confirmation statement and your annual account filings due to Companies House and so on.
Very importantly, in some jurisdictions, where it's common that your corporate secretarial provider will act as your registered office addresses, this is different than registered agent. If you have questions about that, feel free to reach out to us and I'll be happy to discuss that in more detail. But where it's common that we would act as your registered office, we'll do so at no additional costs. So it's built-in to annual compliance support. That would be true in jurisdictions like Canada, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, a good handful of Caribbean countries and so on. And in those cases, we'll physically update documents in-country.
That's not to say that we can't act in that capacity in other jurisdictions. Where you have needs, my job here is to understand your needs and to formulate the solution that makes the most sense. So that may include registered office appointments or even local or resident director appointments in different jurisdictions. CSC can take on those appointments for you.
The most important thing to know about annual compliance support is we're here to centralize those workflows. So while we do have boots on the ground in over 140 countries, you get to work with one trusted, centralized point of contact, your project manager who's here to quarterback your corporate secretarial efforts around the world.
Lastly, I've referred to it several times already on the slide, CSC's Entity Management, our award-winning, proprietary technology becomes super charged through Global Subsidiary Management, because we're here to automate that data and document capture. My favorite example to give is a change that happens, something like an officer or a director change. Instead of you reaching out to 10 different law firms to impact and make that change in 10 different countries, you reach out to your project manager at CSC where we streamline the process, we make it one project for you, we get to work in the U.S. dollars, and then, very importantly, all of that documentation flows into CSC Entity Management, including the making inactive the outgoing official and then adding the new official into the database with the first elected date, perpetuity of terms, signing authority, and so on. And, of course, the documents that were drafted in dual language flow into that system.
We're always happy to show off that technology and any of the technology that we've referenced today. So if you have questions, feel free to reach out to the team and we'll be happy to schedule some more time.
Anu: Perfect. So, you know, we've only scratched the surface on everything that people have to manage individually and definitely encourage folks to reach out and get a better understanding of the platform. So can you explain why CSC, John?
John: Sure, absolutely. Well, now let's talk about how we're going to sum things up and bring it together. As I've mentioned several times throughout this and Mike has and Brian has, we're not just service and we're not just technology. In all of these disciplines, there are so many companies that will sell you the service aspect or the technology, and CSC we're one in the same — truly dedicated service and award-wining technology that works together.
So many of our clients are using us for all three of these disciplines, outside of the hundreds of other services that we offer here at CSC, and you can always trust that we're maintaining records for you via our technology. Whether it's CSC Entity Management that's going to manage the global subsidiary functions, our business license portfolio that Brian can talk more about in a second, or our CSC Navigator that's going to capture documentation for domestic annual reports, it's one and the same system. So while it sounds like it's three pieces of technology, we're so proud of the succinct technology that we bring to our clients bringing automation.
Brian, tell us a little bit from a portfolio management standpoint, when folks are using our business license filing services and auto-renew and outsourcing, how does the technology give them visibility that they might not otherwise have.
Brian: Yeah. So one of the things, whether you're managing your licenses by physical location, it gives you visibility on a location by a location level. Maybe you're in the insurance world and you want to understand, you know, lines of authority that your licenses have, whether you have property, casualty lines, or health, fire, whatever those lines are, but all the expiration dates, all the license data, whether you have trade licenses, any industry all the license data points related to your portfolio are going to be in a unique business license portfolio right next to the rest of your corporate governance, all centralized.
John: Now similarly, Mike, we had a question come through, and I love the fact that our people are using the Q&A widget. Keep doing it. We're going to have plenty of time here afterwards to answer some more questions specifically. I saw one question that came through, and I don't see it in front of me now. But it was something to the extent of, hey, I see this year's filings for annual reports, but you had mentioned historical filing would be there. So where would that be visible to people?
Mike: So on the CSC Navigator, once you start using the annual report service, there'll be an annual report folder that's added by entity. When you're under that entity in the Navigator, in your report folder, year after year the filings are saved in there. So you'll see a PDF copy of whatever evidence that we get back from the state. So depending on what the state offers, sometimes it's a confirmation page, sometimes it's a copy of the whole, entire filing. It's basically whatever proof the state provides back to us is what's stored there, and it is stored year after year after year. As long as you're a CSC customer, it stays stored in there for you.
John: You know a question came in and we are going to have time for open Q&A, but this question is so relevant right now, so let's answer it now. Francine, thank you for your question. You asked, "How is CSC technology different from the Excel spreadsheet and Outlook reminders that many of us use currently?" You couldn't have teed up a better question, so thank you very much.
The biggest difference is that with your Excel spreadsheets you're responsible for putting that information there. And if you put a bad date or if you miss a date, it doesn't matter if you're being reminded. What matters is the actual due dates in the filings and frankly your time. Right? When you complete these filings, you're having to roll your sleeves up and get your hands dirty to manage that information.
The biggest benefit you see from CSC, in all of these disciplines, is automation. So we're here to quarterback your efforts, let you know proactively about dates and deadlines that are coming up. But it's much more than just the filing. It's the capture of the documents. Whether it's an annual report document or a business license filing or a director's consent that my team wrote for you in Germany, we're going to capture that document in a text searchable format in CSC Entity Management and make changes to the database affecting the date of the last filing, proactively letting you know when your next renewal date is coming up, making you aware internationally of things like this filing date is flexible, and this might be true for annual reports as well. This filing date is flexible based on the date of your last filing.
So you have the expertise of CSC's service, a 120-year legacy, but very importantly you have automation of data and document capture, which is bar none the biggest separator between what you're doing with spreadsheets and what CSC could own for you.
Brian: And John, just to piggyback on that too, when you have an Excel spreadsheet and Outlook reminders and things like that, typically they're set up for you, the user. You know, we're all human and things happen. You could change jobs. You could go out on disability. There could be an unexpected absence from the office, things like that. If there's no mechanism for someone else to follow up quickly, they could go awry and that could be missed, and then you have a missed annual report or a business license filing or missed other compliance deadline, and then you're on hook for a penalty or out of good standing.
Mike: And I would say for the business license side, from an operational perspective, especially if you have physical locations, you know, missing a filing can be simple as a fine, but it could, believe it or not, get to a point where you have a location that's closed or you have people that are arrested onsite. We have seen that happen. Those are stories that I have spoken to clients about. So it's really imperative that, you know, what better way to have that visibility in one place and have just all the confidence knowing that it's going to be handled.
John: And the last thing I'll mention, of course, we've been focusing on these disciplines here today. One thing we haven't talked about, which really goes hand and hand with CSC, is CSC acting as your registered agent and receiving service of process in your behalf. Our technology is plugged into the Secretary of State databases. We have a great relationship with the Secretary of States. It's really neat. We're older than some of the U.S. states, which is a fact that blows my mind on a daily basis, and the relationship that we have allows us to have pull information programmatically.
Our software is plugged right into the databases so you can see, and a question that came up a few times, "Where do I see my current status with the state?" we can talk about that. But our corporate tracker is pulling data right off the state websites, right off of the state databases, if you will, so you can see in real time your jurisdictional status, and any service of process that is received is delivered in a consistent standpoint. It's not different from state to state. It is CSC consistency around not only the states, but around the world when necessary, and that's delivered into the same platform. And that's certainly something that your Excel spreadsheets will not do for you.
So I hope you can hear the excitement in our voices about our technology, because it's something that's very special to us. We are happy to make time to look into it and give demonstrations of our technology. Reach out to your Corporate Solutions manager or just dial our 800 number and ask to be connected and we will be able to take it from there.
So why don't we review these five questions now? We're going to move through this fairly briskly, but Brian why don't you get started with it?
Brian: Yeah. I would just say, you know, the first one we talked about scalability, right, we talked about whether it'd be growth of internationally or even licensing or annual reports. You know, the time that it's going to take you to understand all the nuances when you grow, you know, we could help you, as John said, you know, in all these levels of services. So just know that you have a partner available to you. You know, when you have this growth, don't feel like it's all on you to figure it out. You have someone to do that. You know, with the electronic storage and management of documents, Mike, do you want to talk to that?
Mike: Yeah. So basically, with all our solutions here, the CSC Navigator is a platform that you can access all these different things. So your business licenses, your annual reports, the Global Subsidiary Management, the filing and things like that we're doing there, so it's a permission-based system that users are permissioned into. So, you know, for example, if you're in one department and you don't handle your global entities, we can have the permission set so that when you log in, you don't even see that.
So a system like this allows you to continue to grow with your corporation, because multiple departments, multiple facets of your licenses, your annual reports, your global entities, things like that can all be stored in there for you.
John: And the truth is we have small organizations and we value all of our clients. Whether you're a Fortune 10 or a mom-and-pop startup, we love you all. And frankly, we have organizations who are managing one or two entities on our technology very successfully, and we have some of the biggest and most well-known brands in the world on our technology managing everything soup to nuts in terms of corporate governance and even your digital and brand management through our technology. So there are so many things that we do, completely scalable. I think that's one of the biggest trends that we have to offer.
Brian: Yeah, I know John sort of attacked number three, tracking the requirements with the Excel document. The next one that we talked about how confident are you, that goes back to the annual report service. Mike talked about the audit of good standing, John talked about the corporate health check, and I talked about the existing location research, more of the granular, you know, operating licenses within your locations. And then we talked about the budget of fees, penalties. Obviously, we don't want those to occur, but sometimes if you can analyze if that's occurred and what you're spending on that, we talked about, John talked about the flat-rate cost, you could user that to budget and have CSC help in those capacities. So just keep that in mind.