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Business Life Cycle Compliance: Keeping Your Entities and Licenses in Check

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In the face of increasing regulatory complexities, the activities required to keep your company in compliance continue to shift and expand. Between maintaining critical entity data and managing ongoing business license compliance, organizations need the right technology and service to increase efficiency and prevent negative operational consequences.

Managing the compliance obligations that result from events such as formations, amendments, dissolutions, and business growth can be challenging to navigate. On top of requirements at the secretary of state level, there are often subsequent business license and permit obligations to address across all levels of government.

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.

Annie: Hello, everyone, and welcome to today's webinar, "Business Life Cycle Compliance: Keeping Your Entities and Licenses In Check." My name is Annie Triboletti, and I will be your moderator.

So joining us today are David Jefferis, Arianne Turnier, and Calla Heathman. David is a senior director of product management for Global Compliance and Governance Services at CSC in the Wilmington, Delaware office. David is responsible for driving the strategic direction of CSC's compliance solutions. David has been with CSC for over 15 years and has significant experience providing training, implementation, and consultative services to clients of CSC Entity Management. Arianne has been at the forefront of our license compliance technology for 15 years. She's an advocate for supporting the needs of licensing professionals and recognizing the value they bring to their respective workplaces. Calla is a sales engineer that supports the Corporate Legal Services Group at CSC and is also 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 new clients.

So with that, I'd like to welcome David, Arianne, and Calla.

Calla: Thank you, Annie and thank you everyone for joining us today.

David: Hi, guys.

Calla: We are excited to spend the afternoon with you and provide some insights into how CSC can assist with solving some compliance challenges that are related to entities, entity management, and business licenses. But before we get started with today's session, we'd like to go through just a quick agenda of our presentation.

So to start, we'll get a little familiar with CSC, and then we'll look at some of the current trends that we've been seeing in the market recently and very well may be something that's impacting you today. We'll touch on different responsibilities that might come along with managing entities and business licenses. Along with those types of responsibilities, we'll discuss how managing these items can become challenging and what could happen if compliance isn't maintained. And after that, we'll take a look at the compliance life cycle and some best practices that we see and also suggest in order to get a handle on compliance data and in filings and licenses. Lastly and probably most importantly, we'll dive into CSC's solutions that help with managing the entity data and options that you have with partnering with CSC for business licenses. And then Annie had mentioned at the end of this we're going to open a live Q&A session with myself, David, and Arianne so we are able to answer any questions that may come up throughout the presentation.

So to start, for those of you who are either unfamiliar or are new to CSC or just as a quick refresher, CSC remains a privately held organization that now has almost 200 years of combined history across all of our business units. Together we do provide tailored solutions and world-class service in over 140 jurisdictions worldwide. We offer support through every phase of the business life cycle and also investment life cycle, with over 7,500 employees that are specialized to assist our clients that are very, very diverse in nature. We continue to be the CSC that you know and love by remaining the trusted partner for more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies, more than 90% of the Best 100 Global Brands. And we work with 10,000 law firms and also now support more than 70% of top private equity funds worldwide. So always keeping our clients at the forefront of what we do, we truly are the business behind business.

With that introduction to CSC, we certainly also have a lot of other things to cover. So to kick us off, we wanted to take a moment to focus on the current climate that compliance professionals find themselves in today. There are a few trends that we have noticed over the last couple of years that have impacted operations and also have not yet gone away.

One trend that we've seen and also has been increasing is the idea of cutting costs, so where legal departments or really any and all departments across organizations are being expected to somehow do more with less resources overall. What we've started to see is these folks looking to technology and also service providers to help assist with their work and add those efficiencies back into their workloads, but still with a mindset of fewer resources, whether it be personnel or funds.

Another major trend that we've observed is that the data, any type of data is absolutely key. So not only having the data, but having that data be accessible anywhere anytime, and also the ability for collaboration with those data points. We've found that with less resources, more teams are inheriting items that maybe they haven't done before, haven't played a role in before, and if there isn't data, it's then very difficult to ensure that these have fewer transitions without any sort of complication, misfiling, or lack of insight. So we've seen a shift to implementing technology to make this process a little easier over time.

We've also noticed an increase of just requirements in general, not only just that increase but also the increased complexity that comes with that, where to file, what to file, and how to know what requirements you need to meet. So it makes it increasingly difficult to keep up, especially if a lot of our resources are lacking or we don't have enough there.

And lastly, we've just seen a shift a little bit back into office work, but also keeping that hybrid work model as something that's going to be here to stay. So this leads to more or less a need for transparency and also that data to ensure that everyone, no matter where they are working, from home or in office, have access to the data and knowledge surrounding all the work that needs to be done throughout the life cycle of an entity. This is really when that idea of having that data and technology together become critical just to ensure that everyone can always be on that same page.

So with that, I'll introduce David to start to review some of those responsibilities and challenges that we start to hear about on a daily basis.

David: Awesome. Thank you, Calla, and I want to say thank you to our audience. We're really excited and appreciate the fact that you're spending some time with us this afternoon to cover these topics and to learn more about CSC's capabilities in these areas. So let's get into responsibilities and challenges.

And so, on this slide, we're really at a high level summarizing kind of some of the day-to-day tasks, chores, responsibilities, call it what you will that professionals have when it comes to managing license compliance and managing entity compliance. And perhaps we might be telling you something you already know if you're an individual that does this for a living so to speak.

What I would sort of call out of this slide are a couple of things that I think are perhaps meaningful. And so whether you are an individual that again is on the hook for maintaining and managing license compliance, or perhaps you're an individual that is responsible for maintaining your entity good standing and sort of your entity governance program, or maybe you're someone that wears multiple hats and is really working on those things simultaneously, I think at the core of all of this is keeping compliance, keeping entities in compliance, keeping licenses in compliance. And so there are some serious consequences, potentially dramatic consequences for the failure to do either of those things, which we'll unpack a little bit further in the presentation. So that's one of the things that fundamentally comes to mind.

Another thing that I would draw from this slide is really kind of looking at that first bullet about forming, amending, dissolving companies. We appreciate that entity management and business life cycle management, it's not a static event. It's an ever-changing, fluid situation where there is quite often change. In some cases for organizations, there's constant change, which creates immediate sort of impacts or repercussions to the level of complexity in terms of managing entity and license compliance. So we'll also kind of unpack that a little bit further as Calla I think noted in terms of the entity life cycle and how that really drives a lot of work and creates headaches candidly for organizations with these responsibilities.

So from there, we can talk a bit about some of the challenges. And I would be sort of quick to mention that we feel that these are challenges that are largely facing organizations that lack a compliance partner to help them with license filings or entity filings or potentially lack a partner that can provide them with the proper technology to keep their licenses in order and their entities in check, etc. And so again, organizations that have sort of made the right decisions in terms of outsourcing and software I think are in a much better place than the challenges that are being represented here on this slide.

To kind of kick this off a little bit further, I guess I would say the first point and the last point are, I think, rather interrelated. And so we know that entity management is a multi-department function, or you could call it a team sport, where it's not just legal. It's tax. It's treasury. It's finance. The same for licensing.

And then it's really common, especially as we talk to sort of larger clients, that it's not one person that does both of these things. Certainly that does exist, but it's very common that there is a different person or a different team of individuals responsible for entity management versus those that are responsible for license compliance. And so, as a consequence, a lot of times there's a lack of sort of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, and there's a lot of overlapping information that it's beneficial to kind of have your arms around. So that certainly is a common challenge that we hear.

I think that also takes us to point number two. Whether it's one team or multiple teams with this responsibility, there's often a lack of confidence in the accuracy, the thoroughness, or the totality of the information that they're managing for entities and licenses, and there's a lack of a sort of a source of truth for that data. And that is very problematic because that's sort of the first step in the wrong direction towards missing a filing or missing a renewal. And then, again, we'll get into some of those negative consequences.

Now complexity, I think, is also a big part of the challenge. So when we're talking about entity compliance, in the U.S. you're registering or I think registering is the right word, you're registering your entities at the state level, which is often a secretary of state registration, or it could be a department of insurance or similar issuing office. When we're talking about global entities, we're now talking about registering with a sort of in-country business registry, like Companies House in UK as an example. And then certainly there's an added level of sort of complexity around managing global entities where there's more due diligence around things like KYC, AML, Know Your Client, anti-money laundering sort of due diligence and then additional requirements for filings that are necessary.

And then really where my head starts to spin is around the number of what I'll call sort of governing authorities around licenses. So it's not just at the state level. It could be at the local town, city level, township, municipality level. There's sort of a never-ending array, depending on your vertical and your locations, a never-ending array of governing authorities, so to speak, that you have to factor into making sure that you have proper licensure and you're ready to renew as appropriate.

And then, late filings, penalties, etc. is a concern and a challenge because, again, failure to keep all of this active and in compliance can lead to some pretty significant circumstances.

Now we're talking about what we've teased a little bit, but let's get into it with the consequences of non-compliance. And so I'll take sort of that first column with the thumbs down, and then I'll toss it over to my colleague, Arianne to kind of talk about the items on the right.

So from an entity lens or through an entity lens, what are we talking about with non-compliance? I mean, fundamentally, it's you're out of good standing. And so as everyone probably already knows, you have annual report obligations, which are typically due on an annual basis. In some cases, there could be a different frequency. But pretty much on an annual, yearly basis you have the obligation to submit the annual reports in a timely fashion to maintain that critical good standing compliance for your entity. And so the failure to do that results in many things, and none of them are positive, right?

So one situation you could find yourself in is that your compliance has lapsed, and now you're looking to take the appropriate steps to bring that jurisdiction back into compliance. There's often taxes and penalties and late fees that occur pretty quickly, and so that's sort of a negative financial consequence.

The ultimate sort of worst-case scenario is that at some point an entity can be sort of in a negative standing, to a point in time where you're not able to actually get it back into good standing. The entity is effectively revoked. It essentially no longer exists. And so that's a challenge for any organization. But if you're a smaller organization with a couple of companies or maybe you're a single-member LLC and that is your business, effectively you've lost the protections of the of the entity, right, where the whole point of it was to shield your personal assets from potentially being involved in a piece of litigation, and now the entity really ceases to exist. So that's really a really dramatic situation for any organization, but especially organizations of a smaller scope. And so that is the, again, sort of worst-case scenario from the entity perspective.

And then, Arianne, if you want to talk about some of the sort of the business license consequences and take us through that, that'd be great.

Arianne: Yeah. So one of the first ones that is on our list here is delays in providing products or services. And one of the experiences I've heard from a client before was it was a convenience store chain. They had three locations that were no longer able to operate with their health permits. And what that meant was they essentially couldn't sell the hotdogs, the hot food, the snacks at the counter that were warm for about three months. And the resulting situation there was that they couldn't sell those hot foods, and it cost them $50,000 in lost revenue. I mean, that's a big deal. So the delay in providing products or services isn't just I can't sell this thing, but how much money do we lose when we can't sell the products, we can't provide the services because we're limited at that point.

Inability to bid on opportunities, this is a big one for those companies that are in the service space. You're making contract bids. But have you been keeping the licenses in good standing in jurisdictions that if you haven't had a contract in for a while, or how quickly can you get a license in order to do a bid?

We have negative press. Nobody wants their businesses in the press, but that certainly happens. I've seen companies show up in local newspapers because they've lost their health permit or something to that effect, and it really ruins everybody's impression of that business and that can go pretty global pretty quickly now.

Fines, penalties, and lawsuits, we don't want those, but they do result in these. We get that first notice, the second notice, and because a lot of this compliance is mail-based, sometimes it goes to the facility and we just don't see it. So when it goes to the facility and it doesn't make it to the corporate office, those penalties and fines can really stack up if we haven't created processes around managing those deadlines even if the paperwork is missing.

Business closures, again, nobody wants to lose product or service sales, but business closures are even worse. We see jurisdictions sometimes that are very eager to put that chain on the door, and that can really hurt our business. It can take days to resolve. And sometimes it's spiteful, but it does happen. And we want to avoid those business closures by making sure that everything is filed on time.

Certainly arrest is a big scary one, but it also happens. Non-compliance can lead to actually arresting officers or personnel in the organization.

So these are all very serious non-compliance results, and they can cost your organization money. They can change how they're viewed within the community. So we really want to make sure that we have strategies to avoid these cases of non-compliance.

Now when we think about compliance, the circle of life, if you will, compliance has a cycle. Businesses have a cycle. And so the compliance life cycle is really important to touch on and how this really affects all of the different stages of your business, right? We don't just have a single situation, single status at any time where we're fully compliant with everything because our business is constantly changing. And I'm going to lead it over with David here to touch about this first stage of the compliance life cycle.

David: Sure, absolutely. And you mentioned circle of life, and now I want to watch "The Lion King," but that's just the guy with a couple of young kids at home. So let's get back to our program.

So when we talk about the compliance life cycle, we'll start at the start, which is forming an entity. So we're talking about the organic formation of a new subsidiary, or maybe you are inheriting some entities via an acquisition and that sort of has instant ramifications to additional secretary of state or equivalent authority filings that will need to be formed on an annual basis.

If we're talking about a formation of a new entity, there's the need to appoint a registered agent if for no other reason than to handle service of process for your organization and distribute that properly. If we're talking about an acquisition, you might be acquiring entities that are not using your preferred or primary registered agent, and so you might look to engage your agent to handle what's known as a change of agent filing so that you can bring all those entities under one umbrella from a compliance or SOP perspective.

On the licensing side of things, we're forming new entities, we're acquiring companies, and now we have some research on our hands. If it's an existing entity that we're acquiring, what licenses does it have? Are those actually sufficient? Is there a gap here, or is it over-licensed? Is it maintaining licenses it really doesn't even need in the first place? And so, again, that's sort of the acquisition side.

Again, in forming new entities, again there's the need to do that research and then ultimately establish those licenses. So what do we need, and how do we go through the process of actually establishing them as a part of the sort of inceptional formation of the company as well?

So for the next part of the life cycle, I think Arianne is going to take us through the next two, and I'll wrap it up with the final step.

Arianne: Yeah. So once we've gotten everything formed, we have established our business, we then are in maintenance mode. That means we have to keep these items compliant. We just saw in our last slide the cases of non-compliance. So this is really about how do we stay in good standing, and that means we have annual report obligations every year. We need to make sure the certificate of good standing is complete. Doing business and fictitious name filings, DBA filings have to be completed and renewed. And then we also have to track all of those business licenses. And for some of you, it could be one or two business licenses per location, maybe a few per state. Some of you may actually have 20 or 30 licenses for a single location. So this is really the maintenance part of it is a full-time job, and we oftentimes see that there is individuals whose only responsibility is to keep this work maintained, and we might have other people who actually do the formation work.

Once we have it maintained, again there's really no case where we're always complying. Everything is sort of zen because then our companies decide to expand. We see we have acquisitions, qualifications, mergers. Whenever these things happen, there's a lot of paperwork to do. There's a lot of consulting that has to be done. We have to make sure that everybody knows what actions are needed.

If there's acquisitions, we've got to do change of ownership, right? If there are mergers, we have to make sure that we re-register these entities or new entities within the right company. We have new locations. All those new locations are going to need new filings. International entities, if you're expanding outside of the U.S., how do you ensure you're compliant there? And, of course, intellectual property, as your company grows, you might have new domains and new trademarks. You have to make sure you have maintained or you've created and then maintained.

So at this cycle, we're expanding our business, we're growing our business, but there's another side to that. I'll let David talk a little more about that.

David: Sure. This is sort of the end state. Not all entities live on forever. And so first in this area we're talking about withdrawals, right, and so we're talking about maybe the entity is living on, but there are certain jurisdictions where we're registered where it really no longer makes sense to be registered. Maybe we no longer have a physical location in that jurisdiction, we no longer have employees, or we're not really transacting any business in that jurisdiction. And so there's a whole litmus test that you could go through, but effectively you're determining that why are we staying in this particular state when effectively we're filing annual reports and making payments that we really don't need to.

Now what we've heard from clients over the years is that it's often easier to get into a state than it is to get out of it. And so if this is not done properly or not done at all, then effectively you've got entities out of compliance and again taxes, penalties, interest. And so there was a situation probably four or five years ago now, time is kind of a blurry, but it's been a few years where the state of Illinois uniquely had a kind of an amnesty program where for organizations that were lapsed in their compliance, they were effectively waiving fees and giving you a kind of a get out of jail free card to make it easier to withdraw. But that's sort of . . . I don't know. I don't believe I saw that before. I'm not sure I'll ever see that again. So the states will sort of recognize and go after revenue when they can. So that's not something that we can rely on. So it's critical to kind of get that right.

Dissolutions, now we're talking about really winding up the entirety of the entity. And then, again, sometimes what we'll see is folks maybe withdraw or dissolve I should say from sort of the home state, the domestic jurisdiction formation, but then they sort of have a lack of oversight and they inadvertently leave some of the qualification states active and then they lapse. And then that kind of leads us back to that first challenge.

And then divestitures, we're talking about a situation where you have a large portfolio of companies and you're going to kind of spin some off or sell some often. As I'm sure everyone already knows, if those entities aren't in good standing, that deal is on hold. It's not moving forward. And so it gets to sort of that criticality of never losing sight of the good standing compliance of the subsidiary itself.

Now while we were kind of chatting through this, I think, Calla, you might have seen a question come through that you wanted to tackle. Sorry if I'm putting you on the spot, Calla. I think it was a question around research or something to that effect.

Calla: Oh, there was a question that did come through, which we definitely can get into on just about CSC offering audit services. If a company were to provide a list of filings and just auditing if you are over- or under-licensed. So we do offer an audit service. We call it something with the nature of existing location research. It's actually related to locations. It's very location-based. We ask for a list of your locations and your business activities, and we can go out and research the requirements, if you have licenses, if you're under-licensed, if you have things that you don't need. So it is something that we can do, and we'll talk about that a little later in the presentation as well.

David: Excellent. So I may have jumped the gun a little bit in terms of kind of answering what CSC can do. But maybe I inadvertently use that as a segue. So I think, Calla, you're going to kind of take us through at a high level how CSC can help, and then we'll get a little bit more detailed in terms of some of our offerings.

Calla: Exactly. Exactly. So how CSC can help. We've spent a lot of time talking about challenges, responsibilities, and everything that comes in between with the life cycle. So now we're going to switch those gears into CSC can help not only with the services that we offer and the products and technology, but some of the best practices that we've identified throughout being a partner in this industry for such a long time.

So some of the compliance best practices that we've identified, really it comes down to having your ducks in a row in four different categories as you can see on the screen here — security, transparency, centralization, and knowledge. And really just like most of what we have gone through already today, these best practices all go hand in hand some way somehow. So we'll just talk about all of them together.

But to start, security is huge. It's something that has always been around, but is increasingly visible, something that a lot of folks are looking for as they think about having a new provider or having their data stored elsewhere than their own offices. So again, that leads to really having your data and documents in secure, protected areas, which is really the key during the change in the landscape of business operations today. In our world right now, we're working with many pieces of data that are considered sensitive. It's not always just digital in nature, but it can be those hard-copy files. And really legal documents or licenses maybe are stored on-site, in offices, or maybe they're now being sent to employees' homes due to that shift in workplace or not even having a physical office space anymore.

So the risk of exposure has greatly increased because not everyone has a very secure way to store the data. And certain filings that maybe CSC is doing for you or maybe that you're considering or that you're do on your own could need things like background checks or Social Security numbers. It's really vitally important that all of this data and the documentation is in a known area, that you know that you can trust, and that is safe and protected at all times. It's not getting anywhere that it doesn't need to go.

So part of that security is also leading into centralization of data and the ability to provide that transparency to individuals that maybe need access to it. And then there's also more levels of security within that type of transparency in technology because maybe you want to have different permission structures and have the ability to provide access to certain information, but maybe not other information. So those things are items that really go hand in hand. You can have that centralized database, but also make sure that there is security behind items that really don't align with someone's role. So this is all again really something that can be achieved by implementing the correct systems that are allowing for those permission structures.

And again, while security, centralization, and transparency are huge working in this type of environment and obviously are tied together through technology and services, we also talk about that level of knowledge and overall understanding of there's information needed to either be able to file transactions or know when these deadlines are coming and manage licenses. So it's imperative to have that knowledge or have someone who understands what you're supposed to be doing or really know where to find it. When you're faced with those types of tasks with those entity filings or licenses, it's just imperative that you have those tools to keep your operations in compliance.

So with that being said, those are the CSC best practices that we've identified, and we're going to provide more information now on how CSC is actually able to help your business implement those through all of our solutions and services. So, David, I think I'll pass it back to you to start with Entity Management.

David: Absolutely. Thank you, Calla. And I have to be careful because if I'm not, I'll spend the rest of the webinar talking about my love of CSC Entity Management. So I'll try to be as concise as I can to allow for the rest of the webinar.

But I guess where I'll start is for organizations that are on the call with us today, if you're currently using CSC as a registered agent, you have access to a complementary platform that we call CSCNavigator. And effectively, core critical information for your entities flow into that solution, so the names of those entities, where they're formed and qualified, entity types, statuses.

Our good standing Compliance Calendar automatically provides insight into when you have your next set of annual report filings. If you should engage CSC for a filing, like a formation, a withdrawal, a dissolution, annual report, effectively you name it across the board, we will automatically update the data to those entities as a consequence of the filing. So seeing a new entity in the case of a formation or seeing an entity in a new jurisdiction if we're doing a qualification is just a couple of simple examples.

But also the supporting documentation that we get back from the filing authority, which is often again a secretary of state, those documents go right into that company record as well. So it's a very powerful complementary platform to give you great transparency into your entities, their registrations, and ultimately when annual fines are due. And there's even a feature called Corporate Tracker that gives you a lens into what is actually the current status of the secretary of state, and we update that on a regular interval so there's no sort of guessing game in terms of whether or not a company is in compliance.

With all that great technology and all of that great integration with our services, a lot of clients want to go beyond. They want to go sort of one step beyond, and now what they want to do is build on top of that core information by tracking directors and officers, and creating online minute books for things like consents and resolutions, and routing documents for signature electronically through the technology, tracking ownership, from that generating graphical org charts. And these are all features that are enabled by subscribing to what we call CSC Entity Management. So the best way to think about it is it's our sort of standard complementary platform. We flip a switch, and now we enable a full suite, a very feature-rich suite of capabilities that we call CSC Entity Management.

I alluded a moment ago to the e-signature capability. That's through a direct pre-built integration with DocuSign. So if you're a DocuSign user, you can very easily push documents out for signature, collect them back in the platform, and route them to minute books for sort of perpetual storage.

We also recently earlier this year launched an integration, a kind of an off-the-shelf pre-built integration with Workday, which is a leading human capital management HR solution, where organizations effectively track their employee records and more. And so the way this integration behaves is that if you have an individual that is an officer, director, or some other critical appointment that you're tracking in our solution and something changes about that person in your instance of Workday, maybe they have a status change or a title change, a location or maybe a name change, you can be alerted via email. You can get in-app messaging that lends visibility to the fact that, hey, something has changed about this employee, and as a consequence there might be some officer and director updates that you want to be able to update within our technology. So it's all about timeliness and making sure that we have the most accurate information as those records, those officer and director records are necessary in annual report filings and other sort of governance activities around the companies.

And so with that as a bit of a backdrop, I do have a couple of slides that lend a little bit of visibility to this technology. But what I'll say now is that if you are kind of interested or your curiosity is piqued based on what you're seeing here, we would absolutely love to provide a dedicated one-on-one demonstration. And in fact, towards the end of the webinar, there'll be an opportunity to say, "Hey, I'd like to see this in more detail," and we can set up those conversations and demonstrations.

This is just a quick little glimpse into our Org Chart module. So within CSC Entity Management, when you track your ownership data, such as Company A owns Company B and Company B owns company C, and I appreciate that it can be much more complex than that, but when you track that critical ownership data in the system, our platform then automatically generates both graphical and text-based linear org charts. The one on the screen is what we refer to as a graphical org chart.

There's a lot of flexibility. So the system, again, builds that chart for you. You can choose what information to include in the boxes. You can use a formatting feature to modify shapes and colors. So maybe I want disregarded entities to have an oval inside of the rectangle. Maybe if it's a situation where I'm tracking entities in certain branches or divisions or sort of heritage entities versus new acquired companies, you can modify shapes and colors based on any meaningful criteria. And then you can also add a legend to the org chart so when you're sharing it, either internally or externally, people can look at it and know, ah, that's why it's a blue triangle, that's why it's a red oval. There will actually be a very clear definition of why the color treatments have been applied.

About two years ago, we launched an upgrade to this platform that we call Chartfolio. One of the features that it introduced is the ability for what's called on-screen manipulation, where after the system generates the chart, if you're not in love with the precise layout of where the entities are located, you can actually move them around on screen and then save it. I'm actually excited to share that in about three four weeks we are going to make that feature even better with an enhanced version of on-screen manipulation that's going to make it much more simplified to manipulate the structures and kind of recreate the chart as necessary.

One other quick thing to mention about the Chartfolio released from a few years ago, we also introduced the concept of what we call subcharts, where for some of our larger clients they might have dozens, hundreds, or even more entities in their structure, it gets a little bit unwieldy just because there are so many entities. And so you can actually click on one of those entities and intentionally put it onto its own separate page with the companies below it as well. And so the feature then allows you to download it as a single PDF, which could be several pages if you've created multiple subcharts, so that you can easily share the information and it becomes a much more digestible situation to sort of comprehend and understand the data.

Now, Calla earlier was talking about knowledge being one of the sort of most important things to kind of consider, and it's a part of what we bring to the table. This is a screenshot of our CSC good standing calendar. And what is happening here is that we have what's called a knowledge base, which is essentially a part of the technology that knows what's due when and where. So in Delaware, registrations, it's this time of year. There's a variety of factors. If it's Colorado, it's based on the anniversary of when you registered in that state. So all of that knowledge is built into the platform. And then it actually takes a look at your set of companies, applies those compliance rules, and creates events in the calendar so that you know precisely when those filings are coming due.

We also offer this globally outside of the U.S. So we offer a suite of corporate secretarial services, that we call Global Subsidiary Management. So if you're engaging CSC for those services, this calendar also automatically creates events for non-U.S. companies, effectively giving you a lens into those upcoming annual compliance obligations.

So it's a really powerful tool, highly configurable, lots of capabilities, which include other integrations. So I mentioned Workday. I mentioned DocuSign. But there's also a more broader framework, where you can take information in the system and as needed, of course, feed data and documents into other downstream systems so that you can create a kind of sharing of information from one platform to another.

So I've gone on long enough. I want to make sure I leave time for my colleagues. So I'll turn things over to Calla to talk about some of our kind of outsourced business license services.

Calla: Thanks, David. So switching gears a little bit to the licensing side of CSC and just some of the options that we have for you, so CSC can just be a true marriage of service and technology together. You can rely on CSC's team for the support in the researching aspect or to utilize technology to be able to view data, documents, statuses of licenses, either if we're supporting your license filings or if you're looking at it from the lens of our self-service management tool. So CSC has those three areas of focus. It's the research, the full outsourcing, and the self-management application. But we also have this concept of tying this all together with providing knowledge of licenses offered and jurisdictions that maybe issue licenses. So the two items here on the screen, new license research and existing license research, are going to provide that knowledge to you.

That first example of new, we can really think of back to Arianne's idea of expansion and moving into new locations or that growth phase of the business related to if you have brick-and-mortar locations or if you're just offering products and services in a new state. And so what you can do is you can lean on CSC to prepare a comprehensive package that would identify the licenses that are issued by different levels of authority, those state, local municipalities, cities, counties that may apply to you or you may need to comply with to be able to feel confident that you're starting off on the right foot. This type of research, again, is for new locations that you're just expanding into and you have no licenses yet. And it's also based upon your specific business activities because, as we alluded to earlier, you might have licenses for specific types of work versus other businesses that those may not apply to. So again, just helping you get your foot in the door and starting off with all the compliance measures on the license front covered.

Now if we consider that you have been currently operating in a location already and maybe you're just unsure of what you have or some of those records have gotten lost or maybe you just inherited this license work, that's when the existing location research comes into play, and CSC does have the ability to uncover those requirements that maybe are overarching applying to you. But we don't stop there. We can actually go that step further, as I mentioned previously answering that question, that we can help identify what the licenses you hold actually are, what is the data that's currently on file with those authorities, verifying gaps in the licensure and the coverage, and then sometimes, it happens less and less every year, but sometimes it does happen that we might identify a license that you have that you might be able to divest of. Let's say your brick-and-mortar location is actually outside of the city limit, so now that license doesn't apply to you. There's all these different scenarios that may come into play.

But all of this is something that we can find through the existing license research, and it's just a comprehensive audit of all of your requirements, what you've met today, what you may have missed, and then also maybe some things that you may not need.

Alongside of that, that other facet that I had been speaking about is CSC's license outsourcing service. And this is really where CSC takes on the monitoring of the license expiration and proactively renews those licenses by getting all of your applications together, pre-filling those, identifying any missing pieces, sending notices to you of maybe supporting documents that may need to go along with these licenses, and advising on that. We're also then going to process the submissions and make sure that there are state stamps available in your portfolio and provide access into how much was paid for the licenses and make sure that you have access to copies of the application and also the licenses once they're issued.

And that's how you can see on the platform that we're tracking and providing the visibility into all of that license data, and we do that through a central portal that we call the Business License Portfolio Management tool. It is specific to our outsourcing solution, and you can see it here on the next slide, that this is the portfolio that we're using that we're providing information about your licenses. We store all of your license data in a grid view that you can see as the first screenshot here. You'll be able to always see the entities that hold the licenses or the individuals, the types, all of your information about your expirations. And then if you notice, they are storing those real-time status updates. So if you were to click into any of those order statuses, the order status history populates for you and you're able to then see the workflow steps that CSC is taking to fulfill the filing. And this just gives you added visibility into the process. You always know where we are. I don't know that you always know maybe what is expected of you or what to expect from jurisdictions and anything in between, so this technology really provides overall visibility and really easy to use and find all those data points from time to time.

So we understand that outsourcing may not be for everyone. So that's why we have an incredible self-service technology that would help you leverage internal resources to be able to manage the filings more effectively. And Arianne is going to help you understand how License Pro works.

Arianne: Wonderful. So License Pro, as Calla mentioned, is really the self-service tool of our business for licensing and permitting. One of the big things about License Pro that we really focused on was ensuring that there was a single, centralized, secure platform for professionals across your organization that are dealing with some type of licensing and permit.

What we want to make sure is that those folks using a central system are able to customize the work to the way they do business. On this call, I looked at the registered attendees, and you guys span dozens of different industries, and the important takeaway from that is that each industry is going to have customized requirements. Because your regulations, because of the jurisdictions that you're filing with, you're going to need to manage your processes differently than the guy next to you and potentially even differently than some of the different departments within your company that might do some type of licensing or permitting. So License Pro has customized workflows that allow you to streamline the renewal management, the application process, change of ownership, change of qualifier processes, new hire processes. We have set the system up to allow our clients to build the workflows that are going to best meet their business needs. So you're not stuck with kind of a default template, but you can actually design these to really benchmark how you need to manage your processes.

And with that, that's to guarantee that the industry that you support that the licenses and the permits that you have, they're really getting the attention they need. We're not using spreadsheets or some kind of homegrown system, but we have a system that is really designed specifically for your groups.

License Pro also is going to deliver integrations with both your accounts payable or other systems. We offer APIs so that if you want to do an automated AP export, the system will fully automate the payment process, generate a check request, and deliver that AP data over to accounting. And that allows our clients to typically save anywhere from three to five minutes per filing on just the payment cycle alone. So our goal here again is to give you tools that are going to standardize the process, create procedures, but also save time.

The system also because we have those integrations, we can integrate with other systems. We might be pulling data into License Pro to make sure that the users have access to information like employee changes, gross receipt updates. So that instead of having to stop what you're doing when you're working on a renewal, you can actually go straight to the data that's already sitting in the system and grab that information and quickly access it.

Now in addition to integrations and making sure that this is a central source of data, we also have dashboards, and the dashboards are very important for our users because they're going to give you a single place to look at what is pending. Really this is to guarantee that we don't miss a filing. We talked about those issues of non-compliance and what happens when you don't file on time. That's what these dashboards are for. They're visual indicators of what you have pending and what might cause you risk so that you can quickly take action when those are alerting you.

We also have reporting to make sure that the users are getting the information they need. So sometimes our users are going to want notifications based on deadlines to make sure that if they forget to log in to the system, they still have alerts telling them they have some deadlines they need to work on. But in addition to that, we also have reports that might be just sharing information across different teams. For example, sometimes we have service companies that need to have area sales managers know exactly what licenses are out there so that when they're bidding on projects, they know where they're compliant. So those types of reports can be designed to really make sure anybody in the organization is getting what they need.

We do allow for unlimited users, which means everybody can do the work they need to do. So that easy access to all the licensing data and documents doesn't just apply to the folks doing the renewal work. It may be leadership that needs access to it. It could be people out in the field who need access to it. But allowing our clients to set up security so that those folks who need to see the data can see just what they need to see and that's it. So lots of user security to easily access everything in a single place. Even if the licensing is spanning across multiple people and multiple hands, we can have that one big picture to see it all and be able to manage it in-house and create those efficiencies.

Now I'm going to jump to our next slide here and just give you guys a bit of a sneak peek on the product. So this is actually our homepage of the system. When you log in to License Pro, as I mentioned, we have those dashboards, and the dashboards are going to allow us to see widgets where we can pick how we want to do the work. So this is important because everybody really slices and dices the compliance work differently, whether that's working by state, working by jurisdiction, working by step, making sure that we can get to the data we need quickly. So every one of these widgets is going to include graphs to give us those visual indicators, but each also are going to include hyperlinks to start working on the data right away.

You may see on the left-hand side we've got a couple of navigation items. So this means we're going to be able to track everything from your licenses, your locations, your entities, your payments, your individuals. So you can see here I also have a tab already open for both my homepage and my individuals. That actually shows us that the system is not just for brick-and-mortar business licensing. I like to use the term "filings" because I think that's more accurate. The filings we're going to support in this application are going to range from business license tax filings to engineering licenses to liquor permits, health permits, environmental. It really could be anything. And so we really want to support clients who have licenses they're filing just for their entity to do business, licenses they might be filing for a brick-and-mortar location, licenses they're filing for an employee to be licensed and a professional. Now we also track the individuals or professionals in the system in relationship to the licenses, like qualifiers might need to be listed as part of a licensure.

So being able to interrelate all that data, having it housed in a single place, and making sure that, again, the company has control over this within their own organization.

So I'm going to hand this off to Calla or David to wrap this up. I can't remember who's taking the next slide.

Calla: Great. Thank you. And David is going to have one eye on the clock here as we want to leave some time for questions at the end of this. So we'll make this pretty short and sweet. But really we want to focus on the items that make CSC different. What is the CSC difference here. And we can really just be your one source for compliance support no matter what the area of support is. We've seen Entity Management today. If you need assistance with outsourcing licenses, if you need assistance with a better way to manage your licenses internally, it's really everything above and beyond that.

So what we're able to provide is a whole ton of technology and service, but also tenured, dedicated teams that are going to help you with a customized approach to make sure that we're providing the ideas that are going to fit your needs. I think Arianne mentioned that very well with the license solution. It's really tailored to you.

And so this also allows you to leverage CSC. We have superior industry knowledge. We've been in business in the U.S. for over 120 years, and now we have over 200 plus years of experience globally. So we've been here a long time, and we know a lot. Along with this, we have again that nationwide capability, with contacts in the U.S. across all 51 U.S. jurisdictions. We work with over 140,000 different license filing authorities. So we're very, very knowledgeable. We can help support your teams and get you the places that you need to be.

We have all of our support managed in-house at CSC. We have dedicated support for different business areas. We really can be that extension of your team while offering that unmatched technology that's really going to provide you that visibility and transparency and security to ensure all of your data, services, and information, and CSC systems are going to remain safe and secure.