Elections and Government Services Administrative Rules of Montana Business Services Notary and Certification Records and Information Management

March 2, 2010

CONTACT INFORMATION: Terri McCoy, (406) 444-2807

Record Number of Businesses File Annual Reports Online in February 2010
2010 Online Filing Saves $51,140 in Unnecessary Postage & Printing Costs

HELENA – Secretary of State Linda McCulloch today announced that a record number of businesses filed their 2010 Annual Reports online in February. The record turnout will lead to office savings of $51,140 in printing and postage costs over the previous year.

“Budget cuts are a reality, but sacrificing customer service is not an option,” McCulloch said. “Instead of eliminating great customer service, online notifications offered a convenient and inexpensive way to notify business service customers about mandatory filing deadlines. Our customers continue to respond with record online filings.”

McCulloch implemented an email alert system in 2009 to notify business service customers of their legal duty to file their Annual Reports with the Secretary of State’s office. The email alerts replaced the use of expensive paper notices, which in the past were mailed to over 100,000 business service customers at a cost of $1.13 per notice.

As part of the new online service, McCulloch encouraged businesses to file all 2010 Annual Reports online before March 1 to reduce the number of paper mailings that are sent as final deadline notices to customers who have not filed before that date.

February’s record turnout contributed to 45,258 customers filing before March 1. Subsequently, the office will not mail paper notices to these customers – which will save the office $51,140 in mailing and postage costs as compared to 2009 figures.

“The new system reduces waste, and customers benefit from the ease and convenience of filing online,” McCulloch said. “It’s a win-win customer service.”

Unlike most state agencies, the Secretary of State’s office is an Enterprise Fund. This means the office is not financed by the state’s General Fund. Instead, the office must generate its own revenue by charging fees for services such as business filings, notary applications and administrative rules.

Read the online version of Secretary McCulloch’s most recent email alert.