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Iowa Secretary of State announces new “Fast Track Filing” system for Iowa’s business community
Paul D. Pate
Secretary of State
State Capitol
Des Moines, IA 50319
Iowa Secretary of State Seal WEBSITE:
Kevin Hall
Communications Director
(515) 725-2942
September 28, 2017

Iowa Secretary of State announces new “Fast Track Filing” system for Iowa’s business community

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate announces a new initiative for his Business Services Division that will provide instantaneous results for the state’s business community. The Fast Track Filing system will launch in the spring of 2018. Business owners will see immediate results.

“Iowa's business community wants the ability to file online. That is what we are going to give them,” Secretary Pate said. “My office is Iowa's business portal. I have conducted roundtable discussions and meetings with business leaders and small business owners around the state. More than 4,500 business owners responded to our online survey about how we can provide better service to them. Overwhelmingly, the number one priority is the ability to conduct more transactions online. Next spring, they will have that ability."

Along with providing instantaneous service, the Fast Track Filing system will free up staff to handle a higher phone call volume to assist Iowa's business community quicker and more efficiently. The system will greatly reduce or eliminate processes currently required by Business Services staff such as scanning documents, serving as cashiers, and extended correspondence with filers.

"I want my office to operate at the speed of business, not the speed of government. Fast Track Filing will help us reach that goal," Secretary Pate said. "Much of our Business Services technology has not been updated since my first term ended in 1999. It is woefully out-of-date, but upgrading it requires funding that has not been made available. We have found efficiencies and ways to provide better service. The Fast Track Filing system will be a boon for Iowa's business community."

The upgrades in technology will be paid for through a Technology Modernization Fund, which was created by the Iowa Legislature during the 2017 session. Some filing fees collected by the Secretary of State's office will see an adjustment, with the additional funds going toward technological upgrades. The changes are necessary to provide instantaneous filing options and enhance cybersecurity. Secretary Pate pursued other avenues to acquire the necessary funding, including repeatedly lobbying the Legislature to allow the Secretary of State's office to retain the fees it collects.

"The Iowa State Bar Association's members experience daily the technology challenges faced by the Secretary of State and the difficulties experienced by business services filers. The Secretary of State's systems are in dire need of technology upgrades to provide adequate stability and to allow online/real-time filing. The ISBA supports reasonable fee increases on business services filings, if the monies are dedicated to upgrading business services technology," said Iowa State Bar Association Executive Director Dwight Dinkla.

The Iowa Bankers Association has also publicly expressed support for the Technology Modernization Fund.

"I welcome the public's input on this and understand that creating this fund is not going to be popular with everyone," Secretary Pate said. "But Iowa's business community has told me they want these upgrades. This will allow entrepreneurs to launch their businesses sooner. It will allow business owners to focus on their goals faster. It will save them time and valuable resources. Everyone will benefit."