Online portal launches for businesses across the state

BISMARCK, N.D. - There's a new way for businesses to file paperwork with the state.

Photo courtesy: North Dakota Secretary of State

It's called FirstStop and the online hub has been in the works for years now. Secretary of State Al Jaeger got funding of more than $1 million in the 2015 legislative session. Now four years later, the online portal is finally being rolled out.

It starts with a letter in the mail that gives you a personal identification number. That pin directs you to a website allowing you to register an account for a business or contractor. From there you'll be able to file a report, renew a license, register a trademark and much more, going from a paper-based system to completely online.

“We're happy it's online,” Jaeger said. “It's going to make things much more efficient for our customers.”

Jaeger says his office is sending out about 200,000 of those letters. Right now, they're working to get contractors licenses renewed before the March 1 deadline. He says so far about 1,700 of the 11,000 or so have gone through the process. For everyone else he says take your time, read the instructions, as many don't have to file reports until later this year.

“There's a few that are having a little bit of challenge in the beginning but once we get through it, and we ask that they be patient with us, because really they're going to really love it I’m very confident,” Jaeger said.

Jaeger says so far more than 3,000 filings have been successfully completed.

Jaeger says right now the system is about 80 percent rolled out. He hopes to have everything completely up and running by the end of the year.