SBA, Georgia and Illinois team up for online employer app

The Small Business Administration yesterday announced the launch of the second piece of its Business Compliance One-Stop e-government project. Businesses in Georgia and Illinois can now apply for a provisional IRS employer identification number through an online application that SBA built with EzGov Inc. of Atlanta.

The tool uses Web services to integrate the states' EIN application process with that of the federal government, said Jeff Cummings, vice president of federal sales for EzGov.

'Through Web services, the system passes the data from the states' Web sites to the SBA. It applies the business rules to the information and returns a provisional EIN or asks additional questions,' Cummings said. 'This lets the state take advantage of a federal service without handing a customer over to the great unknown. It provides a platform for consistent processing.' Users must register a name and password.

Cummings said several hundred EINs have been processed since Georgia and Illinois unveiled the beta application last week. The IRS returns the final EINs to employers by postal mail.

SBA and EzGov wrote the tool in Java in eight weeks using EzGov's commercial FlexFoundation software, said Ed Trimble, EzGov chief executive officer.

SBA has estimated the online application will save businesses more than $200 million a year. Click here for a link to the beta tool.

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