Governing Documents by the Members for the Members

We can debate in another forum many of Mr. Miller’s increasingly anti-business actions but I expect that we would agree that the multi-agency reach of the new business portal is a net benefit to the State’s business community. The portal is at and has been much touted by the Governor’s office at the Governor’s Conference on Small Business at the end of last year.

We predict that the fact that there is a platform for obtaining relevant licenses applicable to small businesses in the same place and at the same time as registration and annual maintenance will level the playing field. The existing patchwork of compliance means that over-inclusive policies or poorly-constructed regulatory schemes disproportionately harm businesses of integrity—exactly the ones that we as a state should be encouraging. The participation and implementation may not be perfect—just as there were memorable problems with the last major online initiative. But even during that transition of the business license regime from the Department of Taxation to the Secretary of State and despite the difficulties some experienced with untrained staff and contradictory policies, there was both an immediate benefit and the promise of improvement. That is what we expect from SilverFlume.

The most surprising feature of SilverFlume deserves special comment. The SoS has chosen to include a system for building LLC operating agreements online. That is remarkable in itself but we further endorse the ambitious decision to encourage collaborative editing of the document. Too often when business owners resort to a discount form packet or an online document assembly system they treat the result like a box to check, one that, once checked, never deserves review let alone updates. The SilverFlume system anticipates that all members will receive links to review and comment on the document before execution and allows updates as the entity evolves. Many business owners should consult attorneys before forming a venture but for those who are going to choose a $500 off-the-shelf packet instead of a tailored solution, the SoS’s free alternative gets right the idea that the operating agreement should be (a) collaboratively drafted and that, once drafted, members should treat it (b) as a living document as business and membership needs change.