States frequently strive to become more business-friendly. A new report from The Pew Charitable Trusts explains that improving the efficiency of regulatory systems and working with businesses to increase compliance can “form a powerful economic development strategy by making it quicker and easier for entrepreneurs to launch a new business or bring an innovative product to market.”

Pew suggests that helping businesses navigate regulatory processes can be more meaningful to companies than reducing or eliminating regulations.

The report provides examples of how individual states have improved efficiency and compliance through a variety of measures such as reviewing and modernizing procedures (think online portals versus paper documents and mail), prioritizing enforcement based on risk, providing technical assistance on compliance, clarifying process steps, and providing regulatory roadmaps, especially when multiple state agencies are involved.

Most states are still figuring out how to measure the results for these types of efforts. To determine the overall impact of efficiency initiatives, states will need to set goals and monitor progress toward those goals. According to Pew, the goals should consider both business benefits and the state’s regulatory objectives, not simply aiming to reduce cost or increase speed.

For more information please see State Strategies to Help Businesses Launch and Expand (August 2018).