The Government has set a target for each local council to implement a Single Business Account for each of the businesses it deals with.
This initiative is a response to the findings of a survey of small businesses concluding that local councils were difficult to deal with, they are complex organisations and difficult to understand.
A Single Business Account will essentially pool all of the information about interactions that a business may have with the many different arms and services of the Council. It has been calculated that Councils offer 750 services and a third of those may be used by businesses.
The immediate benefit to business will be that when you talk to an individual in one Department then that person will be aware of everything else that is going on between your business and the Council. As a business you will also be able to access this information, at any time, via the Council's web site. This will be of particularly beneficial to businesses that do not operate during the normal office hours that the Council operates.
As a business you will have a unique number for your account and a secure password that allows you access to your interactions with the Council via the internet, telephone or face to face. In the longer term this code number will also allow you to contact Government Departments for similar information.
Your business will be able to engage in transactions as varied as licensing, planning applications, renting premises from the Council, arranging for a commercial waste collection and a lot more.
The Council is moving towards tendering and purchasing on line and you will be able to use your Single Business Account to engage in these activities as well.
Later developments will allow you to access your transactions with Government, be it regulatory matters or simpler things like VAT and tax.