California budget problems wreaking havoc on business filing times

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Continued budget problems have led California’s Secretary of State to announce increased wait and processing times for business filings, record requests and notary processing.

A release from the state says that the Secretary of State’s budget has been cut by nearly $9 million – 25 percent – over the previous two years. That reduction has forced officials to shut down offices in San Francisco, San Diego and Fresno – creating even deeper backlogs at other offices.

Officials say that while the state is working to automate many of its filing processes – which it says will save money in the long run – budget problems have also prevented the state from investing in needed technologies.

The state says that any business incorporation can also look on the state’s webpage to get a current estimate of processing times. These businesses also have the option of paying an additional fee to expedite their requests.

California’s budget problems have persisted this year, after a massive budget shortfall last year. In 2009, the state gave many of its vendors IOUs because the state treasury couldn’t issue any checks. Officials have said that the state may need to use the IOU process again in October if the current budget deficit isn’t remedied.