Case Study: Lakewood, OH – Business Licensing


Lakewood is part of the First Suburbs Development Council in Northeast Ohio, located west of Cleveland. Lakewood is the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, and has a diverse population of over 50,000 people. Lakewood's small business employ 75% of Lakewood's 12,000 workers.


Lakewood has nearly 4000 active business licenses within the City and the City was spending a lot of money and time on renewals every year. From the cost of toner, paper, envelopes, postage, and staff time to print, stuff and stamp envelopes for thousands of renewal letters, and the additional time to process each incoming renewal payment, they needed a way to streamline this process.


Working with the City of Lakewood we developed online applications for each of their 12 license applications. This meant they no longer needed to print application forms. They also didn’t need to spend the time doing the data entry to enter applications on the computer. Next, we set up a certificate template which could be downloaded by the portal user or emailed. This took away another item they would normally need to print. The last step was to setup the renewal process. The City runs reports to find all licenses in the system set to expire in a select timeframe. The report sends an email to the license holder letting them know to renew. License holders log into the portal, update any required data fields, and pay their fees online. This report eliminated the need to print and stuff envelopes each year saving them significant time and money. Once the full process was set up they completely eliminated the need to mail any renewal letters, which made the process quicker and easier for staff and business owners.


Lakewood has saved time and money by fully digitizing their licensing process. Multiple licenses are required within the City. They have eliminated the need to print thousands of letters, stuff them into envelopes, and mail them out to each applicant. Digitizing the process has saved the City the cost of paper, stamps, envelopes, ink, and the hours of time needed for staff to stuff and mail the renewals. Lastly, moving to an online business license process improved things for licensee applicants. With the online portal, license holders could check the status of the license approval, and processing time was reduced, helping them get an approved license faster, and making the renewals process a breeze.

"Teaming up with Lakewood was a great experience. The team was comprised of exceptional individuals who were not only great to work with but also demonstrated a keen motivation to learn and adapt to our software. Our collaboration resulted in the effective utilization of our software, contributing to enhancing the City’s efficiency in its licensing process."

– Sarah Mallette, Implementation Manager