Trick-or-treaters are celebrating today, but the Missouri Secretary of State's Office is preparing for a project over the next big holiday.
The Secretary of State's Office announced last week that its business registration system will be getting a major overhaul over Thanksgiving and the day after.
The state's business registration system keeps track of documents including those related to limited liability companies, corporations, fictitious names for businesses, U.S. Uniform Commercial Code liens and certificates of good-standing for businesses.
"We are like a filing cabinet. If you are a person who wants to start a business, you need to file paperwork with the Secretary of State's Office," said Maura Browning, the Secretary of State's communications director.
The current system will be completely shut down at 5 p.m. Nov. 26, Browning said.
"I'm not exaggerating when I say there are tens of millions of files over the course of those given days that have to be converted into our new system," she said.
The updates by the Business Services Division will mean all locations of the Secretary of State's offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the following day.
Thanksgiving is a regular holiday for all state employees, and the governor has typically given employees paid time off on the day after Thanksgiving.
Browning said customers will notice changes to the Secretary of State's business registration system — "not only a different look, but our high-volume customers will be able to see a much longer filing history," whereas currently, the system only shows filings of the past 90 days.
For example, people who currently log in to the business registration system and file something every day can see a list of submissions going back 90 days, and submissions filed more than 90 days ago are not visible in the filing history.
"It's like an online shopping cart, telling you what you ordered but after 90 days, it is no longer listed," Browning said.
She added: "In the new system, those filings will always be available."
The updates also will allow the Secretary of State's Office to "continue working towards the potential for 100 percent of filings to be done online," Browning said.
The updates will cost about $2.1 million to fully implement the new system, she said. The money is not from the state's general revenue but from the Technology Trust Fund, which is funded through fees associated with business filings and used to maintain technology.