The 401st Blow :: Thoughts On Media

Business Hours (On The Web)

Posted in Law, Policy by Noah Harlan on June 21, 2010

I’m setting up a new LLC at the moment. We have a film that will be starting in the fall and one of the key steps in that process is establishing a legal entity for the film. We’ve drafted and filed the key documents and the next step is to file for an Employer Identification Number or EIN. This is, essentially, the corporate equivalent of a Social Security Number.

This is a process that is an essential part of the modern American financial system. Something the government should be efficient at. And, at first glance, it is. You simply go to this website and apply. Here’s what the page looks like:

(click to enlarge)

So far, so good? Except there’s a little detail on the page that jumped out at me:

Say what? The Government’s computers are incapable of accepting an online application between 12:30am and 6:00am? Frankly, I’m not sure what they’re saying here. It could be that the application is available from 6am Monday until 12:30am Friday… but that wouldn’t make sense since 12:30am on Friday is right after midnight thursday, no? Better yet, on Sunday it’s only available from 7pm until midnight? Why?

This is a combination of poor programming (that your computers can’t accept applications 24/7), poor UI design (that it’s hard to figure out what hours you are available), and a general paucity of thought. Whoever is responsible for this should be ashamed.

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