The N.C. Department of the Secretary of State – Integral to Economic Dynamism
Article Date: Thursday, November 04, 2010
Written By: Rodney S. Maddox
It is well recognized that economic growth in societies is enhanced when there is a growth strategy underpinned by appropriate tactics. In this regard, Manyika, Lund and Auguste stated in an Aug. 16, 2010 Newsweek article1 that:
But if they [governments] really want to create jobs, raise incomes, and lift living standards, they should devote more energy to figuring out how to generate economic dynamism over the long term. . . countries must get the basics right.
These include a solid rule of law, with patents and protections for intellectual property, enforceable contracts, and
courts to resolve disputes; access to finance, particularly for startups; and an efficient physical and communications infrastructure.
The North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State has significant responsibilities which fall squarely within this description of “the basics” needed for economic dynamism. The Department has a substantial role in promoting the rule of law, protecting intellectual property, enforcing contracts, and enhancing access to financial capital by the private business sector. These departmental roles are shown in many ways:
* The Department’s Corporations Division facilitates the creation of “startups.”
* Two distinct types of capital formation are promoted, making financial capital available to business management:
* Safe access to lending capital is promoted by the Certification and Filing Division’s UCC filings and federal tax
* Safe access to equity investing capital is promoted by the Securities Division’s registration of securities, securities brokers, dealers, and investment advisers. In addition, the Securities Division implements the Qualified Business Tax Credit program.
* Access to valuable capital in the form of land is more accessible, more quickly for financing purposes as the Land Records and Electronic Notary Public Units facilitate electronic filings of documents with Registers of Deeds and others.
In addition, the Department promotes the “solid rule of law” and enforceable contracts by its role in signature authentication for business documents. This is accomplished, for example, by:
* Commissioning Notaries Public, who are crucial in preventing fraud and forgery of business documents.
* Licensing and registering securities brokers, dealers and investment advisers and investigating their fraudulent
conduct leads to barring and in some instances expelling “bad actors” from certain capital formation related
* Authenticating documents, thereby facilitating international commerce.
* Protecting intellectual property rights through registering State trademarks and investigating and enforcing criminal Counterfeit trademarks law. In addition, the registering of Invention Development Services protects the patent development process.
* Registering of charities and paid charitable solicitors by the Charitable Solicitations Licensing Division ensures that fraud does not make capital transfers for such purposes less available to benefit society at large.
* The Lobbying Compliance Division works to create a level playing field for the business community and the public who cannot expend large sums of money to influence their government. Through the Division, the Department works to ensure information disclosure so that the business community, the public, and governmental decisionmakers know who is being paid to influence the executive and legislative branches of North Carolina government.
The Department has many other, ancillary responsibilities as well.
1. “From the Ashes,” James Manyika, Susan Lund, Byron Auguste, Newsweek, Aug. 16, 2010.
Maddox is the Chief Deputy Secretary of State in the office of the North Carolina Secretary of State.
Views and opinions expressed in articles published herein are the authors' only and are not to be attributed to this newsletter, the section, or the NCBA unless expressly stated. Authors are responsible for the accuracy of all citations and quotations.