Case Study: BB+M Architecture

Managing Multi-State Licensing

“The final state that pushed us over the edge was New Jersey. We felt like if Harbor Compliance could get us through this, we could basically handle anything.”

The Challenge

BB+M Architecture had a dilemma many business leaders dream of: so many opportunities coming their way they could barely keep up. “Three or four years ago, the business just exploded,” said Office Manager Mary Boardman. “That’s a good problem to have, but it can also be very stressful.”

A render of "Stonewall" multifamily housing
"Stonewall"
- render by BB+M Architecture

Licensing the firm in new states was one of Mary’s many duties. As the states multiplied, the work became overwhelming. “You would think every state would have a similar process to file a foreign entity and license a firm. But I’d get the paperwork and they would have these requirements—they don’t take FedEx, only regular mail, make sure this is in triplicate—all these tiny details you could overlook if you’re not doing it 24/7. And if you get one little thing wrong, an extra space in your name, you don’t realize how that can hold everything up.”

At the same time, Mary’s other duties were multiplying. “We were hiring staff, and I was busy with onboarding, accounting, scheduling meetings, tracking the different classes architects have to take. It got to the point where licensing was a daily distraction, overnighting applications, tracking mail, verifying that the secretary of state received this piece of paperwork. It took so much time away from what an office manager does.”

Then the company set its sights on New Jersey. “In New Jersey, the process is horrible,” Mary said. “And dealing directly with the state is a nightmare.” Roger Manley, BB+M Founding Principal, discovered Harbor Compliance online. “He said, ‘This is all they do. This is what we need to do.’ So I gave them a call.”

When Account Support Coordinator Brandon Grove first spoke to Mary, he could hear the stress in her voice. “Mary was handling registrations, licensing, she was doing everything,” he explained. “It would be overwhelming to anybody, managing all that. We have whole teams handling these licenses. I told her, 'We’ve got this, we can manage all of the compliance for your corporate lifecycle. We can put it all in one account in our software.'”

Mary showed the software to Roger. “He looked at it and said, ‘Do it. Take if off our plate.’”

The Solution

In the Harbor Compliance system, everything is very easy. Checking on a license, viewing our status, tracking payments. It’s so simple.

Mary Boardman
Office Manager, BB+M Architecture

Today, Harbor Compliance handles licensing and entity lifecycle filings for BB+M. Mary simply logs into the Harbor Compliance account to view where they are licensed and access documents.

“I have a good system now with the software,” Mary said. “It’s extremely easy to navigate. With some software there are so many tabs, it’s so confusing. In the Harbor Compliance system, everything is very easy. Checking on a license, viewing our status, tracking payments. It’s so simple.”

BB+M has expanded into 14 states, with several more in their sights. For Mary, licensing is no longer a concern. “It’s so nice to have someone do all the legwork for you. Brandon guides us, tells us the littlest things they don’t tell on the state websites. He always has a clear answer to my questions. It takes the pressure off, always having someone to bounce things off of. It has been very educational for me, and the partners are learning a lot from me, too.”

A render of "Discovery at the Realm" multifamily housing
"Discovery at the Realm"
- render by BB+M Architecture

The Future

With Harbor Compliance handling the regulatory details, Mary can focus on her core duties of office management. “You can hear the smile in Mary’s voice now,” Brandon said. “She simply likes doing her job more.”

“With Harbor Compliance, it’s night and day,” Mary said. “It gives me peace of mind, and the partners, too. We know that once the next state comes along, we can handle it.”

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