This Website Only Open During Business Hours

If you happen to manage a Limited Liability Corp (LLC) in New York State and need to file your Biennial Statement, you might follow the directions sent to you in the mail and go to the state’s website for conducting such business:

But if you try this on, say, a weekend, here is the message you’ll see:

I can’t recall the last time (or even the first time) I saw a website that was only open during business hours. Have you? I guess it is a mark of how the web has changed our daily lives that we are disappointed to find a virtual office that isn’t open 24/7. Furthermore: can anyone — perhaps you work in New York’s Department of State — explain the reasoning behind this?


B&H Photo Video is closed from sundown Friday to Saturday evening for Shabbat. The current website says they do not process web orders during this time, but for some reason I remember the site not taking orders at all in the past. But maybe I'm imagining things.

I can't imagine why a government office wouldn't accept something on the weekend, unless there's some timeline/SLA regarding when they have to respond to things, but then wouldn't that stipulate it's only relevant to business hours anyway?


I hate my local cadastre office. They shut down their servers every night and weekend.


In the Netherlands, the site of a Christian political party, the SGP, is closed on Sundays (i.e. when you should be in Church, and not surfing the web): "Go visit their website when it is Sunday in the Netherlands ( You’ll find a blank page. Sunday is the day of rest, so no shopping or working, or politics either."


I was having a related discussion this weekend. I believe it is necessary to drop the traditional sense that most job hours should be between 9 AM - 5 PM. There needs to be a new standard that companies should adopt that matches with their customer's time frames. (This isn't to specific specific time frames for open/close, just a more accurate time frame for customers. If they want to be open beyond their time frame, by all means)

If you're a business that traditionally does business with other businesses, your time frame should remain 9AM - 5PM. (If you're a company with national business, you should adopt roughly to the biggest customer at least)

If you're a business that traditionally does business with customers (not businesses), your time frame should be either 2 hours before or 2 hours after the business to business time frame.

There is no real reason why these businesses should have considerably inflexible hours: Doctors, Dentists, DMV, Post Office (not all are 24 hours), Rental Offices for Apts/Condos, and Banks.


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As shift workers know, your employees will not be able to find childcare during these odd hours. There are advantages to having everyone on the same schedule.

Sam Gross

Many university sites are only open during business hours, including the registrar at University of Maryland, College Park. If you attempt to obtain your transcript or change classes outside of a limited time period, you're met with a similar error message to that shown in the post.


no university website in Canada is only open during business hours, though there are notices when things that require human interaction will occur during the following business hours.

That must be particularly infuriating for night owls at school--students at UBC go nuts when a UBC website needed for classes is down for maintenance like 3-5am.


I noticed this about the Social Security Offices a while ago. Someone on reddit told me it was because they literally turn off the internet in the building to secure machines when no one is around.


That's the most reasonable explanation I've heard.


Must be to lower bandwidth as a cost cutting measure.


But all those people will just be using the website during business hours, shifting when it's accessed rather than how much (if anything it'd result in more bandwidth as people load the front page multiple times). And I can't imagine it's cheaper to bottleneck the bandwidth and require servers that can handle higher loads.

Adam W

This same thing occurs for the state of Florida unemployment web site.


I guess they figure if you're unemployed you shouldn't have a problem using it during normal business hours.


I have no actual knowledge but will venture a guess:

Transactions related to the filing of documents involving registered entities have filing date considerations. Restricting activity to only business hours on non-holiday workdays may have been implemented to preserve the integrity of document recording.


Can't the filing occur whenever with an advisement that document recording occurs during business hours (if it requires human intervention).

It's like locking your mailbox every time you leave the house.

Roger S

Not everyone understands that websites do not have 24/7 people behind them. This is a crude but effective way to manage customer expectations, especially seniors.

Which, I suppose, says more about New York's clientele than the internet...

Adam W's comment on Florida unemployment may support this theory (


Also consider that this is a government institution and may have extraordinarily outdated IT systems to which a web front end has been painted on. There could be 30 year old mainframe batch-processing oriented systems in the background. If this isn't the case I am stumped as to the reasons behind the limited hours of operation.

B & H does something similar

They are an electronics retailer run by Orthodox Jews that doesn't accept orders placed on Friday night or Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath).


The government contract probably specifies the hours of operation. If they've simply replicated the in-person experience, the hours could carry over.


While I don't know the reasoning behind this, it is fairly common in this arena. Many states' filing systems have similar timing restrictions, as does the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system (which is used for some federal SEC filings).