Do you really NEED a small business certification?
The simple answer is no. You don’t need to be certified as a small, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, or disadvantaged small business to win government contracts. HOWEVER, there are many government contracts – usually subcontracting opportunities – that are set aside specifically for businesses certified as one of the above-mentioned designations.
If you live in an urban or rural area, you may be familiar with HUBZones. This program is designed to breathe new life into Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) by providing small business owners incentives to open or relocate their businesses to areas that have been declared HUBZones.
Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
Small businesses that are majority-owned by a woman, or even majority-owned by a woman who is also socially and economically disadvantaged, can apply to be a certified women-owned business and take advantage of opportunities to compete for government contracts, specifically designated for women-owned businesses. The government sets aside some contracts to be fulfilled by women-owned, or economically disadvantaged women-owned, businesses.
Veteran & Service-Disabled Veteran Owned
Small businesses that are majority-owned by a U.S. veteran (or service-disabled veteran) can request certification for the opportunity to compete for specific government contracts. Veteran-owned businesses can qualify for counseling and coaching through the Office of Veterans Business Development.
8(a) Business Development
The 8(a) Business Development program grooms businesses that are majority-owned by someone who is socially or economically disadvantaged to compete for government contracts. The 8(a) Program is a nine-year business development program.
Many tribal communities in the states battle poverty on a very real level. Tribal and Alaskan Native Corporation-owned businesses can request certification for the opportunity to compete for specific government contracts. The government sets aside opportunities in defense contracting to be fulfilled by Tribal and Alaskan Native Corporation-owned businesses under the 8(a) and A-76 programs.
Native American-Owned Companies
Businesses that are majority-owned by a Native American can contact the Indian Affairs’ Division of Economic Development to be certified as a Native American-owned enterprise. Qualifying businesses may be able to take advantage of coaching and training opportunities to strengthen their ability to compete in the marketplace.
Is your small business ready to Get Certified?
Find out the steps you’ll need to take to get your small business certified with Linda’s short Get Certified! Mini-Course. We’ll send you 5 days of actionable modules right to your inbox.