The Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council (SADBOC)

 

SADBOC's Mission

The Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunity Council or SADBOC is a council under the Federal Executive Board of Minnesota whose mission is to promote supplier diversity in the public sector through collaboration and information sharing between its members and through education and outreach to the small business public. SADBOC members include Federal, State and local agencies as well as non-profits with an interest in supplier diversity.
 

To stay current on upcoming events and training opportunities, LIKE our SADBOC Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/SADBOC/

 


DIVERSITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAMS IN MINNESOTA

Where do I need to go to be certified to receive a preference or satisfy a goal on a contract?

 

CERTIFYING ORGANIZATION CERTIFICATIONS CONTRACT ORGANIZATIONS CONTACT INFORMATION
(Telephone, Email, Website)
CERT Small, Woman, and Minority City of Saint Paul, City of Minneapolis, Ramsey County, and Hennepin County 651-266-8900
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MN Unified Certification Program (MNUCP) Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Metropolitan Council, Metropolitan Airport Commission, MNDOT, City of Minneapolis 612-673-8193 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
State of Minnesota Dept. of Administration, Office of Equity in Procurement Targeted-Group Business and Economically Disadvantaged TG/ED/VO All State of MN Agencies 651-201-2402 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. http://www.mmd.admin.state.mn.us/
SBA Self-Certify,
Women: WOSB/EDWOSB
Minority: 8(A)
Place-Based: HUBZone
Veteran: VOSB
All Federal Agencies, except VA 612-370-2320
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WBDC Women Corporations 612-259-6584
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NCMSDC Minority Corporations 612-465-8885
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FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CERTIFICATIONS

FEDERAL: SBA Links

8(a) Business Development Program   

HUBZone (The Historically Underutilized Business Zone) Contracting Program 

Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB)
Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) Federal Contracting Program

Small Business (SB)
Small Disadvantage Business (SDB)

Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB)  

 

MINNESOTA STATE AND LOCAL CERTIFICATIONS

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program  

Central Certification (CERT) Program  

Targeted Group (TG) / Economically Disadvantaged (ED) / Veteran-Owned (VO) Small Business Program 

 

NATIONAL, THIRD-PARTY FOR CORPORATE AMERICA CERTIFICATIONS

Minority Business Enterprises (MBE)  

Women Business Enterprise (WBE) 

 

 


 

What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?

This Program was named after Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act. It was created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace and access the Federal procurement market. The main objective of the program is to enable firms to compete successfully in the open market after completing their nine year term in the Program.  There are some requirements in place to help achieve this goal. Program goals require 8(a) firms to:

  • Maintain a balance between their commercial and government business.
  • Limit on the total dollar value of sole-source contracts that an individual participant can receive while in the program: $100 million or five times the value of its primary NAICS code.

Cost 8(a) BD certification: Free   

Term: Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.

Last update 9/2017

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Benefits of the 8(a) Business Development Program

Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. 

8(a) firms are also able to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform in larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract.

8(a) firms are also allowed to learn the ropes from other more experienced-larger businesses.  See the Mentor-Protégé Program for more information.

Last update 9/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the 8(a) Business Development Program

To qualify for the 8(a) BD program, the business (except entity-owned firms*) must:

  1. Be small by SBA standards at time of application and throughout the 9 year program term. See SBA size standards:  www.sba.gov/size.  For a Summary of Size Standards click here.
  2. Be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned and controlled/managed by one or more socially disadvantaged individuals who are US citizens and are economically disadvantaged.
  3. Show potential for success (generally by being in business for two years) and have the necessary financial capacity to successfully perform on federal contracts.
  4. Have all its principals demonstrate good character including not owning any outstanding federal financial obligations.

*Requirements are different for firms that are owned by Entities such as: Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs), Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations (NHOs), and Community Development Corporations (CDCs). Read the section, Ownership Requirements for Approved Firms here

Who is considered a socially disadvantaged individual?
Those who have been subject to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities.

For purposes of the 8(a) Business Development program, the following individuals are presumed socially disadvantaged (called “presumed groups”):

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian Pacific Americans
  • Subcontinent Asian American

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, an individual applicant is presumed socially disadvantaged if:

  • Holds him or herself out to be a member of a presumed group
  • Is currently identified by others as a member of a presumed group

The presumed groups listed above are solely for purposes of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program. Other individuals may similarly be found socially disadvantaged and eligible for the program on a case-by-case basis. For more information see section, Other Socially Disadvantaged Individuals.

Who is considered economically disadvantaged individual?
Before SBA can approve an application, the individuals claiming to be disadvantaged must submit supporting documents to prove their assets, income, and net worth fall below certain threshold amounts. These include:

  • Assets cannot exceed $4 million
  • Personal income cannot exceed $250,000, averaged over 3 years
  • Adjusted net worth must be less than $250,000

Last update 9/2017

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How to get certify for the 8(a) Business Development Program

For admission into the 8(a) Business Development program you can apply online or you may apply via hard copy application.

Last update 9/2017

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For more information visit:

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What is The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) Contracting Program?

The HUBZone program is designed to help small businesses gain access to federal procurement opportunities. It provides federal contracting assistance to qualified small firms located in Historically Underutilized Business Zones -- or HUBZones.

HUBZone areas are typically areas of low median household incomes or high unemployment, or both. These areas are located in certain urban, rural, Indian reservation, military bases closed under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Act, and difficult development areas outside the U.S. mainland. HUBZone-certified companies will help these areas increase employment opportunities, stimulate capital investment, and empower communities through economic leveraging.

Use this map to determine if your business and employees are in a HUBZone area.

Cost for HUBZone certification: Free

Term: There is no limit to the length of time a firm is qualified as a HUBZone small business concern. The firm may remain certified as long as it continues to maintain compliance, follows the HUBZone regulations, notifies SBA of any material changes, and properly recertifies every three years.  For more information read, Maintaining the HUBZone Certification.

Last update 8/2017

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Benefits of the HUBZone Contracting Program

The federal government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns.

Benefits for HUBZone-certified companies include:

See a list of the biggest industries by contracting dollar amount here.

What is a competitive and sole source contract

A competitive HUBZone set-aside contract can be awarded if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that at least two responsible HUBZone small businesses will submit offers and that the resulting contract can be awarded at a fair market price.

A sole source HUBZone contract can be awarded if the contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that two or more qualified HUBZone small businesses will submit offers, determines that the qualified HUBZone small business is responsible, and determines that the contract can be awarded at a fair price. The government estimate cannot exceed $7.5 million for manufacturing requirements or $4 million for all other requirements.

Last update 8/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the HUBZone Contracting Program

Make sure to review the HUBZone Primer (transcript-PDF) to understand the HUBZone requirements. To qualify for the program, a business (except tribally-owned concerns) must meet the following criteria:

Last update 10/2017

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How to get certify for the HUBZone Contracting Program

Before You Begin:

To help you get prepare, review the HUBZone Primer course (download transcript), Certification FAQ, and the application guide

There are several important registrations that must be completed before you can start the electronic application process:

  • DUN & BRADSTREET: Each firm's headquarter and branch office must be registered so that it will have its own D&B ID number known as a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). A Dun & Bradstreet, or D-U-N-S, Number, is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts.
  • System for Award Management (SAM): The principal firm's office that is applying for HUBZone certification must register in SAM.gov.  If your firm is already registered in SAM see the next step, DSBS, to review the firm's information for accuracy.
  • Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS): After completing the SAM registration, go to DSBS aka, SBA’s supplemental page, this page will reflect each firm’s certification status. Review your firm's information to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate. If changes need to be made, simply go to SAM.gov and update the information - the information will transfer to the DSBS page. 
  • SBA’s General Login System (GLS): You must complete registration in this system for each individual allowed to update information for your firm. Once you have registered, then you must add the firm's DUNS and EIN number and then you can obtain access to the HUBZone application module.

Review the list of supporting documentation you will need to upload after submitting the online application. See the supporting documentation request which is in the "Initial Application General Questions" section of the Frequently Asked Questions web page. The supporting documentation request includes a checklist and instructions on how to upload the documents. Note: SBA may request additional documents when the evaluation process begins.

See the application guide which can help you prepare to submit the online application.

Application Process Steps

  1. Apply for the HUBZone Certification Online.
  2. After submitting the online application, you will receive an automated email instructing you to log into the General Login System (GLS).  These instructions outline a time sensitive requirement.   Specifically, the firm has 10 business days to electronically verify the data it entered in its online HUBZone application.  After this verification is completed, the firm has an additional 10 business days to upload the supporting documentation.  The online application plus the uploading of all the supporting documentation in the list constitute a completed application package.  If either of these steps are not completed within the timeframe provided, the application is withdrawn.   

NOTE: The HUBZone program office does not issue certificates. When you submit bids for HUBZone contracts, contracting officers are required to confirm your HUBZone certification by searching for your firm in the publicly available Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). Your firm's profile will reflect whether you are HUBZone certified and if so, the date that you were certified. This part of your profile is automatically populated by the HUBZone program.

Last update 8/20/17

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For more information

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What is the WOSB and the EDWOSB Federal Contracting Program?

The Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) program authorizes contracting officers to set aside certain federal contracts for eligible:

• Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSBs)
• Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Businesses (EDWOSBs)

The impact of this program levels the playing field for WOSBs to compete for and win federal contracts, provides procuring agencies a tool to help meet their WOSB contracting goals and ultimately, the program helps create and retain more jobs for WOSBs.

Contracting officers may have WOSB- or EDWOSB-only contract competitions and/or sole source awards in an industry in which WOSBs and EDWOSBs are substantially underrepresented.

See eligible NAICS code listings for WOSB and EDWOSB industries in which WOSB's are considered substantially underrepresented.

Business owners, please note that SBA designated NAICS codes are not a requirement to certify your business as a WOSB/EDWOSB. Your company may self-certify provided that it meets the eligibility requirements. Regulations do not require a WOSB to operate in an eligible NAICS code. 

SBA has designated certain NAICS codes for contracting officers to satisfy agency's goal for WOSB and EDWOSB procurements. If your business does not fall within the NAICS codes in a government solicitation your business will not be eligible to bid for that particular contract.

Fees for WOSB/EDWOSB: Certification fees vary by vendor. Self-Certification is free.

Term: For most vendors, certification lasts one year and must be renewed annually.

 

Last update 9/2017

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Benefits of the WOSB/EDWOSB Federal Contracting Program:

The federal government has set-aside 5% of federal prime contracts to WOSB/EDWOSB-certified small business concerns in industries where women-owned small businesses are underrepresented. In fiscal year 2016 women-owned small businesses were awarded $19.7 billion in federal contract.

WOSB and EDWOSB are:

What is a competitive and sole source contract? 

A competitive set-aside contract can be awarded if the contracting officer has a reasonable expectation that at least two responsible WOSB will submit offers and that the resulting contract can be awarded at a fair market price.

A sole source contract can be awarded if the contracting officer does not have a reasonable expectation that two or more qualified WOSB will submit offers, determines that the qualified WOSB is responsible, and determines that the contract can be awarded at a fair price. 

Last update 9/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the WOSB/EDWOSB Federal Contacting Program

 

WOSB:

The business must be small and at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned by one or more women who are U.S. citizens. (For definition and samples of unconditional ownership see page 18 of the Small Entity Compliance Guide to the WOSB Program)

A woman must hold the highest officer position in the business and have managerial experience required to run the business. 

One or more women must manage the daily business operations on a full time basis and conduct long-term decision making and planning.

EDWOSB:

In order to qualify as an EDWOSB, a business must meet all the requirements for a WOSB and its owner(s) must demonstrate economic disadvantage as follows:

  • Personal net worth (assets minus liabilities) is less than $750,000 excluding:
    • Ownership in business and primary personal residence
    • Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business
    • Funds reinvested in IRA or other retirement account*
    • Transferred assets within two years if to or on behalf of immediate family member for select purposes
  • Adjusted gross income average over three years is $350,000 or less excluding:
    • Income reinvested or used to pay taxes of business

Last update 9/2017

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How to get certify for the WOSB/EDWOSB Federal Contracting Program

There are two ways to get certify for the WOSB program. Businesses may obtain certification from one of the four third party certifiers (TPC) approved by SBA or may self-certify (not use a TPC).

Third party certification.  SBA has approved four organizations to act as Third Party Certifiers. Only SBA-approved TPCs can give you an authorized “certificate” of eligibility as a WOSB or EDWOSB. Contact the organization of your choice:

Self-Certification.  There are several important registrations that must be completed before you can affirm that your business is self-certified as a WOSB / EDWOSB:

  • DUN & BRADSTREET: Each firm's headquarter and branch office must be registered so that it will have its own D&B ID number known as a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). A Dun & Bradstreet, or D-U-N-S, Number, is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts.
  • System for Award Management (SAM): The principal firm's office that is applying for certification must register in SAM.gov.  If your firm is already registered in SAM see the next step, DSBS, to review the firm"s information for accuracy.
  • Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS): After completing the SAM regisration, go to DSBS aka, SBA’s supplemental page, this page will reflect the firm’s certification status. Review your firm's information to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate. If changes need to be made, simply go to SAM.gov and update the information - the information will transfer to the DSBS page.
  • Certify.SBA.gov: Create a user account and begin your certification process. See list of documents to be uploaded via certify.sba.gov

Note: SBA does not certify businesses into the Program. As such, businesses that complete a self-certification on the Certify.sba.gov site will not receive a certificate letter from SBA.

Last update 10/2017

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For more information visit:

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What is the SB and the SDB Certification Program?

Small Business (SB)

The Small Business (SB) Certification documents that your business is small by means of industry size standards established by the SBA. A business may want to certify itself as small to be eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for "small business."

Small Disadvantage Business (SDB)

The Small Disadvantage Business (SDB) certification documents that your business is small and owned and control by one or more disadvantage persons.

A small business owned and control by a disadvantaged owner(s) may want to certify itself as SDB to be eligible for Government programs and preferences reserved for a "small disadvantage business." For instance, SDB set-aside procurements are reserved for offerors or bidders who are certified as a SDB.

A Disadvantage Individual must be social and economically disadvantaged. For definitions see, Social Disadvantage Eligibility and Economic Disadvantaged.

Last update 9/2017

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Benefits of the SB/SDB Program

Small Business (SB):

  • Competitive advantage for set-aside contracts in Federal, State and Local Governments.
  • 23% Government-wide contracting goal.

Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB):

  • Eligible for SB and SDB set-aside contracts
  • 5% Government-wide contracting goal for SDB and 23% for SB

Last update 9/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the SB/SDB Program

The firm must:

  • Be small, according to SBA’s size standards - SBA defines a "small business" in terms of the number of employees over the past year, or average annual receipts over the past three years. Size standards vary by industry. 
  • Is organized for profit
  • Has a place of business in the US
  • Operates primarily within the U.S. or makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor
  • Is independently owned and operated
  • Is not dominant in its field on a national basis

Small Disadvantaged Business:

In addition to the Small Business criteria's stated above, the SBD firm must:

Last update 9/2017

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How to get certify for the SB/SDB Program(s)

Follow these easy steps:

  • DUN & BRADSTREET: Each firm's headquarter and branch office must be registered so that it will have its own D&B ID number known as a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). A Dun & Bradstreet, or D-U-N-S, Number, is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts.
  • System for Award Management (SAM): The principal firm's office that is applying for certification must register in SAM.gov.  If your firm is already registered in SAM see the next step, DSBS, to review the firm"s information for accuracy.
  • Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS): After completing the SAM regisration, go to DSBS aka, SBA’s supplemental page, this page will reflect the firm’s certification status. Review your firm's information to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate. If changes need to be made, simply go to SAM.gov and update the information - the information will transfer to the DSBS page.

When all of the conditions above have been met, then SB/SDB can affirm to the contracting officer that the business is registered in the SAM database. However, a prime contractor may offer self-certification by checking the appropriate box on the prime contractor's self-certification form.  Some prime contractors require both certification, their own and Sam.gov.

Note:  Self-certify businesses do not obtain a certificate. Contracting officers are required to confirm your certification by searching for your firm in the publicly available Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS). Your firm's profile will reflect whether you are SB/SDB certified and if so, the date that you were certified.

Last update 9/2017

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For more information visit:

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What is the SDVOSB Program?

The purpose of the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) Program is to provide federal contracting assistance to service-disabled veteran-owned small business concerns. This procurement program provides that federal contracting officers may restrict competition to SDVOSBs and award a sole source or set-aside contract where certain criteria are met. 

Veterans Business Owners who are not service-disabled can certified as Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB).  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) promotes the maximum utilization of Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB) as practicable.  Under the Veterans First program, VA contract specialists conduct market research in an effort to seek out VOSB firms to meet their needs.  VA is the only agency which sets a goal and which tracks participation of VOSBs. Visit, Vets First Verification Program for more information. 

Cost SDVOSB Certification: Free

Last update 9/2017

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Benefits of the SDVOSB Program

The SDVOSB program help service-disable veteran owned firms to bid for federal contracts. It also provides procuring agencies with authority to set acquisitions aside for exclusive competition among service disabled veteran owned small businesses, as well as the authority to make sole-source awards. In fiscal year 2016 3.98 percent or $16.3 billion of all federal small business eligible contracting dollars were awarded to SBVOSBs.

Sole Source Contracts:

  • SDVOSB determined to be responsible and capable. No reasonable expectation that 2 or more SDVOSB will submit offers.
  • The contract can be made at a fair and reasonable price.
  • Award price of the contract (including options) not to exceed:
    • $5M for industrial classification NAICS code manufacturing.
    • $3M in the case of any other contract opportunity

Restricted Competition - Contracts can be set aside if:

  • Reasonable expectation that two or more SDVOSB will submit offers and
  • Awards can be made at a fair and reasonable price.

Last update 9/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the SDVOSB Program

In order to be eligible for the SDVOSBC, you and your business must meet the following criteria:

  • The Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) must have a service-connected disability that has been determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense

  • The SDVOSBC must be small under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code assigned to the procurement

  • The SDV must unconditionally own 51% of the SDVOSBC

  • The SDVO must control the management and daily operations of the SDVOSBC

  • The SDV must hold the highest officer position in the SDVOSBC

SDVO Business Control

To be an eligible SDVOSBC the following must be met:

  • The management and daily business operations of the concern must be controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans.

    • Control by one or more service-disabled veterans means that both the long-term decision making and the day-to-day management and administration of the business operations must be conducted by one or more service-disabled veterans

    • The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a service-disabled veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse of permanent caregiver of such veteran

  • Service-disabled veteran means a veteran with a disability that is service-connected.

  • Ownership must be direct. Ownership by one or more service disabled veterans must be direct ownership.

    • A concern owned principally by another business entity that is in turn owned and controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans does not meet this requirement.

Last update 10/2017

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How to get certify for the SDVOSB Program

Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses may self-certify their status by completing the following:

  • DUN & BRADSTREET: Each firm's headquarter and branch office must be registered so that it will have its own D&B ID number known as a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS). A Dun & Bradstreet, or D-U-N-S, Number, is a unique nine-digit identification number for each physical location of your business. D-U-N-S Number assignment is free for all businesses required to register with the federal government for contracts.
  • System for Award Management (SAM): The principal firm's office that is applying for certification must register in SAM.gov.  If your firm is already registered in SAM see the next step, DSBS, to review the firm's information for accuracy.
  • Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS): After completing the SAM registration, go to DSBS aka, SBA’s supplemental page, this page will reflect the firm’s certification status. Review your firm's information to ensure that it is up-to-date and accurate. If changes need to be made, simply go to SAM.gov and update the information - the information will transfer to the DSBS page.
  • Vets First Verification Program: The Center for Verification and Evaluation (CVE) verifies SDVOSBs/VOSBs according to the tenets found in Title 38 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 74 that address Veteran eligibility, ownership, and control. SDVOSB / VOSB wishing to benefit from the VA’s unique contracting authority must register with the VA’s Center for Veterans Enterprise and agree to have their Veteran or Service Disabled Veteran status verified by the VA. CVE’s verification of a SDVOSB and/or VOSB is free and is valid for a period of two years.
    • How to get Vets First Verification

Last update 9/2017

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For more information:

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What is the DBE Program?

The DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) Program was established by the Federal government to ensure women-and minority-owned businesses have the opportunity to participate in contracts financed in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Last update 10/2017

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Benefits of the DBE Program

  • As a condition of receiving federal money, MnDOT is required by the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration to establish an annual statewide goal for DBEs to perform on federally-funded contracts over the next three years. MnDOT's annual goal is 11.7 percent of the sum of all FHWA-funded contracts to be performed by DBEs and 7.13 percent of the sum of all FTA-funded contracts to be performed by DBEs. These annual goals will be in effect for FY 2016-2018.
  • Gain exposure for your business by being included in the state directory of certified DBEs
  • Expand opportunities to work on contracts with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, the City of Minneapolis, and the Metropolitan Airport Commission
  • Become eligible for additional small business certification opportunities, such as the state’s Targeted Group Business program
  • Receive credit toward DBE goals on projects with federal government funding
  • Access to free training and business development opportunities
  • Market your business through networking events

Last update 10/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the DBE Program

Firm must:

  • Meet SBA size standards and be for-profit business. Size limits for the Airport Concessions DBE program are higher.
  • Be at least 51 percent owned by persons who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Women, African-Americans, Hispanics, Native-Americans, Asian-Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian-Americans are presumed to be socially disadvantaged. Other individuals may qualify as disadvantaged on a case-by-case basis. To be regarded as economically disadvantaged, an individual must have a personal net worth that does not exceed $1.32 million. 
  • The owner must have technical competence and experience directly related to the type of work in which certification is being sought and must be a United States citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States.

Last update 10/2017

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How to get certified as a DBE Small Business

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For more information

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What is the CERT Program?

The Central Certification (CERT) Program is a small business certification program recognized by Hennepin County, Ramsey County and The City of Saint Paul

The CERT Program seeks to promote market growth, increase competitiveness, and create jobs among participating businesses, as well as to improve the quality of life for area residents.

CERT Certification is free. The City of Saint Paul currently serves as the contact point for the CERT Program.

Last update 10/2017

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Benefits of the CERT Program

The Central Certification Program (CERT) was created to promote market growth and increase the competitiveness of qualified small businesses. CERT makes it easier for participating businesses to access jobs and contracts available with participating counties and cities by providing a centralized certification process.

Participating businesses instantly boost their market exposure because they are included in a CERT directory. Participating businesses are also eligible to participate in various activities specifically for certified vendors sponsored by the four jurisdictions.

Last update 10/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the CERT Program

To find out if your business is eligible for CERT certification, view the Eligibility Criteria and the Small Business Size Standards website.

Last update 10/2017

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How to get the CERT Certification

Apply Online for CERT Certification for your small business.

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For more information

  • CERT System website
  • CERT Application Overview
  • If you have any questions regarding the certification process, need assistance with completing the application, or would like more information regarding the CERT Program, please call (651) 266-8900 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • CERT Outreach Events. The CERT Certification Program is holding several trainings, see upcoming training classes here.

Last update 10/2017

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What is the TG/ED/VO Small Business Procurement Program?

The State of Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of State Procurement (OSP) operates a program for Targeted Group (TG), Economically Disadvantaged (ED) and Veteran-Owned (VO) small businesses. The commissioner of Administration periodically designates businesses that are majority-owned and operated by women, persons with a substantial physical disability, or specific minorities as targeted group businesses within purchasing categories as determined by the commissioner.

TG, ED and VO small businesses must be certified as such by OSP in order to participate in the program. Once certified, TG, ED and VO small businesses may be eligible for price preferences in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state. TG, ED and VO small businesses may be eligible to be counted towards subcontracting goals on construction projects and professional service contracts.

Last update 8/2017

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Benefits of the TG/ED/VO Small Business Procurement Program

Targeted Group, Economically Disadvantaged and Veteran-Owned vendors are added to the state's vendor list, and are listed in the Directory of Certified Targeted Group, Economically Disadvantaged and Veteran-Owned Vendors.

Certified Targeted Group small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state in accordance with the Commissioner's designation of eligible businesses.
  • Subcontract with prime contractors for construction or consulting services.
  • May also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.

Certified Economically Disadvantaged small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state.
  • Subcontract with prime contractors for construction or consulting services.
  • May also be eligible to participate in a similar state-funded program operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT).

Certified Veteran-Owned small businesses

  • May be eligible for up to 6% preference in selling their products or services or bidding on construction projects to the state.
  • Subcontract with prime contractors for construction or consulting services
  • May also be eligible to participate in similar state-funded programs operated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT) and several Metropolitan Agencies.

Last update 8/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the TG/ED/VO Small Business Procurement Program

 

Targeted Group small business

  • The business must be at least 51% owned by a woman, racial minority, or person with a substantial physical disability.
  • The business must be operated and controlled on a day-to-day as well as long-term basis by the qualifying owner. In other words, ownership is not enough; operational control is also required.
  • The business must be Minnesota-based and small as set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Economically Disadvantaged small business

Veteran-Owned small business

  • The business must be at least 51% owned by a veteran or service-disabled veteran as determined by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (Veteran Verification).
  • In addition, the business must be operated and controlled on a day-to-day as well as long-term basis by the qualifying owner. In other words, ownership is not enough; operational control is also required.
  • The business must be Minnesota-based and small as set by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Additional eligibility criteria for the above programs are contained in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 1230. You may obtain a copy by calling the OSP HelpLine at 651-296-2600.

Last update 8/2017

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How to get certified as a TG/ED/VO Small Business

Complete the MN Department of Administration TG/ED/VO Small Business Procurement Program Application and submit it to the Office of State Procurement (OSP) office in St. Paul, MN, along with the information required on the Supplemental Information Sheet that is attached to the application.

Last update 8/2017

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For more information

State of Minnesota Department of Administration’s Office of State Procurement (OSP) website.

Additional information about the program and state purchasing can be obtained by contacting the OSP Helpline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 651-296-2600.

Print information in PDF: TG/ED/VO Small Business Procurement Program

Last update 8/2017

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What is the MBE Program?

The Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) certification is served by the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC).  Certification with the NCMSDC provides you with valuable resources to help your business grow and succeed. The NCMSDC can offer your business an excellent opportunity to meet with corporate buyers who are interested in working with qualified MBEs. NCMSDC offers many formal and informal venues to meet with corporate buyers, learn about state and local opportunities, and expand your professional network. MBEs greatly benefit from being certified with the largest national organization whose certification is recognized uniformly by corporate America. Becoming certified also opens up opportunities and speeds up the sales process in a very competitive global market place.

There is a $300.00 non-refundable processing fee for certification. There is a $250.00 re-certification fee due annually on your certification anniversary date.

Last update 10/2017

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Benefits of the MBE Program

Benefits of becoming a Certified Minority Supplier include:

  • Expanded business opportunities. More than two-thirds of MBEs confirm an increase in revenues as a result of partnership with Corporate Members.
  • Local, regional and national referrals of minority business to member corporations.
  • Exposure to about 3,600 leading national, regional and local companies.
  • Access to corporate buyers.
  • Listing in the National Minority Supplier Development Council MBE computer database (NMSDC Central).
  • Participation in education programs and workshops to assist in personal and professional growth.
  • Opportunities to network with Corporate Members at various NCMSDC events and activities.
  • Second tier and MBE to MBE business opportunities.

Last update 10/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the MBE Program

To become a Certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), your business must meet the following requirements. Both current and historical facts are considered in determining ownership qualifications and participation in the management and operations of the company.

  • Your business is a for-profit enterprise.
  • Your business is physically located in the United States or its trust territories.
  • Your business is at least 51% ethnic minority owned. Ethnic minority owned is defined as any business having owner(s) belonging to the following minority groups: African-American, Hispanic-American, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander American (Asian-Indian included).
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business are U.S. citizens.
  • The minority/ethnic owner(s) of the business must be active in management and daily business operations.
  • More information about Certification Criteria can be found here.

Last update 10/2017

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How to get certified as a MBE Small Business

Applying for MBE Certification at NCMSDC, consists of the steps below. The Certification process can take up to 90 days. 

Before you can apply online, you must first register. Register now.

  • Filling out the online Certification application. Certification starts with the online application. You may take as long as necessary to complete the application. Your information will be saved for your next session and is completely confidential.
  • Pay for your application fee. You may pay by credit card or send a check. The processing of your application will begin when payment is received. This is a non-refundable application fee.
  • Upload required documentation in NMSDC Central. NCMSDC requires specific documents to complete the Certification process. See the Required Documentation section
  • Application and documents are reviewed for completeness.
  • Conducting Site Visit. NCMSDC will perform a site visit to review your business premises and conduct a personal interview of the owner(s). This step is performed by a Certification Specialist and the applicant.
  • Committee Review. The Certification Committee meets regularly to review applications for MBE Certification. The Certification Committee must approve the application before it can be submitted to the Board for final approval.
  • Board Review. The Board will review the Certification Committee's recommendation and make the final decision. If the Board rejects the application, you may submit a letter of appeal. If approved, you will be notified by e-mail and postal mail.

Last update 10/2017

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For more information

  • Web: www.northcentralmsdc.net
  • NCMSDC Headquarters (Serving Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota) 
    North Central Minority Supplier Development Council
    Mr. Duane Ramseur, President/CEO
    111 3rd Avenue South, Suite 240; Minneapolis, MN 55401
  • Telephone: (612) 465-8881
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • See MBE FAQ

Last update 10/2017

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What is the WBE Certification?

WBE stands for Women’s Business Enterprise, a certification designation sought by women-owned companies to help leverage contracts with major corporations and government agencies. The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) provides qualified women-owned businesses with a nationally recognized WBE Certification through our partnership with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

As the largest certifying partner of WBENC, the WBDC’s WBE Certification Program covers a nine state Midwestern region including: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Last update 9/2017

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WBE Certification Benefits

WBE Certification from WBENC issued by WBDC provides your business with a nationally recognized WBE Certification that
is accepted (and often required) by over 1,000 major corporations and government agencies throughout the country.

Other benefits your company will receive:

  • Listing in local and national databases of certified WBEs that are accessible to national corporations
  • Access to a directory of all corporations accepting WBENC WBE Certification including a contact name and address
  • Use of the WBE logo for letterhead and other marketing materials
  • Exclusive invitations to participate in local match maker sessions and Corporate Partner Panel events with corporate sponsors facilitated by the WBDC-MN
  • Opportunities to participate in the WBDC-MN training and networking events with other WBEs, and corporate and government buyers, such as Procurement Meetings hosted by local corporations at their headquarters
  • Discounted attendance and exhibitor privileges at the WBDC's Annual Event and Matchmaking – OR its equivalent
  • One-on-one consulting on WBE marketing strategies and leveraging your WBE status, and personal introductions
  • Feeling of pride for being recognized as a certified woman-owned business!!

Last update 9/2017

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Eligibility criteria for the WBE Certification

All applicants seeking WBE Certification need to meet the following criteria:

  • Ownership — business must be at least 51% owned by a woman or women.
  • Contribution — female owner(s) must be able to provide proof of contribution of capital and/or expertise.
  • Operation and Control — female owner(s) must provide proof of management of the business (operating position, bylaws, hire-fire and other decision-making roles).
  • Independence — female owner(s) must be able to provide evidence that she has the ability to perform in the area of specialty or expertise without the reliance on either the finances or resources of a non-female owned firm.
  • US Citizenship or US Resident Alien Status

There are many benefits to being certified, but certification may not be the best option for every business. This short self-assessment quiz can help you determine if your business would benefit from WBE certification. Click here to access the Quiz: Is Certification Right for Me?

Last update 9/2017

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How to get certify for the WBE Certification

Current processing fees are:

  • Revenues under 1 million: $350
  • Revenues $1 million - $5 million $500
  • Revenues $5 million - $10 million $750
  • Revenues $10 million - $50 million $1,000
  • Revenues $50 million + $1,250

Because the certification process is very time-intensive and the processing fee is NON-REFUNDABLE, please be sure to determine your company qualifies for certification prior to submitting an application. All the steps are also described at www.wbenc.org/certification-process, including the required documents. The certification process typically takes about 90 days from the date the WBDC receives your completed application.

Last update 9/2017

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For more information

  • Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) Official webpage.
  • Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)
  • Ph 312.853.3477 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • WBDC Minneapolis, MN
  • Natasha Fedorova This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Download WBE flyers: WBENC Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) CertificationWBE Certification
  • WBENC is an approved third party certifier for Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification as part of the United States SBA’s WOSB Federal Contracting Program.

Last update 9/2017

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