Certification Packaging Services

Certification is a review process designed to ensure that a small business is actually owned, controlled, and operated by the applicants.  Certification agencies implement the processes for government and private sector entities and ensure that only firms that meet the eligibility criteria of the individual programs are properly certified.

SBCRA assists businesses with obtaining the following certifications.


Woman Owned

To become certified as a woman owned business, businesses must show:

  • All prospective members must provide clear and documented evidence that at least 51% or more is women-owned, managed, and controlled.
  • The business must be open for at least six months.
  • The business owner must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident alien.

Evidence must indicate that:

  • The contribution of capital and/or expertise by the woman business owner is real and substantial and in proportion to the interest owned.
  • The woman business owner must direct or cause the direction of management, policy, fiscal, and operational matters.
  • The woman business owner shall have the ability to perform in the area of specialty or expertise without reliance on either the finances or resources of a firm that is not owned by a woman.

Minority Owned

A minority-owned business is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories, which is owned, operated and controlled by minority group members. “Minority group members” are United States citizens who are Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.

Ownership by minority individuals means the business is at least 51% owned by such individuals or, in the case of a publicly-owned business, at least 51% of the stock is owned by one or more such individuals. Further, the management and daily operations are controlled by those minority group members.

Veteran Owned

The Veterans Administration verifies the authencity of all applications submitted.  It requires that in order to appear in the Vendor Information Pages (VIP) database, a VOSB (or SDVOSB) must be verified. Additionally, at the time of application, Veterans must submit copies to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of all of the business documents that 38 CFR Part 74 previously required only to be kept on file at the primary place of business. The core requirements for a company to become verified are:

The Veteran owner(s) have direct, unconditional ownership of at least 51percent of the company and have full decision making authority; The Veteran manages the company on both a strategic policy and a day-to-day basis; The Veteran holds the highest officer position ; The The Veteran should be the highest compensated employee unless there is a logical explanation otherwise, submitted by the Veteran as to how taking a lower salary than other employee(s) helps the business; and The Veteran has the managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to manage the company. The Applicant bears the burden of proof of adequately establishing its claimed status.

Disadvantaged Small Business (SDB) or Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE)

Federal law mandates a number of requirements with respect to disadvantaged business enterprises (“DBEs”) – as such entities are defined under federal law – in projects where federal funds are utilized. In terms of public works and construction projects, federal funds are generally used to some extent for major transportation projects in particular.

These requirements, which are under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Transportation, include setting of DBE utilization goals, design and implementation of a DBE “program”, monitoring and reporting.

To qualify as a DBE, the business must be owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged persons as defined by DBE Regulation 49 CFR Parts 23 and 26. The presumption of disadvantage is refutable.

Businesses must show:

Minimum 51% ownership, control, and expertise of the individual(s) and
Control of the daily management and operations of the individual(s).

The business’ size as measured by average annual gross receipts over the most recent three years must be under the specified dollar amounts.

Disabled Veteran Businesses (DVBE)

The law defines a disabled veteran as a United States military, naval or air service veteran with a service related disability of at least 10 percent.

For a firm to be certified as a DVBE, it must submit a completed Small Business and/or Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise Certification Application and meet the following legal requirements:

  • It is a sole proprietorship or partnership at least 51 percent owned by one or more disabled veterans or, in the case of a publicly owned business, with at least 51 percent of its stock owned by one or more disabled veterans; a subsidiary which is wholly owned by a corporation in which at least 51 percent of the parent company’s voting stock is owned by one or more disabled veterans; or a joint venture in which at least 51 percent of the joint venture’s management, control and earnings are held by one or more disabled veterans.
  • One or more disabled veterans control the management and daily control of the daily business operations. The disabled veteran(s) exercising management and control need not be the same disabled veteran(s) who own the firm.
  • It is a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation with its home office located in the United States and is not a branch or subsidiary of a foreign corporation, firm or business.


A business enterprise meets the basic requirements for admission to the 8(a) Business Development program if it is a small business which is unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals who are of good character and citizens of the United States, and which demonstrates potential for success. This certification is geared more for socially and economically disadvanted individuals as defined in the Small Business Act.

The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged firms. The SDB certification strictly pertains to benefits in federal procurement. Firms achieving 8(a) certification automatically qualify for SDB certification.

Program participation is divided into two stages: the developmental stage and the transitional stage. The developmental stage is four years and the transitional stage is five years. Participants are reviewed annually for compliance with eligibility requirements.

8(a) General Requirements for Certification:

  • Must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a socially and economically disadvantaged individual or individuals
    African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, Subcontinent Asian Americans, and Native Americans are presumed to qualify
  • Other individuals can be admitted into the program if they show through a preponderance of the evidence that they are disadvantaged because of race, ethnicity, gender, physical handicap or residence in an environment isolated from the mainstream of American society
  • Individuals must have a net worth of less than $250,000, excluding the equity of the business and primary residence
  • Must meet applicable size standards for small businesses in their industry
    2 full years of business operations


All small businesses that are interested in submitting an offer on a solicitation that has been set aside for WOSBs under the WOSB Program must complete this certification prior to submitting the offer. This includes checking all of the boxes and having an authorized officer of the WOSB sign and date the certification.

To be eligible, a firm must be at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. The women must be U.S. citizens. The firm must be “small” in its primary industry in accordance with SBA’s size standards for that industry. In order for a WOSB to be deemed “economically disadvantaged,” its owners must demonstrate economic disadvantage in accordance with the requirements set forth in the final rule.

HUBZone Business Enterprises (HUB)

To participate in HUB (Historically Underutilized Business) contracting programs, a business must be determined to be a “qualified HUBzone small business concern”. A firm can be qualified if:
It is small,
It is located in an “historically underutilized business zone” (HUB Zone)
It is owned and controlled by one or more US Citizens, and
At least 35% of its employees reside in a HUBZone.