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Documentation required for diverse business certification (Minority/Women/Veteran)?

As a part of the infrastructure of any company, documentation is a vital component. When it comes to certification and quality assurance, it means there are plenty of requirements for different kinds of documents and information needed for one’s certification. Understanding and managing the documentation to validate business certification is vital when applying and should be a focus of every organization.  

So, let’s go over some vital documentation for diverse business certification programs.

Business certification for Minority business enterprise: 

Minority Business Enterprise Certification (MBE) is a certification of the US federal government that certifies whether a business is at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by American citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Those who receive this certification are given a variety of benefits: 

A certified minority business enterprise can provide goods and services for government-funded projects and programs. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service will waive the $1,000 tax liens for debt incurred before receiving certification as a minority business enterprise. The MBE designation generally allows companies to compete more effectively for contracts with state and local governments and receive incentives from private sector organizations that have adopted diversity programs.

Eligibility for Minority-Owned Businesses Certification: 

To qualify as a minority business enterprise, 

  1. The company must be at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
  1. Must be in a minority group: Black, Hispanic, American Indian, or Alaska Native.
  1. For sole proprietorships. A current copy of the owner’s identification card and a letter from the owner attesting to their disadvantaged status.
  1. For businesses other than a sole proprietorship, a current copy of documents with the following in force:

(a) The business must have been in operation for at least three years before being certified.

(b) The business must maintain at least 50 employees for two years after certification.

(c) The business must have met all the performance standards in its most recent award year.

  1. The disadvantaged owners must be citizens of the US. There is no requirement that all of the owners be from the US.


Documents needed for Minority-Owned Business certification:

  1. Proof of being a citizen of the United States (e.g., U.S. passport)
  1. Proof of being an individual of one or more minority groups (e.g., a certified copy of a birth certificate showing the applicant’s race).
  1. Proof of ownership and control of 51 percent or more of the company’s stock by individuals reflecting the requisite social and economic disadvantage (e.g., a notarized statement from each disadvantaged owner describing his share, number of shares held, etc.)
  1. Official U.S birth certificate or passport of the company’s owner(s) (e.g., official birth certificate for a natural born US citizen or certified copy of the U.S. passport).
  1. Either a current copy of your State’s Minority Business Development Agency or Department certification report or online proof (e.g., credit card record, check record).
  1. A copy of your Company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  1. Current bank statement for the last three months.

Before applying for a new certification, it’s a good idea to review the application to ensure everything is there. Once submitted, you will be issued two letters: documentation of receipt and documentation of consideration. The former shows proof that your request was processed, and the latter confirms that it has been reviewed. 

 

Business certification for Women Business Enterprise: 

A Business Certification of women-owned business enterprises (WBE) is a certification program implemented by the United States Government for industries that benefit from women’s employment. WBEs are small businesses owned in whole or in part by women. Such companies allow women to gain business experience and learn the skills necessary to create wealth. Those who receive this certification are given a variety of benefits: 

The U.S Government will waive some of the requirements for the HUB program (National Advisory Committee on Women’s Business Ownership). In particular, the federal government will accept WBE status in lieu of certification from the National Advisory Committee on Women’s Business Ownership (NAC) as long as the company has a positive net worth, minimizes debt, and is not owned or controlled by a husband or family member of the owner or key management. In addition, some states will also waive requirements for WBE status, up to $200,000 of capital investment. 

 

Eligibility for Women-Owned Businesses Certification: 

To qualify as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise(WBE), a business must meet the following criteria: 

  1. Must be at least 51 percent owned and operated by a woman.
  1. Must be a U.S citizen.
  1. The woman who is the owner must be in charge of the management of the business, which means that she has the final say on how products and services are provided to customers and could participate in decision-making processes involving the business’s daily operations.
  1. The business must qualify as a small business per SBA standards.

 

Documents needed for Women-Owned Business certification: 

  1. Proof of legal entity (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, and so on).
  2. Proof of ownership in the name of the woman and/or WBE [e.g., notarized letter from the business owner (or designee), a photocopy of the latest tax return, corporate minutes].
  3. Proof that the woman is the owner or key decision maker [e.g., a notarized letter from the business owner (or designee), a photocopy of the latest tax return, corporate minutes].
  4. Official U.S birth certificate or passport of the company’s owner(s) (e.g., official birth certificate for a natural born US citizen or certified copy of the U.S passport).
  5. Current bank statement for the last three months.

 

Business Certification for Veteran Business Enterprise: 

Business Certified for Veterans are businesses primarily owned, managed, and controlled by members of the Armed Services (ARMY, MARINE CORPS, NAVY, and AIR FORCE) or a veteran such as retired members of the Armed Forces. Those who receive this certification are given a variety of benefits:  

Businesses with veteran owners are eligible for participation in the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program, designed to assist small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans and other socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in competing for government contracts. The program offers technical assistance, pre-qualified supplier lists, goal-oriented business counseling, and marketing and management training. In addition, there is a requirement that “at least 51 percent of the employees performing work for the contract must be veterans who are service-disabled or non-service disabled. For example, for a contract with a value of more than $250,000, at least 51 percent of the employees performing work for the contract must be veteran service-disabled and/or veteran non-service disabled.” 

 

Eligibility for Veteran-Owned Business Certification:

To qualify as a Veteran Business Enterprise, a business must meet the following criteria. 

  1. Be owned by or in partnership with owners who are retired members of the Armed Services — Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Navy.
  1. The company must be at least 51 percent owned by an individual who served on active duty, including members of reserve components, and/or who was separated under other than dishonorable conditions during any part of continuous military service after September 11, 2001.
  1. Owner must be a U.S citizen.
  1. Company can be a sole proprietorship, a general partnership, or a limited liability company (LLC) but must register and elect SBA as its representative to receive assistance from the 8(a) program and to establish the goal of contracting with the government. 
  1. The owner must have full control over the company.
  1. The owner works full-time in the business.

 

Documents needed for Veteran-Owned Business certification:

  1. Certified copy of military discharge papers [DD214].
  2. Proof of legal entity (articles of incorporation, partnership agreement, and so on).
  3. Proof of ownership in name of the owner and/or the business [e.g., a notarized letter from the business owner (or designee), a photocopy of the latest tax return, corporate minutes].
  4. Proof that the owner is a US citizen or eligible non-citizen (e.g., a notarized letter from the business owner (or designee), a photocopy of the latest tax return, corporate minutes].
  5. Official U.S birth certificate or passport of the company owner(s) (e.g. official birth certificate for a natural born US citizen or certified copy of the U.S passport).
  6. Current bank statement for the last three months.
  7. Veteran/Military ID

 

How to Get Certified?

  1. You have to contact a Business Certification Specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by calling 1-800-827-5722 or visiting https://certify.sba.gov/
  2. Complete a certification form, including an SBA application packet, and pay the fee online at https://certify.sba.gov/ or visit an SBA Certified Local Agent

  3. In addition to documentation, the SBA application packet should include the following:
  4. Proof that the owner(s) are US citizens or eligible non-citizens (e.g., a notarized letter from the business owner or designee, a photocopy of the latest tax return, corporate minutes).
  5. Submit all required papers to an SBA Certified Local Agent. The agent will assist you in submitting your application to the SBA over mail and phone.
  6. After certification has been issued and verified by U.S. Small Business Administration, you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility for any of the benefits mentioned above.

With the United States government’s investment of billions of dollars in social and economic development, the time is now to become certified. The certification process is simple, but just like applying for a job. The certification process will allow you and your business to increase your opportunities for accessing government contracts and programs. It will also allow you access to national and international markets, which can minimize competition and place your business on top. 

Tips: 58joralemon is an easy-to-use, all-inclusive solution for businesses seeking to verify their eligibility as minority-owned, women-owned or veteran-owned businesses. Our platform simplifies the process by capturing and submitting the information and documentation needed to verify your business’ eligibility and process your application.

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