Last Updated: Aug 25, 2015
Certification as a small business, socio-economic disadvantaged business, woman-owned business, veten-owned business, or some combination of those can give an edge in bidding on contcts with the government and with prime who sell to the government. Here’s the scoop.

The fedel government awards more than $200 billion every year in government contcts, mng it one of the largest, if not the largest, rs of goods and services in the country. For businesses that are small, women-owned, minority-owned, or service-disabled veten-owned, this is particularly good news because the fedel government has mandated that 25 percent of all government contcts should be given to small businesses meeting those requirements. Here are a few key points for businesses owners interested in seizing these opportunities.

While certification is not a mandatory requirement for doing business with the government, if are a woman, minority or service-disabled veten business owner, should get r business certified. “Certification” is the process by which someone, usually a government entity such as the Small Business Administtion or the Department of Tnsportation, or approved third-party certification organizations,reviews r business to confirm that it is indeed owned by a woman, minority, or service-disabled veten.

RELATED: How to Get Your Share of Government Contracts

Numerous “socio-economic” certifications exist, including the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, SBA 8(a), Women Owned Small Business, and Service Disabled Veten Owned Small Business. Each of these certifications targets specific types of owners, such as minorities or women.

The advantage of being certified is that instead of competing for government contcts with large government who are household name companies, r company will compete for contcts with businesses that are similar in size and capability. While the contcts are ly smaller than the large contcts may hear about in the news, many of the contcts set de for small businesses are still worth millions of dollars.

To determine whether or r company is eligible for certification, must ly be able to meet the following qualifications:

 

Ownership, size and personal net worth are three key iteria that certifying agencies will review to determine whether r company is eligible for a particular certification. There many more, and it important for to ensure that under all of the requirements for the particular certification seek and that have taken the necessary steps to meet them. Without a doubt, the benefits of completing the certification process can be significant, as r business will have cleared the first step towards getting its slice of the $200 billion government contcts pie.

Jeff Cazeau is a shareholder with law firm Becker & Poliakoff who has a national pctice assisting small and mid-sized companies obtain and keep contcts with fedel, state and local government entities. He may be reached at [email protected].

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