Capital Building

Learn How To Acquire Hubzone Certification for Your Small Business

Learn How To Acquire Hubzone Certification for Your Small Business

HUBZone is a program of Small Business Administration in the United States. The program is meant for small companies that operate and employ people in Historically Under-utilized Business Zones. In response to the HUBZone Empowerment Act of 1998, the HUBZone program was created. It promotes equal procurement opportunities to small, minority, and women-owned businesses. Companies that are interested to do business in the federal market are encouraged to obtain HUBZone certification.

The HUBZone program helps small businesses that are in urban as well as rural communities to access federal procurement opportunities. So it does not matter where your business is situated. If you have a small business and you are willing to deal in the federal market to obtain government contracts, then obtaining HUBZone certification would be right for you. 

We will be explaining all the necessary aspects that will help you to get certified. The topic includes:

  • How does the program work?
  • HUBZone program qualifications.
  • Benefits of the program.
  • Steps to apply for HUBZone certification.
  • Maintain your HUBZone certification.

So keep reading…

How does the HUBZone program work?

Small Business Administration regulates the HUBZone program. So the SBA does the following things:

  • SBA determines which businesses are eligible for the HUBZone contracts.
  • Maintains a list of qualified HUBZone small businesses so that the federal agencies can use it to locate vendors.
  • Gives formal judgments or protests for disputed eligibility to receive HUBZone contracts.
  • Reports to the Congress of the U.S. on the program’s impact on employment in HUBZone areas.

HUBZone Program qualifications

A small business needs to be eligible for the HUBZone Program. Without meeting the requirement a business cannot get HUBZone certification. In this section, we will be discussing the qualifications to meet the criteria.

  • According to SBA size standards your business needs to be a small business.
  • The company must be owned and controlled by the citizens of the United States. The ownership has to be at least 51%.
  • The company can also be owned and controlled by a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian organization, an Alaska Native corporation or an Indian tribe. 
  • Must have the principal office at a HUBZone location.
  • 35% of the employees must live in a HUBZone location.

You can find all the criteria from the Code of Federal Regulations also known as CFR.

Benefits of the HUBZone program

Only HUBZone-certified companies will be benefitted. The government limits the competition for keeping the small businesses in an advantageous position. The U.S. government does this for certain contracts to businesses that are in the historically underutilized zones. If you manage to join the HUBZone program then your business will be eligible to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. The certified businesses also get a price evaluation preference of 10% in full and open contract competitions. The government has set a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to certified small business concerns.

There are other benefits that are associated with the contracts that you will be getting after obtaining.

Apply to get HUBZone certificate as a small business

You must be certified by the Small Business Administration before you can participate in the HUBZone program. We have explained all the steps in a proper sequence. You just need to follow these steps in order to get HUBZone certification.

  • Make sure you have SAM.gov. account.
  • You also must have a General Login System account.
  • By using the General Login System, apply for HUBZone certification.
  • Before completing the prompt, login, then select “Access” and then “HUBZone”.
  • For time-sensitive instructions check your email, to verify your application electronically within two business days.
  • Within three business days, submit all requested supporting documentation. Remember that your submission cannot be assigned for eligibility review until all the required documents are submitted.
  • Prepare to respond to the requests for additional information from the HUBZone team within five business days. If you fail to do that then, your application will be declined or withdrawn.
  • Check if your status was updated in DSBS and SAM. The SBA will automatically update your status in DSBS and SAM within 48 hours.  

                       Also Read:  Know All About HUBZone Certification Program

Why did the United States change the current regulations of the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the HUBZone program?

In 2019, the SBA announced final rules to amend the HUBZone regulations to make it easier for smaller businesses to use and utilize the HUBZone program. Small firms will be more enticed to invest in HUBZones and recruit HUBZone residents as a result of the changes. It becomes easier for federal agencies to meet their goals to award 3% of contracts to certified HUBZone small businesses.

Will the current HUBZone map freeze get extended?

The current HUBZone maps will not be available in time to update the map on 1st January 2022. SBA has published a notice in the Federal Register that the map will be updated on 1st July 2023.

Does the HUBZone map freeze apply to all HUBZone designations?

The HUBZone Map freeze is only applicable to Qualified Census Tracts, Redesignated Areas, and Qualified Non-Metropolitan Countries. During the time of the freeze, none of them will lose their HUBZone designation and no new member will be added to the HUBZone Map.

Timely maintain your HUBZone certification

Once in every year, you need to recertify for the HUBZone program. As long as a business continues to qualify a business can always participate. After every three years, a program examination is required.

 

Conclusion

Acquiring the HUBZone certification is not so easy nor it is too difficult. Applicants just need to work systematically to make their businesses eligible for the HUBZone program. We have covered the key elements that will increase the chances of you getting certified. If you do follow these steps systematically and consider all the important aspects, surely you will be able to get HUBZone certification. So wait no more and start the chase for success!

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