HUBZone Certification: Ask yourself these questions to determine if you are on a path to success.
STEP 1: Is your business procurement ready?
Make sure you are ready to do business with the government BEFORE obtaining certification.
- Can you identify the federal agencies that purchase what you sell?
- Can you provide examples of similar work that your firm has completed that generated revenue?
- Are you prepared to access a line of credit or performance bond if required?
- Do you have financial and payroll systems that are compatible with the government's requirements that can produce financial statements and payroll records?
- Do you have a UEI (Unique Entity ID)? Selected a NAICS code? Are you registered in SAM?
- Have you completed a capabilities statement?
STEP 2: Is your business HUBZone eligible
- Is your organization a small business?
- Is the business at least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a CDC, an agricultural cooperative, a Native Hawaiian Organization, or an Indian tribe?
- Is your principal office (where the majority of your employees work) located in a HUBZone?
- Does the business have at least 35 percent of its employees residing in a HUBZone?
STEP 3: Is your business prepared to apply?
Don't let an incomplete application delay your participation in the program.
1. Gather ALL required supporting documents before you begin the online application.
- Use the document checklist to be sure you have gathered EVERYTHING. If you are missing even one required document your submission will be withdrawn as incomplete and you will be required to resubmit. If you are unsure about a particular requirement, ask in advance (see resources below).
- Use our HUBZone eligibility workbook calculator to present your information and verify eligibility. Save and upload it with your documents to expedite your review.
- Check that a signature is included and the correct boxes are checked on the signature page.
- Review and verify that your documents cover the electronic verification date(i.e. we can’t accept a payroll report or proof of residency that do not cover the required timeframes).
- Ensure your documents—particularly those related to citizenship, HUBZone residency, and principal office—are legible and not expired. All leases must be signed by both parties AND contain dates.
2. Apply online through the HUBZone portal on SBA Connect.
When starting your online application, it's important to remember the following:
- You must be registered in the System Awards Management (SAM) system.
- Be sure to use the same Employer Identification Number (EIN) that you provided in SAM; using a different EIN may result in a rejection.
- Register for an SBA Connect account at connect.sba.gov and request access to the HUBZone portal
- Double check the status of your application by logging into your account.
3. Stay on top of email and check your spam folder to verify your application IN TIME.
- Shortly after you submit in the HUBZone portal, you will receive a notice that you have 2 days to go back into the portal to verify your application. This becomes the electronic verification date by which your submission is analyzed.
- Check your spam folder if you do not see the email right away; responding with the 2-day window is essential to ensuring your application isn't rejected.
4. Ensure your required documents are uploaded correctly.
- Once your application is verified, you will receive another email from the SBA with instructions for uploading all required documents within 3 days.
- Have your documents ready to go so that when this email arrives, you are prepared to upload as directed. Be sure that the firm name and application number are on the documents.
- Refer to the document checklist to ensure you have completed all steps.
- Be ready to respond quickly - within 5 days - to any request from the SBA team for additional documents.
All information provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration