Certification from the Kansas Statewide Certification Program increases opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses to gain contracts and subcontracts from government and private entities committed to the inclusion of minority- and women-owned businesses.
Certifications administered are Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE).
Who Can Qualify
- The business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by a minority, a woman, or a disadvantaged person.
- The owner’s personal net worth cannot exceed $1.32 million, minus the present value of primary residence & interest in the business (this is not required for MBE/WBE certification).
- The owner must possess the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the firm and to make day-to-day decisions.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted permanent U.S. resident.
- The enterprise must be organized as a for-profit and operate as an independent, small business (as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration).
- If the primary business activity requires a professional license, the applicant must hold and maintain the required license.
You can apply through the Kansas Department of Commerce here.
To help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate in the 8(a) Business Development program.
Disadvantaged businesses in the 8(a) program can:
- Compete for set-aside and sole-source contracts in the program
- Get a Business Opportunity Specialist to help navigate federal contracting
- Form joint ventures with established businesses through the SBA's Mentor-Protégé Program
- Receive management and technical assistance, including business training, counseling, marketing assistance, and high-level executive development
You can compete for contract awards under multiple socio-economic programs, as they apply.
Effective July 15, 2020, to qualify for the 8(a) program, follow this eligibility checklist:
- Be a small business
- Not have previously participated in the 8(a) program
- Be at least 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S. citizens who are socially and economically disadvantaged
- Have a personal net worth of $750K or less, adjusted gross income of $350K or less and $6 million or less in assets
- Demonstrate good character and potential to perform on contracts
The federal government fully defines who qualifies for the 8(a) program—including what counts as being socially and economically disadvantaged—in Title 13 Part 124 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). You can also get a preliminary assessment of whether the 8(a) program is right for you at the SBA’s Certify website.
Get Certified as an 8(a) Small Business
Before you can participate in the 8(a) Business Development program, you must be certified.
To apply for the 8(a) Business Development program, simply use the certify.SBA.gov website. You’ll need to have a profile at SAM.gov before you can use the certification website. The information you’ll need to provide will vary based on your business structure and whether you’re already participating in other SBA programs. Please refer to the Certify Knowledge Base for tips and helpful resources before you apply.
You’ll be notified if your application was approved or not. If you’re accepted into the program, your profile in the Dynamic Small Business Search will show your approval date and exit date for the program.
Your certification will last for a maximum of nine years. You'll need to complete annual reviews to maintain your good standing in the program.
Since October 2008, small businesses can self-represent their status as a small disadvantaged business (SDB). You do not have to submit an application to SBA for SDB status.
To self-represent as an SDB, register your business in the System for Award Management. However, you and your firm must still understand the SBA eligibility criteria for SDBs. Generally, this means that:
- The firm must be 51% or more owned and control by one or more disadvantaged persons.
- The disadvantaged person or persons must be socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
- The firm must be small, according to SBA’s size standards
While SBA must still certify all firms that participate in the 8(a) Business Development Program, the requirements to be approved are different and more rigorous than SDB only status. If you believe your firm is ready for the 8(a) Business Development program, click here.
For more information on SDB certification, view the October 3, 2008 Federal Register notice content on why you no longer need to submit an application to SBA.
For definition purposes only, a Section 3 Business concern is a business:
- that is 51% or more owned by Section 3 residents and whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more individuals;
- whose permanent, full-time employees include persons, at least 30% of whom are currently Section 3 residents, or within three years of the date of first employment with the business concern were Section 3 residents; or,
- that commits to award more than 25% of all subcontracts to business concerns, which meet the two above criteria.
For definition purposes only, a Section 3 Resident is
- a public housing resident
- an individual who resides in the metropolitan area in which the section 3 assistance is expended and who is a low-income person (whose income does not exceed 80% of the area median family income or a very low-income person (whose income does not exceed 50% of the area median family income.
The Section 3 Business Registry is a listing of firms that have self-certified that they meet one of the regulatory definitions of a Section 3 business and are included in a searchable online database that can be used by agencies that receive HUD funds, developers, contractors, and others to facilitate the award of certain HUD-funded contracts. The database can also be used by Section 3 residents to identify businesses that may have HUD-funded employment opportunities.
To search the database for self-certified Section 3 businesses, register your business for inclusion, or for more information on the Business Registry, please visit the HUD site.
Additional information on the requirements of Section 3, can be found here.