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Certification for Small Businesses

Unlocking Government Contracts and Private Sector Opportunities

As a small business owner, securing the right certifications is key to unlocking doors to government contracts and exclusive opportunities in the private sector. This guide offers valuable insights into the two primary categories of business certifications and provides a step-by-step outline to help you secure certifications tailored to your business needs.

For further details and to kickstart your certification journey, visit our Certification Guidance for Small or Diverse Businesses.

Business Certifications Overview

  1. Government-Backed Certifications:
    • These certifications make your business eligible for specific federal contracts.
    • The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers certifications for programs like the 8(a) Business Development Program and the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program.
  2. Private Sector Certifications:
    • These certifications provide opportunities through collaborations with private sector entities.
    • Industry partners specialize in certification services and more, often at no cost to your business.

Government Contracts

Get Certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Your small business needs to meet certain requirements before competing for government contracts. The SBA can guide you in meeting these requirements and certify your business for specific programs.

Certification Programs:

  1. 8(a) Business Development Program: Designed to assist small, disadvantaged businesses.
  2. HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program: Focuses on businesses operating in Historically Underutilized Business Zones.

UC San Diego Contracting:

  • If providing goods or services to UC San Diego, certification as a small business with the SBA is important to ensuring the university's federal contracts utilize diverse suppliers.

Getting Started: Visit the Federal Contracting tab on the Small Business Administration website ( to learn more.

Private Sector Opportunities

Industry Partners Certification Services

Our industry partners specialize in providing certification services and other valuable resources for small businesses at no cost to you.

Explore Certification Opportunities:

Certifying your small business is a strategic step towards accessing a wide range of opportunities, both in government contracts and the private sector. Take advantage of the resources available, including guidance from the SBA and support from industry partners, to elevate your business to new heights.