Certification

The DB Supportive Services Center’s primary goal is to assist small diverse businesses with becoming eligible to bid on state-funded contracts with PennDOT. The first step in becoming qualified to bid is certifying your business.

As the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), one of our partnering certification agencies,  states on their website, certification is not a requirement to own and run your business but is essential when vying for government contracts, both federal and state-mandated. The certification processing time varies with each agency, but it should take no longer than 90 days from the day you submit all of your materials and pay any required fees. You can download our DB SSC Resource Guide for step by step instructions on getting through each process should you need assistance.

 

Who can I certify with?

You certainly have options among who you want to certify with, but it’s very important that you do proper research so that you are supplied with the appropriate resources. Many, if not all, certification agencies offer countless grants, workshops, networking opportunities, as well as other perks when you become certified. Certain agencies are race/gender specific, so be sure to look into which agency best suits your needs as a small business owner.

Here at the DB SSC, we target minority-owned, women-owned, and veteran/disabled veteran-owned businesses, so the certifying agencies specific to those groups are:

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VETERAN/DISABLED VETERAN-OWNED)
Eastern Minority Supplier Development Council (MINORITY-OWNED)
Women’s Business Enterprise Council (WOMEN-OWNED)

We also recommend SBA and the PA Unified Certification Program (PA UCP).

 

What qualifies my firm a veteran-owned, minority-owned, or women-owned business?

Visit our What Is a Diverse Business page for more details.

 Is it possible to get contracts without a certification?

In order to bid either federal or state-funded construction contracts, you have to be certified by a certifying agency. NOTE: Keep in mind that Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) are optioned to only certify with PA UCP; to specifically certify as a DB, you can certify with any one of the agencies listed above.

 

I have more questions!

Feel free to contact us via phone or email us and we will be glad to assist you further!