If you have questions about the benefits and boundaries of set-asides please watch our video HERE   This class will be focusing on the process of applying for a set-aside.

What is self-certifying:  There is currently a bit of uncertainty about whether or not you have to fill out the below systems or whether you can just say you have a given set-aside. But I’d rather not worry, and the applications are pretty short, so I suggest you do them. Generally, there is pretty light scrutiny for the applications with the exception of 8(a), Veteran, and HUBZone, those get a real review

3rd party certification: If you don’t want the government to have copies of the below docs then you probably shouldn’t be a government contractor, but if you really want to work with the government but really don’t want the government to know about you then you can use (pay for) a 3rd party service. To find these google for “3rd party certification” and the set-aside you are interested in. But do your homework and get price quotes first and make sure they are legit.

Application process for Woman, Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned, 8(a):  The application process for all of these is pretty much the same, you need to show that a member, or members, of the given class owns and controls the company.

Info you will need:

  • Duns Number
  • MPIN (you will create this when you set up your SAM registration)
  • Tax info
  • Checks
  • Signature cards for bank accounts
  • Articles of Organization (also referred to as Certificate of Organization, or Articles of Formation) and any amendments;
  • Operating Agreement and any amendments; Joint Venture Agreement. NOTE: These docs need to show that the person with the designation (e.g. the Woman or the minority member) has operating control of the business
  • Scan of your US birth certificates, naturalization papers, or current, unexpired U.S. passports for all qualifying individual(s).
  • A resume that shows managerial experience of the extent and complexity needed to run the business
  • A narrative about economic disadvantage you’ve had- 8(a) only


To self certify create an SBA account HERE

Then go HERE   and select the set-aside you are interested in at the top

NOTE: Read the questions carefully, there is a lot in there about ownership and control that sounds intimidating and complex, but as long as the person in the relevant class really does own (woman, minority, etc) and control the business the answer is yes

Application for Veteran and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business:  This application process is kind of similar to the above, and in theory you only have to do this if you want to bid on VA work, for any other agency you can just assert that you qualify, but since we are getting our administrative house in order I recommend doing it now:

Info you will need: (everything for the above, except statement of economic disadvantage) AND:

  • DD-214
  • Disability documents from the VA (if you are going for SDVOSB)

Process: Create an account HERE

Application for HUBZone:  The process is relatively similar to the other programs except that you will have to show that 35% of your employees live in a HUBZone, and that your primary office is in a HUBZone. So collect all the information you’d need for the other set-asides and go HERE

State certification:  Most states have their own flavors of the above that helps when you are going after state contracts and since you have all the info handy this is a good time to go after them.