The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program is designed to help small businesses in urban and rural areas gain preferential access to federal contracting opportunities. If your business is located in a HUBZone, you may be eligible for HUBZone certification. The goal of the program is to provide jobs and economic development in these areas. In order to be eligible for the program, businesses must meet certain criteria. Here’s what you need to know about the process.
A HUBZone is an area that has been designated by the SBA as belonging to one of the following categories:
- A qualified census tract (as defined in section 42(d)(5)(C)(i)(I) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986).
- A nonmetropolitan county with a median household income of less than 80 percent of the nonmetropolitan area median income or with an unemployment rate of not less than 140 percent of the statewide average rate.
- Lands within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation
- A base that has been closed or realigned under a Base Closure and Realignment Commission law
Step 1: Determine if your Business is in a HUBZone?
In order to qualify for the HUBZone certification, your business must be located in a designated “HUBZone.” To find out if your business is located in a HUBZone, you can use the SBA’s online tool – the HUBZone Map to put the address of your business in the search tool.
Step 2: Understand the Qualifications:
It is not only about being located in a designated HUBZone, your business must also meet the following criteria:
- Not more than 50% of your employees can live outside of a HUBZone
- At least 35% of your employees must live in a “qualified” census tract or nonmetropolitan county
- Your business must be considered small according to SBA standards
Step 3: Registering Your Business in SAM.gov.
The first step in applying for HUBZone certification is to create an account on SAM.gov, the website used by the federal government for contracting opportunities.
Step 4: Gathering Your Documentation
- Legal Business Documents
- Proving US Citizenship
- Specific company information about the location and a detailed breakdown of human capital
- Copies of Leases
- Detailed Payroll Records
Filling out the HUBZone application can be a challenge. If you need assistance, you can contact BizCentral USA to help you. Call us today to find out more.