Certifications are important for many types of organizations, especially small businesses that want to work with the U.S. government or receive special accommodations.

Although there are a number of certifications depending on your gender, location and business type – here are four that are worth learning about.

1. Small Disadvantaged Businesses
The Small Disadvantaged Businesses certification, or SDB, is designed for companies with owners who classify themselves as socially or economically disadvantaged.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there is no application for this certification. You can register yourself – assuming you meet the criteria, which includes a majority ownership of one person who is socially or economically disadvantaged.

2. HUBZone Program
HUBZone Program is for historically underutilized businesses, including those in urban and rural areas. With this certification, your company would be first in line for select federal aid and assistance, according to the SBA. At least 35% of your employees must be in a designated “HUBZone,” per one eligibility requirement.

3. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses
The Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses certification is for small businesses owned by U.S. military veterans with a service-related disability. The SBA explained that this certification sets aside resources from the federal government for this type of organization. Veterans must own at least 51% of the business, among other requirements, to qualify.

4. 8(a) Business Development Program
Similar to the SDB designation, the 8(a) Business Development Program was created to assist socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses. According to the SBA, this program is broken up into two parts: first, the development process covers the first four years, followed by the five-year transition stage. Once certified, you can receive specialized contracts and form partnerships with fellow 8(a) organizations.

Were you aware of these small business certifications? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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