Hubzone Application Completion Service

2,000 + Certified

We live and breath Hubzone Certification. Our success rate is over 99% for clients we pre-qualify.

Real References

We have hundreds of real references you can contact to verify our process and their success.

19+ Years of Experience

We have been helping small businesses get certified and maintain their eligibility since 1999.

What is this service and who should consider it?

This turnkey service is designed for the small business owner who needs an expert to prepare all aspects of their SBA Hubzone Application. We work one-on-one with you to make sure your Hubzone Application is prepared properly and is accepted by the SBA.

We are experienced at solving complex Hubzone application show stoppers and have the knowledge and expertise to properly prepare your Hubzone Application.

 

Pre-Qualify.

We pre-qualify all potential clients to determine if they meet all of the current Hubzone eligibility requirements. Even if you don’t currently qualify we will inform as to reasons why and what you need to do to meet the Hubzone eligibility requirements.

 

Review.

As we receive your requested information, we review each individual element, line by line, to make sure everything meets the Hubzone Program eligibility requirements. If potential issues or questions are found, we alert you immediately and let you know the workaround to any issue or question that might be brought up by the SBA.

Submit & Support.

At the end of the preparation process, we complete and upload your Hubzone Application documents for review by the SBA. Should your SBA reviewer request any additional information needed to complete their review, we will draft and respond to all SBA requests as part of our service.

Frequently Asked Questions

The federal government tries to award at least three percent of all federal prime contracting dollars to historically underutilized business zones (Hubzone) certified businesses each year. Firms that are Hubzone certified by the SBA are eligible for the following Federal procurement preferences:

  • Application of a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open competition, for requirements above the simplified acquisition threshold. In such cases, the price offered by a Hubzone firm will be deemed lower than the price offered by the lowest, responsive large business offeror, as long as the Hubzone firm’s price is not more than 10 percent higher than the price offered by that offeror.
  • Award of contracts set-aside for competition among Hubzone certified firms.
  • Negotiation of sole source contracts if the contracting officer determines that: only one Hubzone certified firm can satisfy the requirement; the anticipated award price of the contract is not more than $5.5 million for manufacturing requirements, and not more than $3.5 million for all other requirements; the vendor is responsible with respect to performance; and the award can be made at a fair and reasonable price.
  • While there is no specific goal for award of subcontracts to Hubzone certified firms, construction contracts exceeding $1 million, and all other prime contracts exceeding $550,000, must include, to the extent practicable, subcontracting plans that provide opportunities for Hubzone certified firms.

Hubzone certified businesses can also compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs they qualify for.

A search of FPDS (Federal Procurement Data System) found that between 10/2/2016 to 9/30/2018 there were 18,524 contract actions totaling $2,511,885,519.12 awarded in the Hubzone program. 

Before you sign-up:

Before we take you on as client, we ask you to complete our online Hubzone Eligibility Questionnaire to ensure there are no potential Hubzone Program eligibility issues that may prevent your business from becoming Hubzone Certified. If we find any show stoppers, based upon your responses to our questionnaire, we identify what they are and let you know what needs to be done to overcome them, if possible, so you can apply when you are able to.

When you are ready to sign-up:

Assuming you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the Hubzone Program we will send you a service agreement for the Hubzone Application Completion Service. Once we receive it back, you will be provided a progress report that details the specific documentation needed from you and your business based upon your unique circumstances. Along with this progress report we provide data collection worksheets, templates and samples that will assist you in providing or collecting some of the information requested. We also provide you with access to a secure Dropbox folder to upload the requested information and documents to.

If your firm needs to be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM.GOV) system or the SBA Dynamic Small Business System (DSBS), we will take care of registering your firm or we will make sure your existing profile has everything needed, as part of our service.

We review, prepare and complete your entire SBA Hubzone Application including the electronic application and supporting document portions, including all required forms, attachments and supporting enclosures.

As we receive your requested documents, we review each individual element, line by line. If potential issues or questions are found we will alert you immediately and let you know the workaround to any issue or question that might be brought up by the SBA.

We complete the electronic application and upload all supporting information required in the SBA required format.

Every item and specific area within your Hubzone Application will be identified, noted as applicable or not and separated accordingly so your SBA Hubzone reviewer can easily review and expedite your Hubzone Application for approval.

Even after the Hubzone Application is submitted, should your SBA analyst request any additional information needed to complete their review, we draft and respond to all SBA requests as part of our turnkey Hubzone Application Completion Service.

This is a turn-key service. We are devoted to making sure your Hubzone Application has the best chance for approval and provide full support and guidance from the service start until you receive notification from the SBA that you are Hubzone certified.

If you would like a Hubzone Program eligibility analysis, please take our online hubzone eligibility questionnaire.

You are also welcome to review the basic eligibility requirements below.

Generally, to be approved into the Hubzone Program you must meet these basic eligibility requirements:

Eligibility Criteria 1:
Your business concern’s principal office must be located in a qualified SBA designated Hubzone. Search the SBA’s Mapping system and verify if your principal office is located in a qualified SBA designated Hubzone.

  • Definition of Principal Office:
    Principal office is defined as the location where the greatest number of the business concern’s employees at any one location perform their work. However, for those business concerns whose primary industry is service or construction, the determination of principal office excludes the business concern’s employees who perform the majority of their work at job-site locations to fulfill specific contract obligations.

If you help understanding this requirement please read our article on “Understanding the Hubzone 35% residency and principal office requirements“.

Eligibility Criteria 2:
Your business concern must be at least 51% unconditionally and directly owned and controlled by persons who are US citizens.

  • Definition of unconditionally and directly owned and controlled:
    Unconditionally and directly ownership means directly owning at least 51% of the business concern. Ownership must be direct and cannot be through another business or trust, unless the trust is revocable and you are the sole grantor and trustee of the trust. Control means both the day-to-day management and long term decision making authority for the business concern. Generally, you should be the highest ranking officer of the business too.

Eligibility Criteria 3:
35% of your business concern’s employees must reside in an SBA designated Hubzone.

  • Definition of Employee and Reside:
    Employee means all individuals employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis, so long as that individual works a minimum of 40 hours per month. This includes employees obtained from a temporary employee agency, leasing concern, or through a union agreement or co-employed pursuant to a professional employer organization agreement. SBA will consider the totality of the circumstances, including criteria used by the IRS for Federal income tax purposes and those set forth in SBA’s Size Policy Statement No. 1, in determining whether individuals are employees of a concern. Volunteers (i.e., individuals who receive deferred compensation or no compensation, including no in-kind compensation, for work performed) are not considered employees. However, if an individual has an ownership interest in and works for the business a minimum of 40 hours per month, that owner is considered an employee regardless of whether or not the individual receives compensation. Reside means to live in a primary residence at a place for at least 180 days, or as a currently registered voter, and with the intent to live there indefinitely.

Again, if you help understanding this requirement please read our article on “Understanding the Hubzone 35% residency and principal office requirements“.

Eligibility Criteria 4:
Your business concern must be classified as a small business as defined by the SBA.

  • Definition of Small Business:
    Small business means the business concern, with its affiliates, must meet the size standard corresponding to its primary industry classification.

Eligibility Criteria 5:
Certify that when performing a Hubzone contract, at least 35% of your employees continue to reside in an SBA designated Hubzone. If your concern is owned by an Indian Tribal Government, 35% of your employees engaged in performing that contract must reside within an SBA designated Hubzone. You must “attempt” to maintain the 35% requirement throughout the life of the contract.

  • Attempt to Maintain
    This means that the business can fall below 35% without withdrawing, and losing its contract but must be making efforts to return to the 35% number, such as posting employment positions, etc. The SBA can de-certify a firm that does not makes efforts to regain its 35% Hubzone employee requirement.

Keep in mind that each Hubzone Application is unique and document requirements vary for each Hubzone Application.

Below is a general list of items that will need to be included within your Hubzone application. Your unique application may require additional items not specified below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The electronic verification date for your firm’s HUBZone application is the date on which the applicant authorizes the electronic HUBZone Application for processing by the SBA. The verification notice will be sent to the firm via electronic communication by the SBA after completing the HUBZone electronic Application. This date is extremely important to note.

Documents demonstrating your firm meets Ownership & Control and Size requirements:

Corporate documents: Although your firm may not be required to submit all of the following documentation to the Secretary of State, in your state, it is nonetheless required and necessary to determine the eligibility criteria for the SBA HUBZone Program. Failure to provide these documents will result in your application being withdrawn or declined by the SBA.

The following documents must be provided, each of which must be valid at the time of electronic verification and have all required signatures:

If your firm is a Corporation:

  • DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate, if applicable.
  • Articles of Incorporation and any amendments (Only submitting the Secretary of State (SOS) seal certificate is not acceptable. You must also submit a copy of the firm’s Articles of Incorporation along with the SOS seal certificate.)
  • Corporate Bylaws and any amendments.
  • Executed Stock Certificates (front & back).
  • Stock Ledger or Register (This ledger or register should summarize all stock actions taken from issuance through transfer and or cancellation.

If your firm is a Limited Liability Company (LLC):

  • DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate, if applicable.
  • Articles of Organization and any amendments (Only submitting the Secretary of State (SOS) seal certificate is not acceptable. You must also submit a copy of the firm’s Articles of Organization along with the certificate with the SOS seal certificate.)
  • Operating Agreement and any amendments.

If your firm is a Sole Proprietor:

  • DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate, if applicable.

If your firm is a Partnership:

  • DBA (Doing Business As) Certificate, if applicable.
  • Partnership Agreement and any amendments.

Documents demonstrating Firm Ownership, any Affiliation and Citizenship:

  • Proof of US Citizenship for owners. One of the following:
    • Birth certificate
    • Current valid U.S. Passport
    • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Other key ownership related documents:

If your firm is a member of a franchise you will need to provide a copy of the franchise agreement. If your firm is owned in part by an ESOP or Trust you will need to provide a copy of the ESOP plan or Trust Agreement.

Documents demonstrating your firm meets the Hubzone employment and principal office requirements:

  • Firm location list that lists all locations maintained by your firm or used as job sites to include:
    • Complete address for all office locations and each applicable job site location(s).
    • Specification of which of the following 3 location types it is:
      • Principal Office: Location maintained by your firm (i.e., owned or leased by your firm) where the greatest number of your firm’s employees at any one location perform their work.
      • Other firm location(s): Location(s) maintained by your firm which are NOT the Principal Office.
      • Job site: Firms whose “primary industry” is service or construction should classify as job sites all locations used to fulfill specific contract obligations.
    • A listing of all employees working at the Principal Office.
    • The number of hours that each employee performs their work at the Principal Office location that include the days of week and business hours each office is staffed.
    • The number of hours that each employee performs their work at other office location(s) that include the days of week and business hours each office is staffed at other office location(s).

Please Note: If the firm only operates from the principal office location and there are no other locations or job sites, you must provide the requested information for the principal office location and indicate that there are no other locations and or job sites in writing.

  • A Hubzone Map printout of your principal office location.
  • Lease/rental agreement/deed for Principal Office: A copy of a fully executed lease/rental agreement or deed for the firm’s Principal Office location which is valid and in full effect at the time of electronic verification of your application. Your firm’s full legal name must be identified as being the lessee, renter, or owner. If your lease/rental agreement or deed only includes a parcel description, you must also provide a property tax bill and/or insurance policy supporting the physical address of the Principal Office location.

If you operate out of your primary residence, you must provide a copy of the deed for your primary residence, a copy of a utility bill that covers the period of time including the electronic verification of your application. Examples include gas, electric, water, sewer or landline telephone. Cellular phone bills are not acceptable. You must also provide a copy of the firms insurance policy too.

Note: A property tax bill and/or insurance policy is for verification of the physical address only. Submission of this document in lieu of the required lease or deed is not acceptable.

  • Utility bill for Principal Office:  You must provide a copy of a utility bill for the firm’s Principal Office that covers the period of time including the electronic verification of your application. Examples include gas, electric, water, sewer, internet or landline telephone. Cellular phone bills are not acceptable. If utilities are included with the rent and you cannot provide a land-line telephone bill, you must provide evidence that utilities are included within lease/rental agreement or signed affidavit from lessor indicating this is the case.
  • Employee list: You must provide a complete listing of all who work for the firm at the time of electronic verification, including paid or unpaid owners, salaried or hourly-wage employees, and temporary workers. If an individual has an ownership interest in and works for the business a minimum of 40 hours per month, that owner is considered an employee regardless of whether or not the individual receives compensation. This listing must include for each individual:
    • Full name
    • Description of type of worker, e.g., salaried, included in payroll, owner, leased, obtained through PEO, obtained through union agreement, shared with affiliate, temporary, etc. Note: Some individuals may require multiple designations in the description, “owner, salaried, included in payroll.”
    • Whether or not the individual resides in a Hubzone. This should be supported by the documents specified below regarding Hubzone maps and identification/proof of residence.
    • Number of hours worked per month.
    • Primary work location, e.g., Principal Office, other firm location, OR job site. If the individual works at more than one location, select the location where the individual spends the single greatest portion of their time. (As an example, if an employee works 16 hours per week at the “Principal Office,” 12 hours per week at an “other firm location,” and 12 hours per week at a “job site,” specify the Principal Office as the primary work location).
    • Working days of the week and hours of principal office.
  • Contractor List (If Applicable):

The SBA may use the totality of circumstances to find that independent contractors are considered employees for the purpose of Hubzone certification.

For each independent contractor that worked at least 40 hours during the month preceding the time of review, provide the contractor’s full name and signed copies of executed contracts.

If signed copies of executed contracts are not available, provide:

  • A detailed description of work performed by each independent contractor including the number of hours worked, the type of work performed, and where the work is performed.
  • Copies of all invoices from each independent contractors, and proof of payment for invoices.
  • Do any of the independent contractors have or have they had in the past, business cards issued by your firm? If yes, provide SBA with a copy of the business card.
  • Do any of the independent contractors have email accounts issued to them by your firm? If so, provide SBA with individual’s email address.
  • Payroll records: You must provide a copy of your firm’s official payroll record from a time period which covers the date of electronic verification and shows at a minimum the employee’s name, number of hours worked for that pay period, and wages with taxes and adjustments. (Salaried employees who do not have hours worked specified are assumed to work 40 hours per week.) This payroll record must clearly show the pay period’s beginning and end dates, not just the pay date. Do not submit a combined summary of all the pay periods. Each pay period will need to be provided on a separate payroll record.

Note: In order for the SBA to consider a person working for your firm to be an employee, we must have evidence from your payroll records that the person works at least 40 hours in a month’s time. All payroll records submitted must be for the time of electronic verification and PRIOR.

For example: If Payroll is paid on the 30th of the month and the application is submitted on January 2, 2019. The applicant firm must wait at minimum until the January 31, 2019 payroll is issued before the processing of the application may begin. In this example, you would be prohibited from using the December 31, 2019 payroll date because that date does not include the electronic verification date. For any employees working less than 40 hours in the payroll period which includes the date of electronic verification, you must also provide enough immediately previous payrolls to demonstrate that those employees work at least 40 hours in a month’s time. As an example, if you have a weekly payroll system and an employee who works 10 hours the week of electronic verification, you would need to provide the 3 previous weekly payrolls in order to demonstrate that the person works 40 hours per month for a total of 4 weekly payrolls. The latest of these 4 contiguous payroll periods should include the date of application submission.

  • State and federal employment filings: You must provide complete copies of your firm’s most recently available state unemployment tax filing and the most recently available federal employment quarterly report (Form 941- Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Form). The state unemployment report must include the employee listing supporting the summary of wages.

If the firm has not filed any of the above reports, you must note as such in writing. Failure to provide a response to this request will cause a delay in the processing of the application.

  • Hubzone maps of Hubzone residents’ addresses: Copies of the Hubzone Map to verify each Hubzone employees’ residence is in a Hubzone. In order to provide the Hubzone map for each employee, select the following link:

https://maps.certify.sba.gov/hubzone/map

Once you enter the Hubzone mapping system enter the physical address for each Hubzone employee. Print the page using the Printable Version button on the right side of the screen. Print the page exactly as it is displayed including the personal address for each individual. Altering the Hubzone Map or not providing the entire printout will make the document invalid. Please write the employee’s name at the bottom of each map and provide a printed map for each employee and do not provide one locator for multiple employees.

  • Identification/proof of residence for Hubzone residents: You must provided a copy of a valid (unexpired) Department of Motor Vehicles driver’s license, Department of Motor Vehicles Identification card, or voter’s registration card for each of the firm’s Hubzone resident employees. Do not send Social Security cards. The copy must be legible and show the employee’s full name and address. If the address listed is no longer valid or is a PO Box, you must also provide a copy of a current lease agreement, mortgage statement, utility bill (not cell phone), or change of address card in the name of the individual which shows the Hubzone address where the individual resides. Failure to provide sufficient proof of Hubzone residency for employees could lead to your firm being proposed for de-certification.
  • Provided the appropriate HUBZone Program Certification Signature Sheet (based on your firm’s ownership structure)

This form must be signed by an officer of the firm authorized to represent the applicant, notarized, and mailed in hard copy. An email or faxed copy of the Program Certification Signature Sheet will NOT be accepted.

Please note that if all of the above supporting documentation being requested is not received within the allotted time frame, your application may be withdrawn or declined. Failure to submit information and documentation within the allotted time frame is a common cause of applications being withdrawn or declined. Please make note of your submission deadline.

Other Key Tips:

  • You must have a current SAM.GOV, SBA DSBS (Dynamic Small Business Search) and Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) profile for your business. All profiles must match the address of principal office of the firm.
  • You must identify your primary NAICS code within your SAM.GOV and DSBS Profile.

We have worksheets, samples, and templates that assist in collecting and developing most of the information requested.

For example, if you do not have a set of bylaws or an operating agreement, we will assist in the creation of these documents.

It typically takes a minimum of 2 weeks to prepare the Hubzone Application, although this time frame can be shorter or longer depending on the degree of complexity of your Hubzone Application.

Be cautious if any other consultant tells you that they can prepare your Hubzone application in just a few days, as this is sure to result in a denial. It takes time to properly compile, review and complete all of your Hubzone documentation.

Once your electronic Hubzone Application is authorized for processing, the SBA provides up to 10 business days for the uploading of all supporting documents.

When the SBA has determined that your Hubzone Application is deemed complete, it will take approximately 90-120 days to be notified of a decision by the SBA.

We maintain a very high success rate for our Hubzone Application Completion Service. In fact, our success rate is over 99%.

We are able to reach this success rate by doing an extensive qualifying interview with every client to make sure they pass our qualification test for the Hubzone Program prior to engagement.

Even if you don’t qualify, we will tell you what you must do so you can apply in the near future.

1. We live and breath Hubzone Certification!

  • We keep up to date on all of the latest daily SBA Hubzone Program changes.
  • We have a detailed understanding of the current SBA Hubzone Regulations.
  • We review all of the latest SBA OHA (Office of Hearings and Appeals) cases on Hubzone Certification.

2. We have a very strong success rate!

  • We maintain a success rate of over 99% for clients we qualify.
  • We have assisted thousands of small businesses to achieve and maintain their Hubzone Program Certification.
  • We have real references to back up our success rate, that you can contact.

3. We have 19+ years of experience within the Hubzone Program!

  • All services performed are by Cloveer employees, not outside contractors, like some of our competitors.
  • We just don’t offer Hubzone Certification Completion Services. We offer review and renewal services too.
  • Our principals (Rick and Monica Otero) worked in their family’s 8(a) Certified business (RJO Enterprises). It was one of the country’s most successful 8(a), high-tech, information technology and electronics concerns. It was recognized for five consecutive years as one of the fastest growing companies in the nation, by Inc. Magazine.

4. We won’t waste your time!

  • We attempt to pre-qualify all potential clients for our Hubzone Application Service. We are not interested in wasting your time or ours if you do not qualify.
  • When you ask a question, you will get a straight answer with no double talk.
  • Even if you don’t qualify we will identify the workaround to your specific issue(s) so you can apply down the road, if possible.

5. We believe in Customer Service!

  • We believe in treating every client with the respect they deserve as a small business.
  • Our service agreements guarantee protection of your confidential information.
  • All information provided to us is protected on our secure server and will never be shared with anyone.

Finally. We are the best Hubzone Program consultant that is available on the market. The others just try to emulate us.

You can view our list of testimonials and call any of our clients.

We offer two plans for preparing your Hubzone Application. The plans are dependent on how many employees your business has and whether or not anyone has ownership interest in any outside business. Please see our fees for more information.

  • You are welcome to view our blog or Hubzone faqs for more frequently asked questions on the SBA Hubzone Program.
  • You can also view the latest SBA Hubzone Regulations (CFR: Title 13:Part 126) and read up on the extensive rules and regulations that govern the Hubzone Program.
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