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What happens after you submit your Hubzone Application

The office of the Hubzone Program uses a three-level review process for all Hubzone applications and supporting documentation to ensure that it only admits eligible firms into the program. Each level of review evaluates whether a firm should be certified or declined entry into the Hubzone program. First level analysts review supporting documents including owners’ proof of citizenship, principal office leases, payroll, employees’ driver’s licenses, and utility bills. The Hubzone program director or deputy director makes the final determination to certify or decline the applicant firm. See below for a summary of the steps in the Hubzone certification process.

Step 1: Firm Applies

  • Firm submits an electronic Hubzone application through the Hubzone Certification Tracking System and receives an automated email to upload its supporting documentation to the Accellion web portal with 10 business days.
  • Program office assistant uploads the firm’s supporting documentation to the SharePoint One Track document repository from Accellion.
  • Deputy director assigns application package to the 1st level analyst within 15 calendar days of receipt.

Step 2: Level Review

  • Assigned analyst has up to 55 calendar days to review the application and documentation and to make a recommendation to certify the firm or decline its application.
  • If additional is needed, the analyst places the application in an “on hold” status and allows the firm 10 business days to provide the requested documentation.

Step 3: 2nd Level Review

  • Senior analyst receives the application package and has 15 calendar days to review the firm’s application, documentation, and 1st level analyst’s recommendation, and make their recommendation.
  • If the senior analyst agrees with the 1st level analyst’s recommendation, the application is forwarded to the director or deputy director for their review.
  • If the senior analyst disagrees or has further questions, the application is returned to the 1st level analyst for additional analysis or to obtain further documentation.

Step 4: Certification

  • The director or deputy director has 5 calendar days to review the senior analyst’s recommendation and either certify the firm or decline its application.
The above information was obtained from the SBA through its March 28, 2019 SBA Office of Inspector General report on SBA’s HUBZone Certification Process (PDF).
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