SMALL DIVERSE BUSINESSES
The Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities (BDISBO) verifies self-certified Small Businesses that wish to participate as Minority, Woman, Veteran, Service Disabled Veteran, LGBT, and Disability-Owned Business Enterprises through the Small Diverse Businesses program. Eligible Small Business must hold certifications as diverse businesses with one of the Department’s approved third-party certification entities.
Follow the step-by-step process below to complete self-certification as a small business and verification as a small diverse business.
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STEP 1 – SUPPLIER REGISTRATION
To register as a vendor visit the PA Supplier Portal and click on Suppler Registration. Not sure if your company is registered? Don't know your registration number? Call toll free: (877) 435-7363 (option 1), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proceed to Step 2 if you already have a PA Vendor Number.
STEP 2 – SMALL BUSINESS SELF-CERTIFICATION REGISTRATION
Small business self-certification, a two-year certification which requires biannual renewal, is a prerequisite for verification as a Small Diverse Business. Visit smallbusiness.pa.gov for program guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and step-by-step instructions for the self-certification process.
A business must meet the following requirements to self-certify as a small business. The business:
- Must be a for-profit, United States business.
- Must be independently owned
- May not be dominant in its field of operations
- May not employ more than 100 full-time equivalent employees.
- May not exceed, by business type, the following three-year average gross sales:
- Building Design Services
- Procurement Goods
- Procurement Services
- Construction Goods & Services
- Information Technology Goods & Services
Businesses will be required to upload the first page of the company's three most recent federal tax returns which are required to verify annual gross sales. You may redact your federal tax identification number, if desired. Acceptable file formats for tax upload include Portable Document Format (PDF) and Joint Photographic Group (JPG).
- Federal form 1120, the U.S. Corporation Income Tax Return
- Federal form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation
- Federal form 1065, the U.S. Return of Partnership Income
- Federal form 1040 Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, Sole Proprietorship
To access the small business application and begin the certification process:
- Go to the PA Supplier Portal and click "Supplier Logon" (call 877-435-7363, option 1, if you do not have you Logon information).
- Enter your user name and password.
- Click "Bidder Tab" > "Enterprise Applications" > "Small & Small Diverse Business Program Application" (contact the Supplier Service Center at (877) 435-7363, option 1, if the Enterprise Applications portal page appears blank or view our application guide for basic troubleshooting for most common obstacles).
STEP 3 – SMALL DIVERSE BUSINESS VERIFICATION
Once successfully registering as a small business, the applicant will be offered the opportunity to verify as a Small Diverse Business. The applicant may continue to the verification section of the application at this point, Steps 6 – 7, by selecting the "Verify as an SDB" button at the bottom of Step 5 of the self-certification application, or the applicant may return at a later time to continue to the online verification.
The Department of General Services accepts approved third-party certifications from any of the following entities:
*These are disadvantaged business certifications which are accepted for Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) only. Additional proof of ethnicity and/or gender must be submitted at time of verification.
In Process Third-Party Certifications
The Department of General Services, Bureau of Diversity, Inclusion & Small Business Opportunities, is aware of vendor concerns regarding the timely completion of the third-party certification process needed to re-verify Small Diverse Business (SDB) status. In order to support the vendor community in its efforts to participate in our small business and small diverse business programs, DGS is willing to extend the SDB expiration date only in the limited situation where:
- The vendor is seeking to renew its SDB verification from the previous small business self-certification period,
- The vendor's small business self-certification did not lapse prior to recertification,
- The vendor’s application with an approved third-party certifying entity is in process, and
- The application was filed with the third-party certifier at least 30 calendar days before the expiration of the vendor’s SDB expiration date.
Small Diverse Businesses experiencing delays shall complete and submit the Affidavit To Request Extension form which will be uploaded for review in Step 6 of the online small business application. Please note that an extension affidavit is not for use by companies verifying for the first time or renewing their verifications after their Small Business self-certifications have lapsed. Contact the Bureau of Small Business Opportunities for a copy of the form by calling (717) 783-3119 or emailing GS-BDISBO@pa.gov.
Once BDISBO has received and verified all information, the applicant business will be included in the online database located at www.dgs.internet.state.pa.us/SmallDiverseBusinessSearch/. It will also be listed as a small and a small diverse business in the small business database located at https://www.dgs.internet.state.pa.us/SBPI/AlphaResults.aspx.