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Becoming Certified

Certification programs can help you market your business to both larger businesses and governments.  Many large corporations and governmental entities set aside a percentage of their purchasing contracts for small businesses, minority and/or women owned businesses.

large corporations accept certification through third parties.  SBA has approved three national organizations to act as third party certifiers including:

    Women Owned Small Businesses may elect to use the services of a third party certification organization to demonstrate eligibility for the program, or they may self-certify using the process outlined on the SBA website.  Most government entities will require a company to at least go through a streamlined or shortened verification process that is specific to that agency. Certification can take 30-90 days.

    State of Iowa

    The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) is responsible for Iowa’s Targeted Small Business Certification Program (TSB). This program certifies businesses owned, operated and actively managed by women, minority group members or persons with disabilities.  To qualify, a business must meet the minimum following requirements:

    • Located in Iowa
    • Operating for a profit
    • Annual gross income of less than $4.0 million computed as an average of the three preceding fiscal years
    • 51 percent or more owned, operated and actively managed by women, minorities or persons with a disability
    • TSB-certified by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals

    Certified Iowa TSBs are eligible to apply to Iowa's financial assistance program for Iowa TSBs. 

    Certified Iowa TSBs are listed on the State of Iowa TSB Online Directory and have access to the 48 Hour TSB Procurement website.