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​Certifying your business may help you expand by letting customers know that your business meets certain quality, performance, or ownership standards. There are a number of different types of certifications. Among other things, certification may allow you to compete for special contracting opportunities with government agencies and large private business.

Small, Women, and Minority Owned Business

As the owner of a small, women, or minority owned business there are a number of certification programs available to help you compete in government procurement or promote your business.

US Government Certifications

  • Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) certification helps small businesses located in specially designated high unemployment and low income areas gain preferential access on some federal government procurement opportunities.
  • 8(a) Business Development Program - This US Small Business Administration program was created to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the market place. Firms certified through this program can gain exclusive access to certain federal government contracts.
  • Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program - The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for expanding federal contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses (WOSBs).
  • Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses - The Federal government sets aside certain contract bid opportunities exclusively for Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses.

Private and Local Government Certifications

State Certifications

Employee Skills Certifications

Various industries require certificates, permits, and licenses to conduct business, and there is more information about those requirements in the Permits and Licenses section of the Kentucky Business One Stop. There are other types of certification that can be just as important because they indicate a certain level of professional achievement and training. Listed below are some statewide worker certification programs from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System that indicate skills development.

  • Kentucky Employability Certificate - The Kentucky Employability Certificate confirms to employers that an individual possesses basic skills in reading, math and finding information – skills that all jobs require. The certificate is a standardized credential that says the holder is job ready.
  • The Team Leadership Certificate is an accelerated, learner-driven training program that can be customized for new supervisors or experienced managers and reviews the basics of worker supervision, leadership, human resources, quality management and communication.

Green Certification

If your business is looking to reduce energy costs and make a positive environmental impact then Energy Star and other energy certification programs may be of interest to you. If your business is in the construction industry and you are looking to become part of a green certification program there are resources to help you as well.