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Registering as a Woman, Minority, or Veteran Owned Business - Is it Necessary?

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Registering as a Woman, Minority, or Veteran Owned Business - Is it Necessary?

By JamieD
Published: June 18, 2010 Updated: September 2, 2015

Are you a woman, minority, or veteran, and do you own your own business? If so, you likely wondered how and where to register your business. To clear up the confusion, we'd like to set the registration record straight for these business types.

There is no formal government registration process for women, minority, or veteran-owned businesses that differs from the standard process all businesses follow.

Registering a business involves filing paperwork with the government to obtain certificates, licenses and permits in order to legally operate. Business registration encompasses everything from obtaining a tax ID and naming your business to applying for local business licenses.

In the past, the government monitored registration processes for certain business types, including women-owned. Though this isn't the case anymore, it still causes confusion for these business types on where and how to register.

Today, all businesses -- no matter who owns them -- register through the same process.

See Business.gov's comprehensive guide for more information on how to register your business.

Women, minority, and veteran-owned designations are relevant when contracting with the Federal Government

While you don't need to designate your business as woman, minority, or veteran-owned during business registration, you may want to announce your designation if you plan on contracting with the federal government. Some government contracts are set aside for business with specific designations -- such as women, minority, or veteran owned. You must obtain a certification to designate your business as one of these business types if you want to be considered for set-aside contracts.

For more information on how to certify your business and become eligible for set-aside federal government contracts, see Business.gov's Government Contracting Certification guide and this article on Small Business Certification: Benefits and Requirements.

Women, minority, and veteran-owned designations are relevant when contracting with state governments

Similar to the federal government, state governments set aside business opportunities through government contracts for specific business types. These contracts and their requirements differ from state to state, but typically you must be certified as a specific business type to take advantage of their programs.

Visit the State Contracting Opportunities page to find out more about your state's certification programs.

Private, non-government agencies offer certification options for women, minority, and veteran owned businesses.

Although the federal government does not require a formal registration or certification for women, minority, or veteran-owned businesses, you can register your business with non-government organizations and certification agencies. Each certification body offers different benefits for those who qualify, including business fairs, networking opportunities, training programs, financing options and more.

For example, the Minority Business Development Agency* directs minority business owners to the National Minority Supplier Development Council* where they can register their business as a certified minority-owned business and taking advantage of the benefits.

For more information on certifications and available programs for your specific business type, see Business.gov guides for Minority-Owned BusinessesWomen-Owned Businesses, and Veteran-Owned Businesses.

Additional Resources:

Related Resources:

*Directs user to a non-government website.

About the Author:


Hi I own a construction management company. I'm how would I register as a Woman minority and get project work with Govt work. Thank you.
Hello, I own small IT business. I am trying to find out how would I register as Minority and get other govt benefit.
Hello. I am a veteran and business owner. I am partnered with my brother. We are interested in becoming a woman or veteran owned company. We have discussed making our wives collectively 51% owners. We have also discussed, for the sake of simplicity, using my status as a Veteran, to be 51% Veteran owned. It there an advantage one way or another? Any guidance you can give would be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Jesse Sutton
Hello, I would like to register a business to become minority and women owned. I believe they are already women owned register but not certified.. Anyone I can talk to and assist with this?
I am searching information about minority business and it leads me here. Thanks for the information! check this out ~~~ how to get more views on youtube
Where do I go to register as a 100% Disabled Veteran and Black Owned Business?
Why is it so stinking hard to navigate these websites. I just want to register as a Disabled Veteran Business.
I have been a business owner for l6 years and would like to become minority own business I have a small business, Philway Contracting Painting & Cleaning. Can you lead me in the right direction to get started. Thank you

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