The HUBZone program fuels small business growth in historically underutilized business zones with a goal of awarding at least 3% of federal contract dollars to HUBZone-certified companies each year.
The government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses in historically underutilized business zones. It also gives preferential consideration to those businesses in full and open competition.
Joining the HUBZone program makes your business eligible to compete for the program’s set-aside contracts. HUBZone-certified businesses also get a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions.
HUBZone-certified businesses can still compete for contract awards under other socio-economic programs they qualify for.
HUBZone Program Qualifications
To qualify for the HUBZone program, your business must:
- Be a small business according to SBA size standards
- Be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a Community Development Corporation, an agricultural cooperative, an Alaska Native corporation, a Native Hawaiian organization, or an Indian tribe
- Have its principal office located in a HUBZone*
- Have at least 35% of its employees living in a HUBZone*
*The HUBZone map is changing on July 1, 2023. See below for more detail.
Applying or recertifying before July 1, 2023?
If your business is located in a designated HUBZone, it may be eligible for set-aside government contracts. Find your business on the map.
Applying or recertifying after July 1, 2023?
The HUBZone map is changing! Find out if your business will be in a designated HUBZone. Check the official preview of the new HUBZone map.
Apply to get certified as a HUBZone small business
Before you can participate in the HUBZone program, you must be certified by SBA. Review the Top Tips for HUBZone Certification Tip Sheet and take these steps to get HUBZone certified. You can also find information about the program and eligibility guidelines in SBA's latest FAQ.
- Make sure you have a SAM.gov account.
- Make sure you have a General Login System account.
- Apply for HUBZone certification using the General Login System. Log in, select “Access” and then “HUBZone” before completing the prompts.
- Check your email (including spam folder) for time-sensitive instructions to electronically verify your application within 2 business days.
- Submit all requested supporting documentation within three business days; your submission cannot be assigned for eligibility review until all required documents are submitted. Be prepared to respond to requests for additional information from the HUBZone team within 5 business days. Failure to do so may result in a decline or withdraw of your application.
- Check that your status was updated in DSBS and SAM. Within 48 hours of your approval, SBA will automatically update your status in DSBS and SAM.
NEW ELIGIBILITY WORKBOOK TOOL!
SBA is testing a new eligibility workbook tool designed to help applicants organize, calculate, and present information related to their principal office and employee residency. Filling out the workbook tool and uploading it as part of your application will help expedite SBA’s review of your HUBZone application. We will be collecting feedback about the tool via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to utilize the workbook, please follow the link above, download it in Excel to your computer, input the information using the instructions on the first tab, save your completed workbook to your computer, and upload it with the other required documents as part of your application submission. If you have questions about the workbook tool, reach out to email@example.com or join one of our open calls every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET via toll-free number: 208-391-5817; Conference ID: 278 449 067, where members of our team answer questions to help firms navigate the certification process.
There is a new and improved supporting documents checklist. You will be required to submit different supporting documentation based on your ownership structure.
Maintain HUBZone certification
You’ll need to recertify for the HUBZone program once a year. There is no limit to the length of time a business can participate as long as it continues to qualify. A program examination will be required at least every three years.
HUBZone businesses must notify SBA if their business is involved in a merger or acquisition or if HUBZone residency drops below 20% while performing on a HUBZone contract.
SBA may visit HUBZone businesses unannounced and conduct program examinations to verify the accuracy of any certification made or information provided as part of the HUBZone application or recertification process. For more information about continuing eligibility, view the Recertification Fact Sheet.
Please note that the HUBZone map is changing on July 1, 2023. The official preview of the new HUBZone map is available. You need to check the new HUBZone map now to determine if your principal office and employees will still be in a HUBZone once the new map goes into effect on July 1, 2023.
Get weekly information on eligibility assistance. Members of the HUBZone team answer questions on a weekly basis to help firms navigate the certification process.
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET
For PDF versions of information about the HUBZone program, read the What to Know About the HUBZone Program Fact Sheet and the latest FAQ.