Tuesday, February 14, 2012

New Jersey Small Business Registration & Minority and Women Certification Programs

Frequently Asked Questions on the New Jersey Small Business Registration & Minority and Women Certification Programs

1. Where can I send my small business registration or minority/women certification application payment?

Make your check payable to Division of Revenue and send it to the NJ Division of Revenue, Business Support Services Bureau, PO Box 455, Trenton, NJ 08646

New Jersey Small Business Registration & Minority and Women Certification Programs
2. How long does it take before I get a decision on my application?

You will receive a response generally within 4 weeks of your check being cashed.

3. What happens when my application is approved?

You will receive a letter and a certificate in the mail.

4. What happens if my application is incomplete?

We will send you a request for additional information. You will be asked to respond within 30 days to prevent a non-compliance closure of your application.

5. What happens if my application is denied?

You will receive a letter explaining why your application was denied. The letter will also explain that we need to receive a letter from you on your company letterhead within 10 days if you wish to appeal the denial.

6. Where can I get help in filling out my application?

For one-on-one assistance, visit your local Small Business Development Center. For a complete listing, go to http://www.njsbdc.com

7. Is a business registration with the State of New Jersey, Division of Revenue the same as a small business registration with your Division?

No, these are two different types of registrations. A business registration with the Division of Revenue will ensure that the business is registered for applicable taxes and related liabilities. Businesses must submit to the Division of Revenue the Business Registration form (NJ-REG) and if applicable, the Public Records Filing for New Jersey Business Entity form. 
After registering, businesses will receive the forms, returns, instructions and other information required for on-going compliance with New Jersey State taxes. For more information on the Business Registration Form please see http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/revenue/busregcert.shtml

8. What is a Small Business Enterprise (SBE) registration?

The SBE registration is required to compete for contracts under the Small Business Set Aside Act. The small business set-aside program was established with the goal of awarding 25 percent of state and purchase order dollars to small businesses.

Go to http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/contracting/ for a listing of the standards for eligibility and to obtain an application form.

9. How long will my SBE registration or M/WBE certification last?

The cost for both the SBE registration and M/WBE certification is $100 for three years. Please note that you will have to submit an annual verification form or your registration or certification will be revoked.

10. Can I compete for a Small Business Set Aside contract if I get my SBE registration after the bid opening date?

You must have a current SBE registration on the bid opening date to be eligible to compete.

11. My company was considered ineligible to be a SBE under the old rules and regulations. Do the new rules and regulations take into consideration new industries or sizes?

The new rules and regulations have changed the size of the categories so that the size of your industry is taken into account. As a result, your company may now qualify as a SBE and be eligible to participate in the Small Business Set Aside Program.
To view Small Business size standard by NAICS industry see: 13_CFR 121.201 at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html

12. What if I have a bid due before the four week response time?

You must attach a request to expedite your application and accompany this request with a copy of the bid page that contains the bid due date. Please note that the application must be properly completed and all required support documentation must be received by our office before we are able to begin processing your request.
In cases where a prime is requiring a sub-contractor to obtain a registration or certification, you must submit a letter from the prime, on their letterhead, stating that there is a commitment to award the sub-contract if in fact registration/ certification is provided. A copy of the bid page that contains the bid due date must be attached to the letter from the prime.
Where/When feasible we will issue an expedite certificate five days before the bid due date.

Note: Submitting an application does not mean that you will automatically receive an approval. You need to submit your application and the front page of the bid for review to the Division at least 48 hours before the bid opening date. If you submit your application with less than 48 hours before the bid opening, there may not be enough time to process your application or answer any questions.

13. What is a Minority and/or women Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) certification?

MWBE's are encouraged to become certified with the State so that we can accurately and timely assess the share of procurement activity recorded by this group compared to the share of business registered by non MWBE vendors. In addition, private firms and municipal (not State) governments may require proof of an MWBE certificate.

Go to http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/contracting/ for a listing of the standards for eligibility and to obtain an application form. The WMBE certification cost is $100 for three years. Please note that you will have to send in annual verification forms or your certification will be revoked.

14. My MWBE certification is going to expire. Do I have to recertify my business?

You no longer recertify your business under the new rules and regulations. You must submit a new application with the required information.

15. Can I use my MWBE to compete for bids under the Small Business Set Aside law?

The New Jersey State Government contracting process is race and gender free so you don't need a MWBE designation. You need an SBE designation to compete under the Set Aside Act (Refer to response to Question #8).

16. How do I go about ensuring that information in my record is updated?

Change in general contact information or description of services fields (refer to listing below *) must be accompanied by;

1. Written request signed by the owner, president or managing partner.
Listing of fields:
  • Phone number
  • Fax number
  • Email address
  • Business location or mailing address
  • Correct any spelling on the company's name or owner's name
  • Add or Delete construction or Commodity codes ( NOT categories)

Change of the Company Name must be accompanies by;

  1. Written request signed by the owner, president or managing partner
  2. Copy of the certificate of Incorporation, formation or business registration that shows the amendment/change for the name.

Change of the Company Federal ID# must be accompanied by;
  1. Written request signed by the owner, president or managing partner to close the record that is currently approved/
  2. certified.
  3. Copy of certificate of dissolution or other legally binding documentation that shows that the company is no longer in business.
  4. Provide IRS form assigning FEIN number to the designated business. If a sole proprietor, proof that this is the applicant's social security number.
  5. Submission of a new application meeting all the requirements and fee.

Change in Owners or Ownership Breakdown (Percentages of ownership) must be accompanies by;
  1. Written request signed by the new/revised owner(s).
  2. Agreement/contract of sale transferring ownership (proof of payment, cancelled check)
  3. Resume for the new owner (s)
  4. When applicable proof of ethnicity (MBE) or gender (WBE)
  5. If new owner is not MBE or WBE, a new application will need to be submitted.

Change in Category

Changes in category are authorized only when upon review by an auditor, she/he confirms that the original designation was incorrect when initially approved OR that upon receipt of documentation that accompanies the annual verification form, there is proof of a significant change that requires change in category. In both cases, the owner, president or managing partner must provide copies of page 1 of the business tax returns for the last 3 years.

NOTE: The Division of Revenue reserves the right to request additional documentation from your business and to contact you to schedule a site visit to confirm validity of change(s) requested.

17. Where do I get information on new bids from State agencies, universities and authorities?

The Division offers a centralized database that post all statewide bids which you can access anytime by keyword, agency or commodity code. Go to http://www.nj.gov/njbusiness/contracting Refer to the right hand side banner Online Services, Click on Statewide Bid Opportunities.

For guidance on how to navigate and maximize the potential of the State's procurement process, small businesses are encouraged to contact the New jersey Small Business Development Center at www.njsbdc.com

18. Can I get automatic notification of new bid opportunities?

You can sign up to get customized email notifications for opportunities within the goods, service, or construction field you identify as being of interest. The identification of goods, services or construction field will be based on the National Institute
of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. NIGP code, which you must provide. Go to https://wwwnet1.state.nj.us/treasury/dpp/ebid/NotificationUser/NotificationUserEnrollment.aspx
For those of you familiar with the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and need to find an equivalent NiGP code you can do so by searching for similar wording or description. Treasury has an NIGP lookup tool located at: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/purchase/commcode.shtml

19. Where can I find the commodity and construction codes?

Commodity and construction codes consist of expense account codes that provide information and/or descriptions of nature of the purchases (goods,services, construction field) made by state agencies. Constitutes a system of identifying a commodity by

20. What happens if I lose my registration/certificate?

You may ask for a replacement by sending your request to us on your company letterhead. You may send your request to us by mail or fax (609-984-6679).

21. Do you give out grants?

a. While the Division does not give grants, you may explore other funding sources by calling the Economic Development
Authority Customer Care line at 609 777-4898 or your local Small Business Development Center www.njsbdc.com