What is the Uniform Certification Agency?
The Uniform Certification Agency (UCA) was formed in 1994 under the auspices of the Mid-South Minority Business Council. The UCA was formed to reduce the time and paperwork required for minorities, women and locally owned small businesses to become certified; and to reduce the cost and burden of certification for Corporate Members. Certification through the UCA is accepted by all MMBC Corporate Members.
What is Certification?
Certification is a qualifying process that ensures the corporate buyer that an individual business is truly owned, operated and controlled by a minority/woman.
Certification is important for three reasons:
- It helps to weed out "false front" operations taking advantage of loopholes in the law.
- It totally eliminates the need to have buyers screen suppliers to determine minority/women business ownership and control.
- It complies with federal regulations, which require the provision of subcontracting opportunities for minority/women-owned business under Public Law and other executive orders.
Certification assures governments and/or corporations that purchasing dollars earmarked for minority or woman-owned businesses indeed go to a bona fide minority or woman owned businesses.
The certification process requires a thorough investigation of a company's operations including, but not limited to: financial statements, by-laws, charters, stock certificates, lease agreements, salaries of owners, number of employees, licenses/authorities, etc.
Each applicant undergoes a personal site visit interview with a member of the Uniform Certification Agency's staff. Firms are certified under guidelines developed jointly by the MMBC and UCA in accordance with federal regulations (49 CFR).
Rejection of an applicant for certification does not necessarily mean the business is not minority/woman owned and controlled, but the applicant failed to meet the criteria established by the UCA, its Board of Directors and federal regulations (49 CFR).
Benefits of UCA Certification
- Certification through the UCA provides your company immediate access to state, local and federal governments, as well as major corporations.
- Certification can be used as a marketing tool to source contracts with major corporations and government agencies.
- Access to networking opportunities at MMBC General Membership Meetings which provides a forum for businesses to meet one-on-one with procurement/purchasing managers of corporations and learn about current and future opportunities.
How to Apply for Certification
A UCA Application may be obtained by downloading the UCA Application Form and printing it out. The completed application must be notarized where indicated and submitted with other requested documentation as outlined in the application.
Services Provided to Members
The Mid-South Minority Business Council provides corporate members of MMBC access to your business product and service offerings through an online Minority/Women-Owned Business Directory. This electronic directory outlines detailed information on certified minority and women owned businesses across the country and is updated daily. The online business directory is only available to corporate members of MMBC.
Certified business owners will have access to bid on proposal requests from local, state, and federal agencies as well as major corporations.
Based on the corporate needs, MWBEs will be invited to Private Matchmakers to present their business to corporate decision makers.
Seminars and workshops which provide information and critical concepts for the growth and development of small businesses.
Buyers/purchasing agents* can immediately expand their database of qualified suppliers by accessing the UCA database (available online).
* Corporate members of MMBC Continuum and UCA only
Corporations interested in engaging with the Uniform Certification Agency may contact us at (901) 525-6512.
Please return certification paperwork to:
The Uniform Certification Agency
P. O. Box 3060
Memphis, TN 38173
For Courier and/or Overnight Deliveries:
The Uniform Certification Agency
158 Madison Avenue, Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38103