THE SUPPLIER CLEARINGHOUSE
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How do I find Suppliers that have been verified by the Clearinghouse?
Join Our Supplier Diversity Program
Open to women, minority, disabled veteran and LGBT-owned firms
What business structures can be certified?
Please reference the California Public Utilities Commission website
Sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, LLCs, LLPs, and certain non-profit organizations operating in the United States may be certified. If the business is a start-up, it must be operating and conducting business at the time it applies with the Clearinghouse.
Is there any restriction on the size of the business, or the owners' personal wealth?
Does the business need to be located in California to be certified by the Clearinghouse?
No. The Clearinghouse certifies companies located in the United States.
Does the business need to be doing business in California?
No. Participating utility companies may operate in and outside of California, and they accept the Clearinghouse certification in those other states.
Who recognizes your certification?
Our certification is only recognized by the participating utilities listed on our website.
The participating utilities are:
How does a company get certified?
What is the advantage of certification?
Click "Apply for Certification", review the eligibility requirements, and select the appropriate option to start the online certification application process. The system will guide you through the process of completing the application and submission of all required supporting documentation. You can also sign up for a FREE online training class
if you would like live training to walk you through the process.
Certification is not a guarantee to receiving contracts. Certification is one tool that may lead to meeting majority companies in the private sector and government agency's seeking to do business with WMBEs/LGBTBEs. Upon certification, your company is placed in a database which is accessible by participating utilities. Participating utilities, as do many large businesses and government agencies, have WMBE/LGBTBE Initiatives and Programs, which include ‘outreach’ to WMBEs/LGBTBEs, inclusion of WMBEs/LGBTBEs in their procurement solicitations, and specific goals for WMBEs/LGBTBEs. Your certification allows organizations to know they are dealing with genuine WMBEs/LGBTBEs.
What is the fee for certification?
There is no fee for certification.
My firm is currently certified as a DVBE by the California Department of General Services and it is not showing up on The Supplier Clearinghouse Directory.
Current certified DVBEs from the Department of General Services (DGS) are automatically imported into The Supplier Clearinghouse database once a month.
How soon can I renew my certification?
To re-verify your company's certified status, you may complete the application at least 90 days prior to your certificate’s expiration date.
Who is required to sign the application affidavit?
Affidavit must be signed by 51% qualifying owner(s).
I am certified as a Small Business with the SBA; do I qualify for certification?
No, only if you are currently certified with the U.S. Small Business Administration as part of the SBA 8(a) Business Development Program.
Am I required to provide tax returns in full?
Yes, federal tax returns for the business is a mandatory document required in full including all statements and applicable schedules. If you have not yet filed your taxes and have requested an extension, please provide us with your extension letter and a copy of the previous year tax return.
What happens if I do not have a document listed on the document checklist?
If you do not have a required document, please provide a brief written statement on company letterhead explaining why the document is not included.
How long is the certification process?
Is the information on the application made public?
Upon receipt of all required documents, the process takes approximately 45 days to 90 days. Factors that may impact the processing time include:
- Which Verification Process the applicant will use;
- Missing documents required in the verification process;
- Questionable or inconsistent information on the application that may require supplemental documents;
- Whether an on-site visit is necessary, or in the case of applicants outside of California, in lieu of an onsite visit, whether a comprehensive telephone interview with the applicant is necessary
Only general information such as company name, contact person, address, phone number, and services provided are posted on the CPUC’s website.
What is Comparable Agency Verification (CAV)?
Comparable Agency Verification (CAV) is the verification process whereby an applicant for WMBE/LGBTBE certification with the Supplier Clearinghouse may be accepted, if the applicant’s company has WMBE/LGBTBE certification in good standing with the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and/or the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Only the NMSDC, WBENC, and NGLCC are accepted as comparable agencies.
The CAV process is more simplified or streamlined than the other verification processes, and in many cases, an applicant applying for WMBE/LGBTBE certification from the Clearinghouse is required only to complete the CAV application and include a copy of their CAV certificate. Acceptance of a CAV is not automatic, and in those instances where there may be doubt regarding the application, the Clearinghouse may request additional documents and/or may conduct a site visit or extensive telephone interview.
Upon approval of the applicant via the CAV process, the Clearinghouse certification expires on the same day as that of the comparable agency certification expiration date. NOTE: NMSDC, WBENC, and NGLCC certification requirements differ, thus an applicant certified by the Clearinghouse in certain cases may not be certified by NMSDC, WBENC, or NGLCC. Conversely, in certain cases, an applicant certified by NMSDC, WBENC, or NGLCC may not be certified by the Clearinghouse.