Uniform Certification Agency


Certification does not guarantee a contract! Instead certification is a tool that is sometimes required by corporations or governmental entities to access opportunities to bid.

Prior to logging in to complete the new certification or renewal application please take a few additional moments to view information that will help you better understand where your company is within the business life cycle and whether or not you are positioned to truly meet the demands of major corporations in the public and private business sectors.


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Uniform Certification Agency


Mission of UCA
The Uniform Certification Agency strives to certify legitimate minority, women, disadvantaged and locally owned small business enterprises.

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 reduces 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 Continuum Corporate Members.

About the UCA


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 Continuum 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 Continuum Membership Meetings and training seminar.


How to Apply for Certification
A UCA Application may be completed online. Follow the online application process and summit the requested documentation.

Services Provided to Members
The MMBC Continuum provides corporate members access to your business product and service offerings through an online Minority/Women-Owned Business Directory. This Corporate Efficiency Directory (CED) outlines detailed information on certified minority and women owned businesses across the country and is updated daily. The online M/WBE business directory is only available to corporate members of The MMBC Continuum.

  • 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

UCA FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)


Q: How does the UCA certification process work?
A: Complete the application online and submit it. Applicants may also print the application and mail it to UCA. In 30-45 days after the completed application and all supporting documents are received; a certification specialist will call you to schedule a site visit with the majority owner(s) at the primary place of business. Once the site visit has been completed, the entire file is processed for consideration of adherence to the 49 C.F.R. Part 26. Once a decision is made, the applicant is given either a certificate or an explanation of the reasons for denial.

Q: Does the certification process really take 90 days?
A: We receive multiple applications every day and the thorough process can take between 60 and 90 days to complete from submission to certification.

Q: Can a business create more than one user name?
A: Yes, a business can create multiple access user names for their company.

Q: What is the criteria for UCA certification decisions?
A: UCA determinations are based on legal ownership structure, involvement in the day-to-day management and operational control of the business.

Q: Are there any fees associated with the certification process?
A: Yes. There is a $300 new application processing fee associated with the MBE/WBE/LSB and SBE certifications collectively. The applicant does not pay a separate fee for each certification. There is no fee for the DBE certification. There is an annual recertification fee. Q: Is there a fee for each certification? A: No, not at this time. Currently there is only one fee per company, that covers the cost of up to 4 different certifications – MBE or WBE, LSB, SBE, and DBE.

Q: Does my certification expire?
A: Yes. Annually, to avoid a lapse in certification, a recertification application should be submitted 30 days before the expiration date.

Q: Can I fax or e-mail my application?
A: Yes. It can be mailed, faxed to (901)525-5204 or emailed to mmbcc@mmbc-memphis.org. The application may also be completed online.

Q: Where is the Uniform Certification Agency (UCA) located?
A: 158 Madison Avenue, Suite 300, Memphis, TN 38103

Q: My company is located outside of Memphis. Can I still apply for certification through your agency?
A: Yes. The company must be already certified in another state, or it must be located within a 100 mile radius of the City of Memphis.

Q: Does your agency have reciprocity with other certifying agencies?
A: Yes. The Department of Transportation in the State of Tennessee is a partner that allows reciprocity with the TNUCP Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program.

Q: Which certification(s) should I apply for and what are the criteria?
A:. There are several opportunities offered by our corporate and community partners, but each one has a different set of criteria. We offer the following certifications:

  • Minority or Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) certifications are accepted nationally, by most local corporations here in Memphis, and the surrounding area. Any member of an ethnic minority group, male or female, may apply for the MBE certification. Caucasian women may apply for the WBE certification only.
  • Local Small Business (LSB) certifications are specific to Memphis Light Gas & Water. This certification is race and gender neutral. Your business must be located in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and not exceed the SBA size cap.
  • Small Business Enterprise (SBE) certifications are specific to the City of Memphis. This certification is race and gender neutral. Your principal office and residence have to be located within the City of Memphis and the owner’s personal net worth may not exceed $1.32 million. The business must not exceed the SBA size cap.
  • TNUCP Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) certifications are for companies who want to work on federally funded contracts. This certification is specific to the Memphis Area Transit Authority, Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority and/or other transportation and airport municipalities. Business owners with the ability to establish disadvantage in their business industry, due to race, gender or religion may apply for this certification.

Q: Can I apply for all the different certifications?
A: Yes, if you meet the criteria, you could be eligible for up to 4 certifications with UCA.

Q: What are NAICS codes?
A: NAICS is an abbreviation for North America Industry Classification System. These six-digit codes are used to help major corporations and community partners identify the services your company offers. They are also used to determine revenue and employee standards for each industry. You may find the list using the following link: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/

Q: What are my options if my application is denied?
A: You may request an appeal of the decision within 30 days. A committee meets to review any appeals and submitted information and will respond with a decision.

Q: If my application is denied, may I reapply?
A: You may reapply after 1 year, assuming changes have been made in the areas of previous denial.

Q: What financial statements should I submit if my company is a startup business or less than a year old?
A: You may submit a projection statement and a profit / loss statement for business completed to date.

Q: What tax information should be submitted?
A: Three (3) years of company taxes including all schedules are required for business that have been operating more than three years. Personal taxes including all schedules are accepted for business owners who have not yet filed company taxes, and members requesting SBE and/or DBE certifications.

Q: What happens after a company becomes certified?
A: You will receive the approved certificates and a welcome letter in the mail. Your company will be added to the UCA database. You will be invited to seminars, training sessions, and events that will be beneficial to how you operate and further develop your business. You will also have numerous opportunities to connect with major corporations, purchasing managers, decision makers, and other MBE or WBEs for contracts and other opportunities.

For answers to other certification questions please call (901) 525-6512 or email mmbcc@mmbc-memphis.org.

How to Apply For Certification


The UCA Application must be completed online. A declaration form must be notarized and submitted with other requested documentation as outlined in the online application process. The Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) application is NOT available online, but can be obtained by clicking the link to download the form below.

Please note: The certification process will not begin until all documents and payment have been received.

*NEW APPLICATIONS REQUIRE A $300 NON-REFUNDABLE FEE. There is a $10 convenience fee for all credit card payments.

Our UCA certifications for MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), WBE (Woman-Owned Business Enterprise), SBE (Small Business Enterprise), and LSB (Local Small Business Enterprise) are now processed through our online portal.

Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) applications are NOT processed online at this time. There is no fee charged for the DBE certification to be processed.

You can apply for up to (4) certifications at a time (i.e. MBE (ethnic minorities) or WBE (Caucasian Women only), LSB, SBE and DBE)

*If applying as a New DBE use the link below to fill out and print application. This certification is not processed online.: Please CLICK HERE – NEW DBE APPLICANT to download the form.

Additionally, SBE and DBE certifications Require Personal Net Worth Statement (DBE and SBE’s only): Please CLICK HERE to download the form.

If you have questions regarding the application(s) you may call: (901) 525-6512.

Mail completed applications to:
The Uniform Certification Agency
P. O. Box 3060
Memphis, TN 38173

For Courier or Overnight Deliveries:
The Uniform Certification Agency
158 Madison Avenue, Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38103

*** If you do not have a PDF reader click on this link www.adobe.com and download the free reader (Adobe Reader).

UCA Recertification Applications


Companies certified by the Uniform Certification Agency (UCA) are certified for a period of one year. Certified companies wishing to maintain their certification status must submit Annual Affidavit Updates on a yearly basis. The annual update must be submitted thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date shown on the MBE/WBE/DBE/LSB certificate to give sufficient time to process your paperwork. This will also help avoid a lapse in your company’s current certification which can lead to missed opportunities with potential clients/customers.

The recertification forms must be completed online and the declaration statement must be signed and notarized and the original document must be returned to the Uniform Certification Agency along with the company’s most recent tax return.

RECERTIFICATION FORMS:

Our UCA renewal applications for MBE (Minority Business Enterprise), WBE (Woman-Owned Business Enterprise), SBE (Small Business Enterprise), and LSB (Local Small Business Enterprise) are now processed through our online portal. Only the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) renewal applications are NOT processed online.

You can apply for up to (4) renewals at a time (i.e. MBE (ethnic minorities) or WBE (Caucasian Women only), LSB, SBE and DBE)

*If applying as a RENEWING DBE CLICK HERE to fill out and print the “TNUCP No Change Declaration”. This form does not require a notary seal. This certification is not processed online.

SBE/DBE renewals require Personal Net Worth Statement: CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Complete the annual affidavit by logging onto the online certification site to complete your recertification using your unique member username and password.

Please call UCA at (901) 525-6512 for assistance.


Mail completed applications to:
The Uniform Certification Agency
P. O. Box 3060
Memphis, TN 38173

For Courier or Overnight Deliveries:
The Uniform Certification Agency
158 Madison Avenue, Suite 300
Memphis, TN 38103

*** If you do not have a PDF reader click on this link www.adobe.com and download the free reader (Adobe Reader).