How to Certify Your Business
This course is offered in partnership with MTCopeland. This course is for construction professionals and contractors seeking local, state, or federal work; for those making the shift from private to public works; or anyone looking to expand their business by becoming a certified contractor. With over 100,000 satisfied students and a course catalog of over 1,000 classes, we are here to help you – Invest in Yourself.
Jennifer Todd is the president of LMS General Contractors, a full-service demolition and environmental contracting business based in South Florida that completes local, state, and federal work across the Southeast and California. She is the youngest Black woman to receive California’s CSLB (A) General Engineering license, and has been recognized by Engineering News-Record as a 2020 Top 25 Newsmaker and a 2021 Top 20 Under 40 Professional. Construction Business Owner Magazine also recognized her as a 2020 Outstanding Women in Construction finalist.
Learn about the many benefits of construction business certification, how to navigate the application process, and what you can do with certification and beyond to set your business apart and work as a top tier company.
Introduction – Your instructor Jennifer Todd is a full-service demolition and environmental contractor and owner and president of LMS General Contractors. Learn how Jennifer’s law degree and engineering license set her up for success, and why certification is key for anyone hoping to grow their construction business.
Why Get Certified – Construction certifications help set a construction business apart and attract top-tier clients. Jennifer walks through the beginning steps of construction certification, and how various opportunities can open up—like small business allocations—after becoming certified.
Types of Certifications – Jennifer explains various certification types, like women-owned business certifications, LGBTQ-owned business certifications, and minority-owned certifications, and takes you through the sba.gov website where you can determine which agencies help you become certified.
Set Asides – Set asides ensure that a certain bid percentage on a project goes to a number of certified small and diverse businesses. Jennifer explains how that contractual process works, and how you can source certified businesses to work with.
Determining Eligibility for Certification – Learn what you need to determine your eligibility (and apply) for certification, like proof of income and business licensure, and how to navigate the application process in an efficient yet thorough manner to set yourself up for success.
Certifying Without a License – You don’t always have to have a trade license to get certified. Jennifer explains how to apply for certification without a license and reviews specific examples of roles that don’t require trade licensure, like project management, construction management, and construction consulting.
Eligible Company Structures – Learn how the organizational structure of a small construction company affects its certification application, and how to apply for certification within each structure whether it’s for a corporation, sole proprietorship, or partnership.
Registering for Federal Contracting – Jennifer walks through the steps for registering for federal contracting, from obtaining a DUNS number to finalizing your application on sba.gov.
Agencies that Certify Your Business – There are five core groups that oversee certifications. Learn about each of them, from local agencies to public works divisions, and what role they play in determining certification.
Private vs Public Works – Public projects require certification, while privately-owned projects don’t. Jennifer explains what happens when a project is both privately and publicly-funded, and goes through the pros and cons of working in both sectors.
Navigating sba.gov – Jennifer walks you through the sba.gov website and explains how the registration process works for various certifications, including local, city, and state certifications.
Navigating sam.gov – The sam.gov website provides various services, such as federal contractor registration and federal project bidding opportunities. Learn how to navigate the website.
Preparing Documentation – Jennifer walks you through the must-have documents you will need for your certification process, from proof of citizenship, to business tax reports, to occupational licenses.
Preparing Documentation for LLCs and Corporations – If your business is set up as an LLC or corporation, you’ll need to provide specific additional documents. Learn the importance of articles of incorporation, meeting minutes, and corporate bylaws.
Frequently Asked Questions – Jennifer reviews some of the most common questions she receives from construction business owners about certification, such as getting certified in multiple states, applying for certification with business partners, how long certifications last, and more.
Conclusion – Pursuing Education – Jennifer reviews the value of mentorship and the various steps you can take to get educated in construction. She shares several examples of self-starters within her company who sought construction trade education and became experts in their field, and reviews the powerful impact training can have on anyone starting a construction company or pursuing a career in construction.