New Opportunities for LGBTQ+ Business Owners

Do you own a business and identify as LGBTQ+? If the answer to both is yes, then you might want to consider getting certified by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Such certification might provide your business with additional opportunities to compete for large contracts from national and local businesses.

You likely already know that many companies – large and small – establish goals for buying products and services from suppliers with diverse backgrounds. Well, what you might not know is that the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce can connect your business with hundreds of really large corporations that are publicly committed to connecting to businesses like yours. Of course being certified won’t ensure that you will land a bunch of new business as you will still need to compete.

The certification process is pretty straight-forward: you essentially must affirm that your business is at least 51% owned by an LGBTQ+ person. The certification process does not examine the financial viability of your business at all. Here is what you do:

Step 1: Apply for Certification on the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce website. You will be asked simple questions like the name of your business, legal structure, Tax ID, number of employees and of course details about the owners.

Step 2: Provide three references of past or current customers/clients.

Step 3: Provide a written description of your business and upload certain business documents, like articles of incorporations or partnership agreements. If you are starting a business, you’ll have to upload your business plan.

Step 4: Proof of LGBTQ+ status for all LGBTQ+ owners and partners. This could be a marriage certificate or domestic partnership certificate. You will also need to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

Step 5: You will need to schedule a site visit with an NGLCC representative too. There is a tool allowing you to request certain days.

Step 6: Of course there is a $400 application fee, but this is waived if you belong to an NGLCC affiliate chamber. Once your application is submitted and your site visit completed, then a committee will review your application. If your business is granted certification, then it lasts for two years. In addition, there are lots of programs designed to help you learn how to take advantage of your new certification.

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