Uniform Certification Agency Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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:


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